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Esteban Meyer, Mike Portnoy, and Steve

(November, 2002) For years, I've said that if I could meet a famous musician, it would either be Jon Anderson or Mike Portnoy. As one can imagine, getting backstage at a Yes or Dream Theater concert isn't the easiest thing to do, and I figured it would never happen.

Mike Portnoy has been fighting for real art for years, not letting the record companies tell him how to make music. He winds up arranging and producing a lot of stuff, too, and consistently makes sure that if a CD comes out with his endorsement, it's absolutely great.

When I found out Mike was doing a drum clinic in Wichita and only 200 tickets were being sold, I had to go. My Psynapsis bandmate, Esteban, and I drove 3 hours each way on a Tuesday night and took in the (incredible) clinic.

At the end of the clinic, Mike came out for an autograph session. I handed him The Beginning of a New Day and Two Little Awakenings, stammered a few "uh, you're really cool..." statements and headed home. I joked to my wife not to erase any answering messages from Mike Portnoy that came in while I was gone the next day. You know, ha, ha, ha.

When I got home from class Wednesday, Ena was standing at the top of the stairs looking shocked. There was a message from Mike on the answering machine. He'd listened to the CDs at his hotel room, and wanted to tell me he loved them. So there ya go. I'm vindicated now. One of my musicial heroes likes my music.