John Frusciante’s Marshall JMP Major 200W (Model 1967)

Used on By the Way and Stadium Arcadium as his main amp both in the studio and on stage – here paired with a Marshall Silver Jubilee 2555. But prior to that, it seems that this was John’s main amp during the Californication tour, used together again with a Marshall Silver Jubilee, and a Fender Dual Showman.

John with the Marshall head behind him, likely the same 200W head he used on By The Way. To the left is the Silver Jubilee, and to the right is the Fender. Photo: EMP Seattle, 2000.

Not the Studio amp on Californication

One thing to point out here is that John said that he used an old ’65 Marshall on Californication. Knowing that the Marshall Major 200w was first introduced in 1967, he’s must’ve clearly been referring to his 1965 Marshall JTM-45.

I used a real old ’65 Marshall. I also used a 200-watt bass head that I used on Blood Sugar – I use a bass head and a guitar head at the same time; that’s how I play. I had a good sound for this album, but Louie [the band’s right-hand man] doesn’t want me to take the heads on tour because he thinks they’ll break.

Guitar One (USA), September 1999

It seems that he acquired the 200W Major only after the Californication recording was wrapped up. And, if you compare the Slane Castle (2003) photo below to the 2000 photo shown above, it looks like the same exact amp. This means that the 200W Major basically became one of his main amps as soon as he got it, and it remained in his setup for years.

John’s standard amp setup consists of a Marshall Silver Jubilee, and a Marshall Lead 200w. Photo source: YouTube/Slane Castle

It is however possible that the 200W Major was used to some extent on Cali. There is a photo of all of John’s amps from around that period, and it clearly shows both it and the JTM45 in the same room, alongside a Marshall Bass, and a Fender Showman.

These Frusciante’s amps were likely photographed during the early Californication era. Photo credit: Uknown

The Studio amp on By the Way and Stadium

But, in any case, the 200W Major was used in the studio on both By The Way and Stadium Arcadium. This is also confirmed by Rick Rubin, who stated that the Major was used during the By The Way studio sessions.

Frusciante’s amplifier rig included a 200-watt Marshall Major and a 100-watt Marshall Super Bass, one of which he usually ran in a stereo setup with a Fender Showman Blackface guitar amp pushing the Marshall.

Rick Rubin: In the Studio

And, John himself continues mentioning the amp as late as 2009, which means that the amp was likely used on Stadium Arcadium as well.

In the Chili Peppers, I always have a Marshall Major, Marshall Jubilee, and my old Fender Stratocasters.

Vintage Guitar (USA), April 2009


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