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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Toto Leaves Everything That They've Got on Stage at The Met in Philadelphia for Final Performance for Foreseeable Future

I can't remember a moment in my life when music wasn't somehow playing in the backdrop binding together those things that would become real memories while helping the less important things to just sort of drift away into oblivion. When I was a kid, if my dad wasn't at the studio, then he was most definitely locked away in his home studio. He first sucked me in the door to that room with disco and a lot of my homework was eventually done on the floor next to one of his huge speakers. The deal was that once my homework was finished then I could pick any song and listen to it in his chair, with his headphones on. That was a huge thing to me and dad was smart because as my musical taste expanded, so did my time in his favorite chair. What started as one song while looking at cover art turned into dad leaving me with entire albums and loads of liner notes to dissect.

In the late '70s rock was just rock and there was no need to categorize it or throw it into some sort of sub-category. Good music was just that, good music. Toto's eponymous debut, followed by Hydra a year later, were two of my favorites and I spent a lot of time with headphones on soaking up every note played. I didn't know exactly what "shredding" was, but I believed my dad when he said that Steve Lukather was already one of the best and I also believed him when he said that David Paich was writing songs that were going to "stick". 

Flash ahead 43 years and my dad was right because Lukather is now the guy that other equally legendary musicians consider as a personal mentor and Paich, well that silly little song about "Africa" has made him a mountain of cash (plus I dare you to find anyone over the age of twenty that doesn't know the chorus). Four decades have brought the band an abundance of riches, like a handful of Grammy's, more than 40 million records sold, plus an induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. 

Those same years have contained painful losses, debilitating illnesses, litigation, and the kind of personal demons that touch each and every one of us eventually, in one way or another. Sometimes the family that you choose becomes almost more important than the one that you were born into and the brotherhood of Lukather, Paich, Steve Porcaro, and Joseph Williams might be even more precious today than it ever was before.

Toto decided to commemorate their 40th anniversary by embarking on a 40 Trips Around The Sun tour, a celebration that has actually lasted for nearly two-and-a-half-years. The band brought down the house last night (Oct. 20, 2019) at The Met in Philadelphia as they closed the door not only on this tour but also on this incarnation of Toto. The band is now on hiatus for a well-deserved break and any future plans will be decided much further down the road.

The near-capacity crowd at The Met seemed well aware of the fact that it was the beginning of the end for this era of Toto and there were some bittersweet moments that spilled off the stage into the audience, but for the most part, this show was a celebration. The band took the audience on a two-hour ride through their catalog of 14 studio albums, serving up some of the anticipated favorites and just enough deep cuts to make true fans grateful to be in the house.

Opening with "Devil's Tower" and "Hold the Line" delivered a one-two musical punch, the kind that lets you know that it's going to be a fantastic show. The first electric set seemed to fly by as it included an extra sentimental variation of "I Will Remember" and "English Eyes". The instrumental "Jake to the Bone" is a personal favorite of mine because it really shows off the musicianship that is the backbone of everything that Toto does. Lukather is just fantastic and keyboardist Steve Porcaro seems to have a bit of a mad musical scientist thing going on as well. 

The quintessential favorite, "Rosanna" closed out the first set and anyone that had still been in their seat abandoned it. As the audience recovered from the adrenaline blast of that song, chairs were placed on stage and Lukather, Porcaro, Williams, Warren Ham (multi-instrumentalist/vocalist), and bassist Shem von Schroeck all settled in for an acoustic set. "Georgy Porgy", the first song that Lukather ever sang on for Toto, kicked off a sentimental musical journey that included "I'll Be Over You" and "No Love". I love stripped-down sets and this one really showed off just how much value each member has on their own. It's no wonder that the fully plugged in band sounds like layers of perfection.

Let's talk for a minute about 27-year-old keyboardist Dominique "Xavier" Taplin. He stepped in last year for an ailing David Paich and learned the entire show in just a couple of days. Lukather mentioned the band all wanting to adopt him and after a lengthy chat with him last year, I kind of felt the same way. He is talented enough to have toured years ago with Prince (let that sink in),  and his piano solo in this show was absolutely beautiful. 

One of the best parts of seeing Toto play live is the way that they really capture that whole jam band kind of energy. Nearly every note may be carefully placed but it never really feels that way. Instead, it feels like a group of guys that really listen to each other and play off of each other in response and nowhere was that vibe more apparent than in the final set. 

The often lost in their catalog "Girl Goodbye" sent the band soaring with some of Lukather's best playing of the night matching Williams' effortless vocals. The latter was a ball of energy throughout the entire show, laying down some of the best vocals that I've ever heard him do live. "Dune (Desert Theme)" is another of those layered instrumental pieces that is best appreciated live and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", a sentimental favorite of Lukather, was one of the best songs of the evening. If you think that an electric guitar solo can't take you on an emotional roller coaster ride then you need to spend a few minutes with this version of the George Harrison classic. 

