Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Steve Miller Band

[Note:  The Steve Miller Band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.]

Continuing the series on bands unjustly denied a spot in the Rock & Roll of Fame [1] [2], we turn to The Steve Miller Band.  If you, like my mother and stepfather, enjoy listening to Classic Rock on the radio, you will probably be familiar with more Steve Miller Band songs than you might automatically think.  Even if you are largely a fan of newer bands, you will still find that you are familiar with more Steve Miller Band songs than you might think at the outset.  And that is probably the reason why Steve Miller Band is not (yet) in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame despite very solid credentials.

The Steve Miller Band’s Contribution

In examining the contribution of the Steve Miller Band to Rock & Roll, there are really two elements we must consider.  The first is their body of work, concentrated in the 1970’s but extending from 1968 to 1982 as far as hit singles are concerned [3].  Their first single, “Livin’ In The USA,” came out in 1968, and was notable enough to be included on the Even More Dazed And Confused Soundtrack (more on that in a bit).  Their last big hit single, Abracadabra, hit #1 in 1982.  In between those two hits, the Steve Miller Band hit the Top 40 with songs such as “The Joker”, “Take The Money And Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Swingtown,” and “Jungle Love.”  Virtually all of these songs are staples in the Classic Rock format, showing the enduring value of band’s catalog.  Their songs have also continued to be covered by successful acts, showing the influence of the Steve Miller Band on others, ranging from “Abracadabra” by Sugar Ray to the hit remake of “Fly Like An Eagle” for Seal off of the Space Jam soundtrack.

Indeed, if the hit singles of The Steve Miller Band are not enough to take notice, let us examine the lasting impact of the style and approach of the Steve Miller Band.  The band’s musical output as a whole showed a fusion of rock, country, dance, and blues elements, all shared by thematic concerns about love and a certain stoner sensibility.  Many bands have followed that template successfully, coming out of California with a laid back rock groove and similar musical and horticultural interests (Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, and Jack Johnson spring to mind).  The fact that songs by the Steve Miller Band are still played regularly on the radio, are still covered and released on albums (and as singles) by notable bands and musicians, and have inspired a second generation of bands that follow in the same groove ought to suggest that the Steve Miller band meets the standards of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and ought to have been inducted some time ago.

Why The Steve Miller Band Is A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

The combination of a strong list of amazing and successful songs, a long period of relevance for their era, and a massive influence on contemporary acts combines to make a strong case for induction by The Steve Miller Band.  Unlike many of their contemporaries on the radio during the “Classic Rock” era, they didn’t pander to the masses, and never established a reputation as a “soft” or “adult contemporary” act.  They showed some stylistic variety while making a consistently strong set of songs about love and relationships for a period of 14 years and they are still an active and relevant musical act, recording two new albums in the last two years.

Why The Steve Miller Band Isn’t A Member Of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

Perhaps Jann Werner isn’t aware that all of the grooving laid-back rock songs on the radio are from the same Steve Miller Band?  Perhaps the mainstream commercial success of the Steve Miller Band is being held against them, and perhaps Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, and Jack Johnson aren’t “cool enough” contemporary acts to serve as a good measure of their influence?  This is the problem with overly subjective standards:  they just don’t make sense.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-chicago/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-kraftwer/

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Miller_Band

About nathanalbright

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24 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Steve Miller Band

  1. edward busko says:

    what an outrage. steve miller band without question should be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame

  2. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The Doobie Brothers | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Bryan says:

    SMB is one of the greastest bands of the 60’s 70’s 80’s and still kick ass today !!!!

  4. Ahmed Kheyre says:

    The will get there, sadly, it may after they have passed on. Anywhere in the world. One day I was in the UAE driving back from the Omani border listening to local station with Australian DJ’s, long drive on a superb highway, its getting towards dusk and what comes on the radio, SMB with Jungle Love, I kid you not..

    • I can’t think of a place where that song matches reality less, but their worldwide influence even now is definitely heartening. It may take a while for them to be recognized, though, I agree.

  5. Michael Roy says:

    I think this is an outrage. The Steve Miller Band may not have had a number one album, but they had 2 number two albums and one number 3 album. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is neglecting the band and should be ashamed of themselves.

    By the way, you forgot about Jet Airliner.

  6. ericdymond says:

    The band members are all well respected musicians, Boz Scaggs, Tim Davis, Ben Sidran and the rest. I hear Boz on Radio Deluxe every now and then, but I think Chicago bands/ musicians are short changed by the hall, check the founders category for Willie Dixon , Joseph Cotton, ??? Ridiculous, and there’s many more.
    Steve is just an original, which is fine with me but hard on the old guys running the hall, like Paul Kanter said about the Hall jury after he was inducted ” who are these people?”

  7. ericdymond says:

    Ok, Dixon got in posthumously, but the focus is always metal and hair, I’ll Walter was jut a sideman…, arghh

  8. mark smolen says:

    maybe its because of that dancing fool that tours with them now? Sonny Johnson ! he aint no Norton buffalo and is a hideous person to watch. the guy is in he business for 40 years and all he can do is dance like homer simpson and shake a tambourine! get rid of this joker( no pun)! Get some backup singers that are female. Hio have seen Steve over 20 times. This Sonny guy has to go! He is sickening!

  9. Kurt says:

    My wife and I have been to several of his concerts. Always a great show! I read an article where he said the RRHOF asked for his help/ideas when they built the place. He said they then asked for some stuff and some of his personal, prized guitars. Steve said no. Why donate guitars when you are not even a member? Can’t blame him.

  10. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Journey | Edge Induced Cohesion

  11. Bob James says:

    Steve Miller is not in the HOF and probably never will be because he won’t kiss Mann Wenner’s ass. Miller has been outspoken about the elitist way in which the rock hall is run. Miller feels it’s more of a ‘cool kids club’ than a fair community democratically run and administered by peers. Miller has said harsh words about Wenner and Robbie Robertson regarding this, and rejected the rock hall’s request that he DONATE some of his historic artifacts to the museum. I agree with Steve Miller. The HOF is unfair and elitist.

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