A. “Rosanna” by Toto got its name from the actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro – sort of. Porcaro didn’t write the song – it was written by Toto leader David Paich, who was always looking for good ideas for lyrics. In an interview with Paich, he explained: “‘Rosanna’ was about a high school love, one of my first loves, but I just tagged another Rosanna’s name on there because she was going at the time with Steve Porcaro, my best friend. He had just met her and was looking to title a song with her name, and it just fit perfectly for that song right there. So it’s got her name on it, but it’s really about another high school sweetheart, which is how songs happen sometimes.”
Steve Porcaro and Rosanna Arquette broke up not long after this song was released. It would not be the last time Arquette dated a musician: she had a turbulent relationship with Peter Gabriel in the early ’90s, and in 2007, she went on some dates with Paul McCartney.
The girl who played Rosanna in the video will look familiar to fans of the movie Dirty Dancing: It’s Cynthia Rhodes, who played Penny Johnson in the movie. Patrick Swayze is also in the video, but much less visible – that’s him wearing the red jacket among Rosanna’s suitors. The West Side Story-style dance fighting was used in the clip almost a year before Michael Jackson did it in his video for “Beat It.” Even more trivia: Rhodes was married to Richard Marx from 1989-2014.