John Frusciante’s 1970s Les Paul Custom

Acquired sometime prior to Mother’s Milk and possibly used to record Higher Ground, Good Time Boys, and Knock Me Down. This is based on the fact that John on occasion used the guitar when performing the songs live, although he never really gave a precise statement on this subject – so take it with a grain of salt. He could’ve also just taken this guitar on the tour, and used something completely different in the studio.

I played mostly Strats and Les Pauls on the record. (continued) For a while, my main guitar was a ’68 Strat, but it was stolen. Since then, I’ve gotten a couple of others that I’ve fallen in love with. But our basic philosophy is that our tones are in our fingers, and the particular instrument you play, or what kind of pick you use, doesn’t matter much.

Guitar Player (USA), April 1990


Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much info out there about this guitar. The only thing worth noting is that based on the photos, it appears to have a wide body binding, which is typical to the models made post-1975 – so John’s Les Paul was almost certainly not a highly-priced vintage model from the 50s.

John Frusciante playing a Les Paul Custom. December 30, 1989
John Frusciante with the Les Paul Custom. December 30, 1989

Also, this guitar was mentioned by Robbie Allen, in a recent interview he did with the JF Effects website, but he did not disclose any significant new information regarding it.

He had a Les Paul too, when he first got his money, he bought two ’69 Stratocasters and a brand-new black Gibson Les Paul Custom [Black Beauty].


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

If you notice a piece of gear missing, and you wanna add it yourself, you can do so on this page Add Gear to GroundGuitar.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments