Who Played the MTV Guitar Riff?

Heya… Remember the original MTV network ident? The one with the rocket blasting off and the moonman planting the MTV flag??? Well… who was the guitarist who played the “duh, da-duh, da-duh-di-duh…” riff?

:confused: :confused: :confused:

**RocketRod – SoCal ** :dubious:


On MTV (I think it was on the MTV news though) there was a Megadeath bass riff.

Just a WAG, but I would bet it’s a session hack who looks like Artie Fufkin or something…in other words, not anybody in a famous band…

Sounds like the riff to Yes’ Owner of a Lonly Heart. At least that’s what I remember it to sound like. But it has been a while since I watched 80’s MTV (or any MTV for that matter).

I always thought it sounded like the opening riff to the Sex Pistols song “Seventeen”, in which case the guitarist would be Steve Jones. I have no confirmation of this, however.

Whoever it was, should have made some serious royalties.

I do remember the guitarist being profiled in a guitar mag a few years back…he was one of about 100,000 Van Halen/Steve Vai 1980’s metal guitar clones who drifted into the hair band scene to never be heard of again…

…and the name is somewhere in my memory - the last name was something Italian sounding (which hardly narrows it down). Give me time and I may have an answer…

I have always thought it was Steve Jones, it sounds EXACTLY like the record.


Rocket, welcome to the boards and a little friendly advice.

Bumping your own thread is in bad taste and frowned upon by some mods.

Bumping after only one hour is just silly. Your thread will show up as new when people log in. Don’t worry, we’ll see it.

Joe Satriani???

Also, I don’t think Seventeen is the song y’all are thinking of. Perhaps Submission?

Oddly when I try to visualise this, I see the logo and the Dire Straits Money for Nothing riff …

I don’t think it’s that tho?

It’s not “Submission”, that’s too slow. “No Feelings” perhaps? Anybody got Never Mind the Bollocks… handy to check?

The Megadeth line someone mentioned was the bass line for Peace Sells. It was used after the news at “ten to the hour, every hour, here on MTV.” Back in the olden days, they’d alternate between that, and a rap sounding record scratch.

(I have no clue about the question at hand though)

I checked Never Mind the Bollocks before I posted…No Feelings was my second choice, but really, nothing on that album really sounds like the MTV riff to me…

Yeah, it’s not the Sex Pistols…I dunno what it is but it’s not good ol’ Steve.

Anyone got a good way to e-mail someone at MTV who might know? :confused: :confused:
…and thanks to all youse SD’ers for all youse answers!

I tried e-mailing them; they don’t have e-mail addresses listed ( and who could blame them, given the demographic that watches MTV nowadays). I have a thread going at the MTV “board” in hopes someone knowlegable will be by.

This is just a guess but I can guarantee you it’s nobody famous (unless they got famous afterwards in which case it would be well known). When MTV started 20+ years ago they were a little rinky-dink cable show, not the Viacom behemoth they are today. They would not have been able to hire anyone big to write their theme.

As someone else mentioned its was most likely just some for-hire studio musician.

I remember reading ca. 1987 in Spy magazine that Tom Pomposello “composed the MTV theme”.

“Honest Tom” was also a repeat winner of Guitar Player magazine’s best blues guitar award.

All this is from memory – no guarantees.