Mike Porcaro

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Mike Porcaro
Mike Porcaro with bass guitar.jpg
Porcaro in Germany, 2005
Background information
Born(1955-05-29)May 29, 1955
South Windsor, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedMarch 15, 2015(2015-03-15) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
Instruments
Years active1971–2007
Associated acts

Michael Joseph Porcaro (May 29, 1955 – March 15, 2015) was an American bass player known for his work with Toto. [1] He retired from touring in 2007 as a result of being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Bass guitar Electric bass instrument

The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings or courses.

Toto (band) American rock band

Toto is an American rock band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles. The band's current lineup consists of Joseph Williams, David Paich, Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Steve Lukather, plus touring members Lenny Castro (percussion), Warren Ham (saxophone), Shem von Schroeck (bass) and Shannon Forrest (drums). Toto is known for a musical style that combines elements of pop, rock, soul, funk, progressive rock, hard rock, R&B, blues, and jazz.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscular paralysis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a specific disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. It may begin with weakness in the arms or legs, or with difficulty speaking or swallowing. About half of people develop at least mild difficulties with thinking and behavior and most people experience pain. Most eventually lose the ability to walk, use their hands, speak, swallow, and breathe.

Contents

He was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro. Their father is jazz drummer-percussionist Joe Porcaro.

Jeff Porcaro American drummer

Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer. In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Porcaro was best known for his work with the rock band Toto. Porcaro is one of the most recorded session musicians in history, working on hundreds of albums and thousands of sessions. While already an established studio player in the 1970s, he came to prominence in the United States as the drummer on the Steely Dan album Katy Lied. AllMusic has characterized him as "arguably the most highly regarded studio drummer in rock from the mid-'70s to the early '90s", further stating that "It is no exaggeration to say that the sound of mainstream pop/rock drumming in the 1980s was, to a large extent, the sound of Jeff Porcaro." He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1993.

Steve Porcaro American keyboardist and composer

Steven Maxwell Porcaro is an American keyboardist, songwriter and original member of the rock band Toto. He is also the sole surviving Porcaro brother with his brothers Jeff and Mike having died in 1992 and 2015 respectively.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

Early life

Mike Porcaro is the second of the three Porcaro brothers. The three brothers were taught drums by their father at his drum shop every weekend. Jeff said that he himself wasn't the best drummer, adding that Mike was a better player than him before he switched to bass, while Steve later took up piano before they moved to California.[ citation needed ] Jeff explained that when the brothers took guitar lessons, Mike took off at the instrument while Jeff gave up after three lessons, and since the family had only one drum kit and one bass, Mike was assigned the bass. [2]

Career

Porcaro worked as a session bass player before replacing Toto original bass player David Hungate in 1982 shortly after the band completed recording the Toto IV album. Porcaro played cello on a track for the album and subsequently appeared in the band's videos and performed as a full band member on the world tour in support of the album. He remained with the band until 2007.[ citation needed ]

David Hungate American musician

William David Hungate is a bass guitarist, producer, and arranger noted as a member of Los Angeles pop-rock band Toto from 1977 to 1982 and rejoining in 2014. Along with most of his Toto bandmates, Hungate did sessions on a number of hit albums of the 1970s, including Boz Scaggs's Silk Degrees and Alice Cooper's From the Inside.

<i>Toto IV</i> 1982 studio album by Toto

Toto IV is the fourth studio album by American rock band Toto released in the spring of 1982 by Columbia Records.

Along with Toto, Porcaro played numerous sessions in Los Angeles, and toured with Michael Franks on his first tour. He then toured with Seals and Crofts, Larry Carlton, and Boz Scaggs. He appears in the video for the song "JoJo" by Scaggs. In Flames bass player Peter Iwers said that his bass playing style was influenced by Porcaro. [3]

Michael Franks is an American jazz singer and songwriter, considered a leader of the quiet storm movement. He has recorded with a variety of well-known artists, such as Patti Austin, Art Garfunkel, Brenda Russell, Claus Ogerman, and David Sanborn. His songs have been recorded by Shirley Bassey, The Carpenters, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, Patti LaBelle, Lyle Lovett, The Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae and Ringo Starr.

Seals and Crofts American band

Seals and Crofts were an American soft rock duo made up of James "Jim" Seals and Darrell "Dash" Crofts. They are best known for their Hot 100 No. 6 hits "Summer Breeze" (1972), "Diamond Girl" (1973), and "Get Closer" (1976). Both members have long been public advocates of the Bahá'í Faith. The duo disbanded in 1980. They reunited briefly in 1991–1992 and again in 2004, when they released their final album, Traces.

Larry Carlton American musician

Larry Eugene Carlton is an American guitarist who built his career as a studio musician in the 1970s and '80s for acts such as Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. He has participated in thousands of recording sessions, recorded on hundreds of albums in many genres, for television and movies, and on more than 100 gold records. He has been a member of the jazz fusion groups The Crusaders and Fourplay and has maintained a long solo career.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and death

Porcaro stopped performing with Toto in 2007 after experiencing a growing weakness in his fingers that was making it increasingly difficult for him to play. He was replaced by Leland Sklar for the remainder of the tour and Toto disbanded in 2008. [4] In February 2010, it was announced via official press release that Mike Porcaro was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)–a terminal illness that causes the degeneration and death of the motor neurons that control the voluntary muscles of the body–and that former band members of Toto, including Steve Porcaro, would reform and do a short tour through Europe in support of him in the summer of 2010. [5] The regrouped Toto continued to tour and perform for Mike's benefit during 2011. [6]

In September 2012, it was reported in Classic Rock magazine that he was doing as well as could be expected with his disease, but he was in a wheelchair as the disease was progressing. [7]

Porcaro died at his Los Angeles home on March 15, 2015, at the age of 59, from complications of ALS. [8] He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. [9]

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References

  1. "Toto History". Toto . Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  2. Hot Rocks: The Toto Story (LP). United Stations Programming Network. May 6, 1988. Event occurs at 35:00.
  3. "IN FLAMES | Interviews | Rockdetector". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  4. "Official TOTO Website - Leland Sklar". Toto99.com. 1947-05-28. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  5. "Official TOTO Website - Hot News". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  6. "Official TOTO Website - Leland Sklar". Toto99.com. 1955-12-08. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  7. Kielty, Martin (September 13, 2012). "Toto's Mike Porcaro 'hanging in there'". Classic Rock . ISSN   1464-7834.
  8. "Mike Porcaro, Bass Player for Toto, Dies at 59". The New York Times . Associated Press. 16 March 2015. p. A24.
  9. "Mike Porcaro: the groove master". Accordo. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 2018-09-15.