Steve Miller called Jimi Hendrix “pathetic”, Why?

Steve Miller

Steve Miller, the man behind the iconic 1973 hit ‘The Joker,’ is known for his no-nonsense attitude. Despite writing timeless songs, Miller doesn’t easily fall for gimmicks or grand gestures, as he demonstrated when discussing his peer, Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix undoubtedly left an indelible mark on music history, with numerous iconic moments contributing to his legendary status. But, one of Hendrix’s most famous acts didn’t particularly impress Steve Miller. Hendrix’s decision to set his Fender Stratocaster on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, often seen as a mystical display of genius, didn’t sit well with Miller. In fact, he found it just plain annoying.

Steve Miller was no stranger to significant counterculture events as the frontman of The Steve Miller Band. He was in attendance when Hendrix set his guitar ablaze, but unlike many, he didn’t see it as an awe-inspiring spectacle. He bluntly expressed his view in a 2019 interview with the Washington Post, calling Hendrix’s act “pathetic.”

Miller’s steadfastness and determination have been evident throughout his career. He shared a story from his early music days back when he was 12 and Marksman band’s member. Back then, concert promoters would try to negotiate lower prices for their shows, but Miller wouldn’t budge. He recounted a phone call with a promoter: “They’d say, ‘Hey, this is Bobby Jones at SAE house, and I understand you’ve got this rock band. How much is it?’ I’d say, ‘It’s $125’. The guy would go, ‘That’s an awful lot of money’. I’d say, ‘Thanks for calling, man. If you change your mind, let me know.’ I’d hang up the phone.”

Miller’s unwavering professionalism paid off, as the phone would inevitably ring again, with the shows booked at his price. He always believed his price was fair and stood his ground. This attitude served him well throughout his career. It demonstrated that there’s no room for histrionics in the business world of music.

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