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
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
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.