Steve Miller Slams Rock Hall at 2016 Induction

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"NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Inductee Steve Miller performs onstage at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)"

Steve Miller performs onstage at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn, NY on April 8, 2016. (Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; used with permission)

Though he had been eligible to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1993, Steve Miller was nominated for induction for only the first time in 2015. On Dec. 17 of that year, he received word that he was selected as a member of the Class of 2016 and on April 8, 2016, he was formally inducted by Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

In the induction speech, Auerbach had nothing but praise for Miller: “He’s a visionary and a true musician. We’re here today celebrating Mr. Steve Miller because he is one of the most iconic and lasting songwriters of a generation. If you listen to the radio, you listen to Steve Miller.”

To celebrate his induction, Miller performed “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Rock’N Me” and “The Joker.” And then sparks flew.

In a press conference following his performance, the Space Cowboy went on a rant about the hall. “They need to get the legal work straight. They need to respect the artists who they say they’re honoring. I don’t have any of my paperwork signed. No licensing agreements with these people. They’re trying to steal footage. They’re trying to make me indemnify them.

“When they told me I was inducted they said, ‘You have two tickets — one for your wife and one for yourself. Want another one? It’s $10,000. Sorry, that’s the way it goes,’” he said. “What about my band? What about their wives? They [the Rock Hall] makes this so unpleasant.”

A Rock Hall representative tried to cut him off but Miller would have none of it. “No, we’re not going to wrap this up — I’m going to wrap you up,” he said. “You go sit down over there and learn something.”

Watch Auerbach and Carney’s speech

Watch Miller perform several of his big hits following the Black Keys speech

Watch (on YouTube) Miller’s rant in the press area, following his induction and performance

The Hall later offered a statement: “Rock ’n’ roll can ignite many opinions. It’s what makes it so great. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was honored to induct Steve Miller tonight and congratulates him.”

As Auerbach told Rolling Stone, Miller said, “‘The whole process was unpleasant.’ And for Pat [Carney] and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him.”

When notified of his selection last December, Miller stated: “From the Space Cowboy, the Joker, Maurice and the Gangster of Luv and everybody who has played with us through the years, thank you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to all the fans who voted for us.”

Related: Our review of Miller’s performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016.

On May 4, 2016, Miller talked to the Idaho Mountain Express about his first-hand experience with the Hall: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame needs to become more inclusive, not more exclusive,” he said. “It’s terribly run. I don’t respect the way they operate. I worry about the future of music.

“They were so rude. If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame conducted itself with grace and dignity, they could raise so much money and deal with these issues that are life and death to musicians,” he said. “I want to completely reorganize the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—I want to rebuild the temple. The way they deal with everything—it’s the exact opposite of what rock ’n’ roll is. They did achieve some good things with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the museum, but they’ve lost their way.”

Related: Miller talked to Best Classic Bands about the big plans for his recording catalog

Miller is on tour with Peter Frampton in 2018. Tickets are available here and here.

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  1. Mick
    #1 Mick 10 April, 2016, 19:18

    When was Steppenwolf nominated?

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