Hector Juan Samuel Torres was born on October 7, 1953, in New York, and brought up in the Colonia section of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. His parents, Emma and Héctor, emigrated from Cuba in 1948. Torres attended John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Iselin.
Torres was a jazz fan as a youth and studied music with Joe Morello. In 1969, he played drums for the psychedelic rock band Six Feet Under. Before joining Bon Jovi in 1983, Torres had already played live with Joe Cerisano’s R-Band aka Silver Condor in the New Jersey Rock circuit, and in the studio with Franke and the Knockouts, Pat Benatar, Chuck Berry, Cher, Alice Cooper and Stevie Nicks, recording a total of 26 albums with these artists. Torres was also one of the drummers auditioned by Kiss in 1980 after original drummer Peter Criss left the band.
Torres was the original drummer for the glam rock band T. Roth and Another Pretty Face and played on their 1980 album Face Facts.
Torres met Alec John Such while playing with a band called Phantom’s Opera and it was this friendship which led to him joining Bon Jovi. When Jon Bon Jovi, the lead singer of the band, approached Torres, he was put off by the fact that Jon was 9 years younger than himself. He said it was Jon’s charismatic appearance and watching him perform that attracted him to join the band.
Torres is primarily a drummer and percussionist, but he sang lead vocals on a song on the box set 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong, as well as backing vocals on a couple of the early Bon Jovi tracks, notably “Born to Be My Baby” and “Love for Sale”.