In his first interview since his tumultuous entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Steve Miller explained exactly why he was so angry after his induction. “I think you should have a say in who’s going to induct you,” Miller told the San Diego Tribune. “The guys who inducted me are nice guys, but they didn’t know a thing about me. I was going to ask Elton [John]. He knows me and probably knows my music better than most people.”
According to Miller, the Hall of Fame shot down the request. “They said: ‘We’ll pick who inducts you, and it will be a surprise,'” he says. “‘Oh, and here are all these things you have to sign off on for licensing.’ I was like: ‘What are you talking about? You guys need to calm down.'” (Dan Auerebach told Rolling Stone that he regrets agreeing to induct Miller.)
Miller was so irritated that he nearly pulled out of the show. “The day before, I was going back and forth, even though my band had flown in and we had some of our gear there and were ready,” Miller said. “I felt like: ‘I don’t know if I want to do this.’ The way everybody was treated [at the inductions] was just terrible. If I’d talked to Dr. Dre a day earlier, and learned what N.W.A was going through, I probably would have [bailed too].”
Miller is the only performer from the evening that has yet to sign a release contract that will allow HBO to broadcast his portion of the show. “I spent part of today talking to my lawyer, and we’re still negotiating,” he said. It’s as bad as any contract I’ve seen in 50 years … Everything [in the contract] is hard to understand and murky, and they have all theses rights and the artists don’t have any, and you have to indemnify them. I don’t do contracts like that.”
He was also unhappy with the way organizers treated him at the Brooklyn ceremony. “I didn’t see [the board members] interact with any artists, at all, at the inductions,” Miller said. “We were dumped in little holding pens, and told: ‘OK, get out there sit at your table.’ “OK, now get up and give your speech.’ ‘OK, now play your three songs.’ ‘OK, now give us your guitar and get out of here.’ There wasn’t anyone that made you feel good about being there, except the fans.”
Were he in charge, things would be quite different. “My suggestion,” Miller said, “is to take the existing Rock Hall founders and nominating committee, give them all a plaque in the museum and then replace every one of them and start over.”
Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach says the band regrets inducting Steve Miller into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and were “disappointed” in him.