The Gospel According to Luke Hardcover – 18 Sep 2018
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A lively . . . read . . . great anecdotes . . . Clean and sober at 60, Lukather is in a good place right now and this contented memoir mirrors that status (Classic Rock)
The Gospel According To Luke is the outrageous and hilarious autobiography of Steve Lukather, leader of the multi-million selling band Toto.See all Product description
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So,to the best of my ability I will change the review without using the same vocabulary as the subject.
I admit I am only 28% into this book but I feel compelled to write a review at this early stage.I have a love/hate relationship with Lukather as I find him to be a very dislikeable individual given the information that had always been available about him but I also think he’s one of the top 5 session guitarists alive today.
His constant haranguing/bullying of Bobby Kimball has always been a sticking point for me and when Toto played my home town (Glasgow) in 2015 I got tickets right away even though I had once promised myself that I wouldn’t ever go to see them without Kimball,although I realised that Bobby just can’t do it anymore and Joe does a great job of the very difficult vocals on Africa.
I bought that month’s edition of Classic Rock which had a Toto feature and I thought to myself “if Luke can’t get through this feature without slating Kimball I’m not going on the (I think) Friday night.
True to form,Luke absolutely slaughtered Bobby in the most personal and nasty way,even after all these years but I decided to go to the concert anyway.I am a casual fan who is into their wonderful hits but not much else however they still put on a great show with Joe doing a great job.
All’s good or so I thought,but even though I don’t have a Twitter account I checked what the guys had said.
David wrote a lovely tweet saying how much he liked the city but true to form,Lukather had to spoil it by saying he was unhappy about something and wrote “A few little things”.
I’d loved to have asked him what but I just felt it was so typical of him.But enough of my own feelings about the guy and onto the book.Here is a small excerpt from the introduction.
“I hope you enjoy this little tome.There are a few that won’t,but they are (insert anatomical area clearly meant as an insult) anyway so...(word that rhymes with ‘stuck’) off again”
He is always going on about “haters” and people behind keyboards but I am actually a fan who would LOVE the chance to say these things to his face.He is a legend (and I don’t use that word lightly) as a session guitarist but the persona he presents to the public is the reason he has so many “haters”.How dare he say that those of us who have just put money in his pocket are anatomical regions that are clearly meant as an insult if we don’t like the book.I am already enjoying it and I’m sure on completion it will be an excellent book but I would love him to read this review and maybe understand that some of us think he is a genuine legend who just happens to be a real idiot when it comes to communicating with the media or the social kind and that doesn’t make us “haters”.
The book could well be worthy of five stars and my anger at his introduction could have led to a one star review,but that would be disingenuous so I think three stars is fair whilst admitting I am only a quarter way through,but Lukather needs to learn that you don’t tell people who have just lined his pocket that they are derogatory names if they don’t like the book.I hope people enjoy the book but the co-author and subject of the book should really work on his people skills,although his age and previous arrogance means there’s probably more chance of Bobby Kimball being able to sing the outro of Africa as it sounded on record on Jimmy Kimmel tonight.
You’re a great guitarist Mr Lukather,but a real nasty piece of work at times even though I have a feeling there’s a really good side to you as well and I am (luckily for me given what anyone who doesn’t feel the same automatically becomes according to you) a genuine fan of much of your work.
The introduction is offensive and I should not be censored by quoting exactly what Lukather wrote.
I get a sense that the undercurrent of Luke's barbed comments at times stems from the fact that neither he nor any of the genius musicians in Toto have ever got the respect they deserved. Sure, not everybody is going to ove their music, but nobody can deny their credentials as musicians and songwriters. Yet people did, and for a very long time.
The band got treated badly by rock critics and their record company, and I'd have my own ill-feelings towards those people, too.
Another reviewer mentions Luke's animosity towards singer Bobby Kimball. Thst surely has roots in the fact that Bobby screweed his voice at a time when the band were looking to build on their on moment of major stardom - following the release of Toto IV. As Luke readily admits, they were all into booze and drugs, but a vocalist can't go down that path and still expect their 'instrument' to be in good shape.
The band did have haters, and it was so misdirected. They were dismissed as soulless studio musicians who joined together to take corporate cash. Well, they were session men - but what on earth is wrong with musicians who know how to play? But four or five of them had known one another for years, going back to their schooldays, so they were high school friends jamming long before they were hired hands. As for selling out to corporate rock - any band who ever signed a recording contract did that.
This is a fascinating insight into 70s and 80s music, at a time when session players blew in, did their thing is one or two takes, and blew out again. They knew their instrument, knew music, had the feel, the skill and the knowhow to deliver some of the worl'ds top music at the time. Who knew so many Toto band members were behind Boz Scaggs and Michael Jackson at the time the likes of 'Silk Degrees' and 'Thriller' came out? But they were - in fact, I loved Toto before they were even Toto, because I loved Boz and took a great interest in his recording band.
Yes, Luke has a few choice words to say about some people, but the person he criticises most of all in this book is himself. I suspect he could have been even more harsh in terms of his real enemies, but rather than take away pain and misery from this autobiography, I'm taking away the joy.
As a TOTO fan, and thus a fan of LUKE's work, including buying his solo albums, I grabbed this book as soon as it was released.
Luckily, as I had a flight same day, I read the first few chapters on the plane, and was laughing out loud at some of the quips.
Fascinating story, very open and heart-felt, and an interesting introduction and insight into the world of session musicians in LA. in the 70s/80s.
I don't get these weird rant reviews slagging off LUKE. This book is HIS story... if you don't like him, don't but it!!!
I don't know LUKE personally, so have no quarrel with any of that nonsense... but as a book, it's a great read!