Not quite how they pictured it would be. Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach told Rolling Stone that his experience inducting iconic blues rock guitarist Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week was anything but pleasant. In fact, Auerbach said, he was downright disappointed.
“He had no idea who we were,” the 36-year-old musician said. “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.”
Auerbach added that when he and Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney realized that the man they had idolized for so long was not thrilled to be accepting the top music honor, they wanted to get out of there themselves.
“We were so disappointed that as soon as we got offstage, we left while he was playing,” he said. “We left immediately. We walked right outside and left the f–king building. I went back home and picked up my guitar. … I hated the feeling in my gut of being connected to that negativity.”
On Friday, April 8, following his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and performance, Miller, 72, candidly bashed the institution, the music industry and even his own record label rep to reporters backstage.
Asked whether he was thinking of recording