"The record is great. It was a bunch of fun. It's on a new label, Ride Records, and I'm the first artist on the label. It's a worldwide deal too. The record is with Abe Jr., Jeff Babko, Steve Weingart & Lee Sklar. Hey I just saw Sklar here. He's hard to miss! We're doing some shows at the Baked Potato too. Were gonna break out some old stuff, songs we haven't done in a long,long time! Twentyeight years!!! The shows are with Abe Jr, Sklar & (Greg) Mathieson."
Radio airplay was the next topic and Luke said: "They don't play good music on the radio anymore. The whole music business has changed. Where do you buy music now? There's no more Tower Records. There's i tunes & i this and i that. It's sad."
I told Steve some nice things that Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs) had to say about him and a benefit they did together years ago. Steve said Dave's a sweet, sweet guy. "Those guys (The Dregs) are great. I did a slow Jeff Beck song, because with those guys it's a shred fest! Those guys shred all night so I thought I'd slow it down."
I talked to some of Luke's record cohorts about Steve's new record too. Abe Laborial Jr. told me: "It was really great! It was a fun,fun week!" Steve Weingart told me at the Neal Schon/Jeff Scott Soto gig, where he played with Marco Mendoza & Joey Heredia: "I haven't gone into the studio yet but I'm looking forward to it. It's gonna be great. It's always just laughs! It's all day long. It's a cool hang. I haven't interacted musically with Steve for about a year now. Since the El Grupo stuff."
While at the Dean Markley booth Phil Soussan said: "We cut a track with Abe Jr., Babko & Trevor. I played bass on it. It's a song we wrote together. Luke's doing a few different sessions. He's cutting about four or five songs each time. We're writing another song too. It's a really, really cool piece of music. We may possibly even do a third song!
While at the Ernie Ball booth a couple of music friends stopped by. I introduced Alex De Rosso (Ex- Dokken) to Luke. Alex is a huge Luke fan & we all listened to the only completed song from a Toto tribute that Alex is working on. Luke's eyes lit up and he was all smiles as he listened to Caught in the balance. Steve said: "This is great man. I'm really touched!" Timothy Drury (Whitesnake) also chatted with Steve about the music biz and mutual friends. Steve hung out, signed autographs, chatted with fans and friends and took pictures with whoever wanted one. Steve also invited me to the studio where I will be able to give an in depth and close up report very soon!
At last years NAMM Show I talked to alot of different music people about Steve Lukather just to get their reaction. It went very well so I figured I'd give it a shot again. Luke caught a glimpse of a copy of the list I brought from last year and was pleasantly surprised. He said: "After reading this I'm gonna get a big head. This is really nice." So here's who I talked to this year.
Albert Lee (Eric Clapton, Everly Brothers): "It's ALWAYS a pleasure to play with him. He always keeps you on your toes. We've been involved in the Ernie Ball family together for a long time now".
Mark Schulman (Cher, Pink): "He's written some of my favorite ballads of all-time."
Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple): "I brought my 15 year old son to see Luke play. Now he's very, very dicerning. He plays lead, rhythm & he shreds! He's great. I told him to watch Luke. Watch everything he does and learn from him."
Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs): "The coolest sounds I've EVER heard was when we did an Ernie BAll Benefit together in San Juan Capistrano years ago. It was a Dregs gig but Luke played with us. He played a Jeff Beck tune and it was jaw dropping. I just stood there with a look on my face. I turned to Van (Romaine) and shook my head! Then we did a gig in Texas where we got to play a long time together it was really cool. We just jammed some songs Stones songs and some other covers."
T.M Stevens (Joe Cocker, many others): "He's my boy! Tell him I'm gonna slap the "Poo-Poo" out of him! I just saw him at the Baked Potato and he is VICIOUS!!!"
Neal Schon (Journey): "He's a fuckin' mother fucker! HE IS A MONSTER!!!"
Mitch Perry (MSG, Talas, Edgar Winter): "He's the only person I know who is crazier as a person than he is as a guitar player. But make sure he knows I love him!!!"
Timothy Drury (Whitesnake, Don Henley, Eagles): "If I was a guitar player I'd wanna play like him."
Alex De Rosso (Dokken): "He is my favorite EVER!!! He is the best guitar player in the world!!!! He's so great, I'm doing a Toto tribute record with Barry Sparks (Ted Nugent), Timothy Drury (Whitesnake) and Michael T. Ross (Hardline)."
Michael Brahm (A Flock of Seagulls): "He's one of the coolest guys and greatest guitar players in the world!"
Reggie Boyle, Stevelukather.com, January 21st 2007