Power Rangers theme composer on “fooling” Eddie Van Halen: “He handed me a guitar and said, ‘I have to learn that damn riff for Wolfie. Show me how you played it’”
Did you know that one of TV’s most popular guitar themes wasn’t actually recorded on a guitar?
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Ron Wasserman, the man behind some of the most iconic themes on ’90s TV, has recalled the time his work on the keyboard sounded so much like the guitar, he even had Eddie Van Halen fooled.
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If you’re a ’90s kid, you might remember this awesome metal theme song called Go Go Power Rangers on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series. And if the song had inspired you to pick up the guitar… well, let’s just say you weren’t the only one who was fooled by Wasserman’s extraordinary composing talents.
Discussing the origins of the song on the Monsters, Madness and Magic podcast, Wasserman says [via Killer Guitar Rigs]: “From ‘We need a theme’ to completion, [it] took two and a half hours. I mean, it was a great night. I just banged the thing out.”
“Then, when they said, ‘Fox loves it,’ I asked, ‘Who are we gonna get to sing it? It’s the first thing I ever sang like that.’ And they said, ‘No, it’s you.’ And that took off a whole new career for me of screaming incorrectly into a microphone.”
More importantly, the composer says that one of TV’s most popular guitar themes wasn’t actually recorded on a guitar. In fact, almost the entirety of the original song, apart from some parts in the full version, were recorded with a keyboard.
“All that stuff you heard except for some of the lead guitar later on, all of it is done on the keyboard.”
As Wasserman explains, that keyboard sound was so convincing that even Van Halen was fooled – a feat he reckons is the “highest compliment” the song could ever receive.
“I had a band called Fisher with my ex-wife, and Eddie Van Halen’s wife, Valerie Bertinelli, was a big fan of the band. So she put one of the songs in a movie she was doing, and she said, ‘Come on up to the house.’”
“We came up to the house, the estate, the compound. I was talking to Eddie for a bit, and he handed me a guitar and said, ‘I have to learn that damn riff for Wolfie. Show me how you played it,’” Wasserman recalls.
“And I went over to the grand piano and said, ‘Don’t kill me.’ And he said, ‘All right.’ [Laughs] ‘Good job!’ So I fooled the master.”