There are two kinds of all-star jams: the kind that people rave about for years and the kind that leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. An example of the latter category is what happens at the end of every single Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

An example of the former took place last September, when a gang of heavy metal’s tallest legends assembled in New York City to literally put on a clinic. David Ellefson (Megadeth), Kerry King (Slayer), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Frank Bello (Anthrax) and Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob/Flying Colors) descended on the Best Buy Theater in New York City and took turns demonstrating techniques before breaking into a ferocious jam session that ended with surprise guests Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Pantera’s Phil Anselmo taking the stage for a pair of Pantera songs. Anthrax closed the festivities by delivering a full set for the 500 lucky bastards who paid zero dollars to watch history go down.

 

The first time I met Mike Portnoy was on the set of That Metal Show after the taping of an episode featuring him and guitarist John Sykes.

“Hey there, Mike,” I said, “Big fan.”