Toto’s David Paich Resembles Keith Emerson To Jimi Hendrix

Toto keyboardist David Paich has never denied that Emerson, Lake & Palmer has been a great source of inspiration for the band. Recently, Paich joined Prog and revealed that Keith Emerson was equal to Jimi Hendrix in his and Lukather’s eyes.

“In the early days, Steve Lukather and I had seen Emerson, Lake & Palmer, so that was a pretty huge influence,” David Paich said, confirming the influence of ELP on Toto. “Keith had a nine-foot grand, a Moog, and two Hammond organs on stage. He was our Jimi Hendrix – he was the man! So, we bought the modular gear, not the Minimoogs; we wanted the monster stuff to get the big sounds like Keith. I took my grand on the road; we had keyboards on top of it, keyboards here, keyboards everywhere.”

Paich then continued, “We were always trying to expand the limits of the musicality, make rock and roll more musically interesting to musicians and our musician friends. Jeff Porcaro was playing with Steely Dan, and at the same time, we were doing sessions with Seals And Crofts and Boz Scaggs. As far as creativity went, we always wanted to extend the bookends. You can hear that on the title track of ‘Hydra.’ We found out that you can’t just play three-minute pop stuff when you play live. You have to get into some deep material.”

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of the first progressive rock bands, so they have inspired many names in the scene. While Steve Lukather had previously cited Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis as influences, David Paich recently revealed that ELP also inspired Toto in their early days and helped them create their unique sound.

When David Paich and Steve Lukather went to watch Emerson, Lake & Palmer at the beginning of their career, they realized Keith Emerson was their Jimi Hendrix. According to Paich, Emerson could play two big organs on the stage to get his sound, and he encouraged him to do the same. Moreover, ELP also helped them to experiment with different things and push their limits creatively.