It’s not uncommon for bands and artists to cancel shows because they aren’t feeling well, it’s okay, it happens. It’d be impossible to guarantee that any artist could be healthy enough to play every single show on a year-long tour, so it’s more than fair if they can cancel a show or two because they’re not feeling well. This didn’t stop former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who is also touring with The Neal Morse Band in Europe, from stirring up a bit of controversy this weekend. Allegedly, Portnoy was too sick to stand or even lift his arms, ended up going to the Accident and Emergency room, and was made to wait too long by the Whittington hospital in London, before eventually canceling the show.
The original post that Portnoy made on Facebook is here:
While the post by itself might not have been to inflammatory, it’s what came after it is where stuff really started to go south. Eventually, a fan ended up commenting:
"Not to be rude, but if someone was dying, I'd hope they didn't move you to the front of the line just to get you to a show. Very narcissistic thinking here,"
To which Portnoy replied:
"Keep 'em coming! Can't wait for everyone to see what an idiot you are before I ban you.”
Not only did the fan commenter have a point by saying that, but the way Portnoy responded just seemed to put more fuel on the fire for him. Many other fans stepped forward to tell Portnoy that he wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, get special treatment just because he’s famous, or even because he has a show to play that night. Later on, someone claiming to work at the hospital responded to Portnoy’s claims, by saying:
Portnoy made no response to this, instead, his wife Marlene Portnoy began to respond to people’s claims that Mike expected preferential treatment, and to be put ahead of people who were in danger. Most of her posts ended up being just reiterations of the original points that she made, so here’s the original post:
While it may be that Portnoy suffered a torrent of hate from his posts, it seems like his wife is giving too much credit to people’s posts. For someone as famous as he is, of course there will be people who just want to take a giant shit on everything he does, but for the most part, it seemed like people were just trying to explain to Portnoy that the healthcare system in the UK is much different from the one in the United States. Portnoy essentially closed discussion on the topic by posting this:
Today, Portnoy opened the floodgates again, when he posted this apology and explanation on his Facebook:
Obviously, the apology offers nothing for the people who Portnoy and his wife spent a whole day telling they were wrong in everything, and banning on their page. As someone who has never been to the UK, it was pretty easy to figure out what Portnoy should have done just by reading a few comments from fans out of London. According to them, Portnoy should have gone to one of many private ERs throughout London, and not going into an NHS A&E room, where people who are on the verge of death go. If you’re able to walk out of an A&E room, you probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The UK health system definitely isn’t without it’s problems, but the least that Portnoy could’ve done was listen to the people who were trying to tell him what he should do.