Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy shared a post on Instagram remembering the 12th anniversary of the passing of his father, Howard Portnoy, and opened up about losing his father while revealing that he was the eponym of the band.
As many of you may know, Mike Portnoy’s father Howard Portnoy passed away at the age of 69 back on January 4, 2009, after his long battle with cancer. It was his father who named Portnoy’s band and supported Mike about his music and became a monitor to him.
Since Mike Portnoy had a very close relationship with his father, he even created a song named ‘The Best of Times’ which is the fifth song on Dream Theater’s 10th studio album, ‘Black Clouds & Silver Linings.’ The was written by Portnoy in order to celebrate his relationship with his father.
For the twelfth anniversary of losing his father, Mike Portnoy shared a post on his official Instagram page including numerous pictures with his father and an emotional message in order to remember his father, idol, and best friend.
In addition to expressing his longing for his father, Mike also revealed the story behind the song ‘The Best of Times’ and stated that he wrote the song before his father passed away. Portnoy revealed the emotional story when the first time he played the song for his father at his bedside.
Here is how Mike Portnoy paid tribute to his late father:
“RIP Howard Portnoy
February 13, 1940 – January 4, 2009
It was 12 years ago today I lost my father, my idol & my best friend: Howard Portnoy
I would not be the person I am had it not been for his influence, guidance, and inspiration…he really was my hero. And I miss him dearly every day… I have so many amazing memories with him…he was so proud of my career and was able to share so much of it with me. (Hell, he even named the band Dream Theater…often joking how he got to name both the band and its drummer!)
As most of you probably know, I was making the Black Clouds & Silver Linings album w Dream Theater throughout my dad’s final months of battling cancer. I wrote the song ‘The Best Of Times’ for him before he passed away and was given the incredible gift of being able to share it with him before he passed. I remember vividly sitting at his bedside with him and playing him the song (my original demo with myself singing the song) and the two of us holding hands and crying while listening to the song.”
“It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life, but something I’ll be eternally grateful for. A lot of times people write songs for their loved ones after the fact. But it was a great gift to be able to do this before he passed away, and share it with him.
The version of The Best Of Times with me signing that I played for my dad at his bedside was played once again a few weeks later at his funeral where I shared the song with family and friends in attendance. (The song/album wasn’t released yet)
The song was a tribute to our life together. I didn’t want to focus on the six months of his struggling with cancer and dying, I wanted to focus on the 41 years of great times that we had before that.
Here is the version with me singing that I shared with him at his bedside and again at his funeral. I honestly can’t listen to it as it absolutely breaks my heart each and every time…but I proudly share it with you all because it means so much to me. Remember to love the people you love each and every day as you never know when it may be their last… Carpe Diem. I miss you Ol Popz”
You can see the Instagram post and ‘The Best of Times’ below.