I was fortunate enough to have caught Mr. Big on stage twice. The first one was in 2014–a few months after Pat Torpey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease–and the second one just a few months ago. Matt Starr took over drumming responsibilities from Pat for both times during the world tours, with Pat playing percussion, and still on stage. Yet, Pat would soldier on to play drums for “Just Take My Heart”, if I recall correctly.
While the drummer of Def Leppard only has one arm, I can only imagine the pain Pat went through just to perform and do what he loves. That dedication is also evident with the rest of his Mr. Big brethren, still touring and recording, putting up a show like we don’t know what decade we are in anymore. As a musician myself, I can only imagine what else he went through just to pick up the sticks and play, much less get up in the morning and choose music as the way of life in the face of age and disease and everything else that could hold back a rock ‘n’ roll veteran from carrying on with the rock ‘n’ roll dream. I only have the utmost respect for those who have that dedication.
Rest in peace, Pat. We’ll keep on drumming.