Michael Joseph Porcaro (May 29, 1955 – March 15, 2015) was an American bass player known for his work with Toto. 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 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. Mike also used Ibanez, Alembic and Oasis basses.
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. 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. 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.
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.
On March 15, 2015, Porcaro died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles.
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