Leland Sklar taking over as Toto bassist

Bassist Leland SklarLeland Sklar taking over as Toto bassist

David Hungate retiring after 2015

By David Sands
October 2, 2015

Toto recently revealed that they’ll be hitting Japan and Europe in early 2016 for another round of touring to support their latest album, Toto XIV. Sadly, though, the group’s founding bassist, David Hungate, won’t be joining them. Taking over for him next year will be Leland Sklar, a former Toto touring bassist and a respected session player and film score composer.

In a press release issued by the group, Hungate, who’s been playing with the band again since 2014, said reuniting with Toto was “one of the sweetest experiences” and “greatest honors” of his life, but that he no longer had the “stamina and resilience required for extended touring.”

His replacement, however, comes with a rather astounding resume. Sklar first made his name in the 1970s playing with folk-rock favorite James Taylor. With more than 2,000 albums under his belt—including appearances on recordings by Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and Reba McEntire—he’s now considered among the crème de la crème of L.A. studio musicians.

Recognizable by his long Odin-like beard, Sklar has also been a popular supporting actor on screen, appearing on television shows like Knight Rider and Hill Street Blues and in films like Ghost and Forrest Gump.

The bassist got his start with Toto in 2007, filling in for Mike Porcaro, who was suffering at the time from Lou Gehrig’s disease and passed away from it earlier this year.

Sklar reflected on his previous experience playing with the group in an interview with FBPO back in 2010.

“It was wonderful! I have known the guys since they first formed the band and have done tons of studio work with many of the cats,” he said.

“The tour was a joy everyday. I was only sad that I was there to help out Mike Porcaro in a difficult time for him,” Sklar added. “Still, I was proud to do it. They are one of the best bands one could ever want to play and hang with.”

2015 has been a banner year for Toto, with Toto XIV making its way onto the Top 10 charts of nine different countries and distinguishing itself as their first new studio album release to chart in the U.S. and U.K. since 1988.

Fans wanting to catch David Hungate before he retires from the Toto can catch him at a handful of shows in Switzerland or Mexico this November. See below for a listing of the band’s announced 2016 touring schedule.

Toto’s 2016 Tour:
1/27 Brussels, Belgium, Forest National
1/28 Strasbourg, France, Zenith
1/29 Paris, France, Olympia
1/31 Bordeaux, France, Patinoire Meriadeck
2/01 Nantes, France, Zenith
2/03 Rouen, France, Zenith
2/04 Epernay-Pierry, France, Le Millesium
2/06 Torino, Italy, Parcolimpico Torino
2/07 Montichiari, Brescia, Italy, Palazzetto dello Sport
2/09 Vienna, Austria, Gasometer
2/11 Tilburg, Netherlands, 013 Poppodium Tilburg
2/14 Groningen, Netherlands, Oosterpoort
2/15 Aarhus, Denmark, Scandinavian Congress Center
2/17 Stavanger, Norway, DNB Arena
2/18 Oslo, Norway, Sentrum Scene
2/19 Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset
2/21 Helsinki, Finland, Icehall
3/03 Sendai, Japan, Sendai Sun Plaza
3/04 Yokohama, Japan, Pacifico
3/07 Tokyo, Japan, Nihon Budokan
3/09 Fukuoka, Japan, Zepp (Fukuoka)
3/10 Hiroshima, Japan, Hiroshima Ueno Gakuen Hall
3/14 Osaka, Japan, Festival Hall
3/15 Nagoya, Japan, Nagoya Shi Kokaido

Related posts:

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Warwick Bass Camp, 2015 (incl. all-star jam video with Leland Sklar)
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