This Day In Music 20.04.2016
Michael Portnoy is an american drummer, best known as former drummer, co-founder and backing vocalist of the metal/rock band Dream Theater. Mike was born on April 20, 1967 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. His father, Howard Portnoy, worked as a Dj at a local radio station. Portnoy's father's job helped him gain an appreciation for music at an early age particularly, because he had access to his father's collection of LPs. He developed a preference for bands including Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Iron Maiden and The Beatles. Portnoy claims to be self-taught as a drummer, though he did take music theory classes in high school. He also learned listening to his biggest influences: Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and John Bonham.
As he developed a taste for more challenging progressive music, his biggest influences were Neil Peart and Frank Zappa. He attended the Berklee College of Music, there he met John Petrucci and John Myung. They formed a band, initially named Majesty, before changing their name to Dream Theater. In September 2010, Portnoy announced his departure from Dream Theater after 25 years. In his official statement,he said he had "come to the conclusion that the [Dream Theater] machine was starting to burn me out", and that he had urged the band to take a break from its relentless recording, publishing and touring cycle. Mike co- produced six Dream Theater albums, starting from Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A memory, through Black Clouds and Silver Linings. From A Change Of Seasons, Mike had been writing a significant amount of Dream Theater's lyrics. Besides his work with Dream Theater, Portnoy is known for his many side projects and tribute bands: The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Flying Colors, The Neal Morse Band & Metal Allegiance. He has also recorded &/or toured/performed live with Avenged Sevenfold, Twisted Sister, Adrenaline Mob, PSMS, Liquid Tension Experiment, OSI, Bigelf, Hail!, Stone Sour, Fates Warning, Overkill, G3 and his 4 tribute bands with Paul Gilbert: Yellow Matter Custard, Hammer Of The Gods, Amazing Journey and Cygnus & The Sea Monsters.
He is the second youngest person (after Neil Peart) to be inducted into the Modern Drummer's Hall Of Fame (at 37 years of age). Mike's long list of Awards include 30 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader's Poll Awards, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine's record of 13 times). He also is the recipient of 16 Drum! Magazine Drummie Awards including "Drummer Of The Year" three times (2011, 2012 & 2014) and was awarded Revolver's Golden God Award in 2011 for Drummer Of The Year.
Watch and listen to Mike Portnoy magnificent drumming of Dream Theatre's “The Dance of Eternity”, from 1999's Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory