The band who made AOR
more adult and less rock than ever! Their drummer, Jeff Porcaro
, died, in the style of Spinal Tap, in a bizarre gardening accident! All of them session aces (their collective CV
contains Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, Boz Scraggs and Cheap Trick), Toto took their name from Bobby Kimball's real surname, the dog in The Wizard Of Oz and, possibly, a well-known Japanese toilet manufacturer. They started into action with 1979's US
hit 'Hold The Line', which sent Toto (1978) skyward. The oily Hydra
(1979) and its follow-up Turn Back (1981) sold only moderately, but the Grammy-winning Toto IV (1982) menaced charts worldwide, thanks to airbrushed hits 'Africa' and 'Rosanna'- a gift from the love-struck keyboardist Steve Porcaro to actress Rosanna Arquette. He got dumped.
Also swift to leave were vocalist Bobby Kimball and bassist David Hungate, but with new singer Dennis 'Fergie' Frederiksen and bassist Mike Porcaro, Toto ploughed on- as backing band on USA For Africa's 'We Are The World', as soundtrackers (David Lynch's 1984 Dune) and as spectacular failures (1984's Isolation and 1986's Fahrenheit and The Seventh One, with Frederiksen's replacement Joseph Williams). Unperturbed, they installed new warbler Jean-Michel Byron and continued with presumably brief hits set Past To Present 1977-1990 (1990) and Kingdom Of Desire (1993).
Cementing their luckless streak post-Arquette, Jeff Porcaro's allegedly cocaine-linked death was ludicrously reported as an allergic reaction to garden pesticides.