Mike Porcaro

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by [email protected], Feb 6, 2003.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    I would be willing to lay money down that he is probaly in fact a chops monster. What he does on record and what he CAN do are two entirely different things. You can hear the overall musicianship in his lines.

    As a budding bassist, Mike was one of the first players (along with Duck Dunn) that made an impression on me. He's such a "clean" player (which is no doubt a result of his session experience).
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I've seen Toto live on TV from time to time, but never had the opportunity of watching a full concert until last night that a friend lent me his copy of the "Live In Amsterdam" DVD. While Mike Porcaro is a terrific player, with a solid groove, awesome tone and the true foundation of the band, I couldn't stand watching him playing. The way he stands, the way he holds the bass... everything about his stage presence made me feel as when you feel like itching but you don't know exactly where. Very uncomfortable! I'm not trying to demerit him as a player. Again, he's great! Just wanted to share how I felt after watching him playing for a long time.

    On a side note about the whole band's sound, I want to say that the snare drum tuning was awful to me. Aside from that, I enjoyed a lot their live sound in this video.
  3. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    That's funny! I kind of get what you're saying but lets try a different perspective. I saw him live last week. I was sitting next to my friends girlfriend watching Mike P and I could tell she was doing the same. I thought I would make a joke so I said, " Trust me, it's not that painful to do" She on the other hand turned to me and said, "Actually I see it more as intensity. You can tell he not only feels every note but means everyone as well" I would say she gets it and I wasn't funny!!
  4. To me, Mike is a very good player, one of those "groovemasters"!
    I prefer is period F Bass (surprise?), from Kingdom of desire to Tambu, his sound is so huge....I love it!
  5. Lulu


    Oct 15, 2003
    any news from Mike ?
  6. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Well I'm not sure if you've been keeping up with the news but Mike was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease probably around five or six years ago at this point.

    When I saw him play back in 2005/2006 he had a splint on both of his thumbs which looked incredibly uncomfortable but he stuck it out with a smile on his face the entire time. And then Leland Sklar (and currently Nathan East) have had to take over for him since he's been unable to manage the instrument anymore.

    Without going into all the details, it sounds like his spirits are up though the disease has unquestionably taken its toll on him. The photo updates on Facebook that are posted are kind of heartbreaking to see, but it sounds like he is giving it everything he's got. A damned shame for this to happen to anyone, but to a guy like Mike - who seems to be one of the nicest cats in the universe - it's just not right.

  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I really like Mike Porcaro's playing. His recorded tone, not so much. Never saw him live so maybe in that setting it's better.

    And Jeff... well, if I ever decided to start worshiping a drummer it would be him. I was with a drummer friend of mine, in a music store, when the news came over that Jeff had died. Everyone in the place (especially the drummers) was devastated and I was pretty shook up about it too.

    Very sorry to hear about Mike's struggles. That family... so much talent and so much tragedy at the same time.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Plenty of chops in this track if you ask me...

    WayneP likes this.
  9. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Mike definitely had plenty of chops, and too many people dismissed him because he was exceptionally solid and played within the song, an ability lost on most of the bass wannabes that roam these threads. He wasn't a soloist, he wasn't about flash and making himself stick out from the band, he was about being a cohesive part of the band, another trait of a real musician lost on most of the "I'm not cutting through" guitarists on bass.

    When people call Toto's music cheesey, that's like calling Brahms another piano player. They wrote the songs they wanted to play, the music they enjoyed for the purpose of advancing their careers and making a good living doing what they loved. That's not cheesey, it's called being musical. It may not be everyone's favorite music, but it is what they wanted to play. You start demeaning musicians for playing what they enjoy playing, and you just damage the view of music even further than it has already been damaged by all the wannabe "Artists" on these websites.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  10. BassEnvy78


    Jun 28, 2012
    First heard of Toto when my sister brought a cassette of "The 7th one" home, I was 10.

    As a French kid and not speaking English yet, I just fell in love with the musicianship and melodies (especially on tunes like "Mushanga" and "Home of the Brave")...Didnt care much about lyrics!

    As a teen I moved on to other styles but finally had the opportunity to catch the band during their "Tambu" tour (Greg Bissonette was on drums during that leg).

    The guys were just awesome and Mike was so in the pocket...playing the right notes at the right time with a smile on the face.

    One of my favorite bassline is from the song "Somewhere tonight". It is a very "busy" reggae-type line but sooooo tasty.

  11. bill_banwell


    Oct 19, 2002
    Some lovely stuff from Mike in this clip
  12. LowBass4me


    Oct 21, 2014
    I'm surprised no has posted on this but Mike passed away this Sunday, SO cheers to a great fellow bass player and RIP!
    As a remembrance I listened to a bunch of old Toto tunes, kinda brings back some old memories!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    AlexanderB and TinIndian like this.
  13. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    My all-time favorite Mike Porcaro bass line. So much groove and precision here:

  14. franck1967


    May 23, 2015
    I don't agree with people who appreciate more David Hungate than Mike Porcaro.
    David Hungate wrote perhaps the tabs (Rosanna, Hold the line, Africa) but he plays with a plectrum
    and I think he has less sence than the other.

    For me Mike Porcaro was one of the best bassist.
    You can hear, for example, the solo of Africa. It's great.
    I think Leland Sklar is one of the best bassist too.
  15. Franck, I love Mike Porcaro too, but I hate to break it to you buddy - that's David Hungate playing bass on 'Africa';)
  16. JoeLovesBass


    Apr 17, 2017
    You are the man. I will be asking you for many tips. I love Mike's style so much! Thanks for sharing this.
  17. IMMusicRulz

    IMMusicRulz Commercial User

    Aug 3, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    I am a semi-professional musician
    18833BBB-E1A9-4E5B-B2E5-7988B81B66B1.jpeg Here is a picture of Mike Porcaro older son Samuel Porcaro playing a Rickenbacker bass (not sure what type it is)
    Chad Michael likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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