On May 23, the surviving members of MR. BIG will perform a tribute concert to late drummer Pat Torpey — who passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease on February 7 — at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California. Also performing will be Torpey‘s former bandmate Richie Kotzen, who was a member of MR. BIG from 1999 to 2002, and an “all-star lineup” that will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for “Mr. Big And Friends: Celebrating The Life Of Pat Torpey” are $15 and can be purchased now via Ticketmaster.
Formed in 1988, MR. BIG produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide away of rock genres, including ballads, heavy metal and blues rock. Their hits included “Alive And Kicking”, “Just Take My Heart” and the chart-topping ballad “To Be With You”. The group released its ninth studio album, “Defying Gravity”, last July via Frontiers Music Srl.
During his career, the Cleveland-born Torpey also toured and/or recorded with a number of high-profile musicians, including Robert Plant, Belinda Carlisle, John Parr, MONTROSE, THE KNACK and Ted Nugent. After announcing his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2014, he continued to write, record and perform with MR. BIG, who also recruited Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) to share drum duties. “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 at the time. “I intend to fight the disease with the same intensity and tenacity that I drum and life my life by, and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability.”
MR. BIG will apparently honor its existing live commitments — which include a June Australian tour with EXTREME and a series of European summer festival dates — but it remains unclear whether the group will continue on afterward.
Prior to Torpey‘s death last year, vocalist Eric Martin described Torpey as the spiritual “driving force” behind the band. “Every time he goes, ‘Oh, man, I don’t know if I can do this,’ I don’t know about the rest of the guys, if he bows out, I’m going to bow out with him.”
Photo credit: William Hames