A music venue in Bristol that goes by the name The Exchange has recently announced it will be playing Toto’s 1982 hit “Africa” for five hours straight (11 PM to 4 AM) on November 30.
Guitarist Steve Lukather was quick to react, writing on Twitter:[metalwani_content_ad]
“This could be worse than waterboarding! LOL, I mean WTF is going on with this tune? I mean, it’s been great for us in many ways, but we recorded this as a deep-cut track in 1981. No idea what it would become! (pun intended). You think you are sick of it? But… it’s a gift now.”
After one fan wrote, “I guess music can take on a significance that essentially has zero to with the dudes/creative impulses that created it,” Steve replied:
“Hey, it’s been very good to us, no doubt! But [five] hours straight, I could not listen to anything over and over and over, no matter what it was!
“And you don’t understand humor I guess. We love the song but we are not just ‘that ‘Africa’ band’ and I think its insane anyone would play any song everrecorded for that long!
“I ain’t mad. Quite the opposite. It is funny! And weird… haha”
Michael Savage, the man behind the whole idea, explained that the money raised from the event will go to Temwa, a charity that works to reduce poverty in remote communities in Malawi. Savage said:[metalwani_content_ad]
“I drunkenly suggested I’d run a night playing just that track two years ago. I kept talking about it and now I’ve got to do it.
“I love the track, it’s unusual – the ultimate guilty pleasure – but I’m not sure whether I’ll fall asleep or not. I feel quite sorry for the bar staff, they’re going to be really stuck in the middle.”
Earlier this year, Lukather said on the No Guitar Is Safe Podcast (transcribed by UG):
“[In the ’70s] they just ignored us like we didn’t exist. The guy who co-wrote my book with me, Paul Rees – he was the editor at Q Magazine – he said that he wasn’t allowed to write about us, use our names.
“Like, [Michael Jackson’s] ‘Thriller‘ is really the biggest record in history, which we were a big part of [Steve played guitar on three tracks and bass on one, drummer Jeff Porcaro performed on four tracks, keyboardist Steve Porcaro played synthesizers on three tracks and co-wrote ‘Human Nature‘], and nobody ever acknowledged us. And I’m not saying this as a ‘poor, pitiful me,’ because that would be ridiculous.
“I just wish that somebody would take it a little bit more seriously rather than just ‘that joke ‘Africa’ band.’ Because that’s what some people think we are.
“And that was the weirdest tune we’ve ever cut in our whole lives. I said I’d run naked down Hollywood Boulevard mid-day if that song was ever a hit.”