Mr. Big has announced a memorial concert for drummer Pat Torpey set for May 23 at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California. The show is set to feature former member Richie Kotzen and other members of the band along with special guests. It was announced on Facebook. Tickets available here. Torpey died at age 64 of complications related to Parkinson’s disease on February 7.
Torpey whose career included stints with artists such as Tina Turner, Belinda Carlisle, the Knack, Ted Nugent, and Robert Plant, got his start as a drummer backing singers on network music shows American Bandstand and Solid Gold. He was a founding member of Mr. Big in 1988. The group scored big with hits such as “Alive and Kicking,” “Just Take My Heart,” and “To Be With You.” At the time they formed the foursome of Torpey, Billy Sheehan on bass, Paul Gilbert on guitar, and Eric Martin on lead vocals was a true ’80s supergroup, with star instrumentalists and a knack for writing big radio-friendly ballads. The group also has a large fan base outside the US, particularly in Japan. Their latest album, Defying Gravity, was released in July 2017.
Torpey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014 but started feeling symptoms as early as 2008. He spoke frankly with Music Radar about the progression of the disease in 2015. By 2014 he had cut back to singing his beautiful high harmonies and playing percussion with the band in support of drummer Matt Starr. A global tour is planned following the memorial concert.