Marty Friedman Had Auditions for Megadeth + Madonna the Same Week
The Marty Friedman we know and love is a super shredder who played in Megadeth for a decade, but he actually had an audition to play with Madonna the same week he was offered the spot in the thrash group.
Back in 1990, Friedman recalled a "cattle call audition" for a guitarist to play with Madonna, and potentially another band member as well. The guitarist knew about the audition for about a month before he got an audition for Megadeth, so he spent some time learning Madonna songs — but it wasn't easy.
"I knew I could learn them, but most of the Madonna songs didn't really have much guitar upfront in the mix, and I knew that I was gonna have to get some good texture sounds to be able to," he explained during an episode of The Classic Metal Show.
"I was a metal guy, so I didn't have like 50 different clean tones and all these different acoustic guitars, and all these capos, and stuff that happens in a pop band. So I was like, 'Even if I get the audition, I'm probably not going to get the gig.'"
As a result, Friedman spent a lot of time practicing Madonna's songs and had to improvise a lot of guitar sections in order to complete the audition. He was pretty confident he wasn't going to end up landing the job, but he was adamant about trying his best to do so. Some of the songs he learned, which he named later in the interview, were "Like a Virgin" and "True Blue."
However, as fate would have it, it was scheduled for the end of the week, and he ended up auditioning for Megadeth first. He landed the gig that same day, so he never showed up for the Madonna audition.
"Luckily, I got into a gig that was more suited for what I was able to do," he said.
Prior to telling the Madonna audition story, Friedman described what makes playing guitar for a pop artist so different from metal.
"When you're in a pop context, you gotta play in like, every single key there is, and you gotta quickly transpose it when the singer wants to try it in a different key. So that's what pop guys can do that metal guys don't really do that well... That's what made it quite easy for me to adapt to pop situations, because I actually like playing in different keys and improvising in different keys."
Watch the full discussion below.
Marty Friedman on The Classic Metal Show - Madonna Audition
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