The interview that you are about to read, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to capture, as Toto's keyboard player extraordinaire and vocalist, David Paich is:
a) an incredibly busy guy, b) a guy that rarely does interviews - This is his first full length interview in years! - c) is so much in demand and d) is a bloody fantastic guy to track down and talk to!
This man has made so much music with so many artist's not to mention his own band, Toto, who gave us classic hit's like 'Hold The Line,' 'Rosanna,' 'Africa,' 'Stranger in Town' and so many more, but all of these great tracks, were all part of some killer albums too.
Sadly with the success, there has also been tradegy and sadness through various illnesses, but also the band seemed to have had to travel to Europe more often than not, to feel appreciated.
Sure there is a fan base here in the States, but it seems so much smaller and to me, it's just wrong how much they are ignored and overlooked in their homeland. Shameful ...
I do hope that this interview will possibly evoke some great memories in many old fans, who maybe got lost along the way, but are ready to listen some more to some serious talented, if not some of the greatest musicians in the world and I mean that!
I am incredibly grateful though to a few people who really deserve name checks, for making this happen - Not forgetting David himself! - so a massive thanks to first off, my new, 'old' - Almost feels that way now mate! - friend, Stuart Smith (Heaven and Earth, The Sweet), who without his help, David would never have picked up the phone! - Cheque's in the mail Stuart! Ha ha! ;-)
My good friend and former work mate, LeeAnn Hoffman, for helping with the mammoth task of transposing the majority of this interview in her own time, thank you so much, you know exactly how time consuming this is! You're a star!
Of course David's family both personal and the band (Toto), for letting David take the time out for the initial interview, as well as the back and forth with a few updates, corrections to my misunderstandings / mis-hearing, during the original phone call at the end of February this year - I kid you not, right David?! - and so much more. Cheers to you all, Simon Phillips too for his 'English edge' that gave David and I some laughs throughout.
Finally, last but by no means least, to my wondeful, yet long suffering and very tolerant - sometimes! ;-) - wife Rhonda and of course my kids, Julia and Liam, for the many hours that 'Chambers of Rock' takes me away from them.
OK, so, here we go an interview with THE man behind the keys who alongside his 'brothers' in Toto, has been the sound you have all heard on so many albums and singles, from Toto and so much more!
I caught David as he had been getting ready to do 'his' bit in this years Grammy's, primarily with the tribute to Paul McCartney this year, with 'Music Cares' and his life's contribution to music ... I think they should do one for David Paich myself!
AW: Hello David?
David: Yeah, should be. So anyway “What’s going on?”
AW: It’s relatively good, you know? So yeah, it’s not too bad and I’ve just spoken to a few people this year.
AW: I’m in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
David: I have a lot of friends that I play with now, that are from Detroit, that were ex Stevie Wonder players. You know?
AW: To Detroit is like …. It’s as if …
AW: Right … (Both laughing)
Well it is in many respects ...
AW: Yeah, but no, I meant for me, it was almost like moving from Portsmouth to London in England.
David: Right, right …
AW: You know? It’s that …
David: Right that’s about our speed … We do one day at Hammersmith.
AW: Wow, no kidding. Well, I still have fond memories of that great night in London in ’88 and it was a great album, I loved it.
Yeah I’m fond of that album; it’s one of our decent albums. You know I kinda like the first Toto album, the fourth one, and the seventh one and they are pretty much, premier albums there you know? So …
AW: Yeah, yeah. It is good stuff. It really is. And I mean one of the things I did want to ask you was from the get go is “How is Mike (Porcaro) doing?” because I know ‘Brotherly Love’ has not long come out …
AW: But, How’s he doing himself?
David: Well Mike is, Mike’s you know, I’d like to say Mike’s doing better but Mike’s … The words I can use are, Mikes hanging in there. Mike has a great attitude. In general it’s the prognosis that isn’t great you know…
David: He’s kinda been going downhill for the last three years here ‘cos it’s a very slow degenerative process.
David: Can’t walk and can’t play which is a total …
Just a heart breaking drag, you know what I mean?