On an evening filled with "moments," Toto was going to have to go a long way to top themselves, yet they did just that with their 12-minute version of "Africa".  David Paich (sidelined for health reasons since last year) was not only in the house, but he took his seat at the keys and sang those lyrics that he wrote so many years ago. The audience knew just how important this moment was and responded with both respect and gratitude. 

Lukather shredded, Williams played with the crowd and percussionist Lenny Castro's solo smack in the middle of the classic song was nothing short of genius. As someone pointed out to me, you could hear the sleigh bells that are actually in the song, usually lost beneath everything else. An encore of "Home of the Brave" closed out the night with the entire band leaving absolutely everything that they had left to give on the stage of The Met. 

Their break is more than deserved. 




Devil's Tower
Hold the Line
Lovers in the Night
I Will Remember
English Eyes
Jake to the Bone

Georgy Porgy
Human Nature
I'll Be Over You
No Love
Stop Loving You
Piano Solo

Girl Goodbye
Dune (Desert Theme)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Make Believe

Home of the Brave

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Heart - 'Never'

Heart (Heart album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Hey baby I'm talking to you
Stop yourself and listen
Some things you can never choose
Even if you try yeah
You're bangin' your head again
Cause somebody won't let you in
One chance, one love
Your chance to let me know
We can't go on
Just running away
If we stay any longer
We will surely never get away
Anything you want, we can make it happen
Stand up and turn around
Never let them shoot us down
Never, never
Never, never run away."

During the mid-80's women really did dominate the airwaves and MTV. Pop princesses were everywhere, at times they were tricky to tell apart but two women that most definitely stood out were Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. They first rose to fame in the 70's and then enjoyed a pretty huge comeback in the 80's with their self-titled album. The second single off of it, "Never" remains one of my favorites.

It shot to number four on Billboard's chart in 1985, to become Heart's best-selling single thus far and the take charge lyrics seemed to really click with listeners. At least enough for MTV to keep the video in heavy rotation for a long while. In the thirty-plus years since, the Wilson sisters have gone their separate ways to work on various projects, but seem to reunite every few years for a new Heart album.

The ladies are currently taking a break from each other to sort out some family issues (Namely, Ann's husband assaulting Nancy's 16-year-old twins) but seem to be hoping that time and therapy might heal the rift. Hopefully Heart will return, in the meantime, enjoy them at their best below!

Daily Boom 80's Lost Hit: Bardeux - 'When We Kiss'

"There`s a real fine line
Between love and hate
And I`m not the type
To just sit and wait
I`ve made up my mind
I can`t wait for you anymore"

Ya know that one song that you remember so well years (okay decades) later that no one else can recall? Bardeux's "When We Kiss' fits that bill for me. I have never mentioned it to another soul that has any idea what I'm talking about and if I play it for them, they still don't remember it. Bardeux was actually a dance duo from OC, Stacy "Acacia" Smith and Lisa "Jaz" Teaney (at least on this song), who released their first album, Bold As Love in 1988.

While Bardeux is often described as a one-hit-wonder, they actually had a few singles that charted on Billboard's Hot 100 and they did really well on the dance charts during their short time together. I've always loved "When We Kiss' because it's almost more of a spoken word song than anything else and that really made it stand out back in 1988. Check it out below. Do you guys remember Bardeux?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Jets- 'Cross My Broken Heart'

Cross my broken heart, boy
Swear, I'll never part from you
I want you to be mine

I know you think I'm not
Your picture perfect jewel
And let us break apart
When everything was cool

I needed to explore
And open up the door
But now I need you more

Today we're going back in time to the summer of 1987. Beverly Hills Cop 2 had just blasted into theaters and while it may not have been as fantastic as the original, it did serve up a great soundtrack. The Jets, a family band out of Minnesota had already had a string of hits when they brought us "Cross My Broken Heart". It was the first single off of their second album and did really well, reaching number seven on Billboard's Hot 100.

More importantly, the song got tons of radio play and was a really big dance hit. While the Wolfgramm family eventually became best known for some of their ballads (like "Make It Real"), songs like "Cross My Broken Heart" were really a lot of fun and still get plenty of play on satellite radio. As for The Jets, they are still performing together and you can often catch them out there as part of the Freestyle Explosion tour. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Depeche Mode - 'Strangelove'

There'll be times
When my crimes
Will seem almost unforgivable
I give in to sin
Because you have to make this life livable

Do you guys love Depeche Mode as much as I do? Their Violator album helped to usher in a super successful run on Billboard's charts in 1989 but I actually prefer some of Depeche Mode's earlier tracks more. Back in 1987 they released "Strangelove" which I think is a bit of a lost track here in the states. It was the band's 18th single in the UK but it took them a little longer to catch on here.

