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Steven Maxwell Porcaro (born September 2, 1957) is an American keyboardist, songwriter and original member of the rock band Toto.[1] He is also the sole surviving Porcaro brother with his brothers Jeff and Mike having died in 1992 and 2015, respectively. Porcaro has also done session musician work for many other acts, including Yes (on Union and Open Your Eyes) and Jefferson Airplane (on their self-titled 1989 reunion album). He was also a member of Chris Squire's short lived band, The Chris Squire Experiment, in 1992.

Steve Porcaro
Joseph Williams and Steve Porcaro Orebro Sweden 2013.jpg
Steve Porcaro (right) at Toto's 35th Anniversary Tour in Örebro, Sweden July 3, 2013
Background information
Birth nameSteven Maxwell Porcaro
Born (1957-09-02) September 2, 1957 (age 61)
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation(s)
Instruments
Years active1977–present
Associated acts
Websitesteveporcaromusic.com

Contents

BiographyEdit

Just like his brothers Jeff and Mike, Steve Porcaro started out as a drummer under the tutelage of his father Joe Porcaro, before taking up piano. In 1967, his father bought him an organ made by Rheem, a company that specializes in heating and air conditioning. Soon after, he brought his father down to a Guitar Center to trade in the keyboard for a Farfisa with a Leslie 147 and preamp, which Porcaro called his "first real rig".[2]

Porcaro's touring career began playing with Gary Wright during his tour in 1977, supporting the latter's The Dream Weaver album. Porcaro and the other original members of Toto then played with Boz Scaggs before forming Toto.[3]

Porcaro wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of Toto's first six albums, with the exception of Isolation. His two older brothers Mike and Jeff were Toto's bassist and drummer as well as session musicians while his father Joe is a prolific session percussionist.

Unlike most of his Toto bandmates, he generally did not contribute lead or even backing vocals; he considered himself a weak singer, and sang lead on two of his earlier compositions only because he felt that the vocal styles of his bandmates, with the exception of Joseph Williams, were not appropriate for his songs.[4] The song "Rosanna" was inspired by Porcaro's girlfriend at the time, Rosanna Arquette.[5]

He left Toto in 1987 after the Fahrenheit album in order to pursue a more full-time songwriting and composing career. However, Porcaro continued working with Toto in various supporting capacities, assisting with keyboards, drum looping, synthesizers and arranging/composing.

Porcaro composed the music for the song "Human Nature" and produced the synthesizer for "The Girl Is Mine" from Michael Jackson's album Thriller, as well as playing synthesizer and keyboard on "Stranger in Moscow" from Jackson's HIStory album.

Steve Porcaro is currently working on film scores. He composed the music for the FX television show Justified, among many other projects.

He collaborated with his daughter Heather Porcaro on her debut album, The Heartstring Symphony, released in 2009. Heather was featured in Paper (magazine)'s "Most Beautiful People" issue in 2002.[6]

Porcaro returned to play with Toto at live performances since 2010, when they decided to reform the band and tour in Europe to support Mike Porcaro. They scheduled further concerts in Europe.[7] Porcaro performed on the band's 2015 studio album Toto XIV, co-writing and singing lead on 'The Little Things' and writing/singing lead on the Japan-only bonus cut, "Bend."

Someday/SomehowEdit

Steve released his first ever solo album on June 10, 2016. Someday/Somehow was co-written/produced by Michael Sherwood, former member of the band Lodgic.

The album contains 13 songs, one of which reunites Steve with his late brothers Mike and Jeff Porcaro, from recordings made prior to their passing.

With contributions from Michael McDonald, Jamie Kimmett, Michael Sherwood, Mabvuto Carpenter, Marc Bonilla, Steve Lukather, Lenny Castro, Shannon Forrest,[8] Jeff Porcaro and Mike Porcaro;[9]

EquipmentEdit

Steve Porcaro played a huge variety of synthesizers on Toto albums. While David Paich handled piano duties, it was usually Steve's job to complement the music with creative synth sounds. He was known to use Yamaha GS1, Yamaha DX1, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha CS-80, Roland Jupiter-8, Minimoog, Oberheim Xpander, Polyfusion Modular, Dynacord Add-one and Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizers among others. The synth solo in the Toto song Rosanna is a noted example of his approach.[10]

Nowadays he prefers working with software synthesizers. Onstage he is using two Yamaha's, a Montage 8 and a Yamaha Motif XF7 to drive his Apple Mainstage based virtual synth rig,[11] which draws samples from Logic’s ES2 plug-in and Spitfire Audio libraries among others.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Biography: Steve Porcaro". AMG. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Kovarsky, Jerry (July 13, 2015). "TOTO: The Synth Statesmen of Progressive Pop Return". Keyboard. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Steve Porcaro. "Steve Porcaro – Official Website of the TOTO Founding Member". Steveporcaromusic.com. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Lea", Toto99.com. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  5. ^ "Toto: The Story Behind Rosanna (2017, with Dutch subtitles) Top 2000".
  6. ^ "Beautiful People 2002: Heather Porcaro". PAPER. April 1, 2002. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Toto99.com
  8. ^ "Toto's Steve Porcaro to release first solo album - Classic Rock". Teamrock.com. April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  9. ^ Steve Porcaro. "Steve Porcaro – Official Website of the TOTO Founding Member". Steveporcaromusic.com. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  10. ^ "Toto99.com". Toto99.com. April 30, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Musinq.com". Musinq.com. January 12, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2017.

External linksEdit