The legendary former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy was recently interviewed by World Prog Nation and revealed a really rare story about the legendary late drummer Neil Peart who passed away last month.

As he’s telling the story of the one thing he remembers the most about Neil, Mike stated that lots of kids were looking at Playboy centerfolds while he was looking at Neil Peart drum kits.

Here is what he said to World Prog Nation:

I spent 20-30 years idolizing him and being his biggest fans, and all those years… it was mainly the drum kit. The drum kit is such a fascination for me.

He always built amazing kits and put so much thought into it. I would always get the tour programs where he would write about the kit and what the new things are on it, and I would just look at those photos like… Like, most of the kids were looking at Playboy centerfolds, I was looking at Neil Peart drum kits.

And then obviously, his playing goes without saying. I learned how to really develop parts and orchestrate drum parts to build and change and develop within a song, so that was the biggest stuff for me as a fan.”

He continued:

“Then, later on, once I got to know him, I was so inspired by what a gracious person he was. He obviously always had this reputation of being so quiet and isolated, private, and he was, and he guarded that – it was very important for him to guard that.

Once you were somehow allowed inside his inner circle, he was always so sweet and generous, always sent me holiday emails and always sent me his new books and stuff like that. It was a relationship that I’ll always cherish.”

Click here for the source.