This Day In Music 01.04.2016
Jeffrey Thomas "Jeff" Porcaro was born in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., on April 1, 1954. He began playing drums at the age of seven. Lessons came from his father Joe Porcaro, session percussionist.
While still a teenager, 17 years old, he began playing with Sonny and Cher, and during the next two decades he played behind acts of the biggest names in music including Boz Scaggs, Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Donald Fagen, Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, Stan Getz, Sergio Mendes, Lee Ritenour, Christopher Cross, Jim Messina, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Eric Carmen, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Larry Carlton, Michael McDonald, Seals & Croft, David Gilmour.
In 1976 Jeff co-founded Toto with his brother Steve and childhood friends Steve Lukater and David Paich. His brother Mike played bass guitar in the band. According to popular myth, at the first recording sessions, in order to distinguish their own demo tapes from other bands' in the studio, Jeff Porcaro wrote the word "Toto" on them. In the early 1980s, band members told the press that the band was named after the dog in The Wizard of Oz.
The band has released a total of 17 albums, and have sold over 40 million albums to date. The group was honored with several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.
Porcaro's 1992 (August 5) death from a heart attack has been the subject of controversy: some sources say the attack was caused by an allergic reaction to garden pesticide, while others say Porcaro's heart was weakened by cocaine use.
All Music has characterized him as "arguably the most highly regarded studio drummer in rock from the mid-'70s to the early '90s", further stating that "It is no exaggeration to say that the sound of mainstream pop/rock drumming in the 1980s was, to a large extent, the sound of Jeff Porcaro." He was posthumously inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1993.