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Mike Portnoy Leaves Dream Theater 

Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments16 Comments

Have you heard? Mike Portnoy quit Dream Theater! I have to admit being stunned by this one. The drummer released the statement last night:

"I am about to write something I never imagined I'd ever write.

After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater... the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision...it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so...

After having had such amazing experiences playing with HAIL!, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater."

I could tell Portnoy was having a great time drumming for A7X at the Columbus stop of the Uproar Festival...but good night! I wonder if this means an A7X announcement is forthcoming? After all, Avenged Sevenfold continually thanked Mike Portnoy for his help on the new album Nightmare and for drumming with them live...but he was never billed as an official member of the band. Methinks that is about to change. So, Dream Theater fans, what do you think about all this? I bet you're shocked like me.

Reader Comments (16)

Absolutely shocked! I'm just glad I got to see him with Dream Theater when they opened for Iron Maiden this summer. Should be interesting to see what comes next for Mike and the remaining members of HIS band. Hmmm...
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermom2ross
Maybe the most boring band in the world will disapear? It would be so awesome!
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiam
I am stoked. As a huge MP fan, but not DT fan, I can not be happier. He will continue to raise his game as a drummer, and hopefullly, will not longer be stifled. MIke P in a rock band, as opposed to wank filled progressive band, will be amazing. Rock on MIKE!
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspence
Dream Theater ? Who cares... its time to die the slow death that it has been experiencing anyways. Novelty act with a "cult" like following.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
Hahahaha!!!

Death to Prog!

I can't believe Liam and I agree and Spence, you da man!

Who cares, Mom, why can't you just ROCK OUT for a change?!

GNR, Spence, Liam, Everyone! We must rally to unite against MOM UNROCK now!

These clowns overplay it to death! All technique! No soul! No real ideas! What a friggin' Borefest!

I'm poppin' "Anarchy In The U.K." by Crue to retaliate. At least they cover something that ROCKS!

Where oh where is The Glam?


p.s. One of the more bizarre aspects of Dream Theatre is their slavish covers of other people's entire albums, which are always better than their own. Please, Allyson, I'm beggin' ya, can we get back to real Rock'n'Roll now? I don't know how much more I can take of this punishment! Isn't there a more humane punishment for me for my occasionally politically incorrect statements here? How about if I type "I will not be a Glam Metal Snob" 100 times of something on here?...
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Just want to throw out that Crue's cover of Anarchy in the UK is one of the worst cover songs of all time and it makes me cringe every time I hear it. I LOVE Motley Crue, btw -- I just hate that track. The Megadeth cover at least has some anger & rawness to it. The Crue version is way too slick & glossy for a song by the Sex Pistols. Just sayin'.

As for Mike Portnoy, here's hoping that he officially joins A7X as The Rev's full-time replacement.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Dream Theater has been one of my favorite bands for almost 20 years. I will have to admit I kind of had a feeling something was going to change within Dream Theater for a while now. The last few albums have been good but it seemed like they were just going through the motions. I read an interview about James LaBrie's new solo album, and it really seemed like he wanted a place where he could have more input because he wasn't getting it in DT. Also, when I heard about MP drumming for A7X I wondered if it would be more permanent even if part time. I think DT does not know what they will miss because MP did a LOT of the behind the things stuff. It will be interesting to see who they get as a replacement and how the band is overall affected. In the end MP has to do what he feels like is best for himself. Godspeed MP and DT.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGil
If you like your music really, really, really dumbed down for you, then I guess you can say that you think DT is a boring band. To each his own. I think they're a great band with one of the most loyal fan bases out there (that any band would envy). Petrucci and company will soldier on and continue to make great music, and I certainly wish MP all the best. I suspect that at some point in the future they will reunite because it's hard for me to see MP walking away forever from a band that he has really put his heart and soul into.

BTW, Metalboy, I don't believe you've ever actually listened to anything DT has recorded, because their music reflects plenty of ideas, both musically and lyrically. You know, I don't point out and condemn the Spinal Tapesque music (much of which I'm a fan of) of bands like Poison and Crue - I guess you think songs like Ten Seconds to Love and Talk Dirty to Me indicate a band with a lot of 'soul' and great ideas - because I can recognize that there is a broad spectrum of rock music out there, some of which appeals to me and some of which does not.

Now go back to copying down your sentences, but maybe you should write 'I will do my best to recognize that glam metal is not the only kind of metal on the planet and I will stop voting for liberal whack jobs who are trying to run this country into the ground'. I know that last bit will be a stretch for you, but there's probably a 12 step program for recovering liberals somewhere in your vicinity.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
that sucks. i love dream theater. hes a great drummer and the rest of the band is very talented. i hope hes not leaving to join A7X. to me thats a step down. nothing against A7X , but his talent will be wasted in that band..
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbumblefootboy
I will NEVER understand him leaving DT for A7X. Dream Theater is legendary, a true cult act. I see A7X flaming out and playing state fairs in 5 years. Yeah, yeah, I know, thats an unpopular stance around here and im sure I'll get hate mail. It sucks that people cant post an opinion that differs from the norm and get slammed. But yeah, Thats my opinion, A7X isnt my cup of tea. I just think theyre boring.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I agree Motley overproduced their version of Anarchy but for some reason i don't mind the Pistols cover on Vince's album.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike
One night when I was 17 and an avid Zeppelin/Aerosmith fan (which I still am), the radio woke me up. WGTB, Georgetown University's Public Radio Station had taken to playing entire new albums the night of the day they came out.

