date_range 1988

John Frusciante’s 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 guessing that John bought this guitar upon joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that these Ibanez guitars replaced John’s Kramer – the only guitar that he owned when he joined the band.

Also, based on the photos, the guitar was an RG760 model with two single-coil pickups, a humbucker in the bridge position, The Edge tremolo system (based on the original patented Floyd Rose tremolo design), and control for volume and tone. John’s guitar was likely finished in what Ibanez called Lipstick Red, although on some photos it looks as though it’s orange.

John Frusciante with an Ibanez guitar, the late 80s. Photo provided by a visitor. Credit: unknown.

Aside from using the Ibanez during early live gigs, based on the photos, John also used this guitar during the ‘Mother’s Milk’ studio sessions. [Mother’s Milk Studio Sessions] However, based on John’s statements on the gear that he used for the album, it seems that as far as the recording, the Ibanez was only there for its Floyd Rose tremolo.

I played mostly Strats and Les Pauls on the record. I was still hung up on Floyd Rose tremolos, which Flea hated, though I didn’t care. But then I started to realize that since most guitar players use those things, none of the shit you can do with them will sound original. Now I just use a stock Strat tremolo system, and if I want to pull up, I push behind the nut. [Guitar Player (USA), April 1990]

Unfortunately, John never mentioned this guitar specifically in any of the interviews, and everything we know about it is based on the photos and second-hand knowledge. If you happen to know anything that wasn’t already stated here, please leave a comment below.

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