PORTNOYGATE THANKSGIVING UPDATE
It’s been a while since we had anything to grind through the Mike Portnoy / Dream Theater rumor mill, unless you count all those “I’m not the permanent drummer of Avenged Sevenfold” interview responses, which I don’t. Thankfully this glorious week of giving thanks here in the U.S. brings us two Portnoy / DT news tidbits to be thankful for, one dorky and one gossipy.
First, the dorkitude. In perhaps some of the best DT drum covers to be posted to YouTube in the history of that site, Behold… the Arctopus and Blotted Science drummer Charlie Zeleny recently uploaded a bunch of “audition” videos of himself playing along to various Dream Theater songs. “Audition” is in quotes because apparently Zeleny wasn’t actually asked in for an audition, but somehow got wind of which songs DT were asking auditioning drummers to learn and recorded and uploaded them of his own accord. It sorta worked, too; apparently the members of DT have now seen these videos. I’m actually kinda surprised more young drummers that grew up under Portnoy’s influence haven’t done the same thing the way, say, Dave Grohl publicly groveled for Led Zeppelin’s drum throne when they reunited in 2007 to pay tribute to Ahmet Artegun. Here’s Zeleny covering the middle/end section of “Metropolis Pt. 1”:
Note the Portnoy stick-flip at 1:10! Way to score those extra points, Chuck.
Now onto the gossip!!
In a recent interview, Portnoy revealed that he’s still pretty broken up about the fact that his ex-band members have decided to continue on with DT without him:
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am devastated they chose to continue without me rather than take a break. After me giving my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears to them and the band for 25 years, I hoped they’d value me and our relationship enough to respect my need for us to take a little break. I am truly heartbroken over their decision. I suppose it also kills me that in the past the guys NEVER would question or ever debate my direction within the band. They always let me call the shots and always trusted my vision and guidance. And NOW, with such a huge and personal conflict.. they disagreed with me for the first time… on the biggest decision of them all. Dream Theater is my baby and I NEVER wanted to abandon my child. I only felt the parents needed a little breather to help save the marriage. The big irony here is that I wanted a break to help mend and strengthen our relations and ultimately bring us closer together…. and now by them chosing to move on without me it is ultimately going to seriously damage our relationship…. as well as the Dream Theater legacy I spent so long building and protecting
Of course he’s right about the legacy, although it could be argued that all this current drama could only serve to elevate said legacy when Portnoy and the other band members eventually mend their relationship and decide to make music together again (which WILL happen). But I certainly can’t fault the guy for feeling hurt right now. Dude spent 25 years building this thing up only to be discarded when he asked for a break.
I presume we’ll hear more about a permanent temporary Dream Theater drummer replacement some time in early 2011. ‘Til then, stay dorky.