John Frusciante: A Brief Biography


Just a bit of information on one of my favorite guitarists.

John Frusciante was born in 1970 in Queens, New York where he lived for six years until he moved with his mother to Santa Monica, California. John started to play guitar at the age of six. He was inspired by his family old musical background. Frusciante took guitar lessons for one year before he decided to teach himself. He stated his biggest influence was Frank Zappa but was also inspired by Steve Vai and Hillel Slovak. Frusciante modeled his style of his favourite guitarists fusing funk with bluesy and melodic riffs. Frusciante had been an avid fan of Red Hot Chilli Peppers since the age of 15, he joined the band when he was 18 after becoming friends of RHCP bassist Flea at the funeral of the band’s former guitarist Hillel Slovak. Frusciante, who had dropped out of school at the age of 16 was living out his dream with his idols. Frusciante has released several solo albums and collaborations, as well as five albums with RHCP. Early in his career Frusciante began using the recreational drugs such as marijuana inspired by friend Flea’s use of it. Frusciante eventually began using heroin and by 1992 was an addict. Frusciante’s addiction caused him to leave the band. During this time Frusciante became extremely reclusive and let his physical and mental condition deteriorate. Frusciante’s good friend Johnny Depp filmed a documentary about the condition of Frusciante’s home and lifestyle entitled “Stuff”. During a heroin induced blackout, Frusciante’s house was destroyed in a mysterious fire which he himself barely escaped with serious burns. During his addiction, Frusciante produced two solo albums dedicated to feeding his heroin use. After five years of addiction Frusciante checked himself into a drug rehabilitation center and became clean. In 1998 John rejoined RHCP and went on to release three more albums with them. In 2007 John left the band again, this time on good terms due to general exhaustion. Frusciante has inspired several guitarists including current RHCP guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who also worked with him on the side band Ataxia. Frusciante was quoted saying “Everything’s perfectly balanced, for all of the horrible things in the world there are a lot of good things”.  John lived his life in similar fashion although he faced tough times he always bounced back with a spiritually positive attitude and continues to do so today. Frusciante is currently a very respected guitarist, bassist Flea has referred to him as a “Virtuoso guitar hero type”. Frusciante is known for using Fender Stratocasters and incorporating bar chords in his songs. He is also very technically skilled showing himself to be skilled in nearly every guitar technique known to man from tapping to palm muting. Frusciante’s guitar playing is extremely unique and has never been duplicated, he is the master of his own genre.


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