"Strangelove" is off of Music For The Masses album and it eventually became the group's very first number one dance track on Billboard's dance charts back in 1987. The video has been shot and edited a few times. I think the one that I found is actually the edited edition for MTV. It features the guys performing and also a model romping around in various stages of undress. The backdrop is Paris and I can't believe how young lead singer, David Gahan is here. Check it out below. Do you remember this song? Was it a big club hit wherever you lived back in 1987?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Richard Marx - 'Should've Known Better'

"Another sleepless night I can't explain

Somebody said they heard me call your name
The radio won't let you leave my mind
I know it's over but I don't know why

Should've known better
Than to fall in love with you
Now love is just a faded memory
Should've known better
Now I'm a prisoner to this pain
And my heart still aches for you"

There are very few things that I remember about the beginning of eleventh grade. It was 1987 and I was coming off my very first summer of working full time, which meant a lot of extra cash in my pocket. A lot of that cash was spent on music, of course. Richard Marx was getting airplay with "Don't Mean Nothing" which I really didn't love. But the follow-up single I couldn't get enough of. "Should've Known Better".  And the video that went with it. Marx wasn't exactly my type at the time. I preferred men with bigger hair, lipstick, and spandex, but I played his debut album into the ground.

Many years later I'll readily admit to listening to Marx quite often and "Should've Known Better" is still my favorite. He has also aged like a fine wine and is far more handsome to me now than in 1987. Daisy Fuentes (his wife since Dec. 2015) is a lucky woman. Plus it's nice to see a celeb couple that genuinely seems happy together. Check out "Should've Known Better". below.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Yes - 'Love Will Find A Way'

"You want to get close to me
The feeling so clear
But I need some time to see
Vision through my tear
You want to get next to me
I need your intrusion
I don't need to be
Blinded by confusion
Here is my heart
Waiting for you
Here is my soul
I eat at chez nous
Love will find a way
If you want it to
Love will find a way
Love will find a way for me and you"

Back in 1987 rock songs were often huge studio productions and Yes' "Love Will Find A Way" was probably one of the best. In an era full of hair bands, Yes took their synth sound to new heights by producing a song that blended that vibe with a great rock edge.The song was originally written and intended for Stevie Nicks, which sounds like it certainly would have worked out too., especially when you think back to her "Stand Back" era of music.  It could have easily been included on her album and it would have, no doubt, sold like crazy. The guys from Yes decided to lean in a bit and eventually nailed the track down. It eventually hit number 30 on Billboard's Hot 100. 

Do you remember this one? Check out the video below!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Samantha Fox - 'Touch Me (I Want Your Body)'

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"Quick as a flash
You disappeared into the night

Did I hurt you, boy?
Didn't I treat you right?
You made me feel so good

Made me feel myself

Now I'm alone
And you're with somebody else"

Way back in 1986 Samantha Fox REALLY shook the music industry. It was a point in time when women were thought to be best at ballads or bubblegum pop tunes. Taking any stage and blatantly singing about sex was not just unheard of but it was also pretty unacceptable. The double standards were still in effect and so if a male rocker mentioned sex it was cool but women still knew better than to go there. At least until a catchy little tune called "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" landed in DJ's hands.

I'm sure the fact that Sam was hot and a topless model didn't hurt because she looked like a poster child for sex. And this song worked. It went to number 1 all over the world and much of the music-buying public really latched on to this song. She was playful, provocative and in control- something that appealed to men and women alike.

"Touch Me" was also a great club banger so if it wasn't on your radio or MTV you could count on hearing it at the club. It literally was everywhere. Sam enjoyed a few years of success in the U.S. and she had a string of Billboard hits thanks to the impact of "Touch Me".  Check out the video below!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Bananarama - 'Venus'

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"Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name
She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire."

At this point in time, I'm on a real Bananarama kick.  After officially reuniting earlier this year, Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey hit the road to tour the UK for six weeks. They just played their final London show a few days ago bringing to a close a show that got rave reviews at every stop. They currently have only four dates scheduled for North America, but my fingers are crossed that 2018 will bring even more.

Back in the spring of 1986, Bananarama found their way to the top of the U.S. Billboard charts with their remake of The Shocking Blue's "Venus". It was a song that they believed would lend itself to dance floors but it took a bit of convincing to find a production team that agreed. Thankfully they did and their instincts were dead on because "Venus" still to this day has a way of setting any dance floor on fire.

The video for this is just so much fun. Sure, Bananarama has always loved to play dress up but my favorite moments of "Venus" is when they are all just dancing and having a blast. Check it out below!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Wham!- 'The Edge of Heaven'

"It's too late to stop
Won't the heavens save me?
My daddy said the devil looks a lot like you
Take me to the edge of heaven
Tell me that my soul's forgiven
Hide you baby's eyes and we can...
Take me to the edge of heaven"

This morning MTV Classic reminded me of one of my very favorite songs
by Wham! "The Edge of Heaven" was originally touted as the duo's farewell single and in many ways, it may have really been one of their best. During the summer of 1986 when it was released, George Michael was already enjoying a super-successful solo career and he was totally ready to move on. 

