The Steve Miller Band, also known as Stephen Miller and the Miller Lites and The Steve Miller Experience Starring Johnny Appleseed, is an American country rock band that reached their peak with mature psychedelic–blues songs back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but are more well-known for their teenybopper AOR "radio hitz" from the mid-1970s to early 1980s like "Rock 'n' Me", "The Joker", "Fly Like an Eagle", and "Abracadabra".
Steve Miller was the son of English entertainer The Glenn Miller Band and Classical Hollywood actress Ann Miller, the brother of lawyer, bon viveur, and rock singer Milliband Milliband, and the uncle of English politicians David and Ed Milliband. He grew up loving the blues, and learned how to read and write music while soliciting many a guitar chord from other artists. After Steve's initial success as a Quiznos delivery boy, he moved to San Francisco in 1966 during the second coming of the blues, and formed Stephen Miller and the Miller Lites along with his friends Boz Scaggs, Lonnie Turner, Jim Peterman, and Tim Poppinfresh.
One time Miller was caught stealing a riff from another song and was charged $38 dollars for his crime. After this almost disastrous blow to his career, he decided that enough was enough and that he should start writing some original songs right now; Steve later was quoted saying that he wished he hadn't have done this. In an attempt to shed their image of thievery, the band changed their name to The Steve Miller Experience Starring Johnny Appleseed, but later learned that a young punk named Jimi Hendrix had already taken up a similar name for his band, so they settled on the simplistic "Steve Miller Band" name, chosen in honor of Steve's father who went missing-in-action during World War II.
When Steve decided that his goal in life was to make hit singles so he could buy more vodka and Cheez Whiz, the band signed to Capitol Records in 1967 and started recording such songs as "Space Cowboy", "Children of the Future", "Living in the U.S.A.", "The 'Honey, Don't You Want Me to Get the Morning Paper?' Blues", and "Mmm, I Want to Be Inside You"; these songs received critical acclaim but failed to live up to the three articles written about them.
During this period the band released seven albums, of which only seven copies in total were reportedly sold; five of them to Steve, and two to a strange homeless man who stalked Steve for many years to come.
Peak of successEdit
The band had reached a threshold, and desperate times called for desperate measures. Steve realized his unusual talent to sing songs that make teenage girls wet their panties, and after months of fine-tuning the ability, he recorded new songs with the band, abandoning their psychedelic sound for a more straightforward pop radio sound.
Despite the band's rocky start, many people began to notice their catchy beats and smooth rhythms, and before long, they were playing at teen girls' birthday parties around the nation. After the Joker Massacre of '73, Steve Miller and his band were brought into the national spotlight, and appeared on American Bandstand singing their new number 10 hit "The 'We're on Dick Clark's Show' Blues". They released a string of number 1 hits during this period, such as "Rock 'n' Me", " Take the Money (and Run for Congress)", "Swingtown", "The Joker", "Fry Up an Eagle", "Jet Airliner", "Jungle Love", and "Abracadabra (I Wanna Reach Out and Grab Ya)".
After nine straight years of true fine love in the jungle, whirlwind parties, dance dance dancing, and marijuana (or "happy pappy smoke", as it was known to Steve), the band's fame, once flying high like an eagle, subsided and they came down from being on top of the world, though they still made albums and toured occasionally.
In 1988, Tim Poppinfresh died of heart complications from second-hand smoke. Steve was crushed, and canceled his tour of Chicago for the rest of the year. The fans were rumored to be so mad that they kidnapped the band and held them hostage for 44 days while demanding them to play, then went on, took their money, and ran when the band refused; Miller later admitted he made the whole thing up for publicity.
After the Chicago–Poppinfresh affair, the band split up and went their own separate ways, with mixed results. Boz Scaggs formed the band Black Scaggath, Lonnie Turner took over Tim Poppinfresh's pastry-making business, Jim Peterman played the role of J. Peterman on the sitcom Seinfeld, and Steve Miller formed his new alter-ego Spike Siegel.
The band reunited in 2010 in Swingtown to a mass of screaming baby boomers, who reportedly were so rowdy that 3,000 of them crushed eachother to death while rushing into the jet airliner-shaped arena. To this day the "Space Cowboy Massacre" remains the second-largest slaughter of music geeks in the world, coming close to beating the "Pink Floyd Donnybrook" in Australia, where 3,500 Floydians were eaten by a hoard of ornery dingos.
Steve Miller currently lives in Washington with his wife Janice, and is making good money selling R&B cover albums and drug paraphernalia. His son Stephen Miller currently serves as President Donald Trump's senior policy advisor, known for his hard stance on immigration, distaste for Emma Lazarus, and tendency to lock illegal immigrant children in cages. Lonnie Turner suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in 2013 after snorting eight kilos of wild mountain honey, Jim Peterman is still attempting to get a Seinfeld reunion off the ground, and Boz Scaggs went deaf after forgetting to wear earplugs while testing out his Les Paul Ultraloud Volt X-TREME guitar.