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Watch Steve Lukather jam on Crossroads with Sammy Hagar and Kenny Aronoff

(from left) Steve Lukather, Sammy Hagar and Kenny Aronoff
(Image credit: AXS TV/YouTube)

A couple of years ago, electric guitar legend Steve Lukather sat down with one-time Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar for a chat as part of the latter's popular Rock & Roll Road Trip show.

Clips from the long-running series have been surfacing on YouTube of late, and last week, AXS TV published the episode with Lukather online.

Aside from sharing a few of his always-incredible session stories (more on that in a minute) during his appearance, the Toto guitar great also picked up his Ernie Ball Music Man Luke III signature guitar to jam on the classic blues, Crossroads, with Hagar and Kenny Aronoff on drums.

You can check out the supergroup-of-sorts' jam on the tune – which features some absolutely sizzling, Clapton-by-way-of-Vaughan-by-way-of-Van Halen lead work from Lukather – below.

About those session stories, though. In just over 10 minutes, Lukather gets through quite a few of them, including a fascinating one about Michael Jackson's smash hit, Beat It.

Due to a studio mishap with analog tape, Lukather says (around the 7:15 mark), he and his Toto bandmate, Jeff Porcaro, were forced to record their parts for Beat It around Jackson's vocal track and Eddie Van Halen's legendary guitar solo, rather than the other way around. 

"Jeff Porcaro and I had to go to Sunset Sound," Lukather says, "and make this record from scratch to that, because they wanted to keep the first generation masters of the lead vocal and Ed's solo.

"So," Lukather continued, "Jeff went out and did a little click track, and put a drum track down – second take, he nailed it. Then, I played the initial guitar riff, then I played bass on it, too."

When asked by Hagar how he's fit into so many situations with "tough" musicians with big personalities, Lukather says simply, "I get along with everybody – I'm Switzerland, man... I just shut the fuck up and play the guitar."

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.