MR. BIG singer Eric Martin has once again confirmed that the band may call it quits after one final run of shows next year. The concerts would mark MR. BIG's last live performances since the passing of drummer Pat Torpey, who died in February at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
Speaking to "The Right To Rock" podcast, Martin said: "It was really difficult when [Pat] passed because I wasn't really ready for it. I knew that he was going downhill. On our last tour that ended in November of last year, the last couple of weeks, he was saying, 'I just wanna go home.' He was a trooper, he was great on stage and everything, but I could say that it was taking its toll on him, 'cause he was just getting weak. He just wanted to go home to see his wife. Him and Karen had been married for over 20 years, and he just wanted to go home, and I totally understand that. But, yeah, it was kind of a shock to me when he passed."
After announcing his Parkinson's diagnosis in 2014, Torpey continued to write, record and perform with MR. BIG, who also recruited Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) to share drum duties.
"When we went on this last tour, with just Matt Starr… We already signed contracts, we already had an Australian tour booked with EXTREME, and we already had a summer tour booked, and we did it," Eric said. "And it was super difficult to look back… I felt so weird being on stage without [Pat] from these last gigs."
According to Martin, MR. BIG is "kind of on hold" at the moment. "We may be doing something next year, in the summer, in June and July," he said. "This could be it, believe it or not — this could be the last hurrah. We don't know what's going on. Me and Billy [Sheehan, bass] and Paul [Gilbert, guitar] wanna keep the door open just for… We're gonna keep the door open; that's all I can say right now. It kind of ran its course. Not that it ran its course — I would have loved to keep going — but there's a gigantic hole on the stage where Pat Torpey was. And I don't care who you get to play drums or whatever, it just doesn't feel quite right."
Earlier this fall, Eric told the "Friday NI Rocks" show that MR. BIG was planning to make a new studio record next year. "I wanna do a new record, and I also wanna have a couple of different drummers on it, ones that Pat really liked, like maybe Mike Portnoy [DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO] or Gregg Bissonette [David Lee Roth], Ray Luzier from KORN — I really like his playing," he said. "Just get some great drummers to do an ode to Pat Torpey."
MR. BIG's latest album, "Defying Gravity". was released in July 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Formed in 1988, MR. BIG produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits include "Alive And Kicking", "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You".