Guitarist Monte Pittman has enjoyed a fruitful career, playing with the likes of Myra Mains and Prong, before joining Madonna’s band. It’s hectic, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“With Madonna, it’s the greatest job in the world,” Pittman says.
Pittman is in the Valley to present the Monte Pittman Experience at the 50-seat Listening Room Phoenix at 7 p.m. Friday, June 9. He says the one-man show takes fans on a musical journey, from acoustic to rock to heavy metal. The setlist will feature material from his four albums, including the 2016 effort, Inverted Grasp of Balance, which delivers full-force metal that showcases his evolution.
“I made this record on the road,” he says. “We were rehearsing for the Madonna Rebel Heart Tour. I was rehearsing in New York so I called on Richard Christy—he lives in New York because he’s on The Howard Stern Show—to play drums on it.
“I recorded the guitars myself. I could record something and live with it. Sometimes, I went back to it and changed a few things. When I came off tour, I did the vocals, and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big and the Winery Dogs) did his bass.”
Participating in a variety of projects has kept his career fresh.
“Over the years, I’ve seen a lot,” he says. “With Madonna, I was very fortunate to be right beside her through a lot of it.”
The two met when Pittman gave her guitar lessons in between tours.
“She was going to go on tour and she asked me to go on tour with her,” he says. “It was as simple as that. I knew all of her songs because I was teaching them to her. We became friends, actually, before I started teaching her. That was good. We had a great relationship already.”
It’s a challenge playing with the Michigan native, but he enjoys it.
“Sometimes we rehearse 14 hours a day. Everything is challenging. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
“It’s too late for me to turn back now.”
Monte Pittman, The Listening Room Phoenix, 4614 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix, thelisteningroomphoenix.com, 7 p.m., $15.