Few entrance themes in professional wrestling are as iconic as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "I Won't Do What You Tell Me."
Opening with the sound of glass shattering and followed by an onslaught of guitar riffs, the Jim Johnston creation was a staple of the Attitude Era as fans jumped to their feet whenever it began to play.
Austin sat down with Chris Jericho on the Talk is Jericho podcast on Tuesday to discuss music, and gave some insight as to how the theme song for his "Stone Cold" persona came about.
He said when he first made the jump from "The Ringmaster" to Stone Cold Steve Austin, his theme music didn't change with it. Austin then approached Johnston, the company's longtime music composer, with an idea.
"I went down to the studio and back in the day you know Chris I was pretty hands-on you gotta be," Austin said. "So I walked in there and I had a CD and I hand it to Jim Johnston and go, 'it's called Bulls On Parade by Rage Against The Machine' and I played it.
"He got it," Austin continued, "and so I don't think my entrance music sounds anything like it but it was inspired by that, and man I tell ya what, the way he came up with that glass breaking I don't know how he came up with that idea when he looped in that siren, I don't know how or why he put that in a stroke of genius or luck or whatever it was that happened, magic?"
Austin said Johnston's creative success with the song was a huge help in getting him over as a major star in the company.
"Sometimes things just happen the way they do. When I pitched him that song and we listened to it together and he came up with that and I give him all the credit in the world. I inspired him with their song... my idea, but his total creation [it's] a fluke dude because you've been around and you've seen reactions when that glass breaks. Yeah I had to get over to get those reactions. It's just the perfect music for the perfect setup for the perfect pop for any kind of dire situation or circumstance — goddamn that's when we need Stone Cold. So, music is important."
Johnston discussed his thought process behind the song in an interview with Sports Illustrated in March.
"I had in my mind that this would be driving and low, but it needed something relentless about it," Johnston said. "It needed to capture someone who entered a room and made you think, 'God only knows what happens next.' So I started playing driving notes on my guitar — dat dat dat dat dat in a minor key — that implied danger.
"I thought of a car accident, only because of the horrible sound it makes," he continued. "Then I went to glass, but the sound of the glass was so thin that I needed to make it bigger so I added the car crash."
The song would go on to be remixed by the nu-metal band Disturbed as part of Austin's heel run beginning at WrestleMania X-Seven, but Austin would later return to his original theme after turning face again. The music is still used to this day whenever Austin appears on WWE televison, most recently at the RAW 25 celebration in January.