You’ve seen him onstage at every Madonna tour since 2001. He goes by many names: Madonna’s guitar teacher. Shredder (see the end of “Heartbeat” on the Sticky & Sweet Tour for proof!). Montster. But just who IS that “Rock God”?
Let’s begin at the beginning. In 2000, Madonna purchased her then-boyfriend Guy Ritchie a guitar to play while he recovered from knee surgery. There was only one problem: he had no idea how to play. Guy’s search for a guitar teacher led to the discovery of Monte Pittman, a Texan in LA living the rock dream: working in a music store and giving guitar lessons…while waiting for his big break, that is. Ritchie hired him, and a few days later Monte made the trek to Casa Madonna to start teaching Guy how to master the fretboard.
When Guy turned the tables on Madonna a few months later, purchasing her a guitar to call her own, Monte of course began to teach her too. Only a month after Madonna started playing guitar, she asked him to perform on David Letterman with her doing an acoustic version of “Don’t Tell Me,” and next thing you know– Madonna invites Monte into the Drowned World Tour band. He must have done something right, because every gig/tour since, you can always find him camped out stage right– a real life guitar hero to Madonna and her fans.
Monte’s credits with Madonna also include the song “Easy Ride” (from the album “American Life”) which he co-wrote, and he was the studio axe man for “American Life” (2003), “Confessions on a dancefloor” (2005), and “Hard Candy” (2008).
Monte splits his time among several projects, including the pioneering metal band Prong as well as his own solo project. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two daughters.
See Monte & Madonna in action:
- Burning Up (Live from Re-Invention Tour) (don’t miss: Monte’s solo starting approximately at 2:21)
- Borderline (Live from Sticky & Sweet Tour) (don’t miss: Monte’s solo from Heartbeat in the first seconds that leads to Borderline)
- Hung Up (Live from Sticky & Sweet Tour)