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

Used first during the ‘Californication’ recording sessions, paired with a Marshall Bass head (similar principle as on BSSM, except that he mostly used a JCM800 there). He continued using this amp for ‘By the Way’ and ‘Stadium Arcadium’ as his main amp both in the studio and on stage – here paired with a Marshall Silver Jubilee 25/55.

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]

In the Chili Peppers, I always have a Marshall Major, Marshall Jubilee, and my old Fender Stratocasters. [Vintage Guitar (USA), April 2009]

One thing to point out in the first quote from John – Marshall Major 200w amp was first introduced in 1967, so either John misremembered the year, or he used a different Marshall head on the album, and only used the Marshall Lead 200W during the tour. If he indeed used an amp from 1965 on the ‘Californication’ album, that would’ve likely been a Marshall JTM45, which would’ve had either 45 or 50 Watts.

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

Be that as it may, according to Rick Rubin, the Marshall Major was used extensively 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]


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