Backtracks: Steve Miller Band – Book Of Dreams

In the Steve Miller book of dreams there may be a chapter about his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame being placed at the world-famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, right in front of the iconic Capitol Records building.

As a youngster growing up in Milwaukee, Miller took a liking to music due to his mother, Bertha, a talented, jazz-influenced singer. His father was a physician and pathologist, and jazz fan plus he was an accomplished amateur studio engineer. Guitar virtuoso Les Paul and his musical partner Mary Ford would often visit the Miller residence, and Dr. and Mrs. Miller were best man and maid of honor for the December 1949 wedding of Les Paul and Mary Ford.

Steve Miller in a 1977 photo on BoomerSwag!

Miller 1977

At St. Marks School in Dallas he met and gave guitar lessons to fellow guitar player Boz Skaggs, and the pair developed both a friendship and a band, playing in clubs while attending college in Madison, Wisconsin. After schooling, Skaggs headed for London while Miller ventured to Chicago and found work playing blues. Millers band, the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band, lasted for awhile, then in 1967 Steve packed up for the developing psychedelic scene in San Francisco. He signed a “big deal” ($860,000) with Capitol/EMI Records, renamed the group the Steve Miller Band, and got busy recording.

The band recorded their debut album Children of the Future in early 1968, while in England. It came and went without a whimper. In October of ’68 the second release, Sailor, made quite a splash, reaching spot 24 on the Billboard album rankings. Among the tracks is the groovy single “Living in the USA.”

Brave New World came out in the famous ‘summer of 69’, and featured the now anthem-like “Space Cowboy.” This release contains the single “My Dark Hour”, co-written by “Paul Ramon” (aka Paul McCartney), who also joined in on drums, bass, and guitar, and sang backing vocals. 

During the early seventies, Miller released a few more studio albums, a few live tracks thrown in on Rock Love from 1971. After the double-album Anthology hit store racks in ’72, the group altered their style and focused on a more rock versus blues approach. The result was the smash title single, which topped the charts in the fall of 1973, The Joker, which has perhaps been noted as Miller’s theme song. Rolling Stone magazine ranks this effort at number 83 in the Top 100 Album Covers rankings.

Fame landed on Miller after Fly Like An Eagle was delivered to local record stores in the summer of 1976. With a bunch of top-flight singles such as the title track or “Keep On Rockin’ Me”, the record is a favorite of classic rock collectors. A year later, the BoomerSwag Backtracks for October 2018, Book of Dreams, was icing on the cake.

The album reached Top 10 status in four countries, topping Canadian charts. The album has gone on to become one of the group’s most popular studio sessions and record sales back that up. Book of Dreams has exceed triple Platinum level, and this album cover is loved by many as well, including this guitar loving fan.

The group enjoyed success and took a break from serious recording and touring, then in 1978, The Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits went to market. Another huge run of sales ensued, and the compilation has sold over 13 million copies. Another major single was added to the Miller hit list with his second Number One title track, Abracadabra, from 1982.

A few more albums have appeared since the early eighties, and the band was on hiatus. Two former band members, John Kind and James Cooke, passed away around 2010, succeeding former drummer Tim Davis, who had passed away in September of 1988.

Steve Miller Band Book of Dreams album attached to an electric guitar body on BoomerSwag!

Devoted fan!

In the fall of 2011, the band played inside the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington, to celebrate the release of the newest plane, rocking the hangar with “Jet Airliner.” In 2014 the band enjoyed a tour with fellow rockers Journey, and the latest effort from the Steve Miller Band is Let Your Hair Down, offered by Roadrunner records as a 2011 compact disc package.

Steve Miller was honored in 2016 as a new member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his incredible contributions to rock music. His skills and devotion to his music have made him a favorite of music fans worldwide. He continues to tour to sold-out events, and you can keep tabs on his activities at his pages on the web.


 




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