Watch Performance of “With A Little Help From My Friends”
TOTO and The Players Club / Mascot Label Group present the title track from With A Little Help From My Friends released today, June 25. The performance can be viewed and heard here: https://youtu.be/C25LRl15fOE.
Steve Lukather shares, “We are keeping the music of Toto alive with a little help from our friends.” Joseph Williams offers, “In the midst of a global pandemic and an unprecedented lockdown we realized a few things. Musicians must play and people need to get together to watch them. It was then Luke, Dave and I decided to call upon our friends to create this performance. We welcomed new friends on to the stage and found an instant connection with them. Welcomed back old friends to do a little work! The fact is we couldn’t have pulled it off without the love and support of our friends and family. Never was a title or a song been more appropriate. I hope you enjoy ‘With a Little Help From My Friends!’”
The performance captures one special night on November 21, 2020 when Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams and David Paich appeared with the new line-up of Toto for a global event originating from Los Angeles, CA. Joining Lukather, Williams and Paich for this next chapter in their indelible history are new band members bassist John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note / Snarky Puppy), and keyboardist / background vocalist Steve Maggiora (Robert Jon & The Wreck). Keyboardist Dominique “Xavier” Taplin (Prince, Ghost-Note) and multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Warren Ham (Ringo Starr) segued over continuing their tenure in the ensemble. This marks the fifteenth incarnation of the Toto line-up in consideration of band members or sidemen who joined or exited. Prior, the band and label presented “Till The End” (https://youtu.be/vB7qFkhwaY8) and “You Are The Flower” which can be screened here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvE5NBX9HGo).
Alongside LP pressings of the audio only, both a CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray package are available. The track listing features “Till The End,” “Hold The Line,” “Pamela,” “Kingdom of Desire,” “White Sister,” “You Are The Flower,” “I Won’t Hold You Back,” “Stop Loving You,” “Home Of The Brave,” “Rosanna,” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.” In the DVD and Blu-ray releases, a documentary is featured alongside the performance, featuring thoughts from all members of the band that appeared that evening.
Steve Lukather a.k.a. Luke shares, “When the music is performed by great musicians it honors Toto. The documentary featured on the DVD offers great insights in to our thoughts looking forward. David, who stands with us, alongside Joe and myself, desire to keep this music alive. And Paich could pop in any time for a show as a special surprise. When it came to plan this specific set list, we picked an eclectic group of songs for this one night only show. Looking forward, we’ll be selecting a broader mix from the Toto catalog that includes deep cuts, the hits, and tunes from Joe and my recently released solo albums. Both of us could not be more thrilled with the global response to these records.” Joe Williams offers, “It’s always a complete joy to perform a Toto show, but this one was special. Joining me, Luke and David last November were three new top level, virtuoso musicians as well as a few returning geniuses. The show itself was born out of the need to play after being on Covid lockdown, but also served as the reason to build this new band. Right out of the gate this group gelled and dug deep into the new and old Toto material.”
Luke and Joseph Williams are life-long friends since they were kids, and bandmates sharing a deep colorful history that has thrived professionally on a global basis over the past decades. In front of staging this one night only appearance during the global pandemic, Luke offered, “We could not be more at peace with this move. There is a refreshing, optimistic enthusiasm to step in to the future. At this moment, Joe and I are the only long-tenured members of the band that want to be on the road continuing to bring music to our multi-generational fan base. I’ve spent almost four and a half decades of my life as the only original member who never missed a show or an album nurturing this legacy while enabling the music to continually exist in the live concert setting. That is something I’ll never stop doing, and when we inevitably return to the road it presents a rare opportunity to reimagine our personal futures while simultaneously preserving the deep connection that exists with the audience while likewise yielding continual discovery.” Williams shared, “Luke and I have been through a lot with one another. He’s like a brother to me. Our creative partnership has always enriched our lives. As we look towards what’s to come in unison, there is nothing but anticipation to bring everything in our minds to life. I can’t think of anyone else on Earth I’d rather launch the next chapter with than with this lifelong, loyal and gifted friend and band mate. We’re the last men standing…The Dogz of Oz!” Luke adds, “Joe and I have been friends since I was 17, and Joe was 14. During the course of this pandemic, we’ve been reevaluating our career and how to move forward. People are either not with us anymore or have retired. We still feel like kids who want to be back on the road as soon as possible. It’s where we live. Joe’s growth as a producer, songwriter, engineer, singer and performer is inspiring. The timing of this move is perfect as Joe is at the top of his game, and he amazes me every day. We are enjoying this collaboration, and could not be more enthusiastic about the future.”
With A Little Help From My Friends was Produced by Joseph Williams, who also edited the accompanying long-form video. The band’s long-time front of house engineer Ken Freeman mixed and captured the sound that evening.
On February 26th, Luke and Joe presented solo albums via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group which charted in multiple territories across the globe. Both artists made significant contributions to the other’s recordings. Additionally, David Paich performed on select tracks on Luke’s I Found The Sun Again and Williams’ Denizen Tenant. The titles were released on LP, CD and a limited-edition deluxe edition is available with the two titles bundled together. Available here: https://smarturl.it/Steve-Lukather and https://smarturl.it/JosephWilliams.