Steve Miller’s Disappointment About His Band’s Legacy

The Steve Miller Band, previously known as the Steve Miller Blues Band, started in the rock scene, intending to contribute to the industry. There were people along the way that helped in their journey to get signed by Capitol Records. The initial band consisted of Steve Miller, guitarist James Cooke, bassist Lonnie Turner, drummer Tim Davis who replaced the departing Lance Haas, and Jim Peterman on Hammond B3 organ.

The act made a significant impact not only on blues but also on classic and psychedelic rock, with several mid to late-1970s hit singles. Their debut album ‘Children of the Future’ wasn’t a top 100 hit album on the charts and had a rocky start, but it still became the backbone of their career, followed by sixteen more studio records.

However, not everything went smoothly in the story of the Steve Miller Band. While working on their first album, they were arrested for ‘importing drugs and possession of a dangerous firearm.’ They were found innocent, and the police let them go. A couple of years later, Steve Miller broke his neck in a car accident, so the future became very unclear for the band for a while.

If all the misfortunes were not enough, the band lost five of its precious band members in the following years. Founding member Tim Davis died from complications due to diabetes in 1988 at 44. Norton Buffalo, a long-time part of the band, died from lung cancer in 2009. John King, the drummer during ‘The Joker’ era, died after a short battle with kidney cancer in 2010. The following year James Cooke died from cancer in 2011, and original bassist Lonnie Turner also passed away from lung cancer in 2013.

After every one of Steve’s bandmates passed away, other members like Jacob Peterson and Kenny Lee Lewis joined the band along the way to continue the band’s legacy, and they even went on tour with Journey in 2014. After so many years of contributing to the industry on a high level, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to honor Steve Miller.

Yet, the singer was hesitant about the decision as he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. This was not a decision the musician had any say in. He even told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he would’ve loved to include everyone in his band to receive the honor if they had asked him.

Steve Miller’s words about his solo induction into the Hall of Fame:

“It wasn’t my decision, and I didn’t have any input into any of it. If they had asked me what to do, I think I would have said, ‘Here’s a list of everyone that was ever in my band. They all ought to be here.’”

It was a bittersweet moment for Miller as he was proud that he had been inducted but also heartbroken that his bandmates didn’t get to share this moment alongside him. Steve also didn’t like the idea that his late bandmates’ contributions to the Steve Miller Band were neglected significantly, but at the end of the day, he didn’t have any say over the decision. If it were up to him, everyone, who made the band so special and one that stood the test of time, would have been included in the ceremony.