In July this year it was announced that Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But Torpey, aged 54, has still managed to play a part in the making of the band’s new album, ...The Stories We Could Tell.
Even with their drummer's illness they’ve recorded a new album with him – without the help of “vultures”.
And there are plans for him to join them on stage during their forthcoming tour – not playing drums, but singing backing vocals. Bassist Billy Sheehan explains how Torpey, and the band – completed by shred-king guitarist Paul Gilbert (who also has a solo record out) and vocalist Eric Martin – are dealing with the situation.
When did Pat tell you all that he has Parkinson’s?
We had started to see symptoms early on, although we didn’t know what it was. But in January 2014 things took a turn for the worse. We had a discussion, a conference call, with everybody on board. That was when Pat explained what it was, and that he couldn’t play. Initially it was pretty rough. But all we could do is support the guy one hundred per cent.
…The Stories We Could Tell is out now on Frontiers Records. Mr. Big play London KOKO on October 17.