Toto Hater Posts Jeff Porcaro Tribute

Vistalite Black

Ludwigs in the Basement
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
2,896
Reaction score
710
Location
North Carolina
I happened to hear “Africa” yesterday in a brewpub and was reminded how much I dislike that over-produced string-laden tune and its nonsensical lyrics.

However, I realized that such schmaltz has wide appeal on this forum, so i call attention to this recent tribute posted to Bestclassicbands.com:


The rhythmic genius of the late Toto founder & star session player mightily echoes

“I’ve been a drummer over many lifetimes. We all have. We are brothers in arms.”
Legendary rock drummer Jim Keltner, standing next to Jeff Porcaro as he said this, only nodded his head in agreement. I, a mere pup at age 19, stood agog. No other word for it.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to have witnessed the brilliance of Jeff’s drumming during his time here on Earth, before he died far too young in 1992 at 38 years old, can hardly refute the veracity of his claim. The man could flat out play drums. But for those who knew him, he was much more than that, impressive as that was.
Best known as the drummer in Toto, the multimillion selling, Grammy-winning and chart-topping band formed in 1977 around him and his keyboard playing brother Steve and their friends David Paich (also on keys) and Steve Lukather (guitar) – all friends from Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA – Jeff was born into a musical family. His father Joe was a noted Los Angeles studio musician; not so ironically, a drummer. But Jeff was already carving his own path at a young age by setting the Buddy Rich manual aside, preferring to put on the headphones and learn to play exactly what those classic drummers he grew up on played on so many hits, all to better understand the all-important role of a great drummer in creating magical music.
In this way he was able to perfectly understand pocket, the feel, why this fill did that, why that tacit (break in playing) allowed new expression – all of the ways we drummers help the singer tell their story while leading our merry band of musicians into uncharted territory. And therein was Jeff’s strength: the innate confidence in self to not only listen well, but lead people making thousands of dollars an hour wherever he commanded, which was, more times than not, a fun place to be. When Jeff sat down and lit into his drums you could literally feel the energy lift throughout the room. Very few drummers possess that skill, as it quite simply cannot be taught. Jeff had that life force in spades.

Jeff’s first big professional break was making $400.00 a week playing Las Vegas as a teen with Sonny & Cher. The first time the public at large heard Jeff was on the Top 10 Seals and Crofts single, He knew how to make them sound… great. Not good. Great. “Diamond Girl.” Then the whole world moved to his beats on the hugely popular Silk Degrees album by Boz Scaggs, who was backed on tour by the core of what became Toto. Jeff was soon drumming in studios around the clock with a who’s who list of contemporary talent. The recording world became his oyster.

Story continues with video and anecdotes from someone JP took under his wing.

 

Grooovepig

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
681
Reaction score
126
Man oh man. Jeffrey! Leaving this earth behind at the young age of 38. To have played on hundreds of tracks (and HITS!!!!) that feel SO good. I'm 49 and STILL trying and working on my feel, and it's still not half of what his was.

As Steve Lukather has said, "Jeff could polish a turd (with his playing)." There will only ever be one Jeff...
 

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
551
Location
Tennessee
So I read your post and see the link, but what do you think about Jeff VB? I known you dont like the song Aferica, but are you also saying you don't like Jeff's playing on anything or that you just don't like the song or style?
 

Piggpenn

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
679
Reaction score
80
Location
Eastern Iowa
I was so inspired by Jeff. I learned so much about groove and feel from emulating his songs.

I had the first band in my area that played, "Hold the Line." TOTO is by far one of my top 3 bands. Always has been, always will.

Anyone who doesn't appreciate Jeff and his playing isn't a drummer.
 

BennyK

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
14,183
Reaction score
1,152
I happened to hear “Africa” yesterday in a brewpub and was reminded how much I dislike that over-produced string-laden tune and its nonsensical lyrics.

However, I realized that such schmaltz has wide appeal on this forum, so i call attention to this recent tribute posted to Bestclassicbands.com:


The rhythmic genius of the late Toto founder & star session player mightily echoes

