Steve Lukather recalls “uncomfortable” first meeting with Prince: “I go, ‘Hey, man,’ and I get silence”

“I didn’t get the feeling he wanted to talk.”

[L-R] Steve Lukather and Prince

Credit: Getty Images

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Toto guitarist Steve Lukather has opened up about his first meeting with Prince, an experience he describes as more “uncomfortable” than anything.

Recalling his encounter with the music legend in a new interview with Rock History Music, Lukather says, “I walked into the studio right past him. He’s sitting on his bike. I go, ‘Hey, man.’ And I get [silence]. That was it… It was uncomfortable. Because I didn’t know what he was. And nobody did.”

“He turned out to be this brilliant artist and I’m a huge fan,” the guitarist continues. “I mean, I have no beef with Prince. Who doesn’t love [his] music? I just think that he was, I don’t know, maybe I never had a conversation for him to like, hate me for any particular reason. But you know, we didn’t hang out or go, ‘Hey, bro, how’s it going?’ There was none of that. I didn’t get the feeling he wanted to talk like that, so I left him alone. Nothing but respect to him.”

Lukather adds: “A lot of people that have worked with Prince will tell you that he’s an interesting cat. I know people that were closer in and have bad experiences, but it’s not my place to say. I mean, he’s a brilliant artist. The music will live on. My keyboard player in our band was in the last version of Prince’s band. He gave me some insightful stuff. He goes, ‘Nah, man. He’s shy.'”

“I’m not bagging on the guy – I’m just much more of a ‘Hey, how’s it going’ guy than most people are. So if that doesn’t come back to me then I’m like ‘Oh’.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Lukather also commented on the music industry’s ever-changing landscape and the difficulties it presents to young artists today looking to make it.

“It’s really hard for younger people to bust out wide open, like we were lucky enough to do when we were young,” the guitarist said. “You could have a single, and your whole career could blossom from that.”

“The album sells, you get enough songs to go out and play for at least an hour, and build your career. Now, it’s like, if you don’t have one song and a million followers on Instagram, you could write Sgt. Pepper’s [and] nobody’s gonna take it.”

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