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Pat Torpey
December 13, 1959 - February 7, 2018
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© Ambra Pisano

Pat Torpey

Pat Torpey was born in Cleveland, Ohio Dec. 13, 1959. At age 7, he found the first seeds of inspiration to play drums.

" I was at a family and friends picnic and there was a polka band. I was sitting on a railing behind the drummer and was fascinated at what I saw and heard. I went home and fashioned my own 'signature' drum sticks out of a fallen tree branch from our front yard"

In high school he immersed himself in all the available music programs, concert, orchestra, marching and stage bands. " I wanted to play everything percussion and I convinced my mother to buy me a used drum-kit for my thirteenth birthday.

1983, he moved to Los Angeles. " I'm a pretty good softball player and joined an entertainment league and through that I was able to make some new friends and network my way into a couple of gigs. I became a regular on the American Bandstand and Solid Gold TV shows performing with Benny King, Mike and the Mechanics, Melissa Manchester, Bob Geldof, and a few I can't even remember."

1985, he auditioned for the British pop/rock singer John Parr, who was riding high on his #1 hit 'St. Elmos Fire' and had landed the opening slot for Tina Turner on her Private Dancer Tour. When that tour ended he became the drummer for Belinda Carlyle on her first solo tour opening for Robert Palmer.

"1987, I was doing a television show with Roger Daltrey and Bobby Columby from Blood, Sweat and Tears approached me and asked me if I was available to do some studio work. Columby was producing a couple tracks for The Knack and their original drummer had just left the band. I loved their music and what great fun for a drummer. They asked me to join the band."

Playing around Los Angeles with The Knack was the pathway to Mr.Big. Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert were starting a new band and were on the hunt for a drummer. They saw Pat playing with The Knack and were impressed with his energy and style. " I loved playing with The Knack but when Billy approached me I jumped at the chance."

Mr.Big secured a recording contract with Atlantic records but before the band started work on the first CD Pat was tapped to play drums with Robert Plant on his ' Now and Zen' tour. " Led Zeppelin was such a huge influence and the guys in Mr.Big knew what a fantastic opportunity it was and they gave me their blessing. "Communication Breakdown' every night, what a rush!!! "

1992, Mr.Big's international hit song "To Be With You" was no.1 in the U.S. and fifteen other countries and top five in many more. For fourteen years Mr.Big toured the world, headlining as well as opening for Aerosmith, Rush, Brian Adams and The Scorpions to name a few, garnering a reputation for their world class musicianship and totally 'live' performances.

Pat Torpey also released a solo CD in 1998 titled "Odd Man Out" and then a follow up cd "Y2K" in 1999. Lately, Pat has been involved in a myriad of studio projects, live performances a clinics for Tama drums in Japan, Russia, China, Indonesia, Philippines and many other parts of the world.

In January 2009, Pat Torpey reunited with his old Mr. Big band-mates Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan for a reunion tour. In 2010, they recorded and released the album "What If..." with producer Kevin Shirley. 2011 saw them back together for a world tour supporting the new album]

He announced on July 25, 2014 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and would be unable to perform all of his normal drumming duties on the band's 2014-15 world tour in support of the album ...The Stories We Could Tell. "I've been dealing with Parkinson's symptoms for the past couple of years and only recently received a confirmed diagnosis as symptoms worsened," Torpey said. "I intend to fight the disease with same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability."

Torpey died from complications of Parkinson's Disease at the age of 64 on February 7, 2018.

© Ambra Pisano


© Ambra Pisano

© Ambra Pisano

The Knack

Mr. Big
Richie Kotzen, Pat Torpey, Billy Sheehan, Eric Martin

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