Jim Johnston shares how he came up with D-Generation X's entrance music.
Joining the RRBG Podcast, the longtime WWE composer discussed a number of topics, including some of his most iconic wrestling themes. Mistaken for having written Shawn Michaels' 'Sexy Boy' theme, Johnston clarified that it was Jimmy Hart responsible for that piece of music. He says that it's a common error because he is often credited with writing a theme for HBK. Johnston then revealed that DX's music, which he wrote, was originally supposed to be for Michaels.
"A lot of time it gets a little confused because I did write a theme for Shawn Michaels and that was -- D-Generation X, I originally wrote for Shawn Michaels. By the time it was out there, he had hooked up with Hunter and it had become a group entity very quickly," he said.
Johnston continued on, describing how he came up with the song, working with Chris Warren, and thinking Vince McMahon wouldn't like it. Here are his full remarks:
"Chris Warren, who did the singing, that's what he did and I was definitely trying to do something in that style that was the white rock-rapper vibe. It was fun to do. What I think is the best trivia about that piece of music was, somehow, I got away with something that there's no way I'd get away with which is -- Themes have an -- Undertaker bell, boom, music. Glass break, music. It's right into it. It's not like, 'Hey, let's hang out and have a nice little intro. I just became fascinated, and I think part of it was Chris' voice. He just has this snide, implied 'Go screw yourself' with anything he says.
Just really the kick drum only. It was playing in the studio and I was doing something else and then I was just sort of thinking, 'Wait a second.' It's so interesting how this happens when you're putting music together. Happy accidents. Boy, do I love happy accidents. I wasn't trying to write an intro. I accidentally left the machine still running and here's the [kick drum]. So I just find myself getting into the mood of that and I found myself starting to say stuff. So I set up a long loop of that. I set up two microphones, one with Chris facing me and I said, 'Chris, with your snide, crazy voice, just repeat everything I say.' He stood there for about 15 minutes of my just thinking of anything I could think of. Then put it on an intro and I loved it, but I thought Vince was going to say, 'What's with the 20-second intro before we get into the hook of the song?' Fortunately, everybody liked it."
Johnson spent 32 years with WWE before his contract was allowed to expire. He is currently working on orchestral compositions and a theme-based EP, though no release date was provided for the latter.
Elsewhere in the interview, Johnston explained why he doesn't like wrestlers using mainstream music for their entrance themes. You can find those comments here.
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