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PAT TORPEY,
1953-2018

Pat Torpey, a drummer and founding member of Mr. Big, died Wednesday from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 64.

Torpey announced his diagnosis in 2014 when he was unable to accompany Mr. Big on the band’s 2014-15 world tour. He was credited as "drum producer" on Mr. Big's most recent album, their ninth, Defying Gravity, and was able to play percussion with the band in concert.

Prior to forming Mr. Big with Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert and Eric Martin in the late ‘80s, Torpey played drums for TV shows and toured with John Parr, Belinda Carlisle and, for a short while, with The Knack.

His final touring gig, which came after Atlantic had signed Mr. Big, was with Robert Plant.

While Mr. Big broke through with the ballad “To Be With You,” the band was known for its aggressive bluesy, hard rock and masterful musicianship. The band’s initial run was 1988 to 1997; Richie Kotzen replaced Gilbert from 1999 until they broke up in 2002. The original quartet reunited in 2009.

Family, band and management request privacy at this time. Services are pending.

 

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