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Mike Portnoy Recounts Bizarre 9/11 Coincidence

Joe LaRusso

As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, prog-rock legend Mike Portnoy shared with Noisecreep his recollections of the day.

In sharing his story, the former Dream Theater and current Adrenaline Mob drummer revealed a fact that has to stand as one of the strangest coincidences in music history.

But before we get to that, Portnoy’s story begins.

“I remember waking up Tuesday, September 11th 2001 to my wife telling me to put on the TV because I wasn’t going to be going into NYC as planned.

“Dream Theater was working in NYC at the time mixing our album ‘Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence’ and I would’ve been driving in that afternoon for our session. But as the events of the morning unfolded, I found myself glued to the TV in disbelief as to what I was witnessing. It was all too surreal. I felt like I was watching a Will Smith Hollywood film. It couldn’t possibly be really happening.”

From there, Portnoy recounted what it was like to visit a post-apocalyptic New York City soon after.

“When I finally did return to work in New York City, a few days later, it was just as surreal as there was a sadness and almost deafening silence still lingering throughout the streets of Manhattan.”

And then the kicker. A strange little fact that remains a bizarre, strange footnote to the 9/11 tragedy.

Portnoy picks up the story.


“On a personal side note, one of the strangest coincidences of my career was that Dream Theater’s Live Scenes From New York was released on Tuesday, September 11th 2001, the cover artwork of which illustrated a big apple (representing NYC) with the World Trade Center in flames!

“It has to be one of the most unbelievable coincidences in the history of rock album covers! Suffice to say, we pulled the CDs off the shelves immediately and changed the cover art.”

Watch ‘Mob Rules’ from Adrenaline Mob


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