Pop superstar MADONNA paid tribute to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott by playing what sounds a lot like the main riff to PANTERA's classic song "A New Level" during her May 10, 2008 performance at Radio One's Big Weekend at Mote Park in Maidstone, UK.Watch the footage below. (The "A New Level" riff can be heard six minutes and 20 seconds into the video.) MADONNA's current touring guitarist and guitar teacher is none other than Monte Pittman, who has also recorded and toured with PRONG. According to Bug magazine, Pittman landed the job as MADONNA's touring guitarist after a man called the music store in Los Angeles where Pittman was working inquiring about guitar lessons, and Monte's name was passed along. That customer was none other than Guy Ritchie, film director extraordinaire and soon-to-be husband of Madonna. "Guy was my third student," Monte told Bug. "That was before 'Snatch' came out, and I didn't know who he was. It turns out he and Madonna were dating. He had just had some surgery done on his knee, I believe, so he was off his feet and she got him a guitar. He started taking lessons, and he got pretty good at it. I remember the day 'Music' [Madonna's CD] came out, and I taught him a few things from it. I thought it would be cool for him to play them for her." When Guy returned the favor and bought Madonna a guitar, she started taking lessons from Monte as well. "It was the same thing as Guy she learned everything I gave her," Monte told Bug. "She took it seriously, and worked really hard at it. She learned so much so quickly. That's one thing about Madonna her drive is incredible." A month after Madonna started playing guitar, she got called to perform on "The Late Show with David Letterman". She invited me to come play with her, and I thought she was pulling my leg at first," Monte told Bug, "but she was serious." "A New Level" originally appeared on the PANTERA album "Vulgar Display of Power", which came out in February 1992.
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