Steve Miller on Rock Hall Induction: ‘It’s Taken a Long, Long, Long Time’
Do you see yourself as a solo artist or the leader of a band?
I see myself as a little bit of both. Most of the material that we do, I’ve written and I’ve played it with lots of different people. I’ve had the same truck driver for 30 years. I think Kenny [Lee Lewis] has been in the band 35 years. Gordy [Knudtson] has been in the band 28 years. Joe [Wooten] has been in 22 years. Everyone has been in the band for a long, long time. And so I see myself as a bandleader. We’re basically doing material that I wrote and I write and it’s pretty much an expression of what I want to do and how I like to operate.
Do you think any of the guys will mind it’s just you?
Yeah, I imagine anyone that was ever in the Steve Miller Band will feel that they were definitely part of what made the band, and of course I couldn’t have done it without any of them. It wasn’t my decision, and I didn’t have any input into any of it. If they had asked me what do, I think I would have said, “Here’s a list of everyone that was ever in my band. They all ought to be here.”
“I sort of have always operated by the Marine mentality that praise is Kryptonite.”
I imagine they looked at that long list and just threw their hands up and said, “Let’s just bring in Steve. This is too complicated.” Drawing a line would have just been impossible.
I don’t think it’s impossible. If you’re in a hurry, I guess that’s the way they do it.
There’s usually a big all-star jam at the end of the night. Is there any song in your catalog that could work with Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Chicago and N.W.A?
Oh, sure, there’s lots of them. It’s whatever anybody wants to play, we can play. Let’s do “Fly Like an Eagle.” Everybody can take a solo.
Just picking three songs for your set will be tough.
I haven’t really thought about that aspect of it yet. I imagine I’ll be talking to somebody who will be going, “You’ve got four and a half minutes. Hurry up.” We’ll figure it out. It’ll be fun. We’ll have a great time.
Your moment at the podium will probably be pretty emotional. It’s a culmination of so much work you’ve done over your life.
I guess it will be. I sort of have always operated by the Marine mentality that praise is Kryptonite. I haven’t really spent a lot of time thinking about my acceptance speech. But it’s exciting and really nice for my audience and people that are really concerned about it. It’s good for them, too. I’m very happy for them.
And now every article written about you will say, “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve Miller.”
And not “Future Hall of Famer.” I always loved that. It’s such a weak statement.