Steve Miller‘s gripes against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — for which the rocker was inducted Friday night — extended past the podium into the backstage area later that night. “The whole process is unpleasant,” Miller told reporters. “The whole process needs to be changed from the top to the bottom.” Talking to Rolling Stone, Miller widened his targets, throwing barbs not just at the Rock Hall — though there were many choice words about that — but at his record label rep (“I wanted to pull him by his necktie and kick him in the nuts”) and the industry in general.
Was the Hall of Fame experience what you thought it would be?
Uh. No. No, it wasn’t. It was nice. The whole experience should be completely redesigned and become much more artist-friendly.
In what way?
Starting from who you can invite, what you can do, how long you can play, what you can say. The whole thing is sort of an amateur production and doing this is harder than doing a 20-city tour.
What do you mean by “amateur production”?
A hundred thousand phone calls; the contract work. The licensing still isn’t signed and isn’t complete. Everybody is kind of a dick and an asshole. And every artist you talk to will tell you that. You’re lucky that everybody didn’t fucking walk out. It was very, very close. If you’re an investigative reporter, get fucking busy. K? Got enough?
Tell me what you’re working on.
Tell you what? What more do you want to know?
What are you up to now?
Let’s see. I’m going to San Diego and playing five gigs. And then I’m going to do some work at the Metropolitan Museum and musical instrument department at their musical gallery. And I’m working on music education for Little Kids Rock. Then I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and going to do a 50-city tour.
Do you think about recording any new albums?
No. I don’t think about it at all. There is no record business. I record a lot of things. There is no record business. There’s no reason for me to spend any money producing stuff that a record company… All the people that were sitting in the front row tonight, like the guy that came from my record company, I wanted to pull him by his necktie and kick him in the nuts.
Yeah. He’s made a billion dollars off my work over the last 50 years and the motherfucker just came over and introduced himself tonight. That cheery little thing. You know he won’t do any contract work, he won’t clean anything up, he won’t get anything done.
This whole industry fucking sucks and this little get-together you guys have here is like a private boys’ club and it’s a bunch of jackasses and jerks and fucking gangsters and crooks who’ve fucking stolen everything from a fucking artist. Telling the artist to come out here and tap dance.
I came out here for my fans. I came out for the people who take it seriously. And if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to be taken seriously, they need to put their books out in the public. They need to fucking become transparent. They need to stop lying. They need to stop all the bullshit and they need to clean it up and they need to expand it. They need to include a lot more people. And the most important thing is the fucking board of this organization really needs to enlarge their gene pool. I think you understand.