Toto Drummer Jeff Porcaro’s Catalog Sold for $30 Million
Music publishing corporation Primary Wave has confirmed the purchase of late Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro’s catalog in a deal Billboard said was worth $30 million.
The arrangement includes master royalties on all of the albums Porcaro performed on with the band, as well as his share of the rights to Toto's signature hit “Africa,” which Porcaro co-wrote.
“Being one of the millions of fans to scream the chorus of ‘Africa’ at the top of my lungs on several occasions, this is certainly another thrilling moment in Primary Wave history,” Adam Lowenberg, Primary Wave’s chief marketing officer, said in an official statement. “Quite simply, Jeff Porcaro belongs on the Mount Rushmore of great American drummers. We are honored to work with Jeff’s wife, Susan, and their sons, to ensure that his legacy is recognized by generations to come.”
Porcaro established a reputation as a revered session drummer, notching several hundred recording credits before dying suddenly in 1992 at age 38. “As the home of legends, we feel Primary Wave is the perfect partner to continue to protect Jeff’s musical legacy,” Susan Porcaro added.
“Historically, few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively had a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of Toto,” Primary Wave's statement continued. “The band remains the benchmark by which many artists base their sound and production. Their repertoire continues to be current, via high-profile usage on both broadcast television and in films. They are one of the few ’70s bands that have endured changing trends and styles to enjoy a career with a multi-generational fan base.”
In recent years, many veteran artists have decided to sell their publishing rights to third parties, guaranteeing them a cash injection at a time when industry changes have made it more difficult for them to secure continued income.