When asked about the obviously sexual lyrics Michael had said that he believed that he and Andrew Ridgeley had gotten away with them because at that point in time no one paid much attention to what they were saying anyway. "The Edge of Heaven" is one of the first black and white videos that I really remember and the guys looked like they had a blast making it, or at the very least they pulled off faking the fun vibe.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Mötley Crüe - 'Wild Side'

Gang fights
Fatal strikes
We lie on the wild side
No escape
Murder rape
Doing time on the wild side
A baby cries
A cop dies
A day's pay on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Tragic life on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Kickin ass on the Wild Side

Motley Crue's "Wild Side" always takes me back to high school- on one day in particular. When I was in 11th grade I'd spend my morning cramming in all of my academic classes so that my afternoon could be spent at a vocational school. Cosmetology seemed like a dream job for a 16-year old girl that spent plenty of time teasing her own hair and being in beauty school meant that I had a little card that gave me access to every professional beauty supply store around. My supply of Apple Pectin shampoo was endless and eventually, I traded in a big can of Aqua Net for an even larger can of Vavoom which cemented your hair in place AND made it smell like coconut.

Anyway, the afternoon bus was filled with headbangers that had zero desire to go to college when they could be learning how to take a car engine apart, cook like a pro or even become a medical assistant, all while in high school. This bus ride was the high point of most days because we truly became a family and had each other's backs, no matter what. Most days the same 3 people sat in the very last row trying to hide the fact that they were smoking a blunt. It was normal. We kept the windows open in the dead of winter and usually had an ancient bus driver that was more concerned with how loud the boom box was than anything else. 

On this particular day, there was a fill-in, much younger bus driver, one who didn't care if the music was blaring. Motley Crue had just released Girls, Girls, Girls and the song "Wild Side" was our new anthem. Since the driver told the guys to play it as loud as they wanted to, our bus was rocking, with that one song playing on repeat. The guys decided to be extra brave and they lit up a bowl in the back seat. We figured that might be pushing it and halfway to the school the driver pulled over and came storming up the aisle. We thought we were dead. Since no one would dime anyone out I was expecting to go down for pot that I hadn't even touched. The guys hit the switch on the radio as the rest of us braced for hell. Instead, the young driver had come to the back of the bus to smoke with the guys!

After a minute or two, he galloped up the aisle, sat back down in the driver's seat and delivered us all to school, with Motley Crue still blaring, of course. Talk about taking a drive on the wild side!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Toto's Steve Lukather on the Band Taking an Extended Break, a Second Book in the Works & Playing with Ringo Starr

Steve Lukather Official Promo Shot

Steve ("Luke") Lukather may be best known as a vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, producer and founding member of the iconic band Toto, but that's just scratching the surface of what he is actually capable of. He started his career as a session musician and you'll find his work, spanning various genres, on more than 1,500 albums. Lukather has spent decades working alongside so many of the industry's best, but Toto is his main job and cultivating the musical fruits of the bands' labor has been the centerpiece to his prolific career.

It was recently confirmed that Toto will be taking an indefinite break after their October 20th show at The Met in Philadelphia and I was lucky enough to catch up with Lukather for a chat about the band winding down, and what's next for him. Check it out below!

 Steve ("Luke") Lukather on life on the road:

"We work about five days a week and those days off cost money. Luckily I don't really need more than a day or two off once in a while. I'm out here working, it's not a vacation and I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. They've turned into a bit of a sanctuary, to be honest with you. Especially since I'm running the business end of things too. I mean, there's a great team but I have to wake up and make all the decisions and take care of all the BS. That means that I've got to be up early and I've got to have some space to do things. I've got my guitar with me so I practice that and take care of the band business. I've got things to do and if not I can always watch films or peruse the internet or something.

I've been around the world so many times that going out to sightsee is almost laughable at this point! I've already done that so many times in the 44 years that I've been doing this, so I just kind of stay to myself. There's nothing normal about my life, but I've normalized it. I used to be a crazy party guy and so the days were spent recovering. Now I get up when I used to go to bed (laughing). I have to be sober, together and functioning to run a business on top of being an older guy on the road. I have to take care of myself now. I had my wild days and it was fun, I guess. They tell me that I had a great time (laughing), so I've got nothing left to prove in that arena. I'm really fine being an older guy out here and you have to learn to like hanging out with yourself, otherwise, you'll go mad (laughing).

It can be terribly depressing at times too. I've got little kids as well as grown kids, then my dog passed away and I was on the road when that happened. There are things that you just can't prepare for, but you've got to deal with them. I chose this job and the great thing is that the good parts are great and the things that suck, well they really suck and that makes it just like anyone else's life. My doctor has known me through every aspect of my career and I told him he should really come along and do everything that I do, eat what I eat, sleep when I sleep. Travel around with me for a month and then tell me your real thoughts on this job because in some ways it's tougher than people think."

