Originally Posted by tiki187
As a guitarist, I never really paid attention to Jeff Porcaros drumming. Some of the bands I was in covered, or attempted to cover Steely Dan, Toto and other things and the drummers just seemed off and we just didn't sound right.
Over the years, there were songs that I liked, and when I reviewed the liner notes, I see Jeff Porcaro everywhere. There was something about the songs on which he played. Lido Shuffle, Lowdown, I Keep Forgettin', The Girl is Mine, Beat It, Human Nature. Just to name a few that just resonated with me. I couldn't explain it. I just knew that there was something special about it.
One of my favorites is It's a Feeling by Toto. The beat is very subdued with great hi hat work. Then the part near the end when it sounds like he was going to explode with a thunderous roll, he's riding the bell hard for a couple of measures then he pulls it back in. Then there's Takin' It Back. I can go on, song after song where he does that one thing or two; an accent here, an open hi hat there, that just blows my mind. He played with class, great feel and pocket presence (football term.) I then realized that it was the little things and subtlety that mattered.He changed everything about me, musically. I calmed down, focused more on groove.
I didn't understand the significance of his passing, as I just started playing guitar when it happened. Now, I feel his death with each song I discovered he played on. I can only imagine the songs he would have made better had he still lived.
Because of him, what I couldn't figure out as a guitarist, I figured it out as a drummer. Because of Jeff Porcaro, I switched instruments. For that, I am eternally grateful.