Steve Lukather

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Steve Lukather 2010 Promo
Picture by Ash Newell

Steve Lukather achieved notability in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Los Angeles, playing with a wide range of artists from Aretha Franklin to Warren Zevon. He has performed on many records (the exact amount will be known after collecting all his sessions) spanning 36 years. Music journalist Jude Gold noted, “It’s hard to name a guitarist who has had a more prolific and fulfilling career than Steve Lukather.” Lukather credits fellow Toto members David Paich and Jeff Porcaro for getting him exposure in the industry—although he lamented in an April 2011 interview that opportunities for session musicians have curtailed in recent years: “There is no ‘session guy’ thing any more—not like it was. It’s not like the old days when I was doing 25 sessions a week. All the studios are gone. The budgets are gone. The record companies are all gone.” His own output as a session musician has slowed along with the rest of the industry—as of 2009, Lukather stated he was only doing a few sessions a year. Named by Gibson Guitar Corporation as one of the top 10 session guitarists of all time, Steve Lukather has performed on many notable tracks. He performed the guitar solo for Olivia Newton-John’s popular 1981 single “Physical”, which was Billboard’s number 1 single of the 1980s. Other notable session performances include Earth, Wind & Fire’s Faces album soloing on the tracks “Back On the Road” and “You Went Away”, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, two tracks from the Lionel Richie album Can’t Slow Down, and the Richard Marx album Repeat Offender. Lukather and Jeff Porcaro were heavily involved in the recording of virtually all of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. In addition to recording guitar tracks, Lukather has also written or produced music for Lionel Richie, Richard Marx, Chicago, Donna Summer, and The Tubes. He won a Grammy award in 1982 for the George Benson song “Turn Your Love Around”