Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry”: Details From Toto’s Steve Porcaro

The lead singer of Toto, Steve Porcaro, recalls working on Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” during a recent interview with Sunset Sound Recorders. The rock star provided information on the recording session in which his brother also participated. He clarified: Jeff Porcaro, my brother, was present. Jeff had already endured a lot from the entire band in terms of myself and the technology. The entire band had witnessed my exploration of the synths. This is pre-midi, a time when a lot of things didn’t work and were incredibly inconvenient. Steve recalled his desire to understand synthesizers and how, during the recording of “Dirt Laundry,” it all came together. He remembered: “Toto spent a lot of studio time tinkering with this stuff with me, and Jeff and most of the others were often like, ‘What are you doing?’ because they were such pure musicians. Why don’t you just have fun and stop tinkering with that garbage? There was a lot of that, but for “Dirty Laundry,” Jeff saw me walk in, and everything immediately fit, especially since [producer Greg] Ladanyi had already produced the sync track. The musician continued by saying it was “great” that his brother could witness the results of all of his hard work on the synths.

Steve stated: “He [Jeff] got to witness everything I had learnt in action and how helpful it was in the studio. It was all like bing, bing, boom, and it was wonderful that my brother Jeff was there to witness it all in action. ‘Dirty Laundry’ became Don’s first No. 1 success as a solo artist despite the controversy surrounding an event involving Henley and an underage girl and despite Steve’s involvement to the song. On the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, it peaked at No. 1, and on the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at No. 3. Below, you may listen to “Dirty Laundry” and see Steve Porcaro’s interview with Sunset Sound Recorders.

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