Jim Johnston shares what it was like to work with Vince McMahon.
Speaking with Lucha Libre Online, the longtime WWE Composer was asked about his relationship with Vince McMahon, saying that he considers him a friend and has stood on solid ground for over thirty years. Johnston also said that while Vince is a charismatic and intriguing guy, he can also be tough and a bit of a bully. Here is his full reply:
"Great. I consider Vince a friend. It was a little upsetting at the end with the way things ended but there were, as happens in corporations, were a lot of politics involved and people trying to get my job, but Vince and I have always gotten along. He's a really intriguing guy. He's an incredibly charismatic guy. He can be really tough. He can be a real bully but fortunately, I did not personally get that end of him too frequently. He and I stood on pretty solid ground for 32 years."
Johnston would continue on to clarify a previous remark about not being signed, saying that he and McMahon worked on a handshake deal for years.
"Earlier questioned when I said I wasn't really signed for a long time, for years and years and years, Vince and I operated purely on a handshake and I honestly don't think either one of us ever thought a thing about it. Like, 'oh my god, this is not good, to just be operating on a handshake, we need to get some paper on this.' It wasn't really until the company went public and then lawyers get involved and they saw me as a risk. It's like, 'oh, you can't have this kind of important guy in the organization out there like a wildcard with no contract,' so then I became an official employee and contracts."
Johnson would finish up by saying that Vince likes to be surprised creatively. He says he learnt to be respectful enough to deliver what was asked, but that if you're brave enough to present a different path, while still eliciting the same intended feeling, your ideas will be welcomed.
"Not that that ever really changed my relationship with Vince but he's a really intriguing guy. Really smart. Really stubborn. One thing I always loved about him is he loves to be creatively surprised even though when he gives you something to do he's always very specific. He hears something in his head or he has a feeling. Fortunately, with me, he learned that he didn't have to spell that out musically, that he just needed to tell me how he wanted to feel with that character. I also learned over the years with Vince you have to be respectful enough to give him something that he asked for."
Lastly, Johnston believes that if Vince is tough it's only because he's frustrated and those around him are not understanding the emotional objective of whatever's being worked on.
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