Mike Portnoy Recalls Ringo Starr’s Reaction When He Found Out He Wasn’t The Drummer Of The Year

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy shared an Instagram post to celebrate the 81st birthday of The Beatles’ icon Ringo Starr by revealing their first and only photo together. He also remembered what Starr said about Portnoy’s winning the award of Drummer of the Year.

Mike Portnoy’s father was a DJ and had a great collection of rock and metal legends so Rush, The Who, Iron Maiden, Queen, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles who had a great influence on Portnoy’s choosing music as his profession. He also had several chances to meet his muses while he was pursuing a remarkable career as a drummer.

In his recent Instagram post, Portnoy recalled one of these unforgettable moments while he was celebrating Ringo Starr’s birthday. As he stated in the caption of his post, Mike first met with Starr when his friend, Mark Snyder, who was working for Starr’s supergroup Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, introduced him to the Beatles legend. While introducing Portnoy, Snyder mentioned that Mike was chosen as the drummer of year referring to his award given by Modern Drummer magazine.

Mike Portnoy mentioned that he can’t still forget the reaction of Ringo Starr after he was introduced as the drummer of the year. Apparently, Ringo stated that he regarded himself as the best and Portnoy answered by saying that ‘he is the drummer of the century.’ They decided to immortalize the moment by taking a photo and Portnoy shared the rare picture to celebrate the 81st birthday of Ringo Starr.

Portnoy’s Instagram post was written like that:

“Happy 81st birthday to one of my biggest drumming heroes Ringo Starr! 

This is the only pic I have of us together and there’s a funny story behind it: my friend Mark Snyder (in the center of this photo) was teching for Peter Frampton who was playing guitar in Ringo’s All Starr Band that year (it was ‘96 or ‘97) and I was invited down to soundcheck where I even played Ringo’s kit!

And finally backstage I was introduced to him (that is the moment of this photo)…Mark introduced me and tells Ringo I just won ‘Drummer of the Year’ in Modern Drummer magazine and Ringo says ‘I thought I was Drummer of the Year’ jokingly…and I responded, ‘no you’re Drummer of the Century!’

At that point, he puts his arm around me and says to my dad (who was taking the picture): ‘Let’s take a proper photo’…only for us to hear the film in the camera rewinding as this photo was the last in the roll in the camera (this was obviously before digital cameras and iPhones!)…so this is the only photo I have of us! (After that experience, I’ve always been extra patient with fans having camera issues!)

But I do have this photo and I did have the experience of meeting him which was incredible! Happy birthday Ringo Starr!”

You can see the photo below.

Photo Credit: Mike Portnoy – Instagram