Toto, “Stay Away” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

Toto’s “Stay Away” would have been just another standard rocker on an album by any other AOR band.

On 1988’s The Seventh One, however, the song is elevated by the fiery interplay between Steve Lukather and special guest David Lindley.

Lindley’s lap steel guitar is well known from his playing with many of the elite California bands. Try listening to Jackson Browne’s “That Girl Could Sing” or “Running on Empty” and not be impressed. In the late ’80s, Lindley was working on what turned out to be his last major label album, Very Greasy. The album was produced by his cousin, Linda Ronstadt. Given Ronstadt’s musical relationship with producers George Massenburg and Billy Payne, it’s no surprise Lindley made an appearance next on the song and Ronstadt contributed her distinctive vocals.

With two of the finest guitarist in the world on one song, there could be too much of a good thing but the contrasting interplay of Steve Lukather’s stellar lead, solo and melodic work with David Lindley’s lap steel playing makes for an inviting foundation to Joseph Williams’ strong lead vocal.

The song is an oddity in the Toto canon, as its the only song with a guest guitarist (though David Hungate added a guitar part here and there to earlier tracks) but that just makes “Stay Away” more endearing.


Toto Tuesdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the rich musical history of Toto. The group returned with ‘Toto XIV’ in 2015, their first album in nearly a decade.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier