Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Some People Call Me Maurice
Listening to "Jet Airliner" on the car radio this afternoon, I realized that I have no idea what Steve Miller looks like. This is highly unusual for someone who was one of the biggest music stars of the 1970s - Miller and his eponymous band had three Number Ones, two other Top Ten hits, and three other Top Forty hits between 1973 and 1982. Yet I have a stronger mental image of Randy Van Warmer than I do of Steve Miller.
The only one of his albums from his most fecund period to feature his picture on the cover was Fly Like an Eagle, and he's throwing his head on that one, with hair covering half his face, so it's hard to get a handle on what he looks like. And maybe that's Steve on the cover of The Joker, but who knows.
The only video of his I recall seeing was a late one for "Living in the U.S.A.," which was just anonymous scenes shot around an amusement park. I never saw the Steve Miller Band on The Midnight Special, or Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, or Saturday Night Live, or anything like that. I don't know why.
The biggest problem is that Miller has a lumpy, proletarian facelessness to him - he's from Milwaukee, after all. Now that I've found a photo of him, I realize I have seen him before, but I'm sure I forgot what he looks like five minutes later. Here he is: