Mr. Big Band Biography

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Eric Martin (vocals)
Pat Torpey (drums)
Billy Sheehan (bass)
Paul Gilbert (guitar 1988-1997)
Richie Kotzen (guitar 1999-2002)


Mr. Big was an American hard rock band that formed in 1988. The band was started by guitarist Billy Sheehan when he left former Van Halen front man, David Lee Roth’s band. In 1988, Sheehan came up bringing together guitarist Paul Gilbert, drummer Pat Torpey, and vocalist Eric Martin.

When they were formed, the band already had a contract inked with Atlantic Records which resulted with the release of their self titled debut album in 1989. Although it didn’t become a hit in the US, it received quite a success in Japan. Their breakthrough came with the release of their second album, Lean to It, which was released in 1991. The album contained songs such as "To Be with You", "Just Take My Heart" and "Green Tinted Sixties Mind" that became popular and established the band as a commercial success.

The band then released other albums such as Bump Ahead in 1993 and Hey Man in 1996. But the subsequent albums never reached the success that their Lean to It album was able to achieve. But their tours to Japan continued to be popular and became sell outs. This success led the band to come up with several live releases targeted mainly on the Japanese market.

In 1997, guitarist Gilbert left the band in order to go on a solo career and was replaced by Richie Kotzen. The band was then able to release Get Over It in 2000 and Actual Size in 2001 which had similar results with their previous two albums. Around this time, tensions have begun to brew between Billy Sheehan and Eric Martin which eventually led to the collapse of the band. But in order to fulfill their contractual obligations, the band set out on a farewell tour to Japan. The band eventually broke up in 2002.

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