Toto's Steve Lukather Says His Band Will Hit the Stage with Michael McDonald Throughout Co-Headlining Tour
Toto kicks off a North American co-headlining tour with their old pal Michael McDonald on Saturday night in Grand Ronde, Oregon. The cross-continent outing includes 25 dates overall, and will stop in such major cities as Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New Orleans and Atlanta before winding down on September 7 in Newport News, Virginia.
As Toto guitarist Steve Lukather explains to ABC News Radio, his band's connections with McDonald pre-date the formation of the group.
"Michael was in Steely Dan with [late founding Toto drummer] Jeff Porcaro when we were still in high school," notes Lukather, adding that McDonald "was at one point approached to be in our band, but he had just joined The Doobie Brothers like a week before."
Steve also points out that Michael "sang on our records and I played on his first solo album [1982's If That What It Takes]." Lukather reports that Toto and McDonald will pretty much be collaborating on a nightly basis during this tour. "He's gonna come out and play with us and we're gonna come out and play with him," explains Lukather, "and both of us are gonna do our sets as well."
Meanwhile, Toto will be welcoming back its original bass player, David Hungate, who hasn't toured with the group in the U.S. since he exited the fold in 1982.
"[He's] coming out to play with us for the first time in 30-some-odd years and we're thrilled to have him back," says Lukather. "[W]e'll have a million laughs."
Hungate is only expected to stay with the band through end of the North American trek, when he's planning to retire from the road.
It's quite an eventful time for Toto, which put out a concert video and companion album in late April titled 35th Anniversary Tour -- Live in Poland, and is preparing a new studio album for release next March. Live in Poland, which is available on DVD, Blu-ray and as a two-CD set, documents a June 2013 show the band played in the Polish city of Lodz.
Lukather suggests that fans check out the Blu-ray version of the video because it offers "the full bells and whistles," including interviews with himself and three other longtime band members -- singer/keyboardist David Paich, keyboardist Steve Porcaro and lead singer Joe Williams.
"[It] has the extras thing that's pretty interesting, and it's been getting great reviews and we're pretty proud of it," says Steve.
Lukather explains that he and his band mates have been heartened by the resurgence of popularity Toto has been experiencing, noting that the group initially re-formed in 2010 to pay tribute to their longtime bassist, Mike Porcaro, who has been stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease. Steve says Toto's core members have been getting along so well, and fans have been reacting so positively that he thinks the band will keep going for quite a while.
"This is a good time for us right now, so I'm savoring it," Lukather tells ABC News Radio.
Of course, Steve also has another high-profile gig he'll be turning his attention to when Toto's summer trek winds down. He's a member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, which will launch a fall tour leg on October 2 in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
Here are all of Toto and Michael McDonald's upcoming joint tour dates:
8/2 -- Grand Ronde, OR, Spirit Mountain Casino
8/3 -- Marysville, WA, Tulalip Resort Casino
8/5 -- Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
8/7 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Greek Theatre
8/9 -- Indio, CA, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
8/10 -- Pala, CA, Pala Casino
8/12 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Red Butte Garden
8/14 -- Newkirk, OK, First Council Casino Hotel
8/15 -- Catoosa, OK, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
8/16 -- Durant, OK, Choctaw Event Center
8/18 -- New Orleans, LA, House of Blues
8/19 -- Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
8/20 -- Hollywood, FL, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Hard Rock Live
8/22 -- Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre
8/23 -- Blue Ash, OH, Blue Ash Summit Park
8/24 -- Charleston, WV, Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
8/26 -- Lewiston, NY, Artpark
8/29 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia Festival
8/30 -- Wisconsin Dells, WI, Crystal Grand Music Theatre
8/31 -- Windsor, ON, Canada, Caesars Windsor - The Coliseum
9/3 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
9/4 -- Glenside, PA, Keswick Theater
9/5 -- Lincoln, RI, Twin River Casino - The Event Center
9/6 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Harrah's Resort
9/7 -- Newport News, VA, Ferguson Center for the Arts
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