Luke on being away from his family:

"It's very hard having little kids and being on the road, but it has always been that way. My father was in the television and movie business, so he would go on the road for six months at a time, long before cell phones, and I didn't love him any less. That gives me a little peace. My kids only know me this way, so if they only know me this way then there is nothing else to compare it to. When I come home I'm a dad and I do all the dad stuff, which I love doing."

Luke on working with his oldest son Trev:

"Ever since he could play guitar at all he has been working on my records with me. He has played songs for my solo record and he has played live with the band. He wrote Halestorm's first hit, so he has got a gold record, and he plays in this band What So Not that headlined Lollapalooza. Then he has his new band ZFG, with Mike Pocaro's kid on bass, There's a bidding war for that band, wait until you hear them! They opened for us all summer in Europe. He's my best friend so we always try and do as much as we can together. Right now it's his turn to be the artist. That's what he is focused on and I'm trying to help him with that."

Luke on Toto's music being categorized as 'yacht rock':

"The term yacht rock is kind of funny. All they did was put a label on a thing that we called, going to do session work, and we did that every day for fifteen years (laughing). They'd put a piece of paper with a bunch of cord symbols in front of us, count off the song and then you better play something because that's what you got hired to do. All of those records have suddenly become a genre. We didn't write all that music but we did contribute to the arrangement and the performance of it. We gave a lot of ourselves. That was just the era and style of music back then, sure there's some cheesy shit in there but there's also cheesy stuff today.

They always want to put terminology on things. They can't just say, hey this is a cool band, instead it has to be called soft rock. I mean at what point did the music go from soft rock to hard rock, what is the criteria for that shift? Is the guitar louder or does it have a bigger drum sound?  Why do we need terminology? If you don't like something that's cool but in the end, an E-chord is still an E-chord. Everyone likes things in a nice tight little box and there it is, now we know what to call it (laughing). The fact of the matter is that regardless of what anyone calls it, none of us expected any of this music to last almost 45 years like it has."

Toto Official Promo Shot

Luke on Toto becoming an interesting part of pop culture:

"We were Family Guy characters the other night and how cool is that? It was absolutely hysterical, we were howling with laughter. "Africa" kind of went crazy for us these last few years, it has kind of leveled off now which is fine with me, but it was really great for our careers. Everyone always says 'Africa by Toto' which makes us part of the whole schtick and gives us free publicity (laughing). I love all of it and it's an honor for us to be a part of pop culture. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and realize that parodies and things are really an honor."

Luke on working with Ringo Starr's All-Star Band:

"The Beatles spent eight years putting together music that would not only last for 55 years, but it's still going strong! There's never going to be another Beatles and I'm just so grateful that I got a little teeny piece of that experience by getting to work with three out of four of those guys. I've been working with Ringo's band for going on eight years now and I'm very honored to do that. When I first signed up in 2012 I thought I'd be doing one summer and here I am still. We've become really great friends and I just love this guy, regardless of the fact that he's Ringo (Starr). I mean, he is 100 times cooler than you think he is, but to have him as my friend is great. I'd love him even if his name was Joe Smith because he's just the kind of guy that makes you think, 'I want that guy to be my friend' (laughing), and I cherish that. I'd do anything for him and Ringo's band is like my vacation gig (laughing)."

Luke on Toto winding down, at least for the foreseeable future:

"Toto has been my job and I've spent my whole life cultivating this. Toto has had its' best year in terms of live performance and live revenue. Musically, including ticket sales and reviews and all of that, things are fantastic. Sadly, some stuff going on behind the scenes has kind of crippled us so we have to step off and see what happens next at the end of this tour. We are at the end of our 40th-year cycle, it's now actually 43 years of togetherness (laughing) and so we do need to go away for a while there's no question about that. For how long is the thing because there is definitely some darkness behind the scenes.

There is litigation from hateful people that want to tear us apart for no particular reason other than finding personal joy in doing so. None of it makes sense to anyone who is actually in the band. It's kind of insidious and messed up but it is how it is. Sometimes you're forced to do things at the time that don't really make sense but then, in the end, they really do work out for the best. It's just time for me to get out there and do some other stuff.  Out of the dust and ethers, something happens. I don't know what that is right now but I do know that change is good. Music is in my DNA and I've spent my whole life making it so I know that I can play whatever I decide that I want to play."

Luke on what's next for him:

"I am doing book number two! The first one was successful, which is surprising to me (laughing), but okay. I can't put my life into just those first 300 pages, I have a billion stories so now I can get more into the session thing and more into the goings-on behind the scenes. It's going to take me a few years to do it, just like the last one did and I've got a documentary in play too. There will never be a Toto story per se because there's a person that'll stop that. Actually, there are a couple of people now that'll stop it from happening.

