During his life, Petrucci was known as the guitarist for the band Dream Theater, which inspired many young musicians, especially metal music lovers.
1. Majesty and legal issues
Dream Theater was formed in 1985 by John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass guitar), and Mike Portnoy (drums). Initially, the band was called Majesty.
At that time, the three of them were students from the Berklee University of Music. In order to bring songs from their two favorite bands, Rush and Iron Maiden, Petrucci finally invited Kevin Moore as a keyboard player and Chris Collins as the main vocalist. Having often performed in various places, finally Petrucci, Myung, and Portnoy decided to quit college.
In 1986, Majesty completed their first album, entitled “The Majesty Demos”. The album was successfully sold up to 1000 copies per six months. At that time, the Majesty album was touted as the most popular album among progressive metal music lovers.
Due to the less attractive stage act, Collins was fired and Charlie Dominici came in to fill the vocals. However, bad luck actually got it when a Las Vegas-based music group named Majesty sued Petrucci and his friends on the grounds of copyright names.
In 1987, after briefly using the name Glasser, Portnoy’s father advised his son to use the name Dream Theater, which was named after a small art building in the area of Monterey, California.
2. The first album and entry of James LaBrie
When the Dream Theater name stabilized and was not prosecuted in legal trouble, they began to plan to focus more on making their first album under a new name. Signed a contract with Mechanic Records in 1988, within three weeks, Dream Theater completed the album “When Dream and Day Unite”.
Afterward, Mechanic Records prepared five concerts for Dream Theater in the New York area. Unfortunately, after the fourth concert, Dream Theater personnel felt that Dominici’s voice was not as great as Bruce Dickinson, the spearhead of Iron Maiden. As a result, Dream Theater also made a vocalist audition which was followed by 200 registrants from all over the United States in 1990.
According to Portnoy, out of 200 people who auditioned, there was absolutely no vocalist who matched Dream Theater’s musical style. For one year, Dream Theater performed instrumentally without vocals.
It was only in 1991 that Dream Theater received a demo song from James LaBrie, the lead singer of a glam metal band called Winter Rose. After moving from Mechanic Records to Elektra Records, Dream Theater with LaBrie completed a second album, entitled ‘Images and Words’ in 1992.
One of the singles on the album “Pull Me Under” catapulted the name Dream Theater. They are also often called to be guest stars in various countries. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Dream Theater also made a live album on two of their grandest stages at that time, namely in London, England and Tokyo, Japan.
3. Mike Portnoy stops using drugs, Petrucci joins G3
Entering the early 2000 era, Dream Theater continued to maintain its existence amidst the many personnel changes and drug problems that surrounded Portnoy. Fortunately, at that time Portnoy was aware of the drugs that began to eat away at his body and creativity. He followed Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) ‘s 12-step stop drug addiction program.
“15 years I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I let myself get drunk every time I appear on stage. At first, it was fun, but as time went by, I felt like I had to be responsible for myself, “said Portnoy.
Dream Theater’s album “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” (2001) marked the beginning of Portnoy’s new life free of drugs. Dream Theater has become increasingly productive. Within two years, they released the album “Train of Thought” (2003), then the album “Octavarium” (2005).
On the other hand, Petrucci continued to develop his career as a solo guitarist. In 2005, he briefly sidelined Dream Theater and joined (correction: previously Petrucci’s co-writing team formed G3) to G3, a metal guitarist group formed by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Since 2005, G3 has also appeared in various countries and composed many songs, such as “Glasgow Kiss”, “Building the Church”, and “War”.
4. Kevin Moore left, Petrucci formed a new band
In 1994, before Dream Theater finished the album “Awake”, Moore said that he wanted to leave the band that made his name and focus on his solo work. At that time, Moore was tired of the massive tour that Dream Theater continues.
To fill Moore’s void, Dream Theater entrusted the additional keyboardist Alice Cooper and KISS, Derek Sherinian, to complete the single “A Change of Seasons” (1995). Unfortunately, Moore’s departure and Portnoy’s addiction to drugs at that time made Dream Theater not a comfortable and welcoming home for Petrucci.
In 1996, Petrucci also became a soloist and played the song “Working Man” on the album “A Tribute to Rush”. He also provided the soundtrack for the console game “Digital Pinball: Necronomicon” (1996). However, Petrucci still helped Dream Theater in completing the album “Falling Into Infinity” which was released in 1997.
Along with the release of the album “Falling Into Infinity”, Mike Varney, owner of Magna Carta Records, asked Portnoy to form a “super group” instrumental metal called Liquid Tension Experiment. Portnoy then invited Petrucci to fill the guitar position, as well as Tony Levin on the bass guitar, and Jordan Rudess on the keyboard.
Without leaving Dream Theater, since being trusted to fill out compilation albums, console game soundtracks, and the band Liquid Tension Experiment, Petrucci has increasingly worked as a soloist. In 1988, Petrucci became part of the band Explorers Club formed by Billy Sheehan, Mr. Big, as well as filling in the guitar on Derek Sherinian’s solo album entitled “Blood of the Snake” .
5. Mike Portnoy left and the album ‘Dramatic Turn of Events’ appeared
As the opening act for Dream Theater, Portnoy appointed three bands, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and 3. Unfortunately, after Portnoy filled the drums on Avenged Sevenfold’s songs “Nightmare” and “Welcome to the Family” in 2010, he decided to leave. His relationship with the personnel at Dream Theater deteriorated. In 2011, he even complained that all of his friends at Dream Theater never returned his e-mails and calls.
One month after Portnoy left, Dream Theater held a massive drum audition which was attended by dozens of drummers from many well-known bands. In the end, Mike Mangini, Portnoy’s teacher at the Berklee College of Music, was chosen as Dream Theater’s new drummer.