Pat Torpey at Festivalna Hall, Sofia. June 2011.
|Birth name||Pat Torpey|
|Born||December 13, 1959|
|Origin||Cleveland, Ohio, US|
|Genres||Hard rock, progressive rock, pop rock, heavy metal|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards|
|Associated acts||Mr. Big, Richie Kotzen, Lanny Cordola, David Lee Roth, The Knack, Impellitteri|
Pat Torpey is an American rock and roll drummer, known as the drummer of the hard rock band Mr. Big. He has also played for Impellitteri, The Knack, David Lee Roth Band and the Exile Social Club. He is noted by Neil Peart for composing unique rhythms such as that of "Take Cover", a rock song from Mr. Big.
Pat Torpey was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 13, 1959. At age 7, he first played the drums. He tells the story: "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, Torpey immersed himself in all available music programs, concert, orchestra, marching and stage bands. About his teenage years, he says: "I wanted to play everything percussion and I convinced my mother to buy me a used drum-kit for my thirteenth birthday.” Torpey's family moved to Phoenix, where he then began honing his skills in local bands, from rock, to funk, to jazz, to pop.
Beginnings of his career
In 1983, Torpey moved to Los Angeles. He recounts the beginning of his career: "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 + The Mechanics, Melissa Manchester, Bob Geldof, and a few I can't even remember."[attribution needed]
1985, Torpey auditioned for the British pop–rock singer John Parr, who was riding high on his #1 hit "St. Elmo's 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 Carlisle on her first solo tour, opening for Robert Palmer.
Pat narrates further, "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."[attribution needed]
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 Torpey 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!!!"
In 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, Bryan Adams and The Scorpions to name a few, garnering a reputation for their world class musicianship and totally 'live' performances.
Because of Mr. Big's popularity in Japan and Asia, Pat released two solo albums overseas, Odd Man Out and Y2K in 1998 and 1999. Pat also has two instructional videos overseas, "Big Drums" with Billy Sheehan and Rock Groove Drumming. Both provide insight into his original and creative drum parts.
Pat Announces Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis July 25, 2014
MR. BIG drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and will be unable to perform all of his normal drumming duties on the band's upcoming world tour in support of the group's new 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."
MR. BIG will announce a replacement drummer who will sit behind the kit for the band's fall 2014 tour.
Torpey, 54, is expected to join his MR. BIG bandmates for select tracks as well as participate in the group's acoustic set.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.
There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but medications, surgery and multidisciplinary management can provide relief from the symptoms.
Asked in a 2011 interview with OnlineDrummer.com what influenced him to pick up a pair of sticks and start drumming, Torpey said: "I was about 7 or 8 years old, and my family used to go to this local picnic event with a live polka band. I was able to sit behind them and look down on the drummer, right on the top of him, and so from that vantage point I could see what he was doing, and I thought, 'Wow, that looks like fun!' That was my first memory of when I can remember wanting to play the drums. I went to my mother and said, 'I wanna play the drums,' and she gave me that look that parents give you, you know the 'Oh, yeah, sure you do… you're 7 years old.' So from there I kind of held on to that dream. I'd fashioned some drum sticks from a couple of sticks out of the yard. I carved them and drew my name on them with a magic marker, you know, the kind of thing an aspiring kid would do."
"...The Stories We Could Tell" will be released in September via Frontiers Records. The CD's first single will be made available later this summer.
MR. BIG's last album, "What If…", was released in Europe in January 2011 via Frontiers Records. The North American release, also on Frontiers Records, followed in February 2011.
"What If…" was MR. BIG's first "all-original" album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey, back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of "Hey Man", the new recording was produced by Kevin Shirley (AEROSMITH, RUSH, IRON MAIDEN).
Formed in 1988, MR. BIG forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark "shredding" musicianship with vocal harmonies. The original lineup produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres, be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), "Wild World", "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind", "Just Take My Heart", and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", "Addicted to that Rush", "Colorado Bulldog", and "Take Cover".
Pat uses Tama drums, Zildjian cymbals, and Promark Sticks. During his time with Mr. Big, he used Tama Artstar drums and can be seen in almost all the photos and videos of his drums. More recently, he has been using Tama Starclassic drums as the Artstar series has been discontinued.
Lately,[when?] Torpey has been involved in myriad studio projects, live performances at clinics for Tama drums in Japan, Russia, China, Indonesia, Philippines and many other parts of the world.
In 2004, he toured with Richie Kotzen as drummer for his UK club tour; he also played with Billy Sheehan in Johnny Hiland's first self-titled album, Johnny Hiland.
Torpey also played for Chris Impellitteri.
In the end of 2006, Pat joined "The Exile Social Club", a particular kind of band that relives old Rock'n'Roll hits. This band is formed also by Chuck Wright, from Quiet Riot, Jason Hook and David Victor.
Reunion of Mr. Big
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. 
- Odd Man Out (1998)
- Odd Man Out: Y2K (1999)
- Stand in Line (1988)
with Mr. Big
See: Mr. Big Discography
- Mr. Big (1989)
- Lean into It (1991)
- Bump Ahead (1993)
- Hey Man (1996)
- Get Over It (1999)
- Actual Size (2001)
- What If... (2011)
with Richie Kotzen