Prog Digest February – An Xperience Column

Written by on February 6, 2024

Prog Digest February – An Xperience Column – by Klyde Kadiddlehumper.

My how time flies – there’s that time reference again.

February is an important month in this household. No – Valentine’s day is not a big thing (although it is a thing even if your wife tells you it isn’t). It is for a far more important reason…..and it will all tie together – honest.

A number of years ago – I was married to constant companion with the ceremony being done by a very dear friend, and my now dearly departed brother from another mother as witness. Yes – small wedding – in the living room (it was Mrs. Peacock with the lead pipe) and there was rum.

The date – February 2nd. Think about it…..think about it……yup. Groundhog Day.

Things keep repeating and repeating and…..well, you get the idea.

Now – let’s hit the target. Why is this important? Well, it’s all part of the nothing new under the sun routine and the prog bit this month is – Michael Portnoy.

Connection to Groundhog day – well, on October 25, 2023, after a 13 year absence, Portnoy announced his return as the once and future drummer of Dream Theater. Without doubt – likely the loudest show I have ever attended – and just amazing. Word is, now, that vocalist James LaBrie has diminished chops and may (or may not) be using tracks (maybe fellow Canadian Sebastian Bach ought to look into that) but the rest of the band is still killing it.

While many consider the band ‘stabile’ in lineup – they are on their 3rd vocalist since their inception in the mid 80’s out of The Berklee School of Music having fired Chris Collins and Charlie Dominici (who I must say I consider the best of them – he passed in 2023) and have changed keyboards and singers and, that 13 years ago, drummer.

Born in Long Beach, NY, Portnoy is a busy man. Currently a member of Dream Theater, The Neal Morse Band (a founder of Spock’s Beard) Liquid Tension Experiment (with Tony Levin), Flying Colors, The Winery Dogs (with a couple members of Mr. Big), Metal Allegiance and BPMD. Previously, but fairly recently, with Transatlantic (with Spock’s Beard vocalist Neal Morse, Flower Kings guitarist Roine Stott and Marillion bassist Pete Trewavas), OSI, Cygus and the Sea Monsters, Yellow Matter Custard, Avenged Sevenfold, Adrenaline Mob and Sons of Apollo. Guy can’t seem to keep a job….heh.

And still – the prodigal son returns.

Following the 1999 release of their concept album ‘Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes from a Memory”, Dream Theater recorded a live performance of this, along with other material, at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC on 8/30/2000, for release in 2001.

This is where one of the strangest co-incidents in modern music history occurred.

At the time, I was doing some IT consulting work for a local music store. I had heard this album was on the way. Usually, record stores had the albums and cd’s the Saturday before their Tuesday release date. I received my copy that weekend. Then, the release happened – on September 11, 2001. None of them were ever to have seen the light of day, being immediately recalled that day. You see, in a gruesome twist of fate, the album cover depicted the NYC skyline, Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center – all engulfed in flame.

No time is long enough to have a snarky ending to this story.

Until next time.




More from Klyde Kadiddlehumper…

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