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Heavy metal outfit Nitro boasted "the fastest, loudest, highest sound around" — frontman Jim Gillette's chief claim to fame was his ability to achieve a scream so high-pitched and piercing that it literally shattered the imported crystal wine goblets he carried on-stage for each performance. Gillette first met guitarist Michael Angelo at a beach party, and they soon collaborated on the former's 1987 solo album, Proud to Be Loud. While the singer was already known in metal circles for his instructional video series, Jim Gillette's Metal Power, Angelo was famed for inventing the Double V-Neck guitar, and in Nitro he pushed the concept to its illogical extreme with the Quad Guitar X-400, an axe with four necks in an X formation, each featuring seven strings.

Gillette and Angelo officially formed Nitro in 1988; bassist T.J. Racer was discovered via one of Gillette's instructional courses, while drummer Bobby Rock was best known for his stint in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. The band's debut LP, O.F.R., followed in 1989. In large part a showcase for Gillette's over the top vocal prowess, the album featured the singer holding a 32-second scream and reaching an amplifier-exploding soprano high D note. Shortly after its release, Rock left the group and Nitro toured with drummer K.C. Comet. Only Gillette and Angelo remained by the time of the follow-up, 1991's H.W.D.W.S. (Hot, Wet, Dripping With Sweat), which featured Ralph Carter on bass and Johnny Thunder on drums. The band dissolved soon after, with Gillette later marrying metal queen Lita Ford. The Nitro demo collection Gunnin' for Glory appeared in 1999.

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1987 in Los Angeles, CA

Years Active:

'80s, '90s