There couldn’t have been a more natural choice for our number one weirdest signature guitar than Michael Angelo Batio’s insane quad-necked electric guitar.
Originally from Chicago, Batio began his career as a guitarist as a session musician for a local recording studio, recording music for companies like Burger King, Pizza Hut and McDonalds. He would later go on to co-found the glam rock band Nitro in Los Angeles with the glam metal singer Jim Gillette. Nitro was most prominent in the late 1980’s and early 90’s.
Hailed as one of the greatest shredders of all time, Batio could play guitar at a ridiculously fast speed. He was also known for using his “over-under” technique, where he would flip his hand from under the fretboard to upside down over the top of the fretboard while playing.
Michael Angelo Batio is also considered to be a major proponent of a double guitar. Guitars with two necks had already been around for some time, such as Jimmy Page’s dual-necked guitar, but none quite like Batio’s two-necked guitar where the necks jutted out in opposite, unnatural directions.
The aforementioned Steve Vai, who credits Batio for the inspiration behind his own use of multi-neck guitars, sort of one upped Batio by playing a guitar that featured three necks. While a member of Nitro, Batio’s label wanted him to challenge Steve Vai to a duel, so they enlisted the help of Gibson and the legendary guitar builder Wayne Charvel to construct a ridiculous quad-necked guitar for Batio.
The results are insane –
Michael Angelo Batio with his signature quad-necked Gibson
This four necked piece of guitar insanity features two 7-string necks, and two 6-string necks. It was debuted in Nitro’s music video for their song “Freight Train,” but unfortunately only made it two stops into Nitro’s tour before the guitar was stolen at a show in El Paso, Texas.
Michael was able to track it down many years later in England, but was only able to ever find half of the original guitar.
Dean Guitars made a limited edition replica of the guitar called the MAB Armorflame Quad. Each of the four necks could be removed, making it possible to be used as a one, two, three or four neck guitar.
MAB Armorflame Quad replica by Dean Guitars
A true piece of signature guitar insanity, you can watch the Nitro video for “Freight Train” in which the guitar made its debut right here: