The Classic Tribute Concert From 1992 To The Late Toto Drummer Jeff Porcaro, legendary session drummer and Toto skinsman for many years, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on 5th August 1992 at his home in Southern California.
On 14th December the same year, Jeff s surviving band mates (which included his brothers Jeff and Mike Porcaro, Mike passed on in 2015) performed at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles alongside a host of music giants who had gathered to pay their respects to the talent, versatility and downright human decency of a man who had performed alongside the great and the good during his career, which had been so sadly cut short while the master musician was in his prime.
The audience was filled with musicians too, as well as admirers from all of Porcaro’s vast work as one of the industry s most in-demand studio musicians, and as a founding member of the multi award-winning Toto.
First of the guest stars to appear was Michael McDonald (who has lent his voice to a Toto project or two) with David Crosby singing backup. Next out was Donald Fagen of Steely Dan (with whom Porcaro had played regularly) making a rare appearance to an appreciative crowd.
Boz Scaggs was also on hand to perform Lowdown and Lido Shuffle from his 1976 smash Silk Degrees album, while Don Henley offered up his Dirty Laundry. Joining Toto frontman and lead guitarist Steve Lukather for a duelling axe version of Jimi Hendrix’s Fire was Eddie Van Halen who managed to raise the stage volume to near ear-splitting levels, and stayed on to accompany Toto on their first hit Hold The Line.
Other Toto hits performed naturally included Rosanna , Africa, and I’ll Be Over You . Considering Porcaro’s death came after a commitment to tour the Far East, this tribute was sadly, but befittingly, rumoured to be the last official Toto concert. This, thankfully, was not the case of course, as the band continue to perform and record to this day Filling in for Jeff on drums was Simon Phillips who had to feel somewhat strange sitting in that coveted seat.
The show was capped off with special guest George Harrison joining in on guitar for a line-swapping, Joe Cocker arrangement of With A Little Help From My Friends between Lukather, Scaggs, Henley, McDonald and Crosby, with the entire crowd on their feet. This entire tribute concert is now available on this double CD set, which reveals a show as emotionally charged as it was brilliantly conducted, and which will surely remain a rare delight for fans of Jeff Porcaro, Toto and the host of legends who devoted their time to say one last goodbye.
Label: Left Field Media 2017
Tracks: CD1: Gypsy Train, Childs Anthem, I´ll Supply The Love, I´ll Be Over You, I Keep Forgettin´, Takin´It To The Streets, Georgy Porgy, If It´s The Last Night, Angela, I Won´t Hold You Back, Don´t Stop Me Now, Africa, Percussion Solo.Chain Lightning, Josie, Little Wing & Kingdom Of Desire. CD2: Low Down, Lido Shuffle, Angel Don´t Cry, Don´t Chain My Heart, Rosanna, Dirty Laundry, You Better Hang Up, Come Rain Or Come Shine, Fire, Ain´t Talkin´Bout Love, Hold The Line, & With A Little Help From My Friends.
Musicians on the Jeff Porcaro Tribute Concert album: Steve Lukather, David Paich, Mike Porcaro, Simon Phillips, Chris Trujillo, Jenny Douglas-McRae, Donna McDaniels, John Jessel James, Lenny Castro, Michael McDonald, David Crosby, Denny Dias, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Don Henley, Eddie Van Halen and others.