John Frusciante’s Martin D-18

John was seen playing this guitar circa 1991, in a photograph taken by Karen Miller (we’re working on getting the photo displayed here for you to see).

Although it appears that this is the same guitar that John played in an interview for Dutch television filmed in September 1991, upon closer inspection, it’s obvious that this is a Martin D-18, and not a D-28 (you can read more about the second guitar here – John Frusciante’s Martin D-28). The main giveaway is no visible binding on the body.

Based on pure guesswork, and because it seems that John had this same guitar with him at The Mansion during the BSSM sessions, it is likely that this was John’s main acoustic guitar around this time. Also, since this is the only other acoustic guitar seen during the Funky Monks documentary that wasn’t a 12-string, it is possible that he used it on the track I Could Have Lied.

What looks like a Martin D-18 was seen sitting on the floor in John’s bedroom at The Mansion. Photo source: Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Funky Monks” Uncut Full Documentary (1st Edit Uncut with bonus footage)

The Mismatched Bridge Pin

A crazy little theory that could confirm this – if you look at Karen Miller’s photo of John, only the bridge pin for the G string is white, while all the other ones are black. This tiny little detail becomes very interesting when you take into account that John said that he didn’t have that same exact string on the guitar during the recording of I Could Have Lied.

Then there was the acoustic guitar on the song “I Could Have Lied.” I was playing it from my bedroom, which is where I played all the acoustic guitars and… yeah, so like the G string was missing on that. I was missing strings on a lot of songs.

Guitar World, November 1991

So it seems possible that John misplaced the original black pin, didn’t have the G string on for a while, and then ended up buying a new white pin.

This would pretty much confirm that this was indeed the guitar used on I Could Have Lied, although we don’t know exactly when Karen Miller’s photo was taken – was it after, or before the studio sessions (which would obviously make this small detail just a random coincidence).


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1 year ago

It seems like there was another acoustic guitar involved in the BSSM sessions. John can be seen playing it in in the VH1 Ultimate Albums documentary in what seems to be an outtake from the Funky Monks movie. This guitar looks like a small body acoustic and does not have a pickguard. Based on the screenshot and his finger position, I think he‘s recording „I could have lied“. Sorry for not providing more info on the guitat though.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

Yes sure. It‘s in the video you posted at 27:00, when they are discussing I could have lied.