Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro was a drummer, musician, and record producer from the United States. He was most known for his work with Toto, but was also one of the most widely recorded musicians, having contributed to dozens of albums and thousands of sessions.
In the 1970s, he was already a well-known studio drummer, but he rose to prominence in the United States as the drummer on Steely Dan’s Katy Lied album.
“From the mid-70s through the early 1990s, he was the most prominent studio drummer in the rock industry,” according to AllMusic, and “it’s no exaggeration to say that the sound of pop/percussion was shaped by him.”
Jeff Porcaro’s sound dominated the 1980s system to a considerable extent. In 1993, he was elected to the Modern Drummer’s Hall of Fame.
|Real Name||Jeffery Thomas Porcaro|
|Profession||Drummer, Session Musician, Record Producer, Songwriter, Musician|
|Date of Birth||1st April, 1954|
|Age When Died||38 years, 4 months, and 4 days|
|Date of Death||5th August, 1992|
|Birthplace||Hartford, Connecticut, USA|
|Place of Death||Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, USA|
|School||Grant High School|
|Educational Qualification||High School|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 171 cm
in meters- 1.71 m
in feet inches- 5'7"
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 62 kg
in pounds- 137 lbs
|Awards||Grammys, Officer of the Legion of Honor|
|Relationships & Affairs|
|Wife Name||Susan Norris [m. 1983]|
|Parents||Father: Joe Porcaro
Mother: Mary McCartney
|Siblings||Brother: Mike Porcaro, Steve Porcaro|
|Children||Son: Christopher Joseph (1984), Miles Edwin Crawford (1986 - 2017) and Nico Hendrix (1991)|
|Net Worth [approx.]||$10 million|
Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 1, 1954, to Joe Porcaro (1930–2020), a Los Angeles session percussionist of Italian origin, and his wife, Eileen.
Mike, his younger brother, was a successful bassist who played with Toto. Steve, the younger brother, still is a studio musician and used to be a member of Toto.
Porcaro grew up in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and attended Ulysses S. Grant High School. Joleen, Jeff’s youngest sibling, was born in 1960.
Porcaro was the oldest of three sons of big band drummer Joe Porcaro; his younger brothers, Mike and Steve, also became musicians. He exhibited an interest in drumming and began seriously playing when he was seven years old.
Naturally, his father was his first teacher, and he also studied with Bob Zimmitti and Rich Lapore. At the age of 13, he formed his first band.
Joe Porcaro began working on television shows and teaching after the family had moved to Los Angeles in 1968.
Relationship, Wife, and Children
Porcaro wedded Susan Norris, a Los Angeles television presenter at KABC-TV, on October 22, 1983. Christopher Joseph (1984), Miles Edwin Crawford (1986 – 2017), and Nico Hendrix were their three boys (1991).
Jeff Porcaro went to Grant High School in Van Nuys, California, but dropped out before graduating to work on the TV show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. He was given the drum chair in Steely Dan for a four-month tour at the end of 1973.
Jeff Porcaro’s Career
Porcaro began playing the drums when he was seven years old. His father, Joe Porcaro, taught him, and he went on to study under Bob Zimmitti and Richie Lepore. He had his first professional gig as a member of Sonny & Cher’s touring band when he was seventeen years old.
Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon were his idols at the time, he later said. Porcaro played on hundreds of records during his twenties, along with several for Steely Dan.
Before co-founding Toto alongside his brother Steve and boyhood friends Steve Lukather and David Paich, he toured with Boz Scaggs. Jeff Porcaro is well-known among drummers for his work on the Grammy-winning Toto song “Rosanna,” from the album Toto IV.
The Half-Time Shuffle Groove, sometimes known as the “Purdie Shuffle,” was devised by drummer Bernard Purdie. Porcaro made his unique version of this groove by combining the shuffle with John Bonham’s groove from Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain,” while preserving a Bo Diddley kick drum beat.
Porcaro goes into great depth about this groove in a Star Licks video (now DVD) he made soon after “Rosanna” became popular.
He was a sought-after session musician in addition to his work with Toto. George Benson, Tommy Bolin, Larry Carlton, Eric Carmen, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Christopher Cross, Miles Davis, Dire Straits, Donald Fagen, Stan Getz, David Gilmour, James Newton Howard, Al Jarreau, Elton John, Leo Sayer, Greg Lake, Rickie Lee Jones, Paul McCartney, Michael McDonald, Bee Gees, Sérgio Mendes, Jim Messina, Pink Floyd, Lee Ritenour, Diana Ross, Boz Porcaro played on four tracks of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and also on the Dangerous album smash “Heal the World.”
He was also a 10cc player… However (1992). Porcaro was included on Al Stewart’s album 24 Carrots, released in 1980. The band devoted “The Night That the Stars Didn’t Show” to him on the 1993 10cc Alive album, which was recorded after his death.
Porcaro was indeed the greatest musician he had ever played with, according to Richard Marx, who devoted the song “One Man” to him. Michael Jackson dedicated his 1995 album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I to Porcaro in the liner notes.
An allergic response to an insecticide he was sprinkling in the yard of his Hidden Hills house caused him to die of a heart attack. Porcaro became unwell while conducting yard maintenance on August 5, 1992, and succumbed to full cardiac arrest.
He was temporarily revived by paramedics before being flown to Humana Hospital-West Hills in Canoga Park, Los Angeles. At 8:30 p.m., he was pronounced dead. Porcaro is buried in Hollywood Hills, California’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
The Jeff Porcaro Memorial Fund was founded to aid Grant High School in Los Angeles, California, where he had been a student in the early 1970s.
On December 14, 1992, an all-star lineup including George Harrison, Boz Scaggs, Donald Fagen, Don Henley, Michael McDonald, David Crosby, Eddie Van Halen, and members of Toto performed a memorial concert at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.
The concert’s revenues went toward establishing an educational family trust for Porcaro’s boys.
Porcaro’s tombstone bore the words “Our love doesn’t finish here; it endures eternally, on the Wings of Time,” which was taken from the Kingdom of Desire song “Wings of Time.”
Jeff Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer who died in 2010 with a net worth of $10 million.
Interesting Facts about Jeff Porcaro
- One of the best drummers in the history of music.
- For TOTO, he co-wrote a lot of notable songs, including their smash hit “Africa” (a collaboration with keyboardist David Paich).
- At the age of 17, he went on tour with Sonny and Cher.
- Drum solos were not my thing.
- Following his death in 1992, an all-star lineup including Boz Scaggs, Donald Fagen, Don Henley, Michael McDonald, Edward Van Halen, and, of course, TOTO performed at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles on December 14th, 1992.
- Steely Dan, 10CC, Tommy Bolin, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Nils Lofgren, Dire Straits, Don Henley, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Earth Wind & Fire, Bette Midler, and many others were among the artists who performed.
- “Our love doesn’t end here; it endures forever, on the wings of time,” says an inscription on his tombstone.
- He was Joe Porcaro’s son and the older brother of Steve and Mike Porcaro.
- Christopher Joseph Porcaro (born 1984), Miles Edwin Crawford Porcaro (born 1986), and Nico Hendrix Porcaro were his three sons with Susan Norris (born 1991). Miles died in 2017 when he was 31 years old.