VIDEO: Eight men play Crossroads on an 8-necked guitar

Wonder if they can do Free Bird?
Wonder if they can do Free Bird?

Many a blues concert has ended with an array of guitarists jamming on Crossroads. But this is a first: eight guitarists performing the Robert Johnson classic... on one guitar!

Of course, it helps when that guitar has eight necks. Called the "Rock Ock" - a nod to the Spider-Man villian with eight arms - the instrument weighs 40 pounds, has 154 frets, 51 strings, 51 tuning pegs, and 8 necks.

The eight instruments that comprise the Rock Ock are a mandolin, ukulele, six-string, fretless bass, standard bass, 12-string, baritone guitar, and a seven-string. The guitar was designed by noted artist Gerard Huerta (responsible for the iconic AC/DC logo, among others) and built by Dan Neafsey of DGN Custom Guitars. The guitar hardware was supplied by Mojo Musical Supply while the instrument itself was commissioned by The National Guitar Museum.

According to HP Newquist, executive director of the NGM, "There are dozens of 'art guitars' with multiple necks that can't be played. They're really just sculptures. So, we at the National Guitar Museum decided to go one better and create a guitar with eight necks...that can actually be played. Our thinking was that if you're going to create something like this, it should be real. And this one is."

The above video is pretty darn cool. Looking like they're playing a game of Twister (we love the one man standing on a ladder!), the eight musicians don't miss a lick, pulling off a toe-tapping and most inventive rendition of Crossroads.

The Rock Ock will be on display through the end of the year at the Orlando Science Center in Orlando, Florida as part of an exhibit entitled "GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World."

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.