This past weekend, opinionated rockers the Black Keys inducted opinionated rocker Steve Miller into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. It didn’t go so well. In a press conference immediately after his induction speech, in which he asserted that the Hall needs to be more open to women and more transparent to the public, Miller blasted just about everything about the Hall Of Fame, saying that “the whole process is unpleasant.” Later, he doubled down on his criticisms, calling the crowd “a bunch of jackasses and jerks and fucking gangsters and crooks who’ve fucking stolen everything from a fucking artist.” And now the Black Keys are saying that they regret inducting him into the Hall, throwing Miller under the bus in just about every conceivable way.
In a Rolling Stone interview, Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach says, “He said, ‘The whole process was unpleasant.’ And for Pat [Carney] and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him.” And he doesn’t stop there. Some excerpts of what Auerbach says about Miller:
For one thing, Miller didn’t know or care who the Black Keys were:
He had no idea who we were. No idea. The first thing he told us was, “I can’t wait to get out of here.” He knew that we signed up to do this speech for him. And he made no effort to even [laughs uncomfortably] — he didn’t even figure out who we were. I don’t live in New York City. This is like three days out of my life flying from Nashville and leaving my kids at home.
Auerbach thinks Miller was unnecessarily negative:
Of course there are problems in the music industry. Of course. But we were there, unpaid, on our own free will, to come celebrate his achievements and spread the joy of rock & roll. To inspire kids to pick up guitars. To play music. And it felt like we were doing the opposite.
And Auerbach thinks Miller is a hypocrite:
He called the whole thing “a boys’ club.” The Steve Miller band has had 35 members and no women.
Auerbach also says that he and Carney were so disappointed that they left the ceremony immediately after speaking, while Miller was still performing: “We weren’t wanted by him there, so we sure as fuck weren’t going to hang around.”
UPDATE: Steve Miller Band bassist Kenny Lee Lewis offered this comment to the Lefsetz Letter.
Fuck the whining Black Keys. They will be day old bread by next decade. But The Joker will be playing in space stations into the next millennia like in Guardians of the Galaxies! … Also Steve did have a very big rock star selected to induct him who is a friend of his but the RRHOF said “No. You don’t get to pick who inducts you. We pick them.” So Steve honestly did not know who the Black Keys were and frankly didn’t care and was extremely disappointed before he even showed up.
UPDATE 2: Miller won’t let it die. On 5/31 he told Howard Stern:
“I never was introduced to the Black Keys. I walked in through security, and there’s this guy [Dan Auerbach] looking at me, making goo-goo eyes at me or something. I walk up to him, and I go, ‘What are you doing tonight?’ And he says, ‘I’m reading your speech.’ I say, ‘Oh, great. I can’t wait to get the fuck out of here.’ And I didn’t know who he was! If we had been introduced, I’m sure we would have gotten along because we like the same kind of music and they’re working musicians and stuff.”
He also plans to get revenge on the Hall…
“I’m gonna get these guys. They’re gonna be sorry that they treated all these people this way. I’m planning to keep it in the news. I’m planning to investigate them. I’ve already got all of their public documents. I want to see where they’re spending the money. I wanna see who’s being paid. I wanna check it all out … The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s actually going to go to Cleveland. The Museum’s actually gonna mean something. The funding they raise is actually gonna be used for music education before I’m done.”