Mike Portnoy Recalls Pete Townshend Crushing Down His Expectations

The Who’s Pete Townshend has recently blown out 78 candles, and the birthday wishes are still flowing in. Mike Portnoy also posted on his Instagram to celebrate Townshend’s birthday and claimed the Who icon wasn’t quite the person everyone perceived him to be.

Portnoy’s post wasn’t just a birthday wish; it’s also a walk down memory lane as Portnoy recalls the day when he first met Townshend, one of his biggest musical heroes. The drummer said that he had heard the saying ‘Never meet your heroes,’ a statement often used as a warning to avoid disappointment. However, his experience with Townshend appeared to be a heartening exception to the rule.

Mike Portnoy’s Instagram post read:

“Today’s Mike Portnoy Photo Of The Day is to wish a Happy belated Birthday to one of my biggest musical heroes on earth: Mr. Pete Townshend! A few years ago, I posted that I had pretty much met all of my living heroes (Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Roger Waters, all of Kiss, Rush, Yes & Black Sabbath, etc.) with only one remaining exception: I had yet to meet Pete Townshend.

Well, my friend Greg Smith hooked me up with The Who’s tour manager at the time and provided their very own ‘Make A Wish’ for me! They say never meet your heroes, but in the case of my meeting with Pete, it couldn’t be further from the truth! He has a reputation for occasionally being cranky and short-tempered, but I couldn’t have had a more positive experience with him. We shot the sh*t for about 10 minutes, and he was engaging, in a great mood, and made me feel totally relaxed and comfortable.

He continued:

“Usually, I’d prefer getting a ‘formal’ shot with one of my heroes, but in this case, the informal, candid shot of us chatting is one of my favorite pics. He and Roger also signed my ‘Tommy’ and ‘Who’s Next’ vinyl with Pete writing ‘Hey Mike – Love You!’ Well, Happy Birthday, Pete… I love you!”

It’s common knowledge that many have had less than pleasant encounters with Townshend due to his reported crankiness. Yet, it appears he chose to reveal a different side of his persona to Portnoy. So, Portnoy’s memories of Townshend shatter the myth that one should ‘never meet their heroes.’

Photo Credit: Mike Portnoy – Instagram