John Frusciante has played a number of 1950s Gretsch White Falcons over the years, and this DeArmond Model 2000-loaded single-cut electric guitar with a Melita bridge, Bigsby vibrato and winged headstock logo is currently his main squeeze.
Guitar Player tagged along to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Austin City Limits October 9 concert to get a close look at several guitar from Frusciante’s arsenal.
“John used to have a ’55 White Falcon,” says Frusciante’s current guitar tech, Henry Trejo. “That guitar, I believe, was on loan to him from [artist, actor, filmmaker and musician] Vincent Gallo.
“Dave [Lee, Frusciante's former guitar tech] actually found the ’58 that he’s using now.
"In the current set he uses this guitar on two songs: 'Otherside' and 'Californication' [both from 1999's Californication].
“I had to meet a guy there because he was driving it down and it was a halfway point. I remember getting the cash and going to a Flying Jay truck stop in Gorman, California, and I felt so weird standing there with tens of thousands of dollars.
“The guy showed up, and he wanted 20 grand for it. And then I saw the guitar and I said, ‘Look, it’s had some refinishing work done.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, let me make a call.’
“He comes back and says, ‘Okay, we’ll take seven.’ Like, that’s quite a drop!”
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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.
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