Small World… Big World… Hanging Out With Mr. Big

Ah, tis the season for the holiday party… Hanging out… drinking and eating a lot of food you know you should not eat… foods with cheese and cream.  Lots of tempting desserts… with cream and cheese… You hear what I’m saying… basically there seems to be lots and lots of cream and cheese…

But in between that, you sometimes get to meet some very cool people.  Such was the case on Saturday when I had the distinct pleasure to meet and talk with Pat Torpey, the drummer for Mr. Big.

He seemed a bit surprised that I really knew the band… beyond just the standard courtesy.  Of course I know this band… Y’all know I am a Jersey boy raised on dirt and classic rock… Well… Not dirt.  I was not raised on dirt nor on a farm… even though Jersey is the Garden State.

I was raised on WPLJ and this informed my musical being greatly.  My tastes have since expanded and diversified quite a bit… but classic rock and ’80s New Wave will always have the largest part of my heart and soul… or at least the first parts…

Mr. Big – Big, Bigger, Biggest!  The Best of Mr. Big

In 2009 they released both this one and also a collection of ballads called Deep Cuts: The Best of the Ballads.  Both were tempting as was Back to Budokan from the same year… Especially since Pat and I were talking about all the touring they do in that part of the world… and I also like his drum solo on that live record.  And plus… it’s kind of cool imagining yourself to be a rock star in a place like Budokan who goes nuts for American rock.  Okay, it’s never gonna happen for me, but a guy can dream.  Sheesh.  I’ll live vicariously through others.

So clearly 2009 was a busy one for Mr. Big releases!

So Wikipedia calls them a Supergroup… Nice!!!  I totally dig that…

The band is a quartet composed of Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass guitar), and Pat Torpey (drums); Mr. Big also included Richie Kotzen, a reputable blues-based guitarist who replaced Gilbert in 1999. The band is noted especially for their musicianship, and scored a number of hits.  Their songs were often marked by strong vocals and vocal harmonies. Their hits include “To Be With You” (a number one single in 15 countries in 1991) and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind.”  (That last one is my favorite… I love that song!!!)

For me they just rock.  And while they totally remind me of my Jersey youth and ’80s Rock n’ Roll, it is pretty damn impressive that they are still together, touring and playing.  I think my favorite thing was hearing Pat talk about playing with The Knack… Man did I love the Knack… I still do.  Get the Knack is one of those great albums from start to finish… It defines a period for sure, but it also transcends it… I was so sad when Doug Fieger passed away… actually on Valentine’s Day in 2010… How odd that I remembered the day… Did have to look up the year though… Wow… He was a sweetheart of a man and lived right here in the Valley…

After seeing him playing with The Knack, Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert asked him to join the band they were forming… The rest is actually rock history.  According to Pat’s page on Wikipedia, Neil Peart from Rush digs his “unique rhythms.”  Dude!!!

This album is a great place to start and will remind you of just how fun this band was… and still is… They really rock.

So Pat… great meeting you and Karen.  Thanks for the music conversation… and going back to listen was a blast and a real holiday joy.

My lighter is up in the air… no cell phone… my lighter…


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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