Sunday, May 29, 2011

Add a candle for Mike Porcaro

Mike in the middle: Playing bass for the Porcaro brothers.
By Al Tays

It's time to wish a happy birthday to Mike Porcaro, the middle of the three multi-talented Porcaro brothers -- Jeff, Mike and Steve.

Mike, who turns 56 today, was the longtime bass player for Toto, until he left the band in 2007 because of increasing numbness in his fingers. Turned out, tragically, that he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). The band continues to tour for his benefit.

The Sanctuary goes to seed
on Sundays when Al Tays
and Pumpkin hold court.
The Porcaros, sons of a Los Angeles session percussionist, are a fascinating family, all of them having been inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. Oldest brother Jeff, who was characterized by Allmusic as "arguably the most highly regarded studio drummer in rock from the mid-'70s to the early '90s", died in 1992 at age 38 after spraying insecticide in his yard. The L.A. County Coroners office listed his cause of death to be a heart attack caused by hardening of the arteries. Youngest brother Steve, a keyboard player, was a founding member of Toto who left in 1986 to pursue songwriting and composing.

Here's Mike talking about growing up in a musically talented family:

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