The Reason Why Madonna Played Pantera Riff During A Live Show
During a conversation on the Classic Metal Show, Madonna’s guitarist Monte Pittman talked about his experience working with the world-famous pop star and how he ended up becoming her guitarist while revealing the story behind Madonna’s famous Pantera riff.
Monte Pittman moved to Los Angeles from Texas in 1999 and started working at a guitar store as a salesman. When the number of people coming in and asking for guitar lessons increased, Pittman started teaching guitar, which is how he met Madonna’s boyfriend. It was around that time that he also joined Prong and toured with the band.
In the meantime, Pitman also started giving guitar lessons to Madonna and although he thought she would get bored of it in just a couple of lessons, she actually got really into it because it enabled her to play the songs that she loved and write her own music.
A month after he started giving her lessons, she invited him to join her on stage at the Late Show with David Letterman, which was the beginning of his career as Madonna’s guitarist. During the interview, he shared his happiness for working with such a great musician and said that he really appreciates her passion for music.
Then, he was asked about Madonna’s well-known Pantera riff which apparently he taught her. After Pittman realized that Madonna enjoys playing rock and metal riffs, he taught her ‘A New Level‘ by Pantera which she played so well that they adapted it to her playlist. It was so shocking for everyone in the crew that people would come in during rehearsals just to see Madonna playing that riff.
Here’s what he said about playing Pantera with Madonna after talking about the guitar tricks he taught her:
“So I was showing that to her, and then the next day, she walked in, she had a bottle of wine and two glasses, sits them down, and she puts on her guitar, just goes, ‘Check this out!’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, I wish somebody could see this!’ I was like, ‘Now I got to show you a Pantera song!’
And I showed her ‘A New Level’ because you could do drop D tuning where she could just do it with one finger. And then when we were at that point on the setlist, the song which we had done for the ending was her song ‘Hung Up.’
We just got a new musical director and he had this idea of doing that song where she’s playing guitar because it would be almost like a polar opposite of the original. And so then when we would play that song at the end, she would just start playing the ‘A New Level’ riff, and then the rest of the band didn’t know that song, they just thought she was playing that so they would just play to her.
And then it’s like, ‘Wow, that was fun, got to jam some Pantera with Madonna today! Who would have ever thought that would happen?’ And then you would see the tour manager coming in with some papers and someone comes and restocks the refrigerator with water, and everybody would start just showing up at that part of rehearsal just to see that! And it stayed in the setlist. So that’s how that happens.”
You can check out the whole interview below.