Jeff Porcaro

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Julia Stoff

" Our love
doesn't end here
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On the
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prasa > Concert review, , grudzień, 1992

Concert review: Jeff Porcaro tribute, Los Angeles, December 1992

Cashbox / Randy Clark

Legendary drummer Jeff Porcaro was honored last week in a 3 1/2 hour, star- studded tribute held at the Universal Amphitheatre with proceeds from the event to benefit surviving family members and help set up an education fund for his three young sons, Christopher, Miles and Nico. Porcaro died unexpectedly of a heart attack on August 5, 1992 at his home in Southern California.
The audience was filled with musicians and admirers of Porcaro's vast work as one of the indutry's most in-demand studio musicians as well as a founding member of the multi-award-winning, rock/fusion group Toto.
I couldn't help but think as the show went on, this was one gig Porcaro would have given anything to play himself, not only to back up his group (who fronted the entire show) one last time, but to jam alongside the stars who showed up to pay their respects.
First of the guest stars to appear was Michael McDonald (who has lent his voice to a Toto project or two) singing his hits "I Keep Forgettin;" and "Takin' It To The Streets" with David crosby singing backup. Next out was Donald Fagen of Steely Dan (with whom Porcaro played) making a rare appearance to an appreciative crowd.
Boz Scaggs was also on hand to perform "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" from his 1976 smash Silk Degrees album. Don Henley offered up his "Dirty Laundry" and a brow- furrowing rendition of "Come Rain Or Come Shine." (Don't ask, I don't know why he chose that one either.) Joining Toto frontman and lead guitarist Steve Lukather for a dueling ax version of Jimi Hendrix's "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire" was the always happy Eddie Van Halen who managed to raise the stage volume to near ear-splitting levels, and stayed on stage to accompany Toto on their first hit, "Hold The Line."
Other Toto hits performed naturally included "Rosanna," "Africa," and "I'll Be Over You." Considering Porcaro's death came after a commitment to tour the Far East, this tribute was sadly, but befittingly rumored to be the last official Toto concert. Filling in for Jeff on drums was Simon Phillips who had to feel almost as strange sitting in that seat as I did watching this show, seated right behind Porcaro's wife and kids.
The show was capped off with special guest George Harrison joining in on guitar for a line-swapping, Joe Cocker arrangement of "A Little Help From My Friends" between Lukather, Scaggs, Henley, McDonald and Crosby, with the entire crowd on their feet.
Yeah, it was a bang-up show that ol' Jeff must have looked down on with a face filled with smiles and tears. Being a great talent and dying at a young age is sad enough, but much worse is how it affects those left behind who loved him personally. Even though for most, this was to be a celebration of his outstanding career, for me, seeing his widowed wife Susan and young sons watch the show during this holiday season gave a more serious perspective to the evening's tribute, that really only scratched the surface of just how tragic his passing truly was. May God bless the Porcaro family.