The American guitarist Steve Lukather is probably one of the most versatile musicians in Rock and Roll since he not only achieved fame as a member of Toto, but is also a respected studio musician. He has recorded over the decades with a huge number of famous artists like Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Cher, Joe Cocker, Alice Cooper, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and many more.
In an interview with Vicki Abelson (Transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs), Lukather recalled that there was a time on his life he was insecure about people not seeing him as a Rock guitarist due to his huge session work with artists from other genres. According to him, an encounter with the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer Jimmy Page, who also was a session guitarist, changed his view on that.
Steve Lukather recalls an important thing Jimmy Page told him
“We went to this thing at Guitar Center [which was] honoring Jimmy Page. And I went with Eddie Van Halen and somebody else, because Ed and I were dear friends. It was a private event that Marshall was putting on. He (Page) goes, ‘Hey, man!’ I’m like, ‘Jimmy, what? You’re my hero! So nice to meet you! What can I say?'”
“And he goes, ‘No, I just want to say something to you. I read an article where you said that being a studio musician may have hurt your career in some way and the fact that people don’t take you seriously as a musician. That’s not true. I was a studio musician. All those guys in there, they don’t know what that is.'”
“And I was like, ‘Are you serious? Are you telling me this for real?’ ‘Yeah, I’m telling you this for real.’ I gave him a big hug. And I look and him and go, ‘Can I tell people you said this?’ And he says, ‘Yes’ [Laughs] I never really mention it — I might have said something in the book and I walk around with a t-shirt on about it. I really haven’t seen him since, but getting a thumbs up from somebody like that changed my whole attitude about all that because I was trying to compete with all the rockers at the time, whatever.”
“It was a terribly insecure time in my life. I was happy that I was successful, but because I was playing with so many other kinds of records, I found that I was losing rock credibility. Which… What the f*ck does that mean? I was a working musician. How lucky was I?” Steve Lukather said.