Back in 2019, Weezer set the internet ablaze with their rendition of Africa, complete with a music video starring Weird Al Yankovic as Cuomo. Toto returned the favour by launching their own cover of Weezer’s Hash Pipe.
Lukather thought it was “funny” that the bands had exchanged tracks, but soon realised that the Weezer frontman may not have found the humour in it.
“I tried to reach out to Rivers,” Lukather told Rolling Stone. “I said, ‘Hey, man, isn’t this funny? Whether you like us or not, it’s working out good for both of us.’ Silence! The cat refused to talk to me!
“I’m friends with the biggest rock ’n’ roll stars in the world, and this is the only cat that refuses to talk to me! I’m sorry, Rivers. You made a lot of fuckin’ money off this. You should be a little bit more thankful.”
Lukather continued: “But I got nothing bad to say about [Weezer]. Some of them were cool, but Rivers really hurt my feelings.”
During the interview, Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro recalled joining Weezer for a televised performance of Africa. While backstage, he remembered hearing Cuomo’s manager inform him that Weezer’s cover was poised to become a big radio hit.
“I saw Rivers wince,” the keyboardist explained. “They initially did it as a goof, but now they realised they’d have to play the song for a lot longer than they thought they would. This whole business runs on hit records. If you get one, you better be prepared to play it for the rest of your life.”
Lukather recently commented on the enduring legacy of Africa, likening the 1981 hit track to “herpes” in that it “comes back when you least expect it”.
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