Jimmy Page Double Neck Guitar

Jimmy Page Double Neck Guitar

What the crap is up with the guitar and giving people all sorts of zany ideas like multiple necks?  In the history of music the guitar’s had the limelight for a decidedly small portion of time, so the idea of having two necks on one instrument took some time to surface.

But the guitar’s not the only neck/body/string instrument, so clearly Vivaldi never thought about having a two-neck violin. What gives?  What is it about the guitar that’s given people the kind of insight to treat the body as every bit the piece of art that the music it plays is?  Me, I’ve got no idea, but who cares what it is.  I’m just looking for a reason to blather on about some iconic multi-neck guitars.

Where would multi-neck instruments be without the Gibson EDS-1275? Who doesn’t know about this guitar?  What can I say that hasn’t been said?  Yes, it was most famously played by Jimmy Page, though John McLaughlin had done well to popularize it in about the same era give or take.  Interestingly enough the guitar actually dates back to the 60s, but it hadn’t sold too well at the time.  I suppose the moral of the story is no one cares until a visionary takes matters into his/her own hands.

Steve Vai Triple Neck Heart Guitar

Steve Vai Triple Neck Heart Guitar

Batio 4 Neck Guitar

Batio 4 Neck Guitar

The 80s were apparently something else for the exploitation of multi-neck guitars and for that reason I’m dumping Steve Vai and Michael Angelo Batio into the same category.  I have a friend who would exclaim these guitars to be “ridonkulous”.  What does that mean?  No clue, but I’m sure he’d say that if he saw these things.  What better way to show off than to become an ambidextrous guitarist.  What breed of madman does it take to have this kind of vision?  Probably the same type of madman that would stick with a haircut like Michael Angelo Batio’s.

Rick Nielsen 5 Neck Guitar

Rick Nielsen 5 Neck Guitar

Next up we’ve got the behemoth five-neck guitar by Hamer. The one played by none other than Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.

The first time I saw a video of Cheap Trick Nielsen was playing the five-neck guitar and he frequently lifted it up over his head.  At twenty-eight pounds that is certainly not a small amount of weight to perform such eccentric antics as he’s known to do.  The guitar was built back in 1980 and was then a one of a kind until he requested another from Hamer in the 90s so the original wouldn’t suffer as much from touring.

Kyle Smitchens (448 Articles)

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.