John Frusciante’s 1980 Yamaha SG2000

access_time First seen circa 2010

This is one of John’s more recent guitars, used from circa 2010. It is only one of a number of different Yamaha SG guitars that he owns, but it is apparently his favorite one. The guitar was used on PBX  and Enclosure albums.

My main guitars are Yamaha SG2000s. My favorite is a purple one from 1980. I have a few others and a few SG1500s. I switched from the Strat to the Yamahas in late 2010. I’ve played the Strat once in the last three years, and only on one little recording. [John Frusciante: War and Peace]

I’ve been playing Yamaha SG-2000s mostly, from the late Seventies and early Eighties. They’re my favorite kind of guitar. You can get a lot of tonal variety out of them, and in terms of the wood they’re very heavy guitars, so they have a very fat sound. Much fatter than Strats. (continued) The Yamaha SGs, the guitar is balanced harmonically the same way a piano or an organ is. Whether it’s the lowest note on the instrument or the highest one, it has an equal kind of breadth. And you don’t have as much roundness to the sound, where the note starts thinner and then gets thicker…all that kind of stuff. You get a straight, fat, consistent sound on every fret of every string. [John Frusciante on His Latest Solo Effort, ‘Enclosure,’ and Why His Days Onstage are Behind Him]

A little bit about the guitar itself – the Yamaha SG2000 is a model produced from the early 1970s to around 1988. At that point, the production was halted, and only recently Yamaha decided to revive the model with their SBG line. John’s guitar features a pretty rare “Deep Purple” finish […]

I do like them, and I have six or seven. Besides forcing me to play differently, though, they also gave me a lot of insight into how many other guitarists play. With the Yamaha SG, I could play along with guitar players who were playing, say, Les Pauls, and feel like the sound matched what I was hearing on the record. There were all these guitarists whose playing had been a little mysterious to me, and I suddenly found it easier to incorporate aspects of their styles into my style through imitation. People like Robert Fripp, Mick Ronson, Tony Iommi, and particularly John McGeoch from Siouxsie and the Banshees, who played a Yamaha SG, which is why I bought one in the first place. It was an approach to the guitar that I’d been blind to my whole life because I had always played Strat-type instruments. [John Frusciante Shifts From Avant-Pop to Hip-Hop]

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access_time 1998

1962 Fender Stratocaster

This guitar was purchased by Anthony Kiedis when Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers again in 1998. According to Anthony, at that time, John didn’t have a guitar of his own (all of his old guitars were either sold or lost in a fire that caught his house), but according to John himself, he did have his red Fender Jaguar. It is likely that what Anthony actually meant is that John […]

access_time 1990

1966 Fender Jaguar (Under the Bridge)

This Fender Jaguar is undeniably best known for its appearance on ‘Under the Bridge’ video. The date of purchase is unfortunately unknown, but it is known that this was one of John’s favorite guitars at the time – the one he’d use for practicing and fooling around in his room. John’s Jaguar was finished in what’s known as Sherwood green color and features two single-coil pickups, rosewood neck with white binding […]

access_time 1991

1958 Fender Stratocaster (BSSM)

For the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, John used what was apparently a late 50s sunburst Stratocaster. However, there are some issues with this, because for that to be true, the guitar had to have had a maple neck, because rosewood necks were introduced only in May 1959. And, since we have a pretty good insight into what guitars he used on the album (see documentary Funky Monks), we know that none […]

access_time 1989

1968 Fender Stratocaster

This was Frusciante’s main Stratocaster around the time of the release of ‘Mother’s Milk album’. It was seen on numerous occasions around that time, predominantly in 1989, but possibly also in 1990. Just to name a few, John played it at a gig at Dam Square, Amsterdam, on August 26, 1989, at Pinkpop in the Netherlands on June 4, 1990, and it was seen in the music video for the song ‘Knock Me […]

access_time 1988

Ibanez RG760

John used a couple of different Ibanez guitars early on in Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988 and 1989. The best-known one is the guitar featured on most of the photos that come up when you Google “John Frusciante Ibanez” – featuring a ton of stickers and hand-writings on the body. Based on the time when he used, the theme of the stickers, and the fact that the guitar was red – we’re […]

access_time 1997

1962 Fender Jaguar (Red)

From 1994 to around 1997 John seems to have lost nearly all of his instruments in a fire that caught his house, and those few that survived were probably sold for money since John was having drug problems at the time. Furthermore, Anthony Kiedis notes in his book ‘Scar Tissue’ that John had no guitar to his name when he joined the band again in 1998, although according to an […]

access_time 1988

1986/87 Kramer Pacer Custom II

This was the only guitar that John had with him when he first joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 1988. He only used it for a few gigs with the Peppers [Red Hot Chili Peppers John Anson Ford Theater October 8, 1988], and for some of the early gigs with HATE (sideband project with Flea). This particular guitar is somewhat of a mystery. What we do know is that the guitar had a […]

access_time 1989

Ibanez RG750

To our knowledge, John was seen playing this guitar only on one occasion – at Shafer Court, Virginia Commonwealth University on April 14, 1989. Most likely the guitar was a backup for John’s main Ibanez, model RG760, and that he used it for that purpose more than just once. Also, given that the photo below was taken around the same time that the band was working on ‘Mother’s Milk’, it is possible […]

access_time 2006

1959 Fender Stratocaster (Fretless)

John used this guitar occasionally on tour in 2005/2006 [Red Hot Chili Peppers – Live La Cigale 2006]. At that point in time, the Strat was most likely completely stock and featured a fixed tremolo bridge. Sometime in mid to late 2006, John decided to mod the guitar and replace the original neck with a fretless one. The reason that might have led John to choose this exact guitar to be […]

access_time 2005

1961 Fender Stratocaster (Fiesta Red)

This is one of the guitars John bought just prior to Stadium Arcadium, most likely to have something on hands available as a backup for his 1962 Stratocaster. This Stratocaster was made in 1961, and features fiesta red finish and a rosewood fretboard. The pickups in it are most likely original, although there’s a possibility that John replaced them with Seymour Duncan SSL-1s like in his two main Strats. John used this guitar quite a lot during […]

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