Sunday, October 20, 2013

40 Year Itch: Really Love Your Peaches Wanna Shake Your Tree

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:

The Joker, is a lazy slide back into the empty posturing that has marked the second half of Miller's career.

Here's the rest of my Steve Miller interview


  1. Lynchie from AberdeenOctober 20, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    I saw Steve Miller Band live at Denver's Red Rocks amphitheatre (an incredible venue) back in the early 1980's. Red Rocks really is an amazing place to watch a rock'n roll show. I recall going crazy during "Take The Money & Run" - leaping up and down all over the place. Despite that, I made a few friends at the gig and will never forget the sight of looking beyond the onstage laser show to see the lights of jets as they zoomed into Denver International Airport. A magic night.

  2. Great place to see a show! The Steve Miller Band is still playing "sheds" every Summer. And I recall Miller telling me they were among the first live acts to go all-out with the lasers and light shows.