So I'll write a second book, write a solo record, I'm going back out with Ringo, I've got other tours to do and I want to stay home and just be a dad. I want to watch my little kids grow up a bit, I'm hardly out of work (laughing), I haven't been out of work since I've started so I'm very fortunate, but there is a price to it all. So, for now, I'll just get to stay home a little bit more and that will be really, really cool for me. This is a great time to step back because it's the end of a cycle. We never thought we would get to forty years, are you kidding me? We're going out with a bang though! Every night there's nothing but good vibes on stage, the reviews are great, revenue is good and the audiences are loving it. We have just decided to go out there and kick ass."

Steve Lukather & Joseph Williams
Color By Kevin Albinder

Luke on the future of Toto:

"There have been eight versions of Toto, eight from the beginning lineup right up to today. People come, people go and we reconfigure. I'm the only guy that has been there for every one of them. Will there be a 9.0 (version)? I don't know, not the way it is now. It breaks my heart and I can't predict the future, but I'll tell you that on October 20th, in Philadelphia, it's the last time that you'll see this incarnation of the band."

Check out Toto's official site for tickets to their final shows & check out Luke's official site to stay up to date on everything that he's doing!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Loverboy - 'When It's Over'

"When you look into his eyes

Comes to you as no surprise

It's always the same

Every time he's out with you
He tries to tell you what to do
You don't need it that way

Sometimes you think you're playing the fool

He's running around breaking all the rules
Somehow that don't seem fair
There's got to be a better way
You know what I'm trying to say"

Believe it or not, there was a moment in time when women couldn't get enough of Loverboy's lead singer, Mike Reno. I know this for sure because my mom appeared to be one of them. Was it the red leather pants? Was it the bandanna tied around his head? Was it his aggressive lyrics that did it? Who knows maybe it was a combo of all three. All that I'm positive of is that something that he did worked because the band was hot and nearly forty years after they first got together, here we are still mentioning them.

1981's Get Lucky album really put Loverboy on the musical map here in the states and the string of singles that it produced was the proof. "When It's Over" was a breakup anthem with a twist. It was told from the perspective of a man watching another woman's relationship crumble. In other words, Reno was the best friend, would be lover or older brother trying to save you from yourself and your own bad judgment. Who doesn't need one of those? Check it out for yourself below!

Currently Booming: 80's Style Halloween Costume Ideas: Pac-Man

Items Needed
Black t-shirt and tights/pants, white paint, markers, rope, heavy paper, scissors

1. Paint white circles down your pant or tight legs.
2. Cut out your desired Pac-Man character and decorate if necessary.
3. Attach a rope.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Chaka Khan - 'Through the Fire'

"Through the fire, to the limit, to the wall For a chance to be with you I'd gladly risk it all Through the fire Through whatever, come what may For a chance at loving you I'd take it all the way Right down to the wire Even through the fire"

I remember the music of 1984 very well. I was in 7th grade and had the radio, really any radio either by my side or in my ear. Chaka Khan came out with "I Feel For You" and the song found some heavy duty radio play in between the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince and more. In gym class (which I hated) we got to listen to a few songs that were on one of the teacher's mixtapes. Chaka made the cut so gym class was just one more place where I heard her voice.

I Feel For You is her sixth solo album and as it turns out, one of the most popular ballads, "Through The Fire" was actually written for Chaka by David Foster. He was so positive that she would sing the song that he originally called it "Chaka". I think it took me a long time to really grow into the soul legend's music. As an adult, I now really get the appeal and talent of this woman.

Check out "Through The Fire" below!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Linear - 'Sending All My Love'

"I have to say goodbye to you
This pain I have inside
just makes me want to die for you
All these lonely nights
they just don't feel so right for you
Sending all my
Sending all my love
Sending all my love to you"

I completely forgot about Linear and their song, "Sending All My Love" until they randomly popped up on YouTube earlier this year. Then the song came rushing back. It was towards the end of the Latin freestyle craze that this trio hit with the synth heavy dance hit. I can remember Dance Party USA getting tons of mileage out of the guys. 

I also remember them performing it live at a local venue and loving them. "Sending All My Love" did make it to number 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1990 and it really was a huge song in its' prime. Here's the original video and I kinda think it's a nice freestyle Friday throwback to kick off your weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Saigon Kick- 'Love is on the Way'

"Time of season
Wipes the tears
No rhyme or reason
No more fears
All the dreamin'
Is far behind
You are here now
Everything's alright"

Is Saigon Kick one of the most underrated bands around? Their fans like to think so. After forming back in 1988 the band finally made a huge breakthrough with their 1992 hit ballad, "Love is on the Way". It made it to number 12 on Billboard's Hot 100 but more importantly, the song got tons of airplay across the country.

Technically, "Love is on the Way" is considered a one-hit-wonder but the band is still around, thirty years after the fact. I realized that I had never listened to a full album of Saigon Kick's and so I gave The Lizard a shot. You should too,  it's definitely worth a spin. In the meantime, here's "Love is on the Way".

