JEFF PORCARO Biography - Musicians


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Name: Jeff Porcaro                                                                       
Birth name: Jeffery Thomas Porcaro                                                       
Born: 1 April 1954 Hartford, Connecticut                                                 
Died: 5 August 1992 Los Angeles, California, U.S.                                       
Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro (April 1, 1954 - August 5, 1992) was a highly regarded           
session drummer and a founding member of the Grammy Award winning band Toto. In         
his career he played with hundreds of artists and was featured on countless             
recordings. He continues to be one of the most heard drummers in history.               
Jeff was born on April 1, 1954, in Hartford, Connecticut, the eldest son of a           
Los Angeles session percussionist Joe Porcaro. His brothers Mike Porcaro and             
Steve Porcaro are both still active session musicians. He also has a younger             
sister, Joleen.                                                                         
On October 22, 1983, Jeff married Susan Norris, a Los Angeles television                 
newscaster. They had three sons, Christopher Joseph (born July 3, 1984), Miles           
Edwin Crawford (born June 12, 1986), and Nico Hendrix (born December 26, 1991).         
Jeff began playing at the age of seven. Lessons came from his father Joe Porcaro,       
followed by further studies with Bob Zimmitti and Rich Lapore. From the very             
start of his career, Jeff was viewed as one of the music industry's top drummers,       
possessing an impeccable sense of rhythm as well as a versatility that bridged           
virtually every style.                                                                   
Jeff was no stranger to the L.A. music scene growing up and, when he was just           
seventeen, he got his first professional gig playing in Sonny and Cher's touring         
band. From there he went on to play on several Steely Dan albums before co-founding     
Toto with childhood friends Steve Lukather and David Paich.                             
Jeff is thought of today as one of the most innovative drummers of his                   
generation, and an example to other musicians who seek to absorb and blend a             
wide array of musical styles. Besides his work with Toto, he also performed with         
artists such as Tommy Bolin, Jacksons, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer,           
Bee Gees, Sonny and Cher, Paul McCartney, Willy DeVille, Steely Dan, Jackson             
Browne, Donald Fagen, Ricki Lee Jones, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bonnie Raitt,           
Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Boz Scaggs, Roger Waters,       
Paul Anka, Eric Clapton, The B-52's, Joe Walsh, Lionel Richie, Earth, Wind &             
Fire, Burton Cummings and Bruce Springsteen, Larry Carlton. He also had                 
connections to Van Halen.                                                               
Richard Marx dedicated the song "One Man" to him and said Jeff was the best             
drummer he had ever worked with.                                                         
Jeff Porcaro suffered a fatal and unexpected heart attack on August 5, 1992 at           
the age of 38. He was using a pesticide in his yard and an allergic reaction to         
the substance triggered the attack. An autopsy revealed a                               
serious heart condition that had been previously undiagnosed. A report issued by         
the office of the Los Angeles County Coroner a month later also mentioned that a         
minute trace of cocaine was found in his body.                                           
Jeff's funeral, attended by an estimated 1,500 people, was                               
held August 10 in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery, where he was               
buried. The Jeff Porcaro Memorial Fund was established to benefit the music and         
art departments of Grant High School in Los Angeles where Jeff was a student in         
the early 1970s. It also provides four scholarships each year to Grant High             
School seniors. A memorial concert took place at the Universal Amphitheater in           
Los Angeles on December 14, with an all-star line up that included Boz Scaggs,           
Donald Fagen, Don Henley, Michael McDonald, George Harrison, Eddie Van Halen,           
and, of course, Toto. The proceeds of the concert were used to establish an             
educational trust fund for Jeff's sons.                                                 
Jeff is survived by his wife, Susan, sons, Christopher, Miles, and Nico, parents         
Joe and Eileen, brothers Mike and Steve, and sister Joleen.