MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO Dean Guitars/ DIME Clinic GoDPSMusic Newbury Park, CA 6/5/2014

LINK TO THE ENTIRE EVENT STREAM via GoDPS Music:  http://new.livestream.com/accounts/3758593/events/2975799 


The first guitar clinic I ever attended was Michael Angelo (prior to the addition of his surname Batio) back in the late 80s (I’m guessing it was about the 1989 time period – right around the time that Nitro came out…and Jim Gillette was even in attendance for the event.   I remember leaving the clinic totally stunned.  MAB was playing 7 string guitars (only with a high “A” instead of a low “B”) and he had the “Quad” guitar (a 4 necked guitar in an X Shape) that he played every which way – right, left, top, bottom, back, forth.  Needless to say, it was insane.   Still to this day (some 25 years later), Nitro’s “O.F.R” stands up as one the greatest shred guitar albums of all time.    


MAB’s total mastery of the guitar was again on full display this evening.    He gave his first clinic at GoDPS last year and vowed not to repeat the same songs. He shredded, told stories, answered questions and played some more.   He kept grabbing stock guitars off the wall and played them through a DIME head that was given to a lucky kid at the end of the performance.    Here’s the Dean flagship MAB 1 (aptly named the Speed of Light Guitar).   He started by playing a condensed version “8 Pillars of Steel” from the Intermezzo album (sans the bass solo recorded by Elliott Dean Rubinson – who happens to be CEO of Dean Guitars). 


He told a Metallica/ Kirk Hammet story and then played a ripping Metallica medley.  He rocked the “Over/Under” technique and his impeccable picking technique was on full display.   He also told some Pantera stories to the enthusiastic younger members of the live crowd (I sat there thinking – those kids remind me of me about 25 years ago).   Throughout the clinic, he told stories and cracked jokes.  He’s funny.   His delivery is reminiscent of Sam Kinison, which is another cool blast from the past. 

Like many left-handed guitarists that play right-handed (Steve Morse is another), he seems to have a clear advantage in the shred department.  And shred he did.  His speed picking and sweeping arpeggios are a true sight to behold – especially when you are sitting right in front of him.  

Here he is playing a stock MAB3 silver burst guitar – a very affordable instrument that sounds and looks good.

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He went back to the MAB 1/ Speed of Light and did a Van Halen medley.  MAB definitely doesn’t get enough credit for all of his innovative ideas over the years with both playing and instrumentation.  It seems that some of his techniques and ideas were derived from the monotony and boredom of playing sets over and over at clubs.   He has tons of solo albums along with a rock solid solid career of touring, putting on clinics and shredding around the globe.    He’s a true guitar powerhouse and a musicologist – you can just tell how much music means to him.


He also busted out his sparkly Double Guitar (a special double neck he invented with a 110 degree angle between necks for ergonomic playing) and he rocked it left handed, right handed, over/ under and upside down.   He explained that it’s two guitars that are connected in the back with a latch.     


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Towards the end of the show, MAB grabbed a seven string (the MAB 7 Warrior– this guitar has a low “B” instead of his old school high “A”) and was joined by Maxxxwell Carlisle of Hellion (who also appeared on MAB’s Hands “Without Shadows II – Voices” and his Intermezzo album, along with fellow shredders George Lynch, Rusty Cooley, Jeff Loomis, Guthrie Govan, Joe Stump and several other guitar heroes) for a ripping version of “Nuclear Blues”, where they rocked out to a metal/blues-type jam.  It was a great way to end the clinic and obviously a very impressive evening of guitar. 

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Michael took time after the show to take pictures with friends and fans , and he also signed posters, CDs, guitar and amp heads.   He was very friendly to everyone and imparted some great words of wisdom at the show when he explained how  you should “finish what you start”.  He sat with a fan and showed him exactly how he executes his economy picking style.  It was an on-the-spot guitar lesson.   Even without a guitar, MAB’s incredible amount of dedication, motivation, drive, focus and intensity serves as an inspiration in accomplishing your goals – even for us people that don’t possess super human guitar or musical skills.  

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Here’s the winner of the DIME head, who also had his DIME guitar signed.

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DEAN on FaceBook

GUITAR WORLD Interview with Elliot Dean Rubinson (owner of Dean Guitars, ddrum and Luna): http://www.guitarworld.com/dean-guitars-ceo-elliott-dean-rubinson-talks-gigging-uli-jon-roth-balancing-life-musician



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