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Joe Bosso of recently conducted an interview with DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess about the departure of the band’s founding drummer Mike Portnoy and addition of Mike Mangini. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. You’ve all been free to explore outside projects, but how did you initially feel about Mike‘s [Portnoy] plan to play with AVENGED SEVENFOLD? Did you think it might be too much time away from DREAM THEATER?

Rudess: “Mmmm. There were a lot of feelings in the band about Mike’s plan. We had a lot of discussions about that. Various people had differing feelings, too. My first thought was, Wow, that seems like a great opportunity. He’ll go out and play with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, and that’ll result in a lot of their fans coming back and checking out DREAM THEATER. So, at first, I didn’t have a problem with it. [to Petrucci] You had a problem with it, though…”

Petrucci: “Yeah, I did. I remember he told me he was going to play on their album, which was OK by me. I thought, Oh, that’s cool. But then he told me he was going to go on tour with them, and I remember telling him, ‘I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Mike.’ We had some pretty intense conversations about it. But you know, I can’t control what Mike does or what anybody wants to do. Going on the AVENGED tour was his decision, but I made it very clear how I felt about it. Doing projects, that’s fine. We all do outside things. But playing in somebody else’s band, and to that degree… that’s different. I thought it was treading dangerous waters, for sure.” He went off with AVENGED, but in December, when it became clear that he wasn’t staying in that band, he came to you guys and asked if he could rejoin.

Rudess: “Yeah, that was a very challenging time. It was several months later, and what basically happened was…[pauses] You know, just to give you an idea of how deep this was to lose him, how difficult it was…after we got off the phone with him, when he told us what was going to happen, that he was leaving…I literally sat on the steps of my studio and cried. This is a guy who’s a friend of mine, who we all love and admire. We didn’t want to see it come crashing down. The whole thing brought me to tears. But we all realized that we had to find a way to keep going. This is our business. We enjoy it, we love it — how do we keep doing this? So we went into motion. Through us putting our heads together, we decided, OK, we’ve got to find another drummer. And that resulted in us finding these seven amazing drummers to check out. And that, too, was also very emotional: How do you bring a new guy into a situation where you’ve been with somebody else for so long? It was a very heavy thing.”

Petrucci: “It was sort of like when somebody dies. After you’re done crying, the planning kicks in: ‘OK, we’ve gotta do this, we have to arrange the funeral and put everything in order.’ Even though we were in shock and were filled with a lot of emotions, we knew we had to carry on.” But still, Mike asked to rejoin…

Rudess: “Yes, well, OK, so we put everything together. We got the drummers in, which everybody knows, and we filmed the audition process and put a lot of care into the documentary. So after that whole process, we found somebody who we thought was great — Mike Mangini. ‘Oh my God, this guy is fantastic! This can work. We can do it.'”

Petrucci: “And something I should point out — Mike Mangini‘s life changed dramatically. He was a professor at Berklee, and he had to give notice that he was leaving. He’s got a wife and two kids — the whole thing. So he came down and we started making a record. Everybody was supportive at the label. Things were feeling good. We had our feet on the ground again. And then Mike asked if he could get back in…” [He shakes his head] It was too late.

Rudess: “Yeah. You know, Mike Mangini resigned from Berklee. You can’t just tell him… We were in motion with him. We were invested in Mike Mangini and our future. Everything was going full steam. So Mike Portnoycame to us and asked to rejoin: ‘Hey, guys I’ve reconsidered, I’ve made a…a mistake.’ It was like, ‘Oh my God, you can’t do this to us. You can’t pull the rug out from under us like this.’ It was…[sighs] it was hard. Here we went through this whole drama, and we finally found this new guy who we were happy with. At a certain point, you just throw up your hands and go, ‘This can’t be happening!'” [laughs]

Read the entire interview from

Albany, New York radio station Q103 is currently streaming two songs from the “Blizzard Of Ozz” “30th Anniversary Expanded Edition” and “Diary Of A Madman” “Legacy Edition.” Check out “Goodbye To Romance” (2010 Guitar & Vocal Mix, Previously Unreleased) and “Flying High Again” (live) atthis location.

On May 31, music fans will have their first taste of reissues from rock iconOZZY OSBOURNE‘s catalog of work with the releases of two albums which form the cornerstone of Ozzy Osbourne‘s career as a solo artist: “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman” (Epic Records/Legacy Recordings). Long revered by rock fans around the world, these two albums created a template for hard rock in the 1980s and beyond as they were marked by the ground-breaking and historic union of Ozzy and the late guitar hero Randy Rhoads. These definitive versions of 1980’s “Blizzard Of Ozz” (with previously unreleased bonus tracks) and 1981’s “Diary Of A Madman” are available individually on vinyl or CD, or together in a deluxe collector’s box. All versions were restored and remastered from the original analog sources by George Marino.

