Steve Miller Band

  • Rock band formed in 1966 from San Francisco California. Band members during their 70s hits were Steve Miller (frontman, guitar, vocals, keyboards), Lonnie Turner (bass guitar, backing vocals), Gary Mallaber (drums, backing vocals), Greg Douglas (slide guitar, backing vocals), David Denny (guitar, backing vocals), Byron Allred (keyboards), and Norton Buffalo (harmonica, guitar, backing vocals).
  • In 1965, Miller moved to Chicago and formed a blues band called Goldberg-Miller Blues Band. Two years later, he returned to San Francisco and formed the Steve Miller Blues Band, later shortened to just the Steve Miller Band. They played back up to Chuck Berry at a concert at Fillmore West that was released by Berry as a live album. Boz Scaggs joined the band as a guitarist soon after, performing with the group for their first 2 albums.
  • They were signed to a recording contract in 1967, and they released their debut album Children of the Future in 1968. It did not sell well, and the next 7 albums from 1968 to 1972 managed to chart on the Billboard 200 album chart, but the singles were barely noticed. These records had more of a psychedelic blues sound to them.
  • Finally, their breakthrough occurred in 1973 with The Joker. With this album, the band moved to good old rock & roll, abandoning the psychedelic sound of the earlier records. The album reached #2 on the album chart, and the single of the same name hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song contains the lyric “cause I speak of the pompatus of love.” Pompatus has no meaning – it was invented by Miller, and has become part of pop culture since. Wolfman Jack used the word frequently, and the song Clap For The Wolfman by The Guess Who includes a sound clip of Jack using the term. In 1996, a film was released starring Jon Cryer called The Pompatus of Love. And, the line has been used in episodes of The Simpsons and South Park.
  • In 1976, the Steve Miller Band released their biggest selling album, Fly Like An Eagle. Over 4 million copies were sold in the U.S., and the album reached #3 on the album chart. The 3 singles did well – Take the Money and Run hit #11, Fly Like An Eagle peaked at #2, and Rock’n Me made it to #1.
  • The follow-up album in 1977 was Book of Dreams. It was the band’s second biggest album, with sales of more than 3 million copies. More classic rock singles came from this record – Jet Airliner, Jungle Love, and Swingtown. 
  • Time for a Greatest Hits album. In 1978, Greatest Hits 1974 – 78 was released. It is one of the biggest Greatest Hits albums ever – 14 million copies were sold in the U.S., and it is in the top 30 of all time albums sold.
  • The band released 8 more albums between 1981 and 2011. They enjoyed a #1 song one more time – Abracadabra topped the chart in 1982. Their most recent work shows Miller returning to blues rock & roll.
  • The band still tours regularly, playing 63 shows in 2016 and 48 dates in 2017.
  • They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • The Steve Miller Band is a mainstay of classic rock from the 70s. Careful when attending a concert – you’ll likely come out smelling like pot. Here is his first hit – The Joker. Try not to sing along – and watch out for the pompatus of love!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.