Toto’s Steve Lukather furiously defends Jeff Porcaro: ‘Does anybody ever do any homework?

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Toto was preparing for its first major U.S. tour in a decade when the anniversary of Jeff Porcaro rolled around again. Incredibly, it’s been 21 years since Steve Lukather and Co. said goodbye to their founding drummer.

“I spoke to him the day he passed — for a long time, actually,” Lukather says in this clip. “He was like: ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll see you this weekend. We’re going to have a barbecue at the house, so I’m going to go clean up the yard. That’s when he got the poison on himself.”

The 38-year-old legend, a veteran of countless sessions, would be rushed to the hospital after applying insecticide at his home, but Porcaro’s heart stopped.

A report from the L.A. Times argued that on-going cocaine use made Porcaro susceptible to a heart attack. But Lukather and the rest of the band have consistently offered a family connection to heart disease, something they say made Porcaro unable to fight off an allergic reaction to the spray.

“Turns out, he had a bad heart,” Lukather says. “He had two uncles who died when they were 40 years old from heart disease. It’s genetic. This whole drug thing that came out, it’s so insidious and I fucking hate that. Because he was never the bad drug guy; he was the least of all of us back in that era. He was the guy saying: ‘What are you guys doing staying up all night? You idiots.’ In the late 1970s, early 1980s, it was crazy. I’m not going to deny any of it. People just love to run with the dirty laundry, but does anybody ever do any homework? The internet is full of shit, most of the time.”

October 14, 2013 also marked the 35th anniversary since Toto released its first album. Up next: A tour document from their most recent concerts. Lukather, David Paich and Joseph Williams oversaw the completion of mixes for the DVD earlier this month.

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