David: To have a guy you grew up with, a bass player like this, that has this affliction you know what I mean? Which is one of the reasons we’re trying to get out there and make people more aware of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and to try and raise money here and give his family a little comfort zone here, ‘cos we’re not doctors, we can’t cure what he has but we can help his family a little bit … But his spirits are good, but He’s got a lovely wife and she is surrounded by a wonderful family. There’s like an Italian dinner, like every Thursday night over at his house and Emil Richards and all these Italians you know? A get together and they like have an Italian dinner like you see on TV.
AW: Uh huh.
David: I will pass on the word that you asked about him. I’m sure they’ll like that and a just tell anybody there, that Mike is … His spirits are good, and hopefully they’ll find something to cure this soon, and sooner than later.
David: His lovely wife Cheryl who is an absolute angel, you know?
Never complains … I just wish the world was full of people like her.
AW: Ah … That’s fantastic, isn’t it? I mean that we’re thankful for our other halves we have, nine times out of ten, you know?
David: I’m telling you … It’s just we take so much for granted. Thanks for asking.
AW: No, no, no, absolutely not at all and I mean that.
AW: Yeah. Yeah.
David: Well I had two things going on. Not only was it not the same band after that but I had a sister, I had a sister who passed last year.
She had a very bad illness … She had to have a double lung transplant which was successful.
David: And she was back in business and everything she had a pulmonary fibrosis.
She was doing magnificently. She dropped weight and went out and got a job. It was just like, I couldn’t believe it … It was like a miracle. She was like….
David: Then had a little bit of a problem, a backlash here ... With the lungs taking … After about a year and went into the hospital, well you know when you go into the hospital … She caught some children’s disease ...
AW: Was down, right?
AW: Oh, absolutely.
We are working on a dictionary right now that’s English to American. You know?
AW: Ha ha! OK David ….
David: … Who has known Mike and Jeff for years ...
David: So that’s why we got back together here and with (Mike’s) brother Steve (Porcaro) from the original group and me, (Steve) Lukather and Joseph Williams who’s on the “Fahrenheit” album and Nathan (East) and a we got a pretty damn good band right now!
David: That kind of thing you know?
AW: Right and you know, when you moved on without Joseph before I was like, ‘Oh man,’ you know
David: I know …
David: I like that too, you know? I mean … Every …, there’s …
Each album we did, we put our heart into …!
AW: Yeah and you know I mean I saw you guys as well at Pine Knob up here in 2002 and it was…
David: Oh yeah?
David: I don’t know if I was with my band in 2002 there.
AW: I thought you were?
David: I’m not sure I did the Pine Knob but it sounds so familiar because I’ve toured there with Boz Scaggs and Seals and Crofts and it’s always storming there, you know what I mean?
David: It’s always storming in Pine Knob (Laughs) and I went to one, what was the last time we were at Pine Knob?
I think Pink and Lenny Kravitz played the couple days after we played ...
AW: You guys, it was the “Through the Looking Glass” tour …
David: There weren’t too many people there.
David: I think it was early … We did an earlier show …
AW: There you go.
David: You did? Well congratulations it’s all….
David: Anyway if I’m still playing on stage rocking and rolling and if Mick (Jagger) and Bruce Springsteen are still out there, it’s ok to rock!
AW: Uh huh.
David: … Started changing precedents, instead of keeping the same one …. And the whole business changed there.
Editor's Note: Totally undeserved if you ask me too!
David: And we miss it, because we know we have fans here.
AW: Right, right.
David: And doing some different … We’re gonna play a day of rock!
I have some friends in Hall and Oats…
AW: Right, there you go ....
OK folks, at this point I'm wrapping up Part 1 of this very lengthy interview, Part 2 soon to follow in the next few days!
This took a lot of editing and formatting, but I think you'll all agree, it's worth the wait!
Thanks for sticking with me here folks!
My aim here at 'Chambers ...,' is to try and bring a good mix of classic and hard yet melodic rock to fans of the music' attention.
I have many friends that were out of touch with the music scene and when they get back in touch with me, I tell them about the site and so many of them have kindly thanked me for sharing what I do, especially with bringing a little history on each artist, as I do it.
Hope you feel the same way too.
Remember to keep up with David's and Toto's activities.