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Legenday guitarist Jeff Beck is responsible for brining Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips together for the first time. Luke joined Jeff Beck and Santana for a tour in 1986, during which he meant Simon Phillips. This meeting and tour is what brought Simon's name to the forefront of the list of possible musicians to fill in for Jeff after his death in 1992.

Steve Lukather is a huge fan of Jeff Beck:

Jeff is my favorite guitar player and one of my favorite human beings," [...] "He does his parts five times, and he's still not happy. But he keeps getting better, so you can't really argue with him. Jeff is a very unique person. He never wants to repeat himself or sound like something he did before, which is good and bad." (Los Angeles Daily News, November 1997)

Luke goes on about his admiration for Beck:

I remember we were doing a show in Japan in the eighties and I was walking down the hallway and I could hear this playing; it could only be one guy. It was before he recorded "Where Were You." He was doing all that shit with the tremolo and I walked in and he's playing through a Roland keyboard practice amp and a Strat that was just lying around. There are no tricks to it. (, February 2002)

Years after the 1986 tour, Luke partly dedicated =>"Song for Jeff" to Jeff Beck and recorded a cover of "The Pump" (written by Simon Phillips and Tony Hymas) on the US release of his solo album "Luke."

In an interview with Guitar World in 1994, Luke revealed another direct-Beck influence on a Toto record:

The solo on Gypsy train is totally Beck-inspired. I had just come off doing some shows with Jeff in Japan - opening for him and then coming out to play a few tunes with him. So I came home after that and I had all this Beck influence - a lot of thirds and sevenths. Plus, on that solo, I used that technique where you hit a note with your left hand, down on the low end on the fretboard, and then you tap the same note an octave higher to get harmonic. I just wanted to play something different for that solo, rather than just doing the obvious. Jeff Beck is my hero, anyway. And also a good friend, I'm proud to say. I'm so awed of him as a person as well as a player. If you know him, it's even wilder to see what he does.

When Lukather established his own recording studio => The Steakhouse, he was very happy to welcome Beck as one of the first artists to record there. It was two years before Jeff Beck completed his album, "Who Else!" However, Beck was not satisfied with the Lukather-produced tracks, and only one track of those sessions ended up on the album ("Psycho Sam").

Beck talks about the difficulties when recording "Who Else!" in an interview with "Guitar", May 1999:

To go into a studio with no proper design on how you want to sound is a disaster--especially with great players. They make anything sound good. You need to have a captain telling you where it's going or you'll hit an iceberg. We crashed into a few icebergs on the way. Unless a miracle happens, your album is never going to get done, whereas if the material is right on, it'll finish itself a lot faster.

We never had a general picture of how the record was going to sound. I wrote one tune which was a very majestic-sounding jungle track with hypnotic, monotonous rhythms. It was a marriage of a Hendrixy-type guitar over a jungle groove, but, unfortunately, it was a novelty track. It lurked about, and I wanted to make an album around that one piece because I was so proud of it, but nothing was made. So it's in the can--the trash can.

The truth of the matter is, we didn't have enough material when we started. The stuff that was coming out was so distant and unrelated. Only one track stuck out, and it was sort of like ZZ Top on speed. It wasn't until the eleventh hour that I rang up Tony Hymas and asked him to write some music. I've got a boatload of stuff which will probably end up being more useful as ballast for the boat.

In addition to the tour on which he met Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips worked with Jeff Beck too, starting back in the 70's:

1976 was indeed a big year - it was a year when I broke out of the session scene and joined a band (not including a band I was in in '74 with Ray Russell as it happens). The first was "801" and secondly "The Jack Bruce Band". We were signed to RSO records. Playing with Jack was instant - the moment we started running a song it just worked. it was that wonderful mixture of playing rock music with a jazz mentality. I think I learnt so much from Jack during the 2 years that band was together and it is great when we get together now and play - which is rare - the last time being in '93 for his 50th birthday concert in Köln. Funnily enough I am in Warsaw now with Toto and the last time I was here was with Jack in '92 - same hall. Jeff Beck gave me the opportunity to write for him together with Tony Hymas (who was also in Jack's band). Together we wrote most of the songs on "There & Back" and really that is where my composition style started. Again playing with Jeff was so natural and it was wonderful to be able to play that music throughout the US, Japan and Europe. Last time I played with Jeff was in '93 when we wrote some music for "Blue Chips" movie soundtrack.
("All About Jazz", March 1999)


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