Toto leader Steve Lukather has revealed that it looks like after the band wraps its current dates this weekend, the Grammy Award-winning group is being put on ice. In a new interview with Pennsylvania's The Morning Call, Lukather spoke about the end of Toto, explaining, “We worked really hard and this is a great way to. . . 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. And certainly the end of this configuration of Toto.”
Lukather is leading the band without his fellow surviving co-founder David Paich, who has retired from the road: “It was really the scariest thing ever. He had some sort of a seizure or something like that. We went home and he had to retire from touring because of his health. Apparently he pushed himself a little too hard and he fell, y'know, so to speak. I mean, Dave’s still playing. He can sing. He’s up and about and he’s happy and he’s walking around. But he’s not built for speed anymore, y'know what I mean? He came out in L.A. recently, played our first show with us, came out at the end. And that was a nice way to close the book — at least this chapter.”
Lukather also touched upon business problems that are causing the band members some grief these days: “Another bummer of our situation and why we’re calling it a day. We’ve had some horrendous litigation. Horrendous, horrendous, awful, mean, you-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of lawsuits, and we lost the suit. So it beat us down. So we gotta get away from this. We gotta get away from the whole thing.”
Lukather, who is a road dog if there ever was one, is always busy gigging — most notably over the past decade as part of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band. He admits that for the rest of Toto, touring only seems to get rougher: “This kind of lifestyle is way harder than people think it is. They just think that we float around from city-to-city magically and live a life of luxury. And I’m not saying that we travel poorly, but it’s a burden to be away from your family 230 days a year, like me. I go from tour-to-tour-to-tour. It’s the other guys (that) don’t do that.”
Although over the past few years, Toto has returned to the North American concert circuit, Steve Lukather told us that Toto shying away from performing domestically ultimately boiled down to dollars and cents: “We haven't really worked the U.S. in all fairness. Y'know, we got beat up so bad and then we just decided, 'y'know what man. . .' And the offers that we were getting everywhere else in the world were huge! So, y'know, you go where people like you. And they've kept us so busy that, we didn't purposely turn our backs on (the States), but there's a big difference between making a quarter of a million dollars a night and making thirty grand a night, y'know what I mean?”
Lukather admitted that Toto still wears the scars from the critical lashings they received from the rock press over the years: “There’s no other band like that, which is so funny why we get so much s*** from the mainstream rock press. Y’know, that hurt us, too. These guys just went for us, man: ‘The worst band ever,’ y’know – ‘fake musicians,’ y’know — ‘put together by corporations like Sony,’ or something like that, which was a bunch of lies. We were a high school band that could play well.”
Toto performs on Saturday (October 19th) in Red Bank, New Jersey at Count Basie Center for the Arts.
The band will wrap its tour on Sunday (October 20th) in Philadelphia at The Met Philadelphia.