Legendary drummer Mike Portnoy recently joined us to talk about his favorite albums from when he was a teenager.
It was April 20, 1980 when Mike Portnoy finally turned 13. Banging on a small drum kit during his bar mitzvah, the young musician already knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. But although Portnoy would become a legend in the world of metal, he was a punk rocker whose favorite album at the time was the Ramones’ original soundtrack for Rock ’N’ Roll High School.
“I would sneak in a tape recorder and tape the movie soundtrack,” Portnoy remembers. “So I used to listen not only to this album, but the actual cassette tape of the movie. Ramones would have to be the biggest thing I was listening to around 1980 when I was turning 13.”
It was the very next year when the “game changing” moment happened for Mike Portnoy — when he finally discovered Rush. It was actually the album Moving Pictures that convinced Portnoy of Rush’s greatness after not necessarily getting them for a while.
“I lived, breathed, slept and shat Neil [Peart] and Rush,” Portnoy remembers. “The main reason I never gave Rush the time of day was I would hear Geddy’s voice on the radio and I just wrote them off as some kind of band like Supertramp or Styx — these high vocals — but I never realized the musicianship and the drumming. Then somebody played me ‘YYZ’ without the… I don’t want to use the word distraction… but it didn’t have Geddy’s vocals. It forced me to listen to the drums, bass and guitar, and when I heard ‘YYZ’ I was like, ‘Holy shit, these guys can play.’”
Check out what else Mike Portnoy was listening to from 1980-1987 in the video and gallery below. Make sure to grab the new Winery Dogs album, III, which comes out on Feb. 3.
Mike Portnoy Breaks Down His Favorite Teenage Albums
Mike Portnoy’s 10 Favorite Albums When He Was a Teenager
Legendary prog drummer Mike Portnoy takes us through the soundtrack to his teenage years.