Pat Torpey—the longtime drummer, and a founding member of Mr. Big—has died at the age of 64, the band confirmed on Twitter. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
“With breaking hearts we tell you that our brother, friend, drummer and founding member, Pat, passed away Wednesday, February 7 from complications of Parkinson’s disease,” the band wrote. “Family, band and management request privacy at this very difficult time.”
Torpey was a mainstay of Mr. Big, having been one of its founding members in 1989. He remained with the group until they broke up in 2002, and was a part of their reunion in 2009. Though he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, Torpey remained with the group as a percussionist and backing vocalist.
“Pat Torpey has been my closest friend in music for over 30 years,” Billy Sheehan—the group’s bassist—said in a Facebook post. “Pat was one of the finest human beings I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and the honor of working with. All of us in Mr Big had nothing but the highest respect and admiration for him. He is loved by anyone and everyone who ever met him. And surely one of the finest rock drummers the world has ever known.”
“So saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and former band mate Pat Torpey,” Richie Kotzen—the band’s guitarist from 1997-2002—said in an Instagram post. “We spent years touring the world, making music, family holiday gatherings, and even remodeled a house together. Pat’s sense of humor, wit, and smile lit up any room the moment he walked in. I am grateful and thankful to have had you as an incredibly important friend and influence in my life. You will be missed beyond words.”