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Mike Porcaro

Mike Porcaro
File:Mike Porcaro with bass guitar.jpg
Mike Porcaro playing live in Germany in 2005
Background information
Born (1955-05-29)May 29, 1955
South Windsor, Connecticut, United States
Died March 15, 2015(2015-03-15) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Hard rock, pop rock, progressive rock, neo-progressive rock
Occupation(s) Musician, bassist
Instruments Bass guitar, double bass, cello
Years active 1971–2007[citation needed]
Associated acts Toto, Boz Scaggs, Seals and Crofts, Joe Walsh

Michael Joseph Porcaro (May 29, 1955 – March 15, 2015) was an American bass player known for his work with Toto.[1] He retired from touring in 2007 as a result of being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.[2]

He was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro. Their father is jazz drummer-percussionist Joe Porcaro.


Porcaro worked as a session bass player 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.


Porcaro stopped performing with Toto in 2007 after a growing numbness in his fingers that made it increasingly difficult for him to play. He was replaced by Leland Sklar for the remainder of the tour and Toto disbanded in 2008.[3] On February 26, 2010, it was announced via official press release that Mike Porcaro was suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 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.[4] The regrouped Toto continued to tour and perform for Mike's benefit during 2011. Nathan East was the guest bass player for the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 tours.[5]

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.[6]

On March 15, 2015, Porcaro died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles.[7]

Bass playing

Porcaro endorsed Peavey, Status Graphite basses, Fbass, Sugi,and Music Man bass guitars. Along with Toto, Porcaro played numerous sessions in Los Angeles, and toured with Michael Franks on his first tour. He then toured with Seals & 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.[8] Mike also used Ibanez, Alembic and Oasis basses.


  1. ^ "History". Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  2. ^ Kielty, Martin. "Toto’s Mike Porcaro ‘hanging in there’". Team Rock Limited. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Official TOTO Website - Leland Sklar". 1947-05-28. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  4. ^ "Official TOTO Website - Hot News". Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  5. ^ "Official TOTO Website - Leland Sklar". 1955-12-08. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  6. ^ Kielty, Martin, "Toto’s Mike Porcaro ‘hanging in there’", Classic Rock magazine, September 13, 2012
  7. ^ "Toto bassist Mike Porcaro died". 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  8. ^ "IN FLAMES | Interviews | Rockdetector". Retrieved 2015-03-15. 

External links