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The drummer that Eddie Van Halen said was one of the best

Eddie Van Halen


The drummer that Eddie Van Halen said was one of the best

Besides taking piano lessons when he was young with the incentive of his father who was also a musician, Eddie Van Halen first started playing the drums and his older brother Alex the guitar. But the two eventually realized that they were much better if they switched the instruments. The rest of the story is well known, since Eddie changed the course of the guitar playing. He showed the world that there was a lot more that could be done with the instrument.


Although Eddie didn’t play with many other artists or bands during his career, because the group had a strict policy of focusing only on their own material most of the time, he was always paying attention and hanging out with other groups. He even once said who was one of the best drummers in the world in his opinion.

The drummer that Eddie Van Halen said was one of the best

Besides being known for his amazing guitar skills and songwriting, Eddie Van Halen is also remembered as a really nice guy, who always had a big smile on his face. Although he was described as a shy person he had the chance to make many good friends during his career. One of them was the Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and the friendship made him closer to the members of Toto. He met the drummer Jeff Porcaro, who he said that in his opinion was one of the best in the world, also calling him the “groove master”.

Porcaro passed away in 1992 at the age of 38, victim of a heart condition. But his death is also credited to the fact he was ill after spraying insecticide in the yard of his home. In the same year, his bandmates prepared a tribute concert. It had artists with whom Porcaro had played during his career, since he was also an accomplished session drummer.

One of the artists invited was Eddie Van Halen and during the press conference to promote the show, he praised the late drummer. (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) “Well, to me he was definitely one of the best drummers in the world. (He was) definitely the groove master and come on, you gotta do a tribute to a cat like that. He was just too heavy, you know. That’s why I’m here and he was a buddy,” Eddie Van Halen said.

During that show Eddie Van Halen appeared and performed three songs with the band. They were Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”, Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and Toto’s “Hold The Line”.

Van Halen said Toto was “probably the best musicians collectively in any band”

Not much after his passing, in an interview with Guitar FTPM magazine in 1993, when Eddie and Lukather interviewed each other. During the conversation the Dutch-American guitarist praised Porcaro.

“Seriously, man, I’ve never seen a band play tighter than you guys. You, Paich, the Porcaros. Rest in peace, Jeff – are probably the best musicians collectively in any band. You guys won like eight Grammys one year! Why did the press give you such shit?” Eddie Van Halen said.

Porcaro was curiously the drummer from Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It”. Besides his bandmate Steve Lukather, the track also featured Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo.

The incredible work as a session drummer

Jeff Porcaro was born in 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut in a family which had several musicians. He started his musical career in 1971 as a session musician. He recorded with many incredible artists like Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Pink Floyd, Peter Frampton, Bee Gees and many more.

Like Jimmy Page, for example, Porcaro also became an established session musician before becoming famous as a member of a band. During his career he worked on hundreds of albums and played on thousands of sessions.

He also was, of course, a fundamental part of Toto’s success and that’s undeniable when for example the band’s biggest hit “Africa” is played. He was a founding member of the band and played on all their albums until he passed away. “Kingdom of Desire”, his final album with them, was released in 1992, the same year he passed away. Toto curiously had many other Jeff relatives, such as Steve Porcaro (Synthesizers, keyboards), Mike Porcaro (Bass) and Joe Porcaro (Percussion).

Toto is one of the most successful American bands of all time and have sold an estimated amount of more than 100 million records worldwide. They recently reached more than 1 billion streams of their hit “Africa”on Spotify.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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