Toto – Rosanna
All I want to do in the middle of the evening is hold you tight
I didn't know you were looking for more than I could ever be
Not quite a year since she went away, Rosanna
On April 1, 1982, a real legendary group released a song that really made history. We are talking about Toto, with the Porcaro brothers, David Paich, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, all true myths of the early 80s, especially in the US.
The song, as you imagine, is Rosanna. Paich wrote the song, speaking of a youthful love. Now, you must know that Toto (and especially Paich) had a passion for titles with female names, and on every Toto album in the 80s there was at least one song titled after a female name. Paich was serious about that, and it was also a way of remembering his father, an artist who had worked on a Ray Charles album where all the songs had a woman’s name.
And so he needed a woman’s name. Paich chose the girlfriend of his best friend Steve Porcaro, whose name was Rosanna. And not a common Rosanna: the actress Rosanna Arquette, who a few years later would become famous acting with Madonna in “Desperately seeking Susan”, and years later would act also in “Pulp Fiction”. She was comfortable with the musicians anyway, because she later had a story with Peter Gabriel too.
I must say that it must not have been easy for Toto fans to deal with a song written by Paich about his story, with the name of Porcaro’s girlfriend, and that was sung by Kimball!
Rosanna’s video is really one of the cornerstones of the 80s, a gang fight with a woman at the center. A kind of West Side Story, a scenario that we’ll find one year later even in Michael Jackson’s “Beat it“, for example.
In the video, Rosanna is acted by perhaps the best dancer of the 80s, Cynthia Rhodes. You can really say that the first scenes of the video capture the most famous ankles of the 80s, because we could see those ankles in every dance movie of the 80s!
In fact, Cynthia Rhodes never really had a leading actress role, but when it came to dancing, she was the first name in every movie. She had already appeared in 1980 movie “Xanadu”, and after this song, in 1983 she had two other very important roles: Tina in Flashdance, the girlwho dances “Manhunt”, probably the most beautiful dance of the whole movie, and then she also played Jackie in Staying Alive, dancing with the legendary Tony Manero.
By the way, while shooting this movie a young man much younger than her began to date her. She made him wait some years because he was too young, but after long time they married (and unfortunately after 25 years they also divorced). Do you know who he was? Richard Marx, the singer of “Angelia“!
We need to say that Cynthia Rhodes has always been a woman of very strong principles: being a beautiful woman and a sensual dancer, you can imagine how many proposals she may have received to pose or shoot nude scenes: well, she never accepted one!!!
But Cynthia didn’t stop there: her most famous role came after a few years, when she played dance instructor Penny in “Dirty Dancing”! Speaking of Dirty Dancing, do you know that also Patrick Swayze acted in this Toto video? If you look at the gang boys, there’s a guy with a red jacket. You don’t see much of him, but at the end he takes his jacket off and stays in a grey shirt, and we can see him: it’s Patrick, an 80s figure who left us really too early.
At the end, “Rosanna” is really a matter of women. Unforgettable women for an unforgettable song!
Toto on Wikipedia