Joe Porcaro: Jeff Put Me Through the Grind

SKF NOTE: A nice profile of percussionist Joe Porcaro by my longtime friend and Modern Drummer colleague Robyn Flans.

From Sinatra to Scaggs, T.O. drummer has shared the beat
Posted: Jan. 02, 2016 Jan. 02, 2016
By Robyn Flans


Joe Porcaro

Imagine just moving to Los Angeles and landing your first big job as a drummer, playing a private party at Dean Martin’s house.

There was Joe Porcaro, having moved from Connecticut in 1966….

Since then, [Porcaro] has amassed such a body of live and studio work as a drummer/percussionist with Sinatra, Martin, Johnny Mathis, Pink Floyd, Boz Scaggs, Madonna and others….

Music became the family business for his sons Jeff, a drummer; Steve, on keyboards; and Mike, bass. Porcaro adds that his daughter Joleen could have become an amazing drummer had she chosen the music field as well.

Being in the same profession as his kids created some odd moments.

“I would walk into a session and ask who was playing drums,” Porcaro recalled. “‘Your son is,’ and it would freak me out. We were doing ‘Ironsides’ and they would say Jeff was on drums.

His sons were all members of Toto — Steve still is — so when it came time for Joe to record, son Jeff became the taskmaster.

He remembers the time he played bass marimba and gong on the classic “Africa.”

“After 60 seconds or so, Jeff would stop and say, ‘Dad, hold back, you’re rushing.’ Can you imagine? He’s telling his father to lay back. He put me through the grind. I had to be right on.”

Full Story

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