“I’ve been a drummer over many lifetimes. We all have. We are brothers in arms.”
Legendary rock drummer Jim Keltner, standing next to Jeff Porcaro as he said this, only nodded his head in agreement. I, a mere pup at age 19, stood agog. No other word for it.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to have witnessed the brilliance of Jeff’s drumming during his time here on Earth, before he died far too young in 1992 at 38 years old, can hardly refute the veracity of his claim. The man could flat out play drums. But for those who knew him, he was much more than that, impressive as that was.
Best known as the drummer in Toto, the multimillion selling, Grammy-winning and chart-topping band formed in 1977 around him and his keyboard playing brother Steve and their friends David Paich (also on keys) and Steve Lukather (guitar) – all friends from Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA – Jeff was born into a musical family. His father Joe was a noted Los Angeles studio musician; not so ironically, a drummer. But Jeff was already carving his own path at a young age by setting the Buddy Rich manual aside, preferring to put on the headphones and learn to play exactly what those classic drummers he grew up on played on so many hits, all to better understand the all-important role of a great drummer in creating magical music.
In this way he was able to perfectly understand pocket, the feel, why this fill did that, why that tacit (break in playing) allowed new expression – all of the ways we drummers help the singer tell their story while leading our merry band of musicians into uncharted territory. And therein was Jeff’s strength: the innate confidence in self to not only listen well, but lead people making thousands of dollars an hour wherever he commanded, which was, more times than not, a fun place to be. When Jeff sat down and lit into his drums you could literally feel the energy lift throughout the room. Very few drummers possess that skill, as it quite simply cannot be taught. Jeff had that life force in spades.

Jeff’s first big professional break was making $400.00 a week playing Las Vegas as a teen with Sonny & Cher. The first time the public at large heard Jeff was on the Top 10 Seals and Crofts single, He knew how to make them sound… great. Not good. Great. “Diamond Girl.” Then the whole world moved to his beats on the hugely popular Silk Degrees album by Boz Scaggs, who was backed on tour by the core of what became Toto. Jeff was soon drumming in studios around the clock with a who’s who list of contemporary talent. The recording world became his oyster.

Story continues with video and anecdotes from someone JP took under his wing.


Brewpubs, whadya expect ?
 

Vistalite Black

Ludwigs in the Basement
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
2,896
Reaction score
710
Location
North Carolina
So I read your post and see the link, but what do you think about Jeff VB? I known you dont like the song Aferica, but are you also saying you don't like Jeff's playing on anything or that you just don't like the song or style?
Generally, I don’t like stuff that’s lushly produced in the old LA style of Steely Dan, Toto, Boz Skaggs or the yacht rock spinoffs. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that those hitmakers have tremendous talent ... I just don’t want to sit around and listen to it long enough to appreciate any part of it. Just like I don’t like Brussels sprouts. I understand that people like them, but
I’ve sampled enough to know I never will.
I also find Toto fans have pretty thin skins. They love to lecture about all the other great bands Toto members are connected to, but I’m never sure why that would make me like Rosanna or Hold the Line.
 

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
551
Location
Tennessee
Generally, I don’t like stuff that’s lushly produced in the old LA style of Steely Dan, Toto, Boz Skaggs or the yacht rock spinoffs. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that those hitmakers have tremendous talent ... I just don’t want to sit around and listen to it long enough to appreciate any part of it. Just like I don’t like Brussels sprouts. I understand that people like them, but
I’ve sampled enough to know I never will.
I also find Toto fans have pretty thin skins. They love to lecture about all the other great bands Toto members are connected to, but I’m never sure why that would make me like Rosanna or Hold the Line.
I see what your saying and respect that completely. While I did like TOTO growing up , I was always a HUGE Porcaro fan. Jeff was 8 years older than me, so just the right age difference for me to look up to as I was developing into a better player in my teens. BUT (their always is one) I'm not the rabid TOTO fan that many others are myself. I thought they were fantastic musicians and I respect each and every one of them, but out of what, 20 albums? I maybe only ever owned 3 or 4 of them!

And to address the thin skin fan comment... preach it brother! My full time gig for at least the rest of the year (under contract) is what I feel may be one of the better TOTO tribute bands in America. And I quickly learned to keep my opinions to myself even among the shows ownership and management... they are BIG fans (as one would assume being that they launched the show in the first place). And we indeed do songs by other artist that they wrote and honestly, I like some of those tracks even better! As for Africa.... yep, the single most boring song in the show... and the one that the crowd comes to see, LOL!

Don't get me wrong, I am blessed to have this opportunity and it's been wonderful for me on so many ways. Yet even with my own gig, I still wonder what the appeal is at times. To musicians I understand, but their stuff (well save the a fore mentioned Africa) was often a little beyond the average fans normal listening depth. OK, Ive rattled enough, was just looking for clarification on your orgional statement as I was not understanding and just curious.

Signed big JP fan, OK Toto fan!
 
