Bassist for Grammy Award-winning rock band Toto, Mike Porcaro passed away early Sunday morning (March 15) after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Cclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Brother and band member Steve Porcaro broke the devastating news via Facebook saying, “our brother Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:04 AM last night at home surrounded by his family. Rest in peace, my brother“. The band’s guitarist Steve Lukather also added on Twitter, “I will miss him more than I could ever put into words. My deepest love to the family. God Bless“.
Mike Porcaro officially joined Toto in 1982 after original bassist David Hungate departed the group. He joined his brothers Steve and Jeff who were already part of the band. As bassist, Porcaro featured on albums such as Isolation (1984), Fahrenheit (1986), Mindfields (1998) and Through the Looking Glass (2002).
Mid 2000’s Porcaro ended his touring days as his health worsened and the baton was passed onto Leland Sklar in 2007. In 2010, Toto announced that they would tour to raise money in aid of Porcaro and to raise awareness about ALS. In 2012, keyboardist David Paich spoke about Porcaro’s condition during an interview with Something Else! saying, “he’s been going downhill for the last three years here, because it’s a very slow, degenerative process. But, again, Mike mentally is fantastic and if you talk to him, his spirits are up and he’s great and like the old Mike Porcaro, except that he’s disabled, he’s in a wheelchair and can’t move; can’t walk and can’t play which is a heartbreaking drag“.
Toto’s new record, Toto XIV, is set for release on March 24, accompanied by a European tour starting this May.