BLUE MURDER WATCH: JOHN SYKES DEPARTS MIKE PORTNOY PROJECT
When ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy announced an unlikely collaboration with John Sykes (above left, the guy who wrote Whitesnake’s huge album), it was easy to be of two minds: On the one hand, Portnoy had reactivated the long-dormant Sykes, which is awesome; but, jeez, the Portnoy-Sykes affair also set a roadblock before any potential reunion of Blue Murder, Sykes’ awesomely awesome supergroup with drummer Carmine Appice and farty Tony Franklin. That’s a bummer.
And now we’re newly conflicted cuz this week Portnoy announced the end of Sykes’ participation in the project, and has revealed the identity of its rhythm section’s other half: Mr. Big bassist and old-school Scientologist Billy Sheehan. Sigh. That would’ve been cool — especially cuz it’s rumored that the producer attached to the project was Bob Rock, who helmed Blue Murder’s hall-of-fame debut. Whoa. As it stands now, around 12 songs were demoed — described by Portnoy as Blue Murder-meets-1987 Whitesnake — and I’ll take this opportunity to direct you to my legal defense fund for when I’m caught at Sykes’ home fiendishly listening to those jamz while naked. Okay fine I’ll wear socks jeez.
Anyway, Portnoy took to the internet Tuesday to explain Sykes’ departure — for reasons of pace and scheduling, which Eddie Trunk predicted back in July on That Metal Show — but I don’t see any comment from Sykes, so who knows. Guitarist/hunk Richie Kotzen, however, has commented on rumors that he would be replacing Sykes; Kotzen stopped short of confirming any involvement, but Trunk reports that the ex-Poison guitarist is on board. John Sykes call me!