Jim Johnston is a legendary composer who spent decades working for the WWE. He’s the man behind some of the most popular theme songs in wrestling, composing music in various styles that would become synonymous with stars like Kurt Angle, Dwayne Johnson, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Johnston began his WWE career in the mid-1980’s when he lived Connecticut, the home of WWE Headquarters. He spent 32 years with the company composing some of its most iconic theme songs, but in November of 2017, he was released from the company.
Jim Johnston Called It A “Complete Nightmare” When Wrestlers Became Popular Enough To Have Their Say Regarding Music
During a recent appearance on the RRBG Podcast, Jim Johnston spoke about his career with the WWE and what his working life was like. While he generally enjoyed his time with WWE, he found it difficult when wrestlers became popular enough to start demanding input into their theme music choices.
“Honestly, it was generally a complete nightmare if talent got big enough to have the clout to say to Vince or Kevin Dunn, the executive producer, that say ‘Hey I want to sit with Jim and talk about music.’ The general difficulty there was they would want music that they like to listen to in their car or work out to in the gym, and I would be in the position of saying ‘But that’s not your character.’
“Do you think that Harrison Ford pushes to have the music he listens to in his car as the score to his next movie? It just doesn’t work like that.”
According to Jim Johnston, one star who had significant input into his many theme song choices was Triple H.
“Triple H was very involved because he was a big star, but also even more involved when he became involved with Stephanie and ended up getting married and you know then became really kinda up the corporate ladder. So he had an unusual amount of say in his music. But I would say overall he was, even though he could have been more forward with me, I would say overall he was pretty respectful of my turf and pretty much let me come up with stuff.”