Are you like me? Do you recognize this song a few seconds in, whenever you do hear it?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Karyn White - 'Romantic'

"Take me in your arms, caress me gently
Oh, I can't get enough, ooh
Thrill me, say the word, I will surrender
To your poetic charm, oh

'Cause when the night falls
I hear seductive voices sing
Romantic songs of love
Let's get intimate

Turn the lights down
It's time to get romantic
(Do everything romantic now)
Light a candle
It's time to get romantic"

My introduction to Karyn White's "Romantic" came in the summer of 1991 in a department store. Back then the juniors department always had random tv's placed near the ceiling and MTV would play nonstop. I guess the music itself was supposed to improve your shopping mood and let's face it, that still does seem to somehow work. When is the last time that you were in a clothing store that didn't have some sort of dance music on?


It must put shoppers in a good mood and boost sales, otherwise it would be Marilyn Manson playing, no?

So anyway, back to Karyn. "Romantic" was an instant New Jack Swing dance floor classic. And the video? Totally slick. I always joke that you can tell a 90's video by the blue and brown tones in the lighting. While the song itself is politely about sex, the video was pretty classy for the early 90's. Chair dance and all. I stopped shopping on that day back in 1991 to watch, just like I stopped what I was doing the other day to watch it again. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Anita Ward - 'Ring My Bell'

The night is young and full of possibilities
Well come on and let yourself be free

My love for you, so long I've been savin'
Tonight was made for me and you

Technically, "Ring My Bell" actually was released in the summer of 1979 but I'm going to sneak it in here anyway. It sold millions of copies and made sure that Anita Ward would be forever remembered as one of disco's biggest stars. It may be one of the most suggestive songs to come out of the decade but believe it or not it was actually written for a young teen to sing. Yep, "Ring My Bell" was originally supposed to be about a teen girl getting a phone call! Once it was given to Ward the lyrics were tweaked to really sex it up.

"Ring My Bell" stands out because I was totally a disco kid and it was a 45 that I HAD to have. Like, I was 8-years-old and I walked into the record store with my dad and plunked down my own money to buy it. I can still see dad telling my mom about my selection and her freaking out. Dad just laughed and reminded her that I had absolutely no idea what the song was really about and that I bought it for the music. True story but to this day every time that I hear "Ring My Bell" I still can see dad standing there justifying me buying it.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Earth, Wind & Fire - 'Let's Groove'

"Gonna tell what you can do with my love

Let you know girl
You're looking good, you're out of sight
Just move yourself
And glide like a seven-forty-seven
And lose you're self in the sky
Among the clouds in the heavens 'cause

Let this groove light up your fuse
It's alright (alright) alright, oh oh
Let this groove set in your shoes
So stand up (alright) alright"

This has been an exhausting week and music is one of the ways that I take my own version of a mental health break. I've learned over the years that, while my taste is eclectic, nothing puts me in a better mood than dance music. Today I turned to Earth, Wind & Fire for a bit of inspiration and thankfully, it worked. When I was ten "Let's Groove" came out and I remember buying the 45 and playing it into the ground- and that was just in the first few weeks that I had it. Disco was technically dead so I clung to anything even remotely resembling it. I danced my ass off in the privacy of my own room and even back then I understood that this was one of those groups that did extra.

They were the whole package, with a whole section of horns and choreographed moves, Earth, Wind & Fire was a force to be reckoned with. In many ways, they still are If you're lucky enough to catch one of their gigs now you'll quickly understand why they are still thriving. Check out "Let's Groove" below. I'm betting it makes you wanna get down too.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Foreigner's Double Vision: Then & Now Reunites Original Band Members Mick Jones, Rick Wills, Ian McDonald & Al Greenwood with Current Lineup for an Unforgettable Night in Atlantic City

(Foreigner Original Band & Current Lineup
All Photos: Cate Meighan)

When Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, and Lou Gramm first joined forces in New York City back in 1976 to form Foreigner, they never in a million years would have predicted that four decades later their music would still live on in regular radio rotation across the world. Health issues, growing pains, lineup changes, and internal strife have all played a part in the bands' evolution and temporary disintegration, but the music has always been much more powerful than all of those things combined. The music has weathered every storm that the band has faced, always waiting for them on the other side, ready to be played once the temporary diversions have been settled.

Foreigner's catalog is an overabundance of riches for any musician fortunate enough to be able to do it any sort of justice and no one understands this better than the band's original lineup, Mick Jones (lead guitar), Lou Gramm (vocals), Ian McDonald (guitar/sax), Dennis Elliott (drums), Rick Wills (bass) and Al Greenwood (keyboard). After the success of a handful of reunion shows last year, Jones, McDonald, Wills and Greenwood have once again decided to share the stage and recapture a bit of that rock and roll spotlight. 

Gramm had originally been scheduled to join them but had to bow out a few days beforehand on doctors' orders, after a temporary illness flared up.

