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Michael Joseph Porcaro (May 29, 1955 – March 15, 2015) was an American [[bass guitar|bass player known for his work with [[Toto (band)|Toto. He retired from touring in 2007 as a result of being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
He was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro
and Steve Porcaro
. Their father was jazz drummer
-percussionist Joe Porcaro
Mike Porcaro is the second of the three Porcaro brothers. The three brothers were taught drums by their father at his drum shop every weekend. Jeff said that he himself wasn't the best drummer, adding that Mike was a better player than him before he switched to bass, while Steve later took up piano before they moved to California. Jeff explained that when the brothers took guitar lessons, Mike took off at the instrument while Jeff gave up after three lessons, and since the family had only one drum kit and one bass, Mike was assigned the bass.
Mike Porcaro was also a member of the Baha'i Faith He was of Italian descent.
Porcaro first began his career in bands he was a member of while in high school, one of them was alongside his brother Jeff Porcaro and other future members of Toto. Porcaro worked as a session bass player throughout the mid and late 1970s for numerous musicians and bands before replacing Toto
original bass player David Hungate
in 1982 shortly after the band completed recording the ''Toto IV
'' album. Porcaro played cello on a track for the album and subsequently appeared in the band's videos and performed as a full band member on the world tour in support of the album. He remained with the band until 2007.
Along with Toto, Porcaro played numerous sessions in Los Angeles, and toured with Michael Franks
on his first tour. He then toured with Seals and Crofts
, Larry Carlton
, and Boz Scaggs
. He appears in the video for the song "JoJo" by Scaggs. In Flames
bass player Peter Iwers
said that his bass playing style was influenced by Porcaro.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and death
Porcaro stopped performing with Toto in 2007 after experiencing a growing weakness in his fingers that was making it increasingly difficult for him to play. He was replaced by Leland Sklar
for the remainder of the tour and Toto disbanded in 2008. In February 2010, it was announced that Porcaro was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS) and that former band members of Toto, including Steve Porcaro
, would reform and do a short tour through Europe in support of him in the summer of 2010. The regrouped Toto continued to tour and perform for Mike's benefit during 2011.
In September 2012, it was reported in ''Classic Rock
'' magazine that he was doing as well as could be expected with his disease, but he was in a wheelchair as the disease was progressing.
Porcaro died at his Los Angeles home on March 15, 2015, at the age of 59 with his family at his side, from complications of ALS. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park
in the Hollywood Hills
of Los Angeles.
He left behind his wife Cheryl, who he married in 1987, and their four children.
Three years after his death, in 2018, Porcaro and his brother Jeff (who died in 1992) appeared on two Toto albums where the band used old archived recordings of both musicians from the mid-1980s.
* ''The Seventh One
* ''Past to Present 1977-1990
* ''Greatest Hits Live...and More
* ''Kingdom of Desire
* ''Best Ballads
* ''Toto XX
* ''Through the Looking Glass
* ''Live in Amsterdam
* ''The Essential Toto
* ''Falling in Between
* ''40 Trips Around the Sun
* ''Old Is New
Category:American people of Italian descent
Category:American rock bass guitarists
Category:American male bass guitarists
Category:American session musicians
Category:Burials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Category:Deaths from motor neuron disease
Category:Disease-related deaths in California
Category:Guitarists from Connecticut
Category:Musicians from Hartford, Connecticut
Category:People from South Windsor, Connecticut
Category:Toto (band) members
Category:20th-century American guitarists