After 31 years, Toto has finished.

Guitarist Steve Lukather has made the announcement via a posting at his official website.

Lukather has confirmed that he has left the band and that Toto is finished. He acknowledges that Toto hasn't really been Toto for a long time.

In the note, he blames record company President Donnie Ienner for ruining the band.

He also insists that this is not a hiatus, it is a break-up. "I really can't go out and play 'Hold the Line' with a straight face anymore," he says. "I was 19 when we cut the record. I am 50 now".

Here is the complete transcript of Lukather's announcement.

"I would like to make a formal announcement as I have been barraged by e-mails and speculations on various websites.

The fact is yes I have left Toto. There is no more Toto. I told the guys before the last leg of our tour.

We had some differences in how business was being done. The other fact is that I have been the only guy who was at the first rehearsal till the last gig a month or so ago. When Jeff died part of us all died with him. We pursued it and had some great times. Simon was a champ replacing Jeff at a most difficult time. Bobby was out of the band for 16 years and then came back and you know the other singer stories. Other than Bobby, Joe was the only guy that really fit with us cause he was a high school buddy as well. No offence to Bobby at all.

When Dave retired that was REAL hard for me cause we started the band together. Hell its 35 years if you count High School where the core all met. When Mike fell ill and had to leave that was it for me. If there isn't a Paich or at least one Porcaro how can we even call it Toto? It was bittersweet cause I finally got to tour with my dear friend and musical legend Leland Sklar whom I have known since I was 19 years old. We had some laughs and great times

Honestly I have just had enough. This is NOT a break. It is over. I really can't go out and play Hold the Line with a straight face anymore. I was 19 when we cut the record. I am 50 now.

I have only the deepest respect for the guys that have been in and out of this band over the years. We had a great run and I owe an awful lot to the experience and the success we had. We hung in there hard despite being the most hated band in the world by most so called "rock critics". We took the punches and kept going. Our old label President Donnie Ienner ruined us in the USA by not releasing our records and not letting us out of our contract for over 10 YEARS! And that really set us back. Why? You have to ask the man himself cause we never knew why. He just didn't like our music or us personally I guess. We will never know.

The USA turned their backs on us and it was very hard for me to keep smiling thru it all. It just sort of festered inside me and I was hurting myself in the process and eventually I had to be honest with myself and I was not happy at all. The guys in the current line-up could not be more different individuals and the only real thing we had in common was music. This was NOT the high school band of brothers that we started in the 70's. We had a magic thing and the same sense of humor and the same views on life. Somehow that was lost. It's not the new guys fault. It is what it is.

I just can't do it anymore and at 50 years old I wanted to start over and give it one last try on my own. As the only original member that had NEVER ever left or missed even ONE gig or recording I figured I might as well do it myself now while I can still get out and do it and have a new record that just came out and a new band that is unreal and a tour booked that will take me thru the end of summer 2009 and beyond. The title of my record says it all. Ever-Changing Times.

Today I conferred with my soul brother and founding member David Paich on this matter. He wrote me back and he said, "We are FREE"! I laughed out loud. I don't think he thought this was Toto anymore either.
There are no bad feelings from me to the other guys at all. I wish them only the very very best and all the good things in life and I am sure we will run into each other here or there and it will be hugs and all, hope so anyway.

So, there you have it. I hope you will come out to one of my shows and thank you for 31 years of friendship."

Steve Lukather, 2008


Undercover.com.au

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