Toto bassist Mike Porcaro has died from ALS. He was only 59.
Toto recorded slick (some would say soulless), radio friendly Pop music that went over well during the slick (some would say soulless) 1980s. I have to say I was never much of a fan of their music; their biggest hits “Africa” didn’t make any sense to me, and “Rosanna” never connected with me at all. I did like “Hold the Line,” although it’s really a generic song that could’ve been by almost anyone from that time. My favorite by them is probably the worst one, artistically speaking. It was one of the last hits I remember them having before they slipped into relative obscurity and disbanded. “I’ll Be Over You” is pure schmaltz, all gloss and very little substance. But it seems sincere, if a little clichéd. Diabetics should proceed with caution.
Doing a little research for this post, I found out that Toto was something of a brother act. There were three Porcaro boys playing in the band, including the late session man Jeff Porcaro. (I’m also a little ashamed to note that I didn’t recall that Jeff had died back in 1992.) I imagine it must have been fun for these brothers to work together. Of course, that’s an assumption I’m making since Toto has never turned up on my Quarreling Brothers list of bands; there don’t seem to be any Kinks-style blow ups here.
It’s tragic that Mike Porcaro died so young from such a horrible disease. ALS research got a huge bump last year when the ice bucket challenge went viral, so I hope the research that comes from that will help prevent anymore people from suffering this way. Here’s a link to the ALS Association homepage, in case you’re in a position to contribute.