How much is Steve Miller worth?
|Net Worth:||$60 Million|
|Date of Birth:||October 5, 1943|
|Country:||United States of America|
Who Is Steve Miller Band
For fans of classic rock, the contributions of the Steve Miller Band during the ’70s peak of that radio-defined genre stand among the most memorable and consistent music of that era. However, the group – along with its namesake guitarist and frontman – contains many facets that more than earned a place in the pantheon of rock legends. The ’80s phase of Miller’s career perhaps stands as his most pop-oriented, although the guitarist continued to explore his myriad inspirations through five varied studio albums during the decade. Here’s a look at the long career of the Steve Miller Band.
Core ’70s & ’80s Band Members
- Steve Miller (born Steven Haworth Miller on October 5, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Lead vocals, lead guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, songwriter
- Gary Mallaber (born October 11, 1946 in Buffalo, New York) – Drums, percussion, backing vocals, songwriter
- Byron Allred – synthesizer, piano, keyboards
- Gerald Johnson – Bass guitar
- Lonnie Turner – Bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals, songwriter
- Kenny Lee Lewis – Guitar, bass guitar
Miller was a guitar prodigy almost from the start, benefiting from a close family association with legendary guitarist Les Paul that led him early and fully into learning the instrument. Spending most of his formative years in Dallas, Texas, Miller played in bands as a teen and, after an earnest but ultimately abandoned stint studying literature in college, he turned full-time to a music career. Initially working on the Chicago blues scene, Miller found a spark from the psychedelic rock of the late ’60s, moving to San Francisco and forming his long-time band there.
Blues & Psychedelic Exploration to Pop Stardom
The band’s first few albums established Miller as a respected guitarist and an advancing songwriter in the developing rock era. Early songs like “Brave New World,” “Seasons” and “Space Cowboy” were standouts that also began to establish Miller’s affinity for personae. This set the stage for the artist’s trio of classic pop/rock albums that made him a superstar – 1973’s The Joker, 1976’s Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams in 1977. The title tracks from the first two records along with “Take the Money and Run,””Rock’n Me” and “Jungle Love” became instant classic rock staples – eventually wearing out their radio welcome to a significant extent.
’80s Return & Further Successes
After the release of the band’s massive-selling Greatest Hits compilation in 1978, Miller & Co. took a bit of a hiatus from producing new material. This hurt the band’s momentum, which partially caused the experimental five-song LP, Circle of Love (1981), to fail commercially. Even so, 1982’s Abracadabra was a smash, mainly on the strength of its modern-sounding but still guitar-fueled title track. This near-flawless single topped the U.S. pop charts during the summer of 1982, and Miller had recaptured his magic.
Final Efforts of Familiar Lineup
The band’s most successful incarnation would produce just two more albums before Miller would relax his recording schedule and seek different collaborators, but 1984’s Italian X-Rays and, especially, the 1986 LP Living in the 20th Century, proved yet again that Miller possessed tremendous appeal for a wide cross section of rock music fans. The artist’s last major hit, “I Want to Make the World Turn Around,” functioned as a respectable swan song. In the years since, Miller went almost two decades without releasing an album of any kind, but his reputation and legacy as a rootsy classic rock stalwart have remained justifiably strong.
Lyrics, schmyrics. Steve Miller Live
The band members in black, Steve Miller in a light blue shirt and jeans, still looking trim and fresh at 66, play with a sound that is smooth, lines that are clean and licks that are hot. Since his first guitar lesson from his godfather, Les Paul, at age 5, Steve Miller has loved and collected guitars. His stage is designed by Broadway director Rob Roth and has a swirl of guitars from his personal collection in a “guitar galaxy” encircling the world’s largest guitar with the tuning pegs turned into working LED lights. It serves as the backdrop for some really fun party music.
The band: Kenny Lee Lewis on bass and guitars, Gordy Knudtson on drums, Joseph Wooten on keyboards and Sonny Charles stepping into the rather large and irreplaceable shoes of the late beloved Norton Buffalo on vocals are obviously having the time of their lives on this tour as they rip through a very tight 2 1/2 hour-long set. Greatest hits are blended into new songs from the recently released Bingo!, leaving the audience satisfied, entertained and thoroughly rocked.
Miller’s guitar pedigree cannot be denied and his work is a joy to experience. While many can and have argued his songs show evidence of being lyrically challenged, get over it. This is for fun. “Jet Airliner” segued straight into the “whoo! whoo!” of “Take the Money and Run” which, without pause, blended into a faster-than-studio tempo of “Mercury Blues”.
Some people call me roast beef
Next was an Earl King cover, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” then “Further on Up the Road” (which most classic rock fans will remember best as covered by Eric Clapton) sung by Sonny Charles.
Mr. Charles, as previously mentioned, is a new addition to the band. Norton Buffalo was Steve Miller’s backup vocalist (“my partner in harmony”) and harp player “for 33 1/3 years.” He died suddenly last October only 60 days after being diagnosed with lung and brain cancer. Steve said Norton would try to get him to sing incorrect lyrics to songs such as “The Joker” by repeatedly singing “some people call me roast beef” instead of “some people call me Maurice” before the show. So before Steve played “Wild Mountain Honey” solo on a 12-string guitar (a song he said he sang with Norton “probably 2,000 times and never got tired of it”) he said, “Norton, if you’re watching from heaven, say hi to Les Paul and I hope you’re having some roast beef.”
“Dance Dance Dance” flowed into a faux reggae version of “The Joker” (Maurice was sung correctly) then “Abracadabra” – lame lyrics and all — was next, but the guys were enjoying themselves so much that all was forgiven. “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”, a Jessie Hill cover, was dedicated to our fellow Americans in the Gulf and was one of several guitar-heavy cuts from the Bingo! album.
Kids Rock Free
Finishing off the main set were “The Stake”, “Living in the U.S.A.” and “Rock’n Me” (for which Dylan Brown, a freshman from Santiago High School in Corona, California, was brought on stage to jam with the band.)
The cause nearest and dearest to Steve Miller’s heart is Kids Rock Free, which he has been running for 11 years, serving over 12,000 students. Funded and equipped by Steve and Fender Guitar, Kids Rock Free is set up to augment music programs in the schools. Dylan Brown was one of the students from the program and has played in 19 shows of the tour so far.
Dylan also jammed on three out of the four encores which the band played as requests. Yeah, requests. “Fly Like an Eagle” featured an extended dueling solo contest between Steve and Dylan. “Space Cowboy”, “Swing Town” and “Jungle Love” ended an evening of fat guitars and a lot of fun.