They might not be in Kansas anymore, and pretty soon classic rockers TOTO will not be playing anywhere.
The band’s founding guitarist Steve Lukather has told The Morning Call that the current lineup, which includes founding member keyboardists Steve Porcaro and, until recently, David Paich, as well as long-time vocalist Joseph Williams, will be done once the group’s 40th-anniversary tour ends on October 20 in Philadelphia.
Lukather said, “I don’t know what the future’s gonna be, but I do know that’s gonna be the last show in Philly for the foreseeable future,” he said. “And certainly the end of this configuration of TOTO.”
He is undecided whether a revamped lineup is in the cards, ”I can’t predict the future. I can tell you that this version is dead on October 20. We were beaten up really badly and we gotta heal and figure out what’s going on. I mean, the music’s still there. I’m not saying I’m never gonna play this music again, that would be a lie. I can play whatever I want with whomever I want to, and so can everybody else. But I don’t know what that is yet.”
He continued: “If you look at the last 10 years of touring for the band, we’ve toured more than we ever have. We’re playing better than ever. That’s the irony. … We’re playing great. When we walk on stage, man, it’s like we’re kids again, and we just give it all we got. I feel better than I did when I was 40, you know?” Lukather expanded on the situation, “As far as physically and playing-wise, the band’s matured. And that two hours plus on stage is what we’re out here to do. We don’t get paid for that — we get paid for the other 20 hours a day where we’re in a very nice little prison called a hotel room. I’ve been on the road my whole life.”
TOTO has had a career that rivals most bands. Few ensembles have individually or collectively had a larger imprint than the members of TOTO. As individuals, the band members can be heard on 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a half a billion albums. Amongst these recordings, NARAS applauded the performances with more than 200 Grammy nominations. Collectively, TOTO has over a billion streams worldwide on all streaming services.
With over 40 years together, thousands of credits, including the biggest-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,’ TOTO remains one of the top-selling touring and recording acts in the world. Their repertoire continues to be current via high profile usage on broadcast television. They are one of the few 1970s bands that have endured the changing trends and styles to a career enjoy a multi-generational worldwide fan base.
2018 was a banner year and the 40th anniversary for TOTO. The band performed for hundreds of thousands of fans across Europe and North America, as their level of global critical mass reached new heights largely fueled by a rediscovery of favorites from their beloved repertoire.