The 30th-anniversary edition of “Blizzard Of Ozz” CD includes the original album in its entirety, restored and remastered for this edition, with bonus tracks, while the new legacy edition of “Diary Of A Madman” includes the original album in its entirety, restored and remastered for this edition, with a bonus second CD of previously unreleased live performances featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads with rhythm section Rudy Sarzo (bass) andTommy Aldridge (drums). A single-disc version of the remastered “Diary Of A Madman” will also be available.

For serious fans and collectors, the limited edition 30th-anniversary deluxe boxed set houses the restored and remastered vinyl and CD editions of“Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman”, the “Ozzy Live” compact disc. Beyond the music, the box set is highlighted by a variety of exclusives including an expansive 100-page coffee table book, a two-sided wall-size poster, a precise and detailed full-size replica of Ozzy‘s iconic gold cross that he has worn for 30 years, and “Thirty Years After The Blizzard” DVD.

This new “Thirty Years After The Blizzard” DVD chronicles Ozzy‘s years with Randy Rhoads features previously unseen footage of Ozzy and Randyfilmed in 1981 and 1982; it incorporates rare archival photos and films; along with new and revelatory interviews with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne,Lemmy (MOTÖRHEAD), Steve VaiNikki SixxRob HalfordZakk Wylde,Bill Ward and more. The DVD also contains over 70 minutes of additional rare live performances and interviews; included is the premiere of more than 30 minutes of newly-discovered never-bootlegged footage of Ozzy andRandy from the “Blizzard Of Ozz” tour shot from the front of the stage at New York’s fabled Palladium on May 2, 1981. This new feature is a must-see for aficionados of Ozzy‘s epic release “Blizzard Of Ozz” and its pivotal effect on rock and roll history.

“Blizzard Of Ozz” (30th Anniversary Expanded Edition)

01. I Don’t Know (5:13)
02. Crazy Train (4:51)
03. Goodbye To Romance (5:33)
04. Dee (0:49)
05. Suicide Solution (4:17)
06. Mr. Crowley (5:02)
07. No Bone Movies (3:52)
08. Revelation (Mother Earth) (6:08)
09. Steal Away (The Night) (3:28)

Bonus tracks

10. You Looking At Me, Looking At You (Non-LP B-Side, Previously Unreleased in the U.S.) (4:15)
11. Goodbye To Romance (2010 Guitar & Vocal Mix, Previously Unreleased) (5:42)
12. RR (Previously Unreleased – Randy Rhoads guitar solo) (1:13)

“Diary Of A Madman” (Legacy Edition)

Disc 1:

01. Over The Mountain (4:31)
02. Flying High Again (4:44)
03. You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll (6:59)
04. Believer (5:15)
05. Little Dolls (5:39)
06. Tonight (5:50)
07. S.A.T.O. (4:07)
08. Diary Of A Madman (6:14)

Disc 2:

Ozzy Live (recorded on the “Blizzard of Ozz” tour)

01. I Don’t Know
02. Crazy Train
03. Believer
04. Mr. Crowley
05. Flying High Again
06. Revelation (Mother Earth)
07. Steal Away (The Night)
08. Suicide Solution
09. Iron Man
10. Children Of The Grave
11. Paranoid

“Diary Of A Madman”/“Blizzard Of Ozz” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set

Box Set Includes:

“Blizzard Of Ozz” (30th Anniversary Expanded Edition)
“Diary Of A Madman” (Legacy Edition)
“Blizzard Of Ozz” (180-gram LP — original album only)
“Diary Of A Madman” (180-gram LP — original album only)

DVD — contains “Thirty Years After The Blizzard” documentary — and additional rare and unreleased performances and interviews.

It’s now official: There will be no Ozzfest in 2011. The venerable heavy rock and metal festival, started in 1997 by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, has gone through a number of changes over the last few years as a result of economic woes and more
competition from events like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem and Uproar festivals. Now for the second time in three years, Ozzfest will not take place at all this summer. Ozzy said, “No, [there will be no Ozzfest] this year. I just finished a lengthy arena tour of the U.S., so I’ve decided to tour Europe this summer instead.”

Last year’s Ozzfest was a short, six-date run that featured OZZY, MÖTLEY CRÜE, HALFORD, DEVILDRIVER and NONPOINT.

There was no Ozzfest in 2009, while the 2008 edition was a one-day “destination” event in Dallas, Texas, starring OZZY, METALLICA, APOCALYPTICA, KORN‘s Jonathan Davis and more.

Even with a still-sluggish economy, the summer festival schedule is packed with events and tours like Mayhem, Uproar, Lollapalooza, the MÖTLEY CRÜE/POISON and ROB ZOMBIE/SLAYERdouble bills, and others.

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