Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mike Portnoy's Forum: A Retrospective (Part 1)

If/when I actually do have the allowed amount of time, which sadly again, isn't now, which probably means this entry will be written as various times.

And it may not be this week. Although next weekend might work per Colonscopy Prep, etc.

But to start, when I like many others started using the Internet, probably post my 1st year of College, or even 2nd Year of college I suppose around 1995 or 1996 (my 1st year was 1994-1995), I was getting into new music per I had done a radio show in college (WRFW in River Falls, WI), and my love of Rush and discovery of more of Pink Floyd's catalog (among others..Led Zeppelin I consider of course my 1st favorite Rock Band), I got into the habit of seeking out and sharing names of new bands.

Dream Theater and Marillion May of 1995 were 2 biggies for me. Both I found from the Rush DejaNews Group.

And even more than Marillion, Dream Theater's music and their influences and FANS I found were going to lead me to doing this more and more. And Mike Portnoy, while being an incredible drummer and involved in so much of Dream Theater Songs and Albums, I was drawn to for his TASTE IN MUSIC and entertainment (Movies and Televsion).

So from around 1996 I want to say through nearly the end of the decade, I was following Dream Theater's activities as much as I could at music stores, in magazines (Metal Edge namely), and of course the new Internet (Mozilla, Netscape..and other browsers I'm forgetting now).

I never understood why there wasn't a dreamtheater.com, or rather why the band or even label couldn't gain the rights to own it, because it was owned by some guy who bought that url. Not sure what it is today.

So there was "Under a Cyber Moon" which was like a tribute site? I forget. It had a lot of information about the history, lyrics, images. And this was in the days of dialup, so the websites took a lot time to load, lol.

But then there was eventually, dreamtheater.net. Which I don't know if it had a message board initially. I kind of think it didn't, but it may have had a Chatroom, which were popular back then, in the big days of Text-based chatting. IRC and all that was easy and not as slow as actual websites, etc.

So I found myself going there and Mike's site. And of course "The Ytsejam" email list. I specifically remember going there, and being intimidated by the fans obsession with Dream Theater and feeling like a "newbie."

I don't recall what website I found it on, it may have just had the name ytsejam.com or something, but I tried to sign up, but never was able to get it to work with my email. I forget.

So I kind of gave up on that, and that was maybe around 1998 or early 1999.

And mind you I was doing this largely at the Library, occasionally at my work (in 1996 I had a job that allowed it), and also frequently on my parents PC.

Pretty sure then in 1999, I setup a Yahoo Email and joined a bunch of "Yahoo Clubs" as they came to be known. I think they were named something else originally. 1 or 2 for Dream Theater. Rush, Marillion and others. They were not identical to the Yahoo email lists.

Anyway, I met some people in 1 of the Dream Theater related Clubs on Yahoo that eventually setup their own smaller, more intimate club, which I cannot recall the name of sadly. Their names, and I typically don't do this, but just for the sake of nostalgia, I'll throw out a few. Anna Lee, Masikus, Scarred2112 (or maybe just Scarred), Rhonda[some numbers], and myself, I can't recall if I went by my email angra_651 or Soundscape (unlikely), or mnprog something.

Okay, so that club was easy to chat with, although I came to learn a little clique-ish. It was right around the time Scenes from a Memory came out. And some of them met eachother, but I didn't of course.

Just to avoid too much of the drama again, I'll just say I left that Club with mixed feelings at best.

Where I migrated to? of course Mikeportnoy.com's "Forum" or "The Forum" or "General Chat"

And as it turned out, most if not all that same group were there, but I didn't mind so much per it being a MUCH LARGER place.

Now, I had gone to Mike's site for a year or 2 previously, and read some of the topics, but honestly not too many. I recall the biggest reason being I was also INTIMIDATED by so many people there, competition in some sense. And feeling like I might be exposing myself by posting there. And maybe also per not being able to KEEP UP with all the topics that were posted and replied to not every day, every hour, lol.

But in February 2000, around the time of the Dream Theater concert in Minneapolis at The State Theatre I did sign up. Under the user name "angra1."

stay tuned for part 2, hopefully sooner than later....