Last edited:

thejohnlec

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
247
Reaction score
145
Location
Ohio Valley
I'm not a rabid fan, but I do appreciate them. For me, Toto managed to strike a balance between great musicianship and accessible pop arrangements, kind of like when Yes released 90125. I appreciate Toto's hits for what they are, but have always gravitated toward the more unknown tunes that were usually more interesting musically. Gypsy Train, Jake To The Bone, Gift Of Faith, Dave's Gone Skiing, These Chains, Stay Away, Dying On My Feet, Fahrenheit, and Till The End are among those worth a listen.

I do agree that Toto fans have thin skin, probably because it's not cool to like them and they're afraid of what will be said to them or about them!

I did have the pleasure of seeing them live with Jeff, and I can honestly say that I've never seen another band that was as tight as they were, that displayed that level of musicianship.
 

dale w miller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
449
Reaction score
232
Location
Ocean, NJ
Generally, I don’t like stuff that’s lushly produced in the old LA style of Steely Dan, Toto, Boz Skaggs or the yacht rock spinoffs. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that those hitmakers have tremendous talent ... I just don’t want to sit around and listen to it long enough to appreciate any part of it. Just like I don’t like Brussels sprouts. I understand that people like them, but
I’ve sampled enough to know I never will.
I also find Toto fans have pretty thin skins. They love to lecture about all the other great bands Toto members are connected to, but I’m never sure why that would make me like Rosanna or Hold the Line.
Agree. Great players don’t necessarily make great bands. Bands like Toto and Steely Dan are prime examples of bands music school kids worship. I personally find them quite boring.

I have no idea who you’d exactly put in that category, but I love the term Yacht Rock.
 

Tmcfour

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
2,177
Reaction score
448
Location
Philadelphia
My favorite Toto stuff is the Dune Sound track. Which is amazing. I have very vivid memories of being carpooled to school in a friend's mom's white buick regal with the red velourish interior, her Mom with cigarette in her hand and singing off key to Rosanna and Africa. Just turned me off to the band as a whole from the get go. I too understand what fantastic musicians they are/were though. Just not my deal.
 

CC Cirillo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
48
Reaction score
64
I totally respect all the skilled members of that amazing band!
I just don’t gravitate to their music.
 

drummerbill

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
5,300
Reaction score
192
Location
NY-NJ Tri-state Area
Got turned onto this during the late 70s, from an older drummer from NJ's Yasgur's Farm that did a few Philly Soul sessions / hits while touring the eastern seaboard and sharing our shore house when home.
Sounds polished and simple, but listening to Jeff through a hi-rez system, you can tell he is doing the rockin' shoulder / tip hi hat move and killin' it like Bernard Purdy....IMHO !! ;-)
 

utdrummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
1,665
Reaction score
193
Location
Houston, Texas
My favorite Toto stuff is the Dune Sound track. Which is amazing. I have very vivid memories of being carpooled to school in a friend's mom's white buick regal with the red velourish interior, her Mom with cigarette in her hand and singing off key to Rosanna and Africa. Just turned me off to the band as a whole from the get go. I too understand what fantastic musicians they are/were though. Just not my deal.
Pics of your friends mom? I'm asking for a friend...
 

Hemant

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
1,529
Reaction score
72
Location
DC/Baltimore
I always enjoyed this one - live video for the most part. The guy could shuffle - and he really cut loose on this track.

 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,026
Reaction score
951
Location
South Jersey, USA
I always enjoyed this one - live video for the most part. The guy could shuffle - and he really cut loose on this track.

Sorry...lol...

That tune has everything I hate about Toto in one neat package.

Starting with the vocalist....with a special nod to his choice of shirt for the video....lol.

Like listening and watching Boy Scouts "rock"....lol.
 

Grooovepig

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
681
Reaction score
126
Sorry...lol...

That tune has everything I hate about Toto in one neat package.

Starting with the vocalist....with a special nod to his choice of shirt for the video....lol.

Like listening and watching Boy Scouts "rock"....lol.
I agree. Wickedly talented musicians, singers, and song writers playing on top of a ferocious fast-tempo Porcaro shuffle does nothing for me either. Insert eye roll...
 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,026
Reaction score
951
Location
South Jersey, USA
I agree. Wickedly talented musicians, singers, and song writers playing on top of a ferocious fast-tempo Porcaro shuffle does nothing for me either. Insert eye roll...
"Hey guys....we need a new song....Jeff why don't you play your "ferocious fast shuffle" and we'll take it from there..."

"But haven't we done that before.....a few times...?"

:roll:

:p

(Totally agree with your assessment of the musicianship. Disagree with your assessment of the songwriting and vocals lol. Thankfully there are many flavors of music to pick from.... )
 
Last edited:

Grooovepig

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
681
Reaction score
126
At least we can both have a laugh over the things we disagree about. I understand these cats music isn't for everyone.
 

Latest posts



Top