No Substitutions (2001)

Lukather, Steve & Larry Carlton (Favored Nations, FN2060-2)

The live album No substitutions is a selection of songs that Lukather and Carlton played on their Japanese tour in 1998. The songs on this album were recorded in the Blue Note, Osaka, in November 1998. Though the album contains only five songs, there's more than enough guitar music to enjoy, because especially All blues and Only yesterday are extremely spinned out (resp. over 14 and 12 minutes).
The "Jeff Beck" song The pump was written by Simon Phillips and Tony Hymas and appeared on the 1980 Jeff Beck album There and back, with Simon Phillips on drums, Tony Hymas on keys and Mo Foster on bass. Since a few years The pump is one of Lukather's favourite live Jeff Beck covers.

Apparantly there was a preference for the Carlton songs of the concert tour, because three out of five songs are written by the old master. The pretty extended version of the Hendrix classic Red house and the funny Candyman (Sammy Davis jr.) intermezzo didn't fetch the album. The songs were recorded during one of the tour concerts in Osaka in Japan.

"I went on a tour of Japan with Larry Carlton and got into chord melodies and how he thinks musically. We've been friends for many years but never played a gig together until now (1998) so that was really awarding." (Steve Lukather in Total Guitar, February 2000)

"The solo in Kid Charlemagne (Steely Dan) stands in my mind. I was into Larry when he was in the Crusaders, but I never heard him blow like on Steely Dan's Royal Scam album. Guitar wise, the album changed my whole life. The only other person that moved me that much was Hendrix. Carlton had the rock and roll sound, but he was playing in and out of changes like a bebop player would. My mind was messed! I went, 'yeah, that's what I want to do'. I played around town and got to meet him, and he was always very nice to me." (Steve Lukather in Guitar Player, 1984).

"This also was my first opportunity to perform with Luke. His honesty toward the music is contagious. He deeply feels every note he plays and every note he hears. Consequently, he is unconsciously inspiring every musician on the stage. Luke's respect for music and the musician sets a wonderful example for us, and is a great reminder to Check your ego at the door." (Larry Carlton, booklet No substitutions).


  1. The Pump (Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas)
  2. Don't give it up (Larry Carlton)
  3. Only yesterday (Larry Carlton)
  4. All blues (Miles Davis)
  5. Room 335 (Larry Carlton)


Larry Carlton - guitar
Steve Lukather - guitar
Rick Jackson - keyboards
Chris Kent - bass
Gregg Bissonette - drums


They finally got their honour on February 27th 2002 in L.A.: Larry and Luke are the winners of the Grammy in category 11 Best Pop Instrumental Album for solo artists, duos or groups with their album No substitutions.
Luke stated that this award was particularly meaningful for him because of who his winning partner is. "When I was just starting to play, Larry was my hero. To be standing here 25 years later on stage with him with awards in our hands, it's a dream come true." Added Carlton: "Steve and I have been friends a long time, but hadn't ever played live together. We wanted to do something special for our fans in Japan, and that's how this album came together. We've both had wins before, but it's really sweet to stand here together."

Steve Lukather Side Image

Tour dates

Visit the official TOTO website for current tour dates.

  1. 19Jul2024
  2. 20Jul2024
    Veszprem, HU
  3. 22Jul2024
    Ostuni, IT
  4. 23Jul2024
    Este-Padova, IT
  5. 24Jul2024
    Lucca, IT

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