The album that woke me up was "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols". And I thought, "Now that's Metal!", hahaha!!! I had also been listening to sh*t like King Crimson and Steve Hillage, Deodato, etc., etc. Man, The Pistols set me straight, man. I ditched the Hillage, etc., but not stuff like Jeff Beck, "Wired", as that still "ROCKED". In fact, we literally frisbeed the crap right out the front door of my parent's house and shut it before the damn things even had time to land. We then proceeded to go positively apesh*t, pogoing our as*es off for the next 3 hours to The Pistols, The Ramones' first one, Generation X, Patti Smith, "Horses", The Dead Boys, 999, The Damned, The Stranglers, Blondie and The Dickies. No Clash. Too Boring.

I'll never forget, and this so happened, which is just wild, since we are kind of on the subject of "Slick" vs. "Raw"... Seeing my friend's brother's band win the local Battle of the Bands one October in Pasadena, MD by pulling off the most incredible stunt. They performed the entire "Never Mind The Bollocks" album like they were The Who circa '77. Man, it just blew everybody and every band away. Not too many people who saw it even knew who the Pistols were, but it just "Rocked" Man, we were just so sore from laughing. It was so killer!

I finally did see The Pistols in like '99 in NYC. Jones had become "Heavy Metal" at that point, as he was really livin' it up in the Hollywood Hills. You want slick. He did that show like he was Mick Ralphs. And it sounded killer to me.

Anyway, I was talkin' about the live version of Crue's cover of "Anarchy In The U.K.", boys... from that Ruskie Festival from back in the day. Check that one out on YouTube. Look, I like the overproduced one, too.

Dream Theater has no heart, Rich. It's all just pyrotechnics and overplaying and true, it may have ideas. Just the wrong ones. So UNROCK!

p.s. Just so you know, Rich, I went through my own private listening party from hell of Dream Theater for about 3 nights and that was all I could take. Get a life or get a sense of humor, they truly are boring music for boring people, sorry. I Wanna Rock! I see Cheney Corporation won't need to make you a slave either, Rich, because you already are one. Keep drinkin' the Kool-Aid, son, because they own that company, too! Hey, let's brainwash people into thinking we're great by cutting their taxes and then start a phony war, farm out as much of the services as we can to our companies like Halliburton and Bechtel, where we are heavily invested and also crank up all of our investments in the military/industrial complex, too. Brilliant! That's how the country got where it is, bro. I told you to Google Carlyle Group. Did you do it? No. It's cool. Johnny Ramone was a hardcore Republican, too. Joey was a Democrat. We're cool. Well, at least I am (well, in this regard, hahaha!!! Don't worry, son, we'll protect you from yourself)...

p.s.s.t. And how about Vince's version of Cheap Trick's "He's A Whore"? Mike, I'm tellin' ya, if Vince hadn't taken to shuckin' his stupid Tequila on the cover and at the shows, this album would have had a lot more impact. And, Holy Sh*t!, what about that drummer? Saw them point blank at M3. Now that's what I call DRUMMING! Not this average clown you guys are glorifying here. Do you just take comfort in Mediocrity? Do you just feel safer surrounded by all that endless and mindless noodling? C'mn, these guys are The Grateful Dead with the volume turned up. And that still ain't gonna keep me awake. The only noodling I really got into besides my own canoodling is Page and Zappa, pretty much. C'mon Rich and Mom, you gotta ROCK!

Bryon: Crue's version is better, either one. But still, I love Megadeth. "Peace Sells", "No More Mr. Niceguy", etc., etc...

Avenged Sevenfold? Even the name suxxs!
September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I got introduced to the Sex Pistols through a Skid Row cover of Holidays in the Sun from the Highway to Heaven/Stairway to Hell compilation album. I loved that song (and still think it's a great song) so I went out and bought Never Mind the Bullocks and was Completely. Blown. Away. Within a few days, a whole bunch of great old school punk albums were added to my collection and I've never looked back.
September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Ten Seconds to Love ? Always loved that tune...:)
September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
That whole first album, GNR! Killer Klassic!

Bry! Yeah! You got 999? 1st two! They sound like Page joined a punk band!
September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I first saw Dream Theater in my little old town of Deer Park, Long Island in a tiny strip mall club [before the religious republican right wingers literally burned it down for playing devil music] and this was before they even broke out. It was outstanding. They played great, the songs were great and it was something to behold. Unfortunately, the band has slowly been heading downhill musically, and their concerts are so boring. They focus way too much on new songs and completely ignore their back catalog. Last year's tour was such a disappointment. After Queensryche's short set, I was actually bored out of my seat for Zappa, and then sorely disappointed in DT's set of looooong new songs that did not really have soul or go anywhere.
I was lucky enough to witness A7x [much cooler way to say their name] from on-stage, directly across from Portnoy, and it was mind-blowing. He was amazing and clearly having a great time. He even gave me a wave during the show [well, actually he was waving at Arejay Hale who got me onstage] and afterwards, he walked by and all I could say was "WOW!!" and he smiled and headed to dressing room. A few days later, hmmmm. I wonder if I can take some credit.
So, as a 25 year DT fan, from even before James LaBrie joined, I can say that DT has gone stale. Hopefully a new drummer might inspire them to be better.
As for A7x, sign up Portnoy for life - Nightmare is one of the best albums in years, and finally someone has followed up ...And Justice For All with the next "progression" of metal.
September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenternirVrana

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