Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 27
Meet them all the wayToto is set to perform at Chumash Casino
BY SHELLY CONE
On the eve of the 35th anniversary of its debut album, Toto has embarked on a worldwide tour with three California performances, kicking off with a show at Chumash Casino.
The band became a household name with songs like “Africa,” “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna,” “I Won’t Hold You Back,” and “I’ll Be Over You.” Formed in 1977, the band has produced 17 albums with worldwide sales topping 35 million copies. In 1978 the band earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and with the release of the album TOTO IV, the band became the first artist in history to win six Grammy awards for one album.
The dynamic that created those hits hasn’t changed much. Toto’s own Steve Lukather said the bandmembers are still comfortable in their own skin and honored to be called a classic rock group.
“Everybody’s grown up since then, the music sounds better than ever, and we went out and decided instead of reinventing the wheel, we’d stay true to the concept of the band,” Lukather said.
“Playing with my old high school buddies was the best thing ever,” he added. “It’s really a groove to look across the stage and see these people I’ve known since I was 15 years old.”
The band’s current lineup includes Lukather (guitars and vocals); David Paich (keyboards and vocals); Steve Porcaro (keyboards and vocals); Simon Phillips (drums); Joseph Williams (lead vocals); and special guest Nathan East (bass).
Since its 2010 reunion, the band has performed throughout Europe and Japan, with many of the shows serving as benefits to honor friend and brother Mike Porcaro who was recently diagnosed with ALS.
Individually, band members have been busy on other projects. Keyboardist and Musicians Hall of Famer David Paich recently signed a worldwide publishing deal with the independent Spirit Music Group for his solo work as a songwriter, arranger, and session musician for a variety of artists. He also worked with Tommy LiPuma on musical direction for the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year event honoring Sir Paul McCartney.
Lukather recently joined Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band—something he considers a highlight of his career. Performing with Starr marks the third Beatle Lukather has played with, having previously performed with McCartney and George Harrison.
“He’s a wonderful man, he’s my friend, he texts me,” Lukather said
Lukather said there are many other moments that rank that high as well. He said just having his name associated with so many projects and songs that are a big part of pop culture is rewarding—even when that means being the butt of the joke on shows like American Dad or South Park, which has happened. As long as it’s in good fun, he added.
“It’s great,” he said. “You’re a permanent part of pop culture.”
Toto fans will get to enjoy the band’s 35 years of being in pop culture when it performs at Chumash Casino Sept. 13. Lukather promised true fans won’t be disappointed.
“We’re digging into our trick bag, and we’ll pull out some deep cuts,” he said. “Casual fans love our big hits, but the people who really dig us will be flipping out on some of those album cuts.”
It’s gonna take a lot to drag Arts Editor Shelly Cone away from you. Contact her at email@example.com.
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