Meet Mike Portnoy. Embarrassing moment.


Senior Member
OK so Ill give it to you in detail! If it's too long just skip to the bottom text

I'm in Philly with my band about to play at The Legendary Dobbs. On the bill is Mike Portnoy's kid band. His son is named Max. So I go in set up drums, work with an amazing stage manager and just mill around. I hear Mike Portnoys in the green room! So stupid me, I go running upstairs to meet him. I open the door step in and BOOM! He's there chillin on a couch with his son's band and their group of supporting casts. So I decide to be awkward and sit on a chair literally in a corner and stare. Thats my first mistake!

Everyone gets kind of quiet noticing me being a creep. Then the video guy say hello and me and him start a little chit chat of "What band are you in, where you from, what do you play?" When I said I play drums Mr. Portnoy looks up and I immediately started sweating. We make I contact and here is where it went downhill.

I go "so you're uhh uhh,, you're ummm, you know... uhh"

Sound guy: "Yeah thats him, he's Mike Portnoy."

Mike: "Hey man, hows it going?"

Me: "Uhhh its going good. I'm not sweating or anything" (D'oh!)

I start off with asking him if he knows so and so. He goes nope why? I say cuz i have a friend claiming to be your nephew. He goes well tell that guys he's a f__ing liar. And yeah it gets worse from here.

Mike: "So what kind of music you guys play again?"

Me: "We play prog rock kinda. You know umm jazz, blues, rock,"

Mike" Yeah i know, thats prog rock alright."

Me:"Oh yeah right right."

He then proceeds to go back to what he was doing. I felt so embarrassed. NEVER EVER explain to a pro at (something) what (said something) is. I totally flubbed so bad. So then I start chatting with his kid's band and they were pretty cool 15-16 year olds. They have tremendous talent and Max definitely is outstanding! Kid is a mini-Mike with his own little flavor.

I played like a nervous wreck knowing Mike was listening. Mehhh

Later one I muster the courage to ask him if he can take a picture of me and his kids band. Then I ask for a picture with him and his son.

My band will forever tease about this.

TLDR: Met Mike Portnoy and attempted to explain prog rock to him. Total Fail on me.



Gold Member
Haha! My friend's band opened for The Winery Dogs and Portnoy threw a stick at him for taking a photo at soundcheck...

We opened for TWD earlier this year and I had always heard the horror stories, so when I encountered him, I didn't say a word. Played my set and just got out of his way. :D


Senior Member
He was pretty relaxed honestly. Nice enough fella. I was just a nervous wreck he probably was weirded out by me.

keep it simple

Platinum Member
So you forgot yourself & behaved like a fanboy. You aren't the first, & certainly won't be the last. Pretty much all drummers, no matter how "famous", are normal people having normal conversations about normal things. At the extreme end, they're a very big fish in an extremely small pond, with maybe a handful of exceptions globally. What I'm trying to say is, if you meet another famous drummer, just chill out & be yourself. You're getting on with your job, they're getting on with theirs, & there's a respect for each other's position. They've been where you are :)