Michael Angelo Batio Shares Honest Opinion on Joe Bonamassa, Reveals Important Thing Joe Told Him About His Vintage Guitars

Sure, the 1980s brought so many proficient technical guitar players. However, hardly any of them were as skilled as Michael Angelo Batio. Although his band Nitro wasn’t exactly at the best place at the best time, with grunge slowly taking over glam metal, everyone remembered him for the insane quad-neck guitar appearing in one of the group’s videos. And, of course, there’s also that instructional video and his original piece “Speed Kills” that we all love and cherish.

Speed Kills by Michael Angelo Batio

Unfortunately, that instrument got stolen and Batio managed to get his hands back on it after over a decade later. But precious instruments getting stolen is something one should always worry about. Or perhaps not anymore?

In a recent chat with Ryan Roxie, Batio recalled meeting Joe Bonamassa who explained why he’s not worried about taking super-expensive vintage guitars on tour. Batio said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“I was in upstate New York doing a workshop, and Joe Bonamassa’s dad owned a music store up in that area. So, we arranged for me and Joe to meet, because we had never met. So, we meet, it was private, and we’re laughing because he uses Jazz III picks as I do. And I have my own special color – It says Michael Angelo Batio, and they’re blue Jazz IIIs, whereas he has ones in gold. So, we were comparing our guitar picks, and he’s a really cool dude.”

“And he was there, he bought these two Marshall stacks. He’s into collecting, as you know, some serious vintage guitars. I have about 20 vintage. Most of my collection are guitars that I have acquired over the years that are special to me, whereas Joe actively hunts them out. I said, ‘Joe, you’re going on stage with ’59 Les Pauls, man.’ But he goes, ‘Yeah, but you know what? I’m not worried about it.'”

Joe Bonamassa and his 1959 Les Paul at Rumble Seat Music

“Because that’s what I asked him, ‘Are you worried if somebody steals it?’ And he said a great thing, he goes, ‘No, because they’re so well documented. Where the hell are you going to sell them?’ And that’s very true. But my quad, it wasn’t well documented.”

Photo: Florian Stangl (Joe Bonamassa – 2013 World Tour – Meistersingerhalle Nuernberg – 11-03-2013 (8557288377)), minimoniotaku (Michael Angelo Batio playing a guitar – 2)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.