|STEVE MILLER BAND|
George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Ryan Ordway (5:00 PM)
Extra InformationParking Opens: 4:00 PM
Doors Open: 5:00 PM
Audio Recording: No
Video Recording: No
Flash Photography: No
Food & Drink: No
*Non-Professional photography / no zoom lenses larger than 2 inches / no detachable lenses
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Steve Miller BandOne of rock music’s all-time greats, the Steve Miller Band has sold more than 30 million records in a career spanning more than 40 years. His trademark blues-rock sound made him one of the key artists in classic rock radio. The Steve Miller Band is brand name rock that millions have come to trust.
The Steve Miller Band was a cornerstone of the burgeoning underground FM rock radio stations that were springing up across the country (when disc jockey Tom Donahue started the country’s first round-the-clock FM rock station in San Francisco, the first song he played was “Children of the Future”) and the Steve Miller Band headlined an endless circuit of psychedelic ballrooms from the Electric Circus in Philadelphia to the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. He did five albums in two years. The group went though many personnel changes. He recorded an album in Nashville with top sidemen. At one point, Miller was fronting a three-piece power trio. He was tired and disgusted when he found himself leaving for a European tour, while his producer brought in another guitarist to finish his seventh album, only to get in a car crash on his way to the airport.Miller made the flight and started the tour, but, without knowing it, he had suffered a hairline fracture of his neck. Soon the pain made performing impossible. He canceled the tour and went back to live with his parents in Dallas for eight months while he recuperated. He returned to California, where he was jarred out of his depression almost by accident. A delivery man bringing firewood to Miller’s home asked if he could play Miller a tape of his music and, as the two of them sat and listened to the delivery man’s music, Miller realized the gift of his own life in music and started over again.
He gathered a band and entered the hallowed studios in the basement of the Capitol Tower in Hollywood, where they couldn’t start before midnight while the more important clients recorded through the daytime and evening hours. In nineteen days, Miller emerged with an album, “The Joker.” Given the sorry reception his records had almost uniformly received from Top 40 radio on all his previous albums, Miller never thought about hit singles, but “The Joker” was an instant anthem, a breakthrough smash that shot all the way to No. 1. He chased the chart success with another year of endless concerts and returned home to find the first substantial check he ever earned in the music business waiting for him in his mailbox. He immediately notified his astonished booking agent that he would be taking some time off, a year at least.
Miller bought a hilltop home surrounded by property on the remote edge of Marin County. He installed an eight-track studio in his living room. He spent the next year and a half writing, recording and polishing the pieces that would compose his next two albums. He paused for one performance – appearing with Pink Floyd before an audience of 100,000 at Knebworth Castle in England – playing with an impromptu group featuring his original Steve Miller Band bassist Lonnie Turner and drummer Doug Clifford of Creedence Clearwater. He wrote a number, “Rock ‘n Me,” specifically to perform before the enormous audience. Back home, he booked two weeks at CBS Studios in San Francisco in September 1975 with bassist Turner and drummer Gary Mallaber, who played “Moondance” with Van Morrison, and cut the basic tracks to both albums. He repaired to his living room studio to fuss over the tapes for months, before mixing the first album, “Fly Like An Eagle,” with engineer Jim Gaines in a marathon 48-hour session in a Seattle recording studio.“Take the Money and Run,” the first single from the new songs, hit the charts in May 1976, the first of six consecutive smashes – “Rock ‘n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner,” “Jungle Love,” “Swingtown” -- that would keep the Steve Miller Band in the Top Ten beyond the next two years. He followed the multi-million-selling “Fly Like An Eagle,” while the album still hovered high in the charts, with “Book of Dreams” almost a year to the day later. He began the “Fly Like an Eagle” tour at the same small theaters he played as the hitless wonder and king of FM underground rock. By the next summer, he was playing football stadiums. At the height of the classic rock movement, the Steve Miller Band was one of the defining figures. His 1978 album, “Greatest Hits 1974-78,” became one of the best-selling releases of all-time, selling millions every year through the end of the century. Miller scored another No. 1 hit in 1982 with “Abracadabra,” a number he put together with drummer Mallaber and SMB guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis. His 1986 single, “I Want To Make the World Turn Around,” was lodged at the top of album rock radio playlists for several weeks, from the album “Living In the 20th Century,” which was conceived, at least in part, as a tribute to one of Miller’s heroes, bluesman Jimmy Reed. His 1989 blues and jazz album, “Born 2B Blue,” not only reunited him with producer Ben Sidran, a former member of both the Steve Miller Band and the Ardells, but put Miller back on the road for the first.
time in several years. In the intervening years, a new radio format called classic rock swept the radio dial in every city, with the Steve Miller Band records front and center on all the playlists. Miller’s return to performing was greeted by a new generation of fans, young people introduced by classic rock radio and weaned on “Greatest Hits 1974-8.” His last studio album, “Wide River,” went largely unnoticed in 1993, while his ‘70s hits were still on the radio everywhere, more popular than many hit records of the day.
After more than fifteen years, Miller went back to make a new record. He took his band into Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas’ production facility deep in the Marin County woods, and with classic rock engineer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones), and cut almost three dozen tracks. “Bingo!,” the first album from the sessions, was released in May 2010.
Following last year’s number one blues album, “Bingo!,” the Steve Miller Band followed that success with a second new album, “Let Your Hair Down,” released this April 2011 by Space Cowboy/Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records. The Steve Miller Band has become one of the centerpiece attractions of the summer rock concert season, playing sixty or more shows every year. He is the Gangster of Love. Some people call him Maurice, the Midnight Toker or the Space Cowboy. And with “Let Your Hair Down,” a masterpiece album by one of the greats, Steve Miller shows he still speaks of the pompitus of love.
Did you Know? Born October 5, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and later moving to Dallas, Texas, Steve Miller grew up in a musical family. His mother, Bertha, was a gifted vocalist and his father, Dr. George (Sonny) Miller, was an amateur tape recordist. Steve’s uncle Dale Miller gave his four year-old nephew a guitar. His father’s friend, guitarist Les Paul, taught the young boy a few chords and his father secretly recorded the exchange. “Steve, you’re really going to go places,” Les Paul told him, after listening to the boy play and sing.
George Thorogood & The DestroyersBorn: February 24, 1950 A blues-rock guitarist who draws his inspiration from Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and Chuck Berry, George Thorogood became a popular favorite in the early '80s through repeated exposure on FM radio and the arena rock circuit. Thorogood's music was always loud, simple, and direct -- his riffs and licks were taken straight out of '50s Chicago blues and rock & roll -- but his formulaic approach helped him gain a rather large audience in the '80s, his albums regularly went gold.
Originally, Thorogood was a minor-league baseball player but decided to become a musician in 1970 after seeing John Paul Hammond in concert. Three years later, he assembled the Destroyers in his home state of Delaware; in addition to Thorogood, the band featured bassist Michael Lenn, second guitarist Ron Smith, and drummer Jeff Simon. Shortly after the Destroyers were formed, he moved them to Boston, where they became regulars on the blues club circuit. In 1974, they cut a batch of demos that were later released in 1979 as the Better Than the Rest album.
Within a year of recording the demos, the Destroyers were discovered by John Forward, who helped them secure a contract with Rounder Records. Before they made their first album, Lenn was replaced by Billy Blough. Thorogood & the Destroyers' eponymous debut was released in early 1977. The group's second album, Move It on Over, was released in 1978. The title track, a cover of Hank Williams' classic, was pulled as a single and it received heavy FM airplay, helping the album enter the American Top 40 and go gold. Its success led to MCA's release of Better Than the Rest, which the band disdained. In 1980, Ron Smith left the band and the group added a saxophonist, Hank Carter, and released its third album, More George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Following the release of More George Thorogood, the guitarist signed with EMI Records, releasing his major-label debut, Bad to the Bone, in 1982. The title track of the album became his first major crossover hit, thanks to MTV's saturation airplay of the song's video. The album went gold and spent nearly a full year on the charts. Thorogood's next three albums after Bad to the Bone all went gold. Between Bad to the Bone and Thorogood's next album, 1985's Maverick, the Destroyers added a second guitarist, Steve Chrismar.
Thorogood continues to tour and draw large crowds. Recent efforts include 2003's Ride 'Til I Die, and 2006's The Hard Stuff. Thorogood returned to EMI/Capitol in 2009, releasing the bar band covers album The Dirty Dozen. Two years later, he continued the covers journey with 2120 South Michigan Ave., a tribute to Chess Records.
Did You Know? In 1985, The Destroyers released their best selling album, Maverick. A song from that album, "I Drink Alone", was used for the Don't Drink and Drive-campaign. In the same year they appeared at Live Aid playing with blues legends Albert Collins and Bo Diddley.