Mike Porcaro, who played bass for Toto between 1982 and 2007, died in bed early on Sunday at age 59.
He’d left the band when he began to experience numbness in his fingers. Three years later, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Mike was the middle brother of Toto’s three Porcaros. His older brother Jeff, their drummer, died in 1992, while younger brother Steve still plays keyboards in the band. Mike wasn’t the band’s original bassist, replacing David Hungate shortly after the release of Toto IV, for which he’d played cello on one track. His first full album with them was 1984’s Isolation. Like the rest of Toto, he was a prolific session musician, playing behind Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Steve Perry, Stevie Nicks, Aretha Franklin, Cher,Country Joe McDonald, Dan Fogelberg and Donna Summer among others.
Steve Porcaro posted the news on Facebook, writing: “Our brother Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:04 a.m. last night at home surrounded by his family. Rest in peace, my brother.”
Guitarist Steve Lukather later added on Toto’s page: “My brother Mike Porcaro is now at peace. I will miss him more than I could ever put into words. My deepest love to the family.”
Keyboardist David Paich writes: “God bless our brother, Mike. Rest in peace Mikey…”
Just last month Paich told us that Mike is partially responsible for their new album, XIV (Fourteen), which will be released next week. The band had called it quits in 2008, but came back together in 2010 to help Mike with his medical bills. Paich says, “We stayed together touring for four years to help him out and this album is a kind of result of that. So we have him partially to thank for inspiring us to keep doing it.” And Lukather adds, “Mike and Jeff are definitely in the room with us at all times.”