RIP the great Joe Porcaro

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Pocketplayer
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RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby Pocketplayer » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:20 pm

Father, drummer, legendary family!
Jeff Porcaro Groove Master
http://jeffporcaro.blogspot.com
piccupstix
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby piccupstix » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:37 pm

A great and long career and he gave back to us. Thank you, Joe. RIP
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby Pocketplayer » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:05 pm

The Porcaro Influence

Joe's father was a drummer in an Italian symphonic, those bands that would march in the street playing snare drum. Joe was a percussionist and jazz drummer who didn’t take formal lessons until he was about sixteen years old. Living in Connecticut, Joe wanted to be connected to the music scene and his good friend Emil Richards had moved to Los Angeles and had come back to Connecticut telling him about L.A. To Joe, it just seemed like L.A. was the place to be, especially with the demand for studio work and he moved to California in 1968.

If you’ve ever seen the TV serials Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Baretta, Hawaii Five-O, and Medical Center...well in the 70’s that was Joe, playing percussion. Joe worked with Marty Paich! That’s right, TOTO’s David Paich’s father. Catch an old re-run of the Streets Of San Francisco and notice at the end credits who the music was arranged by. The Paich-Porcaro connection was all over the place! Talk about musical roots and making deep connections. That’s what is so great about TOTO- this group of guys are as strong as they come. No wonder their music is so tight.

Joe gave Jeff formal lessons along with a few others. Jeff said, "My dad was doing the Hartford Symphony and all of us...actually, all the Porcaro boys started out on drums. My other two brothers, Mike and Steve, were taking lessons from him at the same time. We would go down with him on the weekends to the drum shop in Connecticut and he would find some free time from his regular students and give us lessons. My brother Mike was much better on the drums than I was, who switched to bass and Steve took up piano prior to our move to California."

An average Sunday would find the Porcaro kids Jeff, Steve, and Mike gathered in the family room, drum sticks in hand, reverberating in cadence. "As far back as I can remember," says Jeff, "I wanted to be a musician. The players I listened to as a kid were studio players, and in my opinion some of the best all-around musicians happening. I remember hearing my uncle Emil Richards playing micro-tonal music with the Harry Partch Orchestra. I'm very thankful for that environment and for the experience of hearing so many talented players.”

Jeff remembers early on using his father's drums, and when he was thirteen he got into a rock band. Walking home from school one day a friend came running down the street and told him he got a new drum set. Some kid had won a Slingerland champagne sparkle set in a poker game and he sold it to Jeff’s father with cases and cymbals for something like $250.

Jeff Porcaro Groove Master
http://jeffporcaro.blogspot.com
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Steve Holmes
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby Steve Holmes » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:30 pm

I had Joe as a teacher at MI in 93. Super nice guy, great teacher. What a career. LA loses another music veteran.
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nomsgmusic
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby nomsgmusic » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:28 am

Steve,

Would you care to share what type of things Joe was teaching, what and how he taught, what you learned from him, and wha exactly made him a "great teacher?" I met him once very briefly, and always wanted to make it out there to take a few lessons, unfortunately I just never got around to it. I (and probably we) would love to have some more info on his teachings?

Thanks,
MSG
[url][/url]bluejayrecords.com/drumatic
[url][/url]vicfirth.com/artists/mark_griffith.html
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Steve Holmes
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby Steve Holmes » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:15 pm

He was friendly and approachable so he was well liked by the students. He mostly taught from the "Joe Pocaro Drumset Method" book which had some cool ideas bringing rudiments to the drum set. Truth be told I skipped his class a lot because it was something I was already comfortable with and I wanted to focus on the things I wanted to work on before I graduated. That book is a great reference though for folks trying to bridge the gap from rudiments to drum set.
piccupstix
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby piccupstix » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:14 pm

Years ago, late 80's, I went through a period of awful hand soreness and was at my wit's end trying to figure out how to overcome it. At one point I called Joe and asked if he could just check me out as far as proper technique, etc. He said sure and I drove to his house. I was a bit of a nervous wreck when I pulled into the driveway and saw a couple of nice cars with TOTOFAN license plates parked. Joe answered the door and as we walked inside he told me Jeff had a problem with his hands at one time too. I believe it's why Jeff's sig sticks were unlacquered (after this I started sandpapering all of my sticks...it did help). Inside his house were a few great pictures of Jeff. We went to a drum kit and he asked me to play something, anything. I played some standard rock beat and afterward he pointed out a couple of things about grip and relaxation but the main thing I remember was he told me to incorporate more of a triplet/swing-like feel to my playing. He was a classy sweet guy and I'll never forget it.
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Pocketplayer
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Re: RIP the great Joe Porcaro

Postby Pocketplayer » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:29 pm

Great story...not too hard to stretch out that there are 1000 stories of cats
Joe impacted with his generosity and kindness...my friend played keyboards
up to his last year at church with Joe...same stories...super nice guy...same
person at church you meet on the floor at NAMM surrounded by fans or otherwise...
such a strong family...great wife!
Jeff Porcaro Groove Master
http://jeffporcaro.blogspot.com

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