“Eddie Van Halen changed the game. I remember him telling me once, ‘Man, I didn’t mean to start all this madness’”: Steve Lukather on why he’s always championed melody above all else, and how that philosophy informed his new “unabashedly ‘80s” solo album

Steve Lukather
(Image credit: Alex Solca)

A member of Toto, Steve Lukather’s melodic solos and slick songwriting defined a generation of AOR-loving fans throughout the '80s. If you can recall the sweet sounds of pop-leaning rock classics like Hold the Line, I’ll Supply the Love, Africa and I Won’t Hold You Back, then surely you’ve dug into Lukather’s inspired licks. 

Of course, a player as inspired as Lukather can’t be held down, as evidenced by his expansive career as a sideman with the likes of George Benson, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Cher, Peter Criss, Ringo Starr, Elton John and about a million others (including one especially cool appearance with George Harrison in 1992).

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.