Steve Lukather says Toto’s Africa is “like herpes”: “It comes back when you least expect it”

The guitarist was commenting on the enduring popularity of the hit track.

Steve Lukather onstage

Photo: Scott Legato / Getty Images

Steve Lukather has offered his view on the enduring popularity of Toto’s 1981 hit song, Africa, saying: “It’s like herpes. It keeps coming back when you least expect it.”

The guitarist made the facetious statement when he spoke to music blog Misplaced Straws last week (12 November), where he also doubled down on the track’s timelessness.

The line of conversation began when Lukather slammed Rolling Stone magazine for allegedly criticising his past work.

“For the first time in 43 years, I was just calling to do an interview for Rolling Stone and I asked my PR people, ‘Is this a setup?’” he told Misplaced Straws. “Because they shit on me in the Ringo band, I’m in [Ringo’s All-Starr Band] and they shit on me.”

Lukather then turned his attention to a journalist criticising Africa, alleging that the magazine used a single song to pigeonhole all of Toto’s music. It is unclear if the journalist was indeed writing for Rolling Stone.

“And then some other ass clown wrote some horrible shit about Africa,” he said. “A song that was written in 1981 by the way. Okay. 1981 and it’s still fucking everywhere.”

He continued: “[Africa] is like herpes, it comes back when you least expect it, but at the same time, it’s a golden nugget. But that’s the golden nugget that the Satan person has, and they hold it over our heads now. And it’s like they think we’re only worth one song because they own it. And it’s like, ‘Dude, we’ve got a lot of material.’”

Listen to the rest of Lukather’s interview, here.

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