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Steve Lukather

Best known as the guitarist for early MTV-era hitmakers Toto, Steve Lukather remains one of the world's top session men, having played on well over a hundred recordings by a wide variety of artists over the years. Born in Los Angeles, CA, on October 21, 1957, Lukather discovered rock music the way just about every single other young U.S. citizen did during the '60s -- via the Beatles. Starting off as a drummer and keyboardist, it wasn't until his father purchased Lukather a guitar that he found his true musical calling. At first self-taught, Lukather eventually sought the help of older guitar-playing classmates, as well as a formal teacher, which led to an interest in becoming a session guitarist (courtesy of drummer Jeff Porcaro and keyboardist Steve Porcaro, both of whom attended the same high school as Lukather). Right around the time Lukather turned 20, the guitarist was invited to join the Porcaro brothers in a pop/rock band comprised primarily of studio musicians, Toto (which also featured singer Bobby Kimball, bassist David Hungate, and keyboardist/singer David Paich). While Lukather would join the band, he also managed to maintain his busy session schedule, playing on albums by Leo Sayer, Boz Scaggs, Alice Cooper, Barbra Steisand, the Pointer Sisters, Cher, and Cheap Trick during the late '70s. Specializing in the same mainstream radio rock sounds as Foreigner and Journey, Toto scored a hit right off the bat with their debut album, 1978's Toto, which cracked the U.S. Top Ten, as did one of its singles, "Hold the Line." Despite the immediate commercial success, many critics gave Toto the tag of being a "faceless slick band," and it appeared as though it was a fitting description, as Toto's next two releases, 1979's Hydra and 1981's Turn Back, failed to match the artistic and commercial success of their hit debut. Just as it appeared as though Toto would continue their slide off the charts, the group issued one of 1982's biggest albums, the Grammy Award-winning Toto IV, a Top Five album that spawned such monster hits as "Rosanna" (number two) and "Africa" (number one), as well as a single that Lukather penned entirely himself, "I Won't Hold You Back" (number ten). The same year, most of Toto was invited to play on Michael Jackson's Thriller, one of the biggest-selling albums in pop music history. As a result, session work poured in for Lukather, as he played on '80s-era recordings by Elton John, Herb Alpert, Warren Zevon, Chicago, Lionel Richie, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Diamond, among countless others. Toto continued to issue albums on a semi-regular basis, but after deciding to part ways with singer Kimball after Toto IV, the group was unable to sustain their success. Despite juggling his busy schedule between session dates and Toto, Lukather managed to also launch a solo career during the late '80s, with the release of his 1989 debut, Lukather. Further solo releases followed (1994's Candyman, 1997's Luke, 2001's Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Larry Carlton, No Substitutions, and 2003's Santamental), as did further sessions (Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Spinal Tap, Van Halen, and the Yardbirds). ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

This guy always amazes me. Perfection at its best
nice job
this is a JEFF BECK tune
I seen total in concert three times I met Steve Lukather in 2007 in Lake Tahoe and seen them warm up before the night's concert by myself got Greg phillinganes Bobby Kimball and Steve's autograph and pictures he is without a doubt the best guitarist I even kissed his hand when I met him nothing gay about it it was awesome
Wonderful tone. Slick stuff.
Bad-a** guitaristg
hey finish the bio, SL is playing some great stuff to this day.
Eric Valentine, who plays those awesome drum tracks is a personal friend of mine. He's an amazing musician in his own right!
hodgdons7
Thought was a rare Jeff Beck track. NICE! I'll take Pandora over lame FM radio ANY day!!
I grew up with Steve. Our neighborhood nickname for him was loogy. We went to the same schools all the way through high school. In Rio Vista Elementary 6th grade, he formed probably his first band. I believe I remember it was Blueberry Waterfall. That was a crap load of a long time ago; decades (1969). He was always the cocky class clown. We grew up in a neighborhood where a disproportio n a l amount of kids grew up to be in the Music or the Picture business. Steve, Sal says a big hello.
hodgdons7
EXCELLENT live cover of The Pump!!!!
Like guitar solo on hold the line
Saw him play with Ringo Starr's All-Star band earlier this month. Awsome guitar player!
bad #$%^&.smokin g .
veryprouddad o f 2
Luke is the Best of the Best!! One of the most respected musicians ever!
jvalenta39
Luke is my all-around fave. Vocals, guitars, lyrics, performance, cool family guy, producer, and the list goes on and on. Check out the later Toto stuff like Tambu, Kingdom of Desire, etc. where he also shines. The live DVD done in Amsterdam for Toto's 25th anniversary is the best!
waynek007
love the playing of 'the pump' from jeff beck...wow, brilliant
Brilliant Guitar player and a GROOVY Cat!
@Centered in Stereo: that video was pretty cool. Santana's yellow pants are hilarious. But Beck totally blew me away with his little solo part. Dude is a friggin genius.
Check him out on direct TV from a show in Paris a few years back-cool to see a session guitarist get to hog the spotlight. heh heh heh
Nice very great mucision!
If you want to rate Lukather then i would suggest to those that aren't familiar with him to take a look at his long career.

He is a vastly underrated guitarist who chose to focus on his session work rather than his popularity. He can trade licks with most any of the over hyped "shredders", yet he has a vast ensemble of jazz, rock, and fusion riffs that show his enormous range.

I personally like his earlier stuff though. His latest attempts seem a bit unfocused to me.
There is a video of him playing with Santana and Jeff Beck. During his extremely long, in fact too long of a solo. Jeff and Santana are looking from each other then towards him, almost trying to get his attention to tell him to stop playing. Pretty damn funny.
http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = 6 n L d h X Z b _ z 4
I have heard of Toto but not this particular musician-Ste v e Lukather. Very good guitarist and writer. Toto was not my style of music but SL is very respected musician.
yes his playing has a whole other side too it compared to the work he has done with toto.
long, drawnout, and boring!
sr71bbgb
Steve Lukather remains my favorite musician along with my other biggest influence (Jeff Porcaro). Guitarist, songwriter, Singer, Producer, You name it and Steve's done it and continues to amaze. I wrote a quick piece on Luke's web site where He actually walked in to a jersey club where my then brother in law was playing with his band. He being another huge luke fan asked him to join him and the band on stage.(pictu r e s to prove it)...the rest is history. You would sooner win the lottery or ge
geman
Hi hive, you can say that again!
Hmm...don't remember Toto having guitar this cool. Great melodies and crunchy licks.
Z1
who the hell is this guy ?

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