Toto is an American punk rock band established in 1977 in Los Angeles, California. The band’s current lineup includes Joseph Williams, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Steve Lukather, along with David Marks. It is known for their aggressive style of playing, which includes scuffles, kicks, fist bumps, and sometimes even fisticuffs. Guitarists David Marks and Steve Porcaro also play keyboards.
In later years to date Toto has released three albums worth of music, which have received favorable reviews. One of these, Tapes from the Black Hole was issued by Dream Theater. Another album, titled Remember This Place, was issued by Mosaic Records. A ten stringed guitar, known as a tin man, is also used on many of Toto’s albums, including Remember This Place and Survive, Kaleidoscope, and Kaleidoscope/Strawberry Apple. In addition to these instruments, several other instruments are played by the band, including the likes of harmonica, congas, and nylon stringed cymbals.
In an interesting story, Toto featured in an episode of the television show Hollywood Forever Presents called Rockstar. The show chronicles the career of lead singer/songwriter Toto. In one episode, Toto performed with a cast of characters from the band War. The show portrayed the band members as being a group of rock stars. This portrayal, according to some sources, has caused outrage among certain Toto fans. According to a spokesperson from the band, she stated that, “TOTO wishes to state that they are not a rock star or a rock band. We are just a bunch of guys who like to play music.”
During their tenure with War, Toto had also worked with some other well-known musicians. Andy Haynes, who was a bassist for The Yardbirds, became close friends with Toto. During this time, Haynes would often invite Toto to his home to play guitar. It is rumoured that Toto used this opportunity to try and persuade Haynes to join the band Cream. Cream would, however, never sign up Haynes.
Cream became, in effect, the first major rock band to employ a guitar player who was not a member of the band. It is unclear whether Cream realized the role that Toto would eventually be playing, but it is generally accepted that Cream was trying to expand their musical horizons. Cream’s song, “Casting Such a Thin Shadow,” is about the guitarist in question. Toto did not start playing guitar for the band until Cream broke up in early 1977.
Toto guitarist Tom Parker has said that he feels that he has been a part of the world’s music scene ever since he joined Toto. Parker has also said that he feels like he belongs to the past and that he does not consider himself a part of what is happening now. All in all, Toto remains a popular band in the Japanese music scene and their influence on other bands and artists is still being felt today.