Behind the scenes of Episode 8 (David Paich)

David was a guest that had been in the works for a long time. I had reached out to Toto’s management in the summer about potentially having him on, but the timing didn’t line up yet for an interview. To my appreciation, they got back to me in October to set up a time.

David’s episode is a little different than our usual format, as we just did an interview without the guessing section (the second episode to do that after Floyd Sneed). David is obviously a busy guy, so I didn’t have as much time to work with, however that helped to create a very concise interview that covered the biggest moments of David’s career.

It was incredible to speak with David. He’s played on songs that I’ve heard my entire life, such as “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs, “Human Nature,” by Michael Jackson, and so many more. Even cooler is the fact that he sings lead vocals on “Africa,” one of the most enduring hits of the 80s. That was a song that my friends and I played in high school all the time. During the interview, I couldn’t stop thinking about those moments, and how I was now speaking with the guy who’s voice we were hearing that whole time. This is why I love doing the podcast so much. It’s given me the opportunity to interact with and learn from people I admire. It’s been surreal for me to hear Toto songs on the radio since the interview knowing that I got to speak with one of their most important members.

David has a really interesting upbringing. His father, Marty Paich, was also in the music industry. He worked on recordings by Ray Charles, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, and more. That obviously inspired David to begin playing piano, and coming of age during the height of Beatlemania got him into rock and roll. David started in session work, with his first taste of recognition coming on the Silk Degrees record with Boz Scaggs, an album in which he co-wrote most of the songs. From there Toto was formed, allowing him to make music with his own band. It was also incredible to hear his stories about working with Michael Jackson on Thriller. Most of Toto was involved in the making of that record, and David especially was a valuable asset for producer Quincy Jones. David even got to work on “The Girl is Mine,” the duet between Michael and Paul McCartney, and he was in the studio while the two of them were working on the song. Thriller is the best selling album of all time, and a favorite of mine, so it’s cool that David had such a big part in it.

Having a guest like David is a huge step for the podcast, and it was a real honour to speak with him. I’m excited for what’s next, because this show just gets better and better with each episode!