John Frusciante’s Ibanez RG760
John used a few different Ibanez guitars early on in Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988 and 1989. The best-known one is the guitar seen on most of the photos that come up when you Google “John Frusciante Ibanez” – featuring a ton of stickers on the body. Based on the time when he used it, the theme of the stickers, and the fact that the guitar was red – it’s possible that John got this guitar upon joining the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that these Ibanez guitars replaced John’s Performance Custom – probably 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, and 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 in some photos it looks as though it’s orange.
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. 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
It seems however that the Ibanez guitars weren’t there for long, as Flea and Anthony preferred John to play a Stratocaster. According to John, he smashed the guitars and that was the end of them – but decided to keep the wah pedal, which he used for the entirety of his career from then on. All of these were given to him by Ibanez upon joining the RHCP.
When I first joined the Chili Peppers Ibanez was really friendly and gave me the wah pedal along with two or three guitars. I played the guitars for a while but the band—by which I mean Anthony and Flea—was totally against it, and so when I switched to playing Fender Stratocasters I smashed the Ibanez guitars on stage just to make them happy—but I definitely kept the wah pedal!How John Frusciante Got His Red Hot Wah Tones
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