Tag: Mike Portnoy

  • Mike Portnoy Plays Live With John Petrucci

    …for the first time in 12 years. The pair reunited to perform in support of Petrucci’s latest solo release, Terminal Velocity. Bassist Dave LaRue completes the trio. Portnoy and LaRue also recorded the album.

    Holy damn, I cannot believe it has been twelve years (years!) since Portnoy left Dream Theater. We mere mortals are all old and even legit geriatric now, but Portnoy and Petrucci seem to defy time, at least as evidenced by the performance footage a fan posted from the gig in Rhode Island. The fan-captured audio kind of blows (as cell-phone audio is wont to do), but it’s obvious the dudes are still totally inspiring shred monsters. Check ’em out.

  • Tama’s New Mike Portnoy Signature Snares

    Hmm, the “new” part on Portnoy’s 12-inch snare appears to be a badge that you can read if the drum is upside down. There is also a legit new 14-inch model with the same funky badge. No word yet on pricing, but hopefully it’s exactly the same as the old model. Paying more money for a new badge totally blows.

  • Drummers Remember Ronnie James Dio

    Metal legend Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer on Sunday, and well-deserved tributes and remembrances have been pouring in over the e-wires ever since.

    Lars Ulrich posted an open letter to RJD on Metallica’s website:

    Dear Ronnie,

    I just got off stage in Zagreb. I was met with the news that you’ve passed on. I’m kind of in shock, but I wanted you to know that you were one of the main reasons I made it onto that stage to begin with. When I first saw you in Elf, opening for Deep Purple in 1975, I was completely blown away by the power in your voice, your presence on stage, your confidence, and the ease with which you seemed to connect to 6000 Danish people and one starry-eyed 11 year old, most of whom were not familiar with Elf’s music. The following year, I was so psyched when I heard the results of you joining forces with my favorite guitar player. You guys sounded so right for each other and I instantly became Rainbow’s #1 fan in Denmark. In the fall of 1976, when you played your first show in Copenhagen, I was literally in the front row and the couple of times we made eye contact you made me feel like the most important person in the world. The news that you guys were staying in town on your day off somehow embedded itself in my brain and I made the pilgrimage to the Plaza Hotel to see if I could somehow grab a picture, an autograph, a moment, anything. A few hours later you came out and were so kind and caring… pictures, autographs and a couple minutes of casual banter. I was on top of the world, inspired and ready for anything. Rainbow came to Copenhagen a couple more times over the next few years and each time you guys blew my mind, and for a good three years were my absolute favorite band on this planet. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to run into you a half dozen times or so and each time you were as kind, caring and gracious as you were in 1976 outside the hotel. When we finally got a chance to play together in Austria in 2007, even though I may not have let on, I was literally transformed back to that little snot nosed kid who you met and inspired 31 years earlier and it was such a fucking honor and a dream come true to share a stage with you and the rest of the legends in Heaven and Hell. A couple of weeks ago when I heard that you were not going to be able to make it to the Sonisphere shows that we would be sharing this June, I wanted to call you and let you know that I was thinking of you and wish you well, but I kind of pussied out, thinking the last thing you needed in your recovery was feeling obligated to take a phone call from a Danish drummer/fan boy. I wish I’d made that call. We will miss you immensely on the dates, and we will be thinking of you with great admiration and affection during that run. It seemed so right to have you out on tour with the so-called “Big Four” since you obviously were one of the main reasons that the four bands even exist. Your ears will definitely be burning during those two weeks because all of us will be talking, reminiscing and sharing stories about how knowing you has made our lives that much better.

    Ronnie, your voice impacted and empowered me, your music inspired and influenced me, and your kindness touched and moved me. Thank you.

    Much love,


    Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover also posted this tribute:

    I am at an absolute loss right now upon hearing that Ronnie has passed away. I had the pleasure of touring both Canada and America in 2007 when Megadeth toured with “Heaven and Hell” (Black Sabbath in my eyes) and I swear to you he is 1 of the nicest human beings I have ever met, period. Many a night on that tour, Glen and myself would have amazing conversation’s with Ronnie about his career, etc. fully knowing he had probably told these stories 10,000 times to people and yet he answered every question I had with a big smile. I can recall so many times making eye contact with Glen sharing the exact same thought – “Dude, I can’t believe we are hanging with RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!!!” If you are lucky enough in your lifetime to actually meet 1 of your idols (let alone tour with them) and they turn out to be even nicer than you could have envisioned, that is something you would truly treasure. Lucky for me, I will cherish those memories forever.

    Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante said:

    The first time I heard Ronnie James Dio, I thought he was a larger person, because the voice was so huge!….It was Rainbow and I was a fan of his from then on. ‘Man on the Silver Mountain,’ ‘Heaven and Hell,’ ‘Rainbow in the Dark.’ The songs are endless. The sound of his voice with those bands was always so perfect….It was his God-given instrument. He was true metal and the creator of the metal hand sign. He was divine.

    And Mike Portnoy added from his Twitter account:

    Looks like Dime, Randy, Cliff and Bonzo just scored the ultimate singer….this is one of the saddest days in metal ever…. : (

    Mike also posted this great pic of him and Ronnie.

  • Mike Portnoy’s Dad Has Died

    Mike Portnoy’s father, Howard, passed away on Sunday, January 4. He was 68. Mike released the following statement:

    “It’s with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that I share the news of the passing of my best friend, my idol and my father, Howard Portnoy.

    “He passed away this morning [Sunday, January 4] at 3:38 am with his loving wife Trish and myself by his side after a six-month battle with cancer.

    “He was an amazing person whose lively spirit was a tremendous inspiration to me and to most people that had the pleasure to know him.

    “He will be sorely missed by so many friends and family—but none more so than his wife Trish, his daughter-in-law Marlene, his grandchildren Melody and Max and yours truly.

    “The spirit carries on, ‘ol popz….”

  • A Big-Ass Mike Portnoy Interview

    Portnoytes, rejoice. Living Legends Music has posted an 8-part vid interview with Mike. It was recorded on May 31, 2008, at Hard Rock Live, and in it the drummer chats about the beginnings of Dream Theater, the band’s extraordinary success, and all kinds of extraneous miscellanea that is easy to listen to because Mike himself is so engaging.

    From the fourth vid comes our drumming quote of the week: “I’m not at all a technical gear guy….I just love to get up there and beat the crap out of stuff.”

  • Elvin Jones and Mike Portnoy at Hudson

    Elvin and Mike aren’t actually hanging out together (primarily because the great Jones has already given up the ghost), but the two do feature in recent postings from Hudson Music.

    A good, though fairly staid, bio vid of Elvin is available here. Even if you already know everything there is to know about the jazz drumming legend, check it out for some great performance clips (yes, we know those same clips are available on YouTube, but the sound quality is better in the Hudson podcast).

    Portnoy spends five or so minutes chatting here about his drumming, what’s in his iPod, and who his favorite movie directors are. It’s not the most essential reading on the Net this evening, but if you’re a die-hard Portnoyte and have already combed through all your favorite porn sites today, you should click on over.

    [Update 2022: Alas, alack, and goddamn it. These videos have been removed.]