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MIKE PORTNOY On Playing With RUSH’s GEDDY LEE And ALEX LIFESON: ‘That Would Be A Dream Come True’

MIke Portnoy comments on hypothetically stepping in for the late Neil Peart in Rush.

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy recently sat down with TWISTED SISTER bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza on his Internet show “22 Now”, where he spoke about how he would feel stepping in for the late Neil Peart behind the drum kit if RUSH were to give him a call.

When Portnoy was asked if he would be interested in hypothetically playing with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson if they asked him to, the drummer said: “Of course. That would be a dream to play with those guys. But I don’t wanna see the Blabbermouth headline right now, me thinking that I deserve the gig. I’m not saying that. You’re asking me a question. Hypothetically, of course, it would be a dream come true. Neil was my hero, and always will be, and Geddy and Alex are as well.

“I don’t think in a million years they’ll play without him; I really don’t,” he continued. “But in a hypothetical dream scenario, I mean, come on — of course. But I don’t think in a zillion years it will happen. But it’s a nice dream to hypothetically wonder about. But I honestly don’t think it would ever happen. But who knows? You never know.

“As much as hypothetically it would be fun, it would be amazing, it would also be an impossible role to fill,” Portnoy added. “It’s a no-win situation. Really, it would be impossible, ’cause his fans are as obsessive as they get — and count me amongst them. So, yeah, that would be a tough one.”

Portnoy also spoke about RUSH’s final tour which concluded on August 1, 2015 with Peart saying at the time that he wanted to retire while he was still able to play.  He also wanted to spend more time with family.

“They went out on such a high,” Portnoy said. “Their last tour was a farewell tour. I don’t think anybody expected Neil to pass, but they wanted to stop touring, so they really went out with such an amazing tour. That tour was just so well done, so perfectly executed, and they went out with all three of them still at the top of their game. So I give them all the credit in the world for that. It’s just sad that Neil didn’t get many years to enjoy the retirement before he got sick. That saddens me.”


Neil Peart died of glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, on January 7, 2020, at the age of 67.