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Rick Boogs Says He Had 12 Hours Notice to Learn Shinsuke Nakamura’s Theme

September 5, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Rick Boogs

Rick Boogs is Shinsuke Nakamura’s personal guitarist, and he recently revealed that the role was given to him on surprisingly short notice. Boogs was a guest on the latest After the Bell with Corey Graves, and he discussed being chosen to be Nakamura’s guitar man and more. You can check out the highlights below, per Fightful:

On finding out he’d be performing Nakamura’s theme: “Let’s just say I was shocked. I had, I would say about maybe 12 hours of heads up. I got a text the night before to be at SmackDown and that this is what I was gonna do. Now, let’s keep in mind that sure I dilly dally a little bit with guitar, but I hadn’t played guitar, other than maybe a little bit here and there… I hadn’t practiced in like 15 years. From time to time maybe I’ll do something simple and easy, whatever, may just put it on Instagram or whatever, but it’s not like I practice, you know… So let me learn this. Then, of course, you know, I’m like, ‘Yes, I’ll do it.’ But the anticipation and the nerves with that, man… Like, not just playing guitar, because I was in a band in high school. Not a very serious band. I think the biggest crowd we played in front of was only 25 people. So now it’s like, well, can you learn this thing in a matter of hours and everyone’s gonna judge you and it’s going to be in front of millions of people. Right, and it’s not really what I do.”

On Bruce Prichard pitching him for the role: “I don’t know why they were looking at me but I think was Old Spice ads. So I did the Old Spice commercials right yeah, and apparently, Vince watched it and he’s like, ‘Call the guy up.’ Right, just from the character work alone. This is what I heard. So then they just had to figure out what to do with me. So they saw one of my Instagram videos where I did a lunge. So I had a bar on my back, I did a lunge and I was playing The Trooper on the guitar. Bruce said that Vince was gonna love that because he loves lifting weights and Iron Maiden.”

On his first rehearsals: “Dude, again, let me just stress it, I wasn’t practicing guitar at all. So I was like, Well, you know, that’s all bends and stuff like that, you know. It’s played on a violin, so it’s a little bit different than a guitar, so it’s bends. It takes finesse, basically. So I’m like, ‘Well maybe I’ll just play like a rock and roll version.’ So I’m playing that during like rehearsal, they just want to see what it’s going to sound like and Triple H is like, he’s there and is just watching, [and he says] ‘Turn the distortion down or something.’ He didn’t know what it was but it didn’t sound good. He’s like, ‘It sounds like you’re trying to play it but you just can’t.”