LOW BLOW, MIKE PORTNOY, LOW BLOW
UPDATE, 1pm EDT: Now Dream Theater’s attorney says that there is “no pending litigation” between the band and Portnoy… although he did file a “Notice With Summons.” Stay tuned for more details…
I didn’t see this coming, but I can’t say I’m that surprised: Mike Portnoy is suing Dream Theater.
The summons was sent all the way back on April 19th so I’m shocked it’s taken this long to find its way online, but here it is in all its glory. The suit, which is leveled at John Petrucci, John Myung, Jordan Rudess and James LaBrie personally — as well as the operating Dream Theater-related companies Ytse Jams, Inc., and Infinity Touring, Inc. — charges that the above defendants:
1) Have wrongfully excluded plaintiff from the Band;
(2) Are wrongfully using the name of the Band in connection with the individual
defendants’ recording of an album, without the participation or consent of plaintiff;
(3) Are wrongfully using the name of the Band in connection with the promotion of live
performances by the individual defendants, without the participation or consent of
I love Mike Portnoy and I love Dream Theater. I love them both unconditionally, like children. But this strikes me as a low blow from the Portnoy camp. From what I understand from the media circus surrounding the Portnoy / DT split — it was definitely a circus, I admit MetalSucks was part of it, and Portnoy himself was VERY much a part of it — the difference in opinion concerned wanting to take a hiatus (Portnoy) or wanting to make a new album right now (everyone else). Portnoy didn’t want to make a new album just yet, and, as such, chose to leave the band. In no way can I see how that would constitute grounds for a lawsuit; he’s essentially saying “You didn’t do it my way, so I am suing you.” It’s of course possible that all the facts haven’t trickled out into the media and that the remaining band members slighted Portnoy in some terrible way we don’t know about… but it doesn’t seem likely from where I sit.
So I guess we’ll see how this plays out… or not. The summons calls for the defendants to appear to the plaintiff’s lawyers within 20 days of the notice being served, which would’ve happened sometime in mid-May at the latest. That was four months ago already, and it’s entirely possible this suit has either been settled or dropped by now. If the case is still in the courts I wouldn’t be surprised if both parties choose to remain mum until it’s over with; that’d be a wise decision. Even if it’s been settled we may never hear the official outcome, but if Dream Theater keeps on being Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy keeps on not being Dream Theater… well, we’ll know what happened.
More news as we get it.
Thanks: Matthew Kurtz, Ben Goodkind, Patton, Alex Morello