The story of The Joker, the album that finally broke the Steve Miller Band, begins a year earlier, in 1972, when Steve Miller broke his neck in a car accident on the way to the airport, where he was heading on yet another big tour to support a moderately selling album.
He told me:
I fractured a vertebrae.I'm dealing with it right now. I got like three numb little fingers right here and kind of a bad arm over here.
Steve spent the next year house bound in Dallas, living with his parents. He had a lot of time to himself and eventually wrote a three chord song looking back over his career. The song refers to the Brave New World track "Space Cowboy" , "Gangster of Love from Sailor and "Enter Maurice..." from Recall the Beginning...A Journey to Eden.
He called the tune "The Joker".
All of a sudden, finally, ...last chance: got a big huge number one hit.
The song topped the Billboard charts in early 1974. I got the feeling I wasn't the first person to ask him the meaning of "The Pompatus of Love":
"The Pompatus of Love" is just, you know. I can't tell you man. If I told you I'd ..I just can't do it.
Riding on the success of the #1 single, The Joker peaked at #2 on the charts despite mixed reviews including this one from Rolling Stone's Bud Scoppa:
Here's the rest of my Steve Miller interview