Steve Lukather: "The bassline was easy. It wasn't like I had to be Jaco Pastorius"

Steve Lukather of TOTO performs at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on August 15, 2015 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
(Image credit: Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images & Barry King/WireImage)

A riff that everyone’s heard on a song that everyone knows by the most famous artist in the world – there’s probably not much we can tell you about Beat It that you don’t already know, is there? Aside from helping Michael Jackson’s Thriller become the world’s best-selling album of all time, Beat It received Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as two American Music Awards. 

One of the key players in the recording was studio guitarist Steve Lukather, who recently spoke with YouTuber Rick Beato about the session. “Michael had to sing me the guitar lick, but the lead vocal and the electric guitar solo was already done. I would never have thought it was going to be a hit. I used to laugh at the title and stuff, but what do I know?”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.