James A. Johnston
James A. Johnston
His first job in the entertainment business was working with MTV and VH1 to create bumpers and commercial cues, before a chance meeting in a sushi restaurant with a WWF producer led to him joining Vince McMahon's professional wrestling company. Initially composing TV themes for shows and commercial buffers, Johnston gravitated towards wrestlers' entrance themes, before eventually becoming a complete music composer for the company. In 1989, Johnston composed original music for No Holds Barred, a movie starring Hulk Hogan. Although the score was never commercially released, the theme "No Holds Barred", with vocals by John Joyce, was later released on WWE Anthology album in 2002. Johnston also contributed the score to the 2010 WWE Studio's release, "Legendary", starring John Cena. Johnston is well known for writing, composing and producing all his compositions, in addition to playing all instruments, and occasionally recruiting outside vocalists or additional musicians to contribute when the piece requires. Johnston appears on the videotape Piledriver - The Wrestling Album 2 to introduce the video for Girls in Cars.
He orchestrated the live band at the WWF Slammy Awards ceremonies, and traveled across the U.S. in 1995 as part of the "Raw Band". He also appeared on camera at WrestleMania XIV and the 1998 SummerSlam playing the DX theme with the Chris Warren Band. Johnston also had a brief clip in the film Beyond the Mat discussing his reasoning behind Vader's theme music.
Johnston also appears on the bonus DVD for WWE Originals the 2004 album by the same name. The DVD features a 30 minute behind-the-scenes documentary on Johnston, offering insights into the composing, producing and directing of the album. There are also some humorous interactions of Johnston with Jonathan Coachman and Steve Austin. Johnston also appears on The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior discussing the Ultimate Warrior's theme song, and how it was able to be truly representative of the character.
Johnston also appeared on the WWF WrestleMania XV DVD Extras, commenting on WWF's music, and how music is crucial in the World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment. James Alan Johnston composed the music for two films recently produced by WWE Studios, 'Legendary' (starring John Cena), and 'Knucklehead', starring The Big Show. He also wrote the score for "No Holds Barred" starring Hulk Hogan, and contributed the track, "Ahmed Johnson" to Beyond the Mat. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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