Steve Miller Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by the Black Keys
The Black Keys inducted Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during tonight's induction ceremony in Brooklyn, praising the "virtuoso guitar player" and "visionary" for being "one of the most iconic and lasting songwriters of a generation."
"If you listen to the radio, you've listened to Steve Miller," noted the speech, which found Keys members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney trading off. Offering a survey of Miller's personal and musical history, the duo recalled how he spent his formative years steeping in the Chicago blues scene before migrating to San Francisco and starting the Steve Miller Band.
"It would be extremely hard," noted the Keys, "to find a three-year stretch of hits from any artist in any genre that can hold a candle to the Steve Miller Band's run from '74-'77. A three-year stretch so prolific that it demanded its own greatest hits the very next year — one that has sold a staggering 13 million copies.
"With over 30 million albums sold," they concluded, "Steve Miller should have his own damn parking spot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if he wants it."
"Now I'm gonna tell you how it really went," joked Miller at the start of his speech. "Muddy Waters said the blues had a baby and they named it rock 'n' roll." Taking the audience on his own trip down memory lane, he listed a few of the major chapters in his musical development, including his arrival in San Francisco — and the blues band he formed shortly after scoring an early gig playing bass for Lightnin' Hopkins. Recalling playing with Chicago and extolling the virtues of the Fillmore scene, Miller traced the evolution of the live experience back to the city by the bay. "Today's rock concert," he argued, "is a direct result of what started in San Francisco 50 years ago."
"I wanna thank all the women in my life for pointing me in the right direction," he concluded. Pausing to praise his mother, grandmother and wife, Miller thanked his band members, crew and longtime manager before running down a personal roll call of honor and urging the Hall of Fame to be "more inclusive of women and to be more transparent in your dealings with the public, and most importantly, to do much more to revive music in our schools."
Finally, Miller praised everyone who loves "a good song and a good record and attend live concerts and live performance." "Without you, nothing is possible," he concluded. "With your support, everything is possible. We love you, thanks from all the members and crew of the Steve Miller Band, thanks to the Black Keys. Now let's do what we came here to do — play some music."
During a career that has now lasted over 50 years, Miller has released 17 studio albums (the most recent being 2011's Let Your Hair Down) and remained a popular live attraction. He will be touring throughout the summer of 2016, culminating in a special San Francisco show with fellow Bay Area stars Journey and Santana.
The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on April 30.
Watch the Black Keys Induct the Steve Miller Band
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