 The Hard Rock in Atlantic City was one of only four shows slated for this year's Double Vision: Then & Now reunion and what transpired on stage really was a perfect balance of the original Foreigner members, with the current lineup. So far, this is the only rock band that has managed to successfully meld two different lineups and the end result is an incredible gift for everyone in attendance.

The first part of the show featured Foreigner's current powerhouse lineup led by Kelly Hansen on vocals. He absolutely shows off his range on hits like "Cold As Ice" and "Head Games" before sucking the crowd in with an emotional intensity on "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "That Was Yesterday". Hansen often seems to get lost in the shuffle of frontmen, but he is truly one of the best around and there's no doubt that he leaves everything that he has got on the stage night after night.

Kelly Hansen

While Hansen is leading the way, the rest of the current lineup is an incredibly skilled group of musicians, all with decades of success before even venturing to set foot on a Foreigner stage. It's unimaginable to think that anyone could ever step in for Mick Jones, yet Bruce Watson did such a phenomenal job during a medical emergency years ago that he has never left. Watson has earned his spot by being versatile enough to either play lead guitar with his own unique flair or to accentuate the magic that Jones weaves, as his right-hand man.

Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson & Kelly Hansen

Jeff Pilson (interview herespent years 'breaking the chains' with Dokken before joining Foreigner and he's still an animal onstage. One minute he is literally headbanging right in front of you and the next he is already at the opposite end of the stage rocking out. His bass playing is a standout, even on the ballads and his background vocals really add to the texture of the band. Pilson also functions as a music director and has a lot to do with all of those seamless transitions that you barely notice happening on stage.

Jeff Pilson

I think every great band needs a solid multi-instrumentalist and Tom Gimbel (interview here)  is probably THE most versatile musician currently touring. In any given song he might be playing rhythm guitar ("Head Games", "Juke Box Hero"), keyboard ("Cold As Ice", "Waiting For A Girl Like You"), or if you're really lucky you'll get to hear him on flute ("Starrider"). Hands down, Gimbel's shining moment is when he cracks out his saxophone to make "Urgent" the soaring, iconic piece that it is. 

Tom Gimbel

Michael Bluestein, on keyboards, is not only fantastic at his craft, but he is also quite an entertainer. Even from the back of the stage he always catches my eye with the way he pumps up and engages the audience. Chris Frazier has been the man behind the kit for the last eight years and he is the driving force that pushes this great band through songs like "Juke Box Hero". If drums really are the solid foundation for any band then Foreigner certainly is sitting in very solid, capable hands.

If you watch the interplay on stage with the current lineup you realize that these guys aren't lying when they say that they really are friends. There are so many little moments exchanged between them that are probably just as sentimental as the actual playing is.

 In Atlantic City, Mick Jones took to the stage right before "Urgent" and this audience (clearly raised on Foreigner) went crazy when he started playing that infamous guitar solo that begins the song.

Mick Jones

Tom Gimbel & Mick Jones

After an extra-inspired version of "Juke Box Hero" Mick introduced the rest of the original members and one by one Greenwood, Wills, and McDonald all took their place on stage. Hansen continued on lead vocals and Watson pitched in on guitar as the guys who actually played on those original recordings launched into several songs from their very first album. Less than a minute into "Feels Like the First Time" it was obvious that this stage (mostly) full of 70ish-year-old men could still rock their asses off. 

Mick Jones & Rick Wills

Rick Wills
Rick Wills on bass,  seemed to be having the time of his life, with a smile that just couldn't be contained and it was cool to see (and hear) Al Greenwood make those melodic keys dance.  Their set, which included "Blue Morning Blue Day" and "Long Long Way From Home", really made me want them to just keep playing.

Al Greenwood

Multi-instrumentalists always intrigue me because they just have so much going on.  Ian McDonald seems to go through a mental checklist while meticulously getting himself together before playing and it's cool to see him have a bit of a sax solo, complete with a bit of theatrical flair, during "Long, Long Way from Home".

The split setlist for the Double Vision: Then & Now shows is exactly as you would hope that it would be. It allows each incarnation of the band to play to their strongest current abilities and then everyone wins.  The sold-out audience in Atlantic City was certainly appreciative and perhaps even more importantly, every single guy playing seemed to be having one of the best nights of their musical career.  There was no better way to wrap up such a rare evening than by bringing all twelve musicians back onstage to perform "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded"

Jones, Hansen, Wills, Gimbel & McDonald

Jones, Hansen, Wills, Gimbel & McDonald

Kelly Hansen

Bruce Watson

Jeff Pilson

Tom Gimbel & Kelly Hansen

Jones, Pilson, Greenwood, Bluestein, Wills, McDonald, Frazer, Gimbel

Foreigner Original Band & Current Lineup


Current Lineup

Double Vision
Head Games
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
That Was Yesterday
Urgent (Introduction of Mick Jones)
Juke Box Hero

Original Band

Feels Like the First Time
Blue Morning, Blue Day
Long, Long Way from Home
Dirty White Boy

Both Bands Together

I want to Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded