Steve Miller is the creator and driving creative force behind The Steve Miller Band, a group of talented hopefuls who came together in the mid-1960s in San Francisco. The city was on the very pulse of the counterculture movement, and free love and freethinking flowed freely up-and-down the crowded streets of the coastal city.
Miller may have been destined to be a musician. His father was very close friends with Les Paul, the legendary guitar maker who put axes in the hands of some of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock 'n roll. When Miller was a little kid, Paul heard him strumming away on his toy guitar and told young Stevie them to keep practicing until he was good enough to make a living at it.
Miller did just that. After growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he made the short yet bold move to Chicago to take up residence as a blues player. In the mid-60s, he worked with some of the biggest names in the Chicago blues scene, but ultimately became disenchanted. He drove a Volkswagen bus out to San Francisco in 1964 and supposedly used the last dollars he had to attend a Jefferson Airplane concert at the famous Fillmore Auditorium. When the concert was over, Miller realized he was a San Franciscan at heart, and he began to plant roots.
The band released their first studio album in early 1968, and their second studio album later in the year. Two albums came in 1969 as well, as they quickly identified their signature sound. 1973's The Joker featured a headlining song that sank its teeth into the listener’s soul from the very first notes.
It immediately became one of the most recognizable and requested rock 'n roll songs, and it is still in the playlist of classic rock 'n roll stations throughout North America today. During live concerts, Miller uses this as the anchor to his performance, often as part of the encore. Fly Like an Eagle was released in 1976, again with a single of the same name that immediately wove its way into 1970s rock culture. The song is a whimsical, flowing journey, allowing fans in attendance at concerts to separate themselves from reality for a moment or two. The Joker peaked at #2 on American Billboard charts, and Fly Like an Eagle topped out at #3.
1982's Abracadabra gave the band new life as they headed into a brand-new decade less focused on peace and love and more focused on financial returns. Miller was always savvy in the financial realm of music, knowing how to get the absolute most royalties out of each song and contract.
By the late-80s, The Steve Miller Band had a huge selection of songs to choose from when putting together set lists for live shows. He has continued to tour in medium-to-large venues around the globe, and a combo tour with Peter Frampton is one of the biggest on the calendar in 2017.