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Steve Miller: Take The Money and Run

Steve Miller's dad, "Sonny," was a pathologist in Dallas, but also a Jazz Aficionado and close friend of the great LES PAUL who along with his wife Mary Ford made the guitar an important instrument in recorded music. Les would visit the Miller family when he was in town, and little Steve who started banging on a kid's guitar at 4 was taken under the great man's wing.

 

Later Steve attended Dallas's tony St. Marks School for Boys, (He eventually was expelled) and formed a band called, "The Marksmen," which included classmate Boz Skaggs. The group became very popular locally and played a lot of gigs at different High Schools and Clubs. In Steve's senior year at the University of Wisconsin, he dropped out 4 credits short of graduating and went to Chicago where he jammed with Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy, who all encouraged him to continue to play.

 

He returned to Texas and enrolled at UT Austin, but his head was in music and the Rock and Roll scene was exploding. His dad gave him an old VW bus and like Janis Joplin he headed for San Francisco, at the time the center of the musical world. Miller caught some shows at the Fillmore and loved the vibes on the Hippy filled streets and music clubs.

 

In 1966 he formed The Steve Miller Band, scored a recording contract and released his first album in 1968: "Children of the Future." The album was deep into the Psychedelic Blues style. It became the first of 5 albums that charted but didn't throw off that hit single that made Stars. (Fun fact: Boz Skaggs rejoined him for that and the second album and then devoted to singing traditional Blues, went solo.)

 

Finally, in 1972 Miller released the album, "Recall the Beginning...A Journey from Eden," that threw off the single "The Joker" with the character Maurice, and went to #1 on the Hot 100 starting a new phase of his career where his songs were not as hard rock and more mainstream sounding.


Steve went on to record a boatload of hit records that took him and the band to the top of the heap co-headlining a major Stadium Tour with The Eagles in 1978 (and hanging with another Texas boy, Don Henley). Steve Miller was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, a subject I am going to avoid. Scott found a great video of Steve Miller playing Live in Detroit (One of the great Rock Towns) in 1982, and doing, TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. @therealdonrocks

 

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