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Mike Portnoy knew Neil Peart had cancer for two years

Classic Rock

Mike Portnoy knew Neil Peart had cancer for two years

Virtuoso drummer Mike Portnoy said in interview with Eddie Trunk that he knew that legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart had cancer for the past two years. But he didn’t revealed that secret to nobody.


Mike Portnoy said about:

“I’ve known for about two years now and was held to secrecy. It was something that he and everybody in his camp, obviously, went to great lengths to keep private and keep secret. And that was Neil – he was a very, very private guy.”

“Even though I’ve known for this amount of time and I kind of have had time to psychologically prepare for, knowing that it was inevitably coming, it didn’t make it any less shocking. … It just took the wind out of me when I heard it on Friday. It was a shock for the whole rest of the world that didn’t know about this.”

He spent sometime re-reading old Peart’s e-mails:

“You’ve read his books, you’ve read his tour programs, you’ve read his blogs on his website, and that’s the way he wrote even in his emails. So whenever I would get an email from him, it was very, very lengthy, very thorough, went into a lot of details of whatever he was going through.”

They seen each other for the last time in 2015, during Rush’s farewell tour when Peart let Portnoy’s son play his drum kit.

They exchanged two emails after that, the most recent a year ago.

About Peart’s death, he said:

“This one’s a big one for me, personally. I haven’t felt like this since maybe John Lennon or John Bonham or Frank Zappa. It hits on that level as a fan, as it does for millions of Rush fans around the world. But this has a whole new level for me as well, because I didn’t know John Lennon or John Bonham or Frank Zappa, but Neil I did know and had a relationship with. So there’s that whole level as well, which just makes it horrible.”

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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