Matt Sorum has paid tribute to Pat Torpey, calling him "a great human being and musician" who was "a huge part" of the former GUNS N' ROSES drummer's career.
A founding member of MR. BIG, Torpey passed away Wednesday, February 7 at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
Earlier tonight, Sorum mourned Torpey's loss, writing in a Facebook message: "Sad to hear about the passing of Pat Torpey. A great human being and musician, Pat and I came up together in the clubs around Hollywood in the '80s. Pat was a go-to guy but was always supportive of me and handed a few gigs over to me when he wasn't available.
"The first big break for me was a band called JEFF PARIS GROUP. Pat did the first record, then left and mentioned me. I came in and did Jeff's second record, 'Wired Up'. Then being asked by THE CULT to join them in '88 after seeing Pat with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Pat recommended me to Billy [Duffy] and Ian [Astbury] so he could he could pursue his new band MR. BIG.
"I remember the first time [GUNS N' ROSES] went to Japan in '91. MR. BIG was No. 1 and we were No. 2. They were huge there and we always respected one another, although Pat practiced like a maniac at Mates Studio daily while listening to political talk radio. His drum chops were insane. He helped me in the mid-'90s put together my drum video, producing and directing me. We also cowrote a song for MR. BIG called 'Crawl Over Me'.
"I hadn't seen him in quite awhile now that people go in different directions, but Pat was such a huge part of my career and I do feel very connected spiritually as one of those people that you meet in life that changes the course of your life.
"I owe you so much, Pat. I hope you are at peace now, my drumming brother. Condolences to family and friends and bandmates."
MR. BIG released its ninth original studio album, "Defying Gravity", last July. Formed in 1988, the band produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included "Alive And Kicking", "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You".
Photo credit: Adopt The Arts / Alex Kluft