Beloved 1980s band Toto will take a break from blessing the rains down in Africa following a show in Philadelphia this weekend, guitarist Steve Lukather said.
The “Africa” hitmakers are scheduled to wrap their 40th anniversary tour with a show this weekend at The Met in Philly. But as Lukather told the Morning Call in a recent interview, the show won’t just serve as a cap for Toto’s tour — it will cap their current “configuration.”
“I don’t know what the future-future’s gonna be, but I do know that’s gonna be the last show in Philly for the foreseeable future,” Lukather, 61, said. “And certainly the end of this configuration of Toto.”
A rep clarified that Toto won’t be calling it quits completely, but rather taking a break following their long-running “40 Trips Around the Sun” tour.
“Future plans will be announced in 2020 as they unfold and become formal following what is a true break following the 40 Trips Around The Sun tour which has been on-going for more than two years now,” representative Steve Karas said in an email to the Inquirer.
Toto has seen a resurgence as of late. Weezer covered Toto’s hit “Africa” last year after an extended social media campaign by a Twitter account dedicated to the cause, which was run by an Ohio teen. The cover became their first hit Hot 100 in almost a decade. In return, Toto covered Weezer’s “Hash Pipe."
In addition to Lukather, a founding member of the band, the current lineup includes fellow founder Steve Porcaro and vocalist Joseph Williams. David Paich, who also helped start the band back in the late 1970s, took a hiatus from touring with the group last summer due to health issues. About 15 months ago, Lukather said, Paich “had some sort of seizure” on the band’s tour bus, and as a result is “not built for speed anymore.”
Lukather cited Paich’s health problems, as well as his own grueling touring schedule, as reasons for the band’s decision to take a break. In addition to Toto, Lukather plays in a number of other bands, including Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band and Supersonic Blues Machine, which features ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.
“This kind of lifestyle is way harder than people think it is,” he said. “They just think that we float around from city to city magically and live a life of luxury. And I’m not saying that we travel poorly, but it’s a burden to be away from your family 230 days a year, like me."
Legal issues also played into the decision go on hiatus. According to the Morning Call, the group has faced litigation with record company executives and at least one former member.
“Another bummer of our situation and why we’re calling it a day,” Lukather said. “We’ve had some horrendous litigation. Horrendous, horrendous, awful, mean, you-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of lawsuits, and we lost the suit. So it beat us down. So we gotta get away from this. We gotta get away from the whole thing.”
The group, however, has gone on hiatus before. In 2008, Lukather announced via his website that Toto was taking a break. They reformed in 2010, and have been together since.
“I don’t know, man. I can’t predict the future,” Lukather said. “I can tell you that this version is dead October 20…We gotta take a break from all this.”