The gospel according to Luke (2018)

Steve Lukather (Little, Brown Book Group, ISBN13: 9781472126429)
The gospel according to Luke Cover

The Gospel According To Luke is the outrageous and hilarious autobiography of Steve Lukather, leader of the multi-million selling band Toto and guitarist for an extraordinary array of stellar talents such as Miles Davis, Paul, George and Ringo of the Beatles, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Barbara Streisand, Don Henley and Michael Jackson.

The book is telling how Lukather and a group of high school friends formed Toto in 1977 and went on to sell more than 40 million records worldwide, cresting with the Toto IV album of 1982 which spawned such mega-global hits as 'Rosanna', 'Africa' and the Lukather-penned 'I Won't Hold You Back'. Toto IV also won them six Grammys. The book will take them right up to the present - overcoming scandals and tragedies to come back with a critically-acclaimed and US Billboard charting album in 2015 whilst their classic singles clocked up a combined total of more than 250 million views on YouTube.

However, The Gospel According to Luke at the same time navigates a much broader and richer landscape. It shares an outspoken, devil-may-care spirit and, like erstwhile Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham's hugely acclaimed Stoned autobiography, it takes the reader behind the VIP curtain of rock and pop stardom. And like Martin Scorcese's high-profile TV series Vinyl, The Gospel According to Luke recounts the vibrant, thrilling and frequently lurid history of a vanished golden age of the music business. The principal setting is the Los Angeles hit factories of the 1970s and '80s when Lukather was the superstar session player of the era, reaching the apex on Michael Jackson's Thriller blockbuster, for which Lukather and his fellow Toto members were the house band, and also co-writers on 'Human Nature'.

In The Gospel According To Luke, Lukather lifts the lid on what really went on behind the closed studio doors. His account is full of remarkable insights - both affectionate and scabrous - into the unique creative processes and peccadillos of some of the most legendary names in music. It reveals how Barbra Streisand bullied her producers, why not to invite Elton John to a party and the means by which Miles Davis could revive a dead dog. Lukather's extraordinary tale also encompasses the dark side of the American Dream: from the crashing and burning of Michael Jackson to the death in 1992 of Toto drummer and West Coast legend Jeff Porcaro from a heart seizure at just 38.

The book draws on Lukather's comprehensive diaries, which account for every session he has played on, and personal archive [including previously unpublished personal photographs from the same sessions]. The book includes supporting quotes from such friends and contemporaries of Lukather's as George Clooney, Eddie Van Halen, Ringo Starr and others.

Paul Rees was the editor-in-chief of the music magazines Q and Kerrang! He is the author of Robert Plant: A Life.


Gospel According to Luke
By (author) Paul Rees, Steve Lukather
ISBN13: 9781472126429
Imprint: Constable
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Hardback
Published: September 2018

Available as:

Hardcover book
Kindle edition
Audio edition

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Steve Lukather about Still Life, his high school band: 

"That band started in ’72, and had Michael Landau and me on guitar, John Pierce on bass, Carlos Vega on drums, and Steve Porcaro on keys. Jeff Porcaro and David Paich had already decided to form Toto, and they used to come down to our gigs. In fact, Jeff was in Steely Dan when we were in high school, and we got to hear their albums before they came out. We learned “Katy Lied” before it was ever released! When we played those songs, people thought they were great, but they also thought we’d written ’em! We were like the Junior Steely Dan; Landau played the part of Denny Dias and I was Jeff Baxter. Donald [Fagen] and Walter [Becker] actually came to one of our high school gigs, and we freaked out! They’re still one my favorite bands."