Steve Lukather on what the Porcaros have meant to Toto: ‘That’s the hard part, watching brothers go down’

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Steve Lukather talks about the crushing loss of Jeff and Mike Porcaro as band mates in Toto, saying the returning presence of their brother Steve Porcaro eases the pain.

Bassist Mike, who’s now battling ALS, last performed on 2006’s Falling in Between. Toto, which was co-founded by Lukather, David Paich, the Porcaros and others in 1976, hasn’t returned to the recording studio since.

“That was a really good record,” an emotional Lukather remembers in this video, “but it was the last record that Mike Porcaro is ever going to make. That’s the hard part, watching brothers go down, who deserve to be sitting right here next to me — and who were for so many decades. Now, they’re unable to do so, or they are in the next world.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: David Paich talks about the lesser-known goodies Toto is pulling out for its on-going 2013 world tour, and remembers a few treasured career moments.]

Drummer Jeff Porcaro passed after making Toto’s 1993 release Kingdom of Desire. “That’s two records where, for two of my brothers in the Porcaro family, those were the last records they’re ever going to make,” Lukather says. “There’s a great deal of sadness to that.”

Mike Porcaro has been replaced for Toto’s on-going tour by Nathan East. Steve Porcaro, meanwhile, played keyboards for Toto from 1976-87, and returned in 2010 — after Mike’s diagnosis. Simon Phillips has been drummer for Toto since 1992, when Jeff died.

Toto will begin a rare U.S. swing on August 14, 2013. Proceeds from these shows benefit Mike and his family.

“Maybe Jeff’s looking down going, ‘Don’t worry, man. It’s all going to be cool,'” Lukather adds. “I carry him with me, right here, all the time. It’s cruel what’s happened to Mike, and really hard on his family. So, that’s why having Stevie with me really means a lot. There’s only a handful of us that know, really, what it feels like to be part of our little thing.”

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