NME Festival blog: ‘WTF is going on with this tune?’

‘You think YOU are sick of it?’

Toto has responded to plans by a Bristol music venue to play their monster 1981 hit ‘Africa’ on loop all night, describing the plans as ‘worse than waterboarding’.

The classic rock track will be played back-to-back from 11pm – 4am at The Exchange in Bristol on November 30.

Steve Lukather, founding member of Toto, shared his opinions on Michael Savage’s fundraiser via Twitter:

Lukather wrote: “This could be worse than waterboarding!! Lol

“I mean WTF is going on with this tune?

I mean its been GREAT for us in many ways but we recorded this as a deep cut track in 1981. NO idea what it would become!

He added: “You think YOU have heard it too much? LOL”.

‘Africa’ was released in 1982 and remains Toto’s biggest hit, receiving millions of streams.

People can either be sponsored for how long they can listen to the track or for not attending at all. Money raised will be donated to Temwa, a charity that works to reduce poverty in remote communities in Malawi.

Mr Savage, owner of Prime Cuts Record Store in Bristol, explained that the idea was the result of a drunken conversation.

“I drunkenly suggested I’d run a night playing just that track two years ago,” he said. “I kept talking about it and now I’ve got to do it.”

And if you thought you could avoid the song by escaping to a dark corner, cover versions and remixes of ‘Africa’ will play non-stop in the bar.

“I love the track, it’s unusual – the ultimate guilty pleasure – but I’m not sure whether I’ll fall asleep or not,” Mr Savage said.

“I feel quite sorry for the bar staff, they’re going to be really stuck in the middle.”

This isn’t the first time the track has been looped for hours. In August, Burger King played Toto’s ‘Africa’ for an entire day at the Camden Town branch after a Twitter campaign attracted thousands of retweets.

Earlier this year, a dedicated Twitter account named @WeezerAfrica began campaigning for Weezer to cover the track. The band eventually responded to the account, fulfilling half of the fan’s request.

However, instead of covering the 1982 hit ‘Africa’ as requested, Rivers Cuomo and co. covered Toto’s ‘Rosanna’ instead. They eventually fulfilled the request in May, posting their cover on Spotify.

Toto then took the joke full circle – covering Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’ in return.







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Straight from the NME


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