David Hungate pondering retirement after long-awaited Toto reunion: ‘I can end with you guys’

David Hungate, who served as Toto’s original bassist during the height of its commercial successes between 1977-82, is returning for a series of U.S. dates with the group — a fond farewell, guitarist Steve Lukather says, before he retires for good.

Long-time fans will remember Hungate from every Toto album through their blockbuster 1982 release Toto IV. Hungate then left to establish his own career as a respected Nashville-based sessions musician. He was replaced by Mike Porcaro, who was later stricken with ALS. Hungate now steps in for the solo-bound Nathan East, with Toto since 2010.

“David’s gonna retire after this ’cause he’s a little older than us,” Lukather tells Jeff Giles of Ultimate Classic Rock. “He said, ‘I started with you guys and I can end with you guys, this is perfect for me and we’ll have a lot of laughs.'”

Their reunion tour, featuring Michael McDonald as a co-headliner, will take place in August and September. After that, don’t be surprised if Lukather tries to talk Hungate out of retiring.

“Well, it’s his choice,” Lukather says. “I may try and talk him into staying; we’ll see how it goes. He’s a sweet man. He still plays great. I just don’t know if he wants to go on the road for two years. Whereas I wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning, and I come out playing. I’m like, ‘Let’s f—in’ do this.'”

Meanwhile, Toto is continuing work on its long-awaited upcoming studio effort, using several different bass players — including Tal Wilkenfeld, Lee Sklar and even Lukather himself on a new song called “Great Expectations.” Sklar toured in Mike Porcaro’s place with Toto in 2007-08. Both Wilkenfield and Sklar appeared on Lukather’s most recent solo effort.

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