Charlie Benante + Mike Portnoy Talk To Chris Jericho About Meeting Members of The Beatles
With the Beatles 50th anniversary celebration of their first U.S. performance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ just passing, there’s been a lot of focus on the band. Their influence is unquestioned in the world of music, and recently Anthrax‘s Charlie Benante and The Winery Dogs‘ Mike Portnoy spoke with Fozzy frontman and professional wrestler Chris Jericho on his ‘Talk Is Jericho‘ podcast about their first meetings with members of the Beatles.
Benante recently met not one but two Beatles during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. His first experience was crossing paths on the red carpet with Ringo Starr. He recalls, “We were waiting on the side and Ringo comes walking up and he kind of stops. And I’m like, what do you have to say, ‘Hey Ringo.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, how are you doing?’ and I got to shake his hand, but he doesn’t shake hands. It’s like the Larry David kind of elbow thing. So he puts his elbow up to me and I put my elbow up, but as he puts his elbow up to me and he knocks his glasses off and then it becomes this thing. It’s like, ‘Ooh, ooh, Ringo’s glasses, get security.’ So he fixes himself, he laughs and he says goodbye.”
The drummer also had a memorable first meeting at the Grammys with Sir Paul McCartney. He recalls his daughter needing a restroom break during the telecast and having to wait for the commercials before they could leave the room. It was at that point that Paul McCartney and his wife walked up to join in the line.
“He comes walking in with his wife and then stops and when he sees my daughter, he just stops and says, ‘Look at you.’ Of course she jumps up because it’s Paul McCartney, you know,” recalls Benante. “I had to compose myself because I was going to faint. So he pinches her cheek and says, ‘You look beautiful tonight.’ She says, ‘Thank you,’ and he looks up at me and I say, ‘Hi, Paul,’ and he shakes my hand and I just told him I loved him. And it was just one of those moments.”
Portnoy had a similar experience, explaining, “The funniest thing, when I met Paul last year, I had a similar experience. It’s a big running joke in my family that when my mom and dad saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium back in the ’60s … it’s like my mom always said that Paul McCartney looked at her and winked at her when he was onstage. And I would always make fun of her, like, ‘Yeah, I’m sure he looked and winked at a thousand people on the way to the stage.’ But when I did finally meet Paul last year, it was me, him and my daughter all just standing in a circle for 10 minutes talking and at one point he just gave my daughter a look dead in the eye, gave her a wink and a big smile and I said to my daughter, ‘Now THAT is a wink and a smile, not what my mom got.’”
The two rockers also shared their favorite Beatles albums and songs, with Benante selecting ‘Revolver’ and singling out ‘Help!’ and George Harrison. Portnoy, meanwhile, leaned more toward the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album. The Winery Dogs drummer also talked about having a photo of himself sitting at his Mickey Mouse record player as a kid with his Beatles 45.
To hear the full Beatles discussion between Chris Jericho, Charlie Benante and Mike Portnoy, check out the ‘Talk Is Jericho’ embed below or download the podcast for yourself at the ‘Talk Is Jericho’ PodcastOne.com website.
Chris Jericho, Charlie Benante + Mike Portnoy on The Beatles (‘Talk Is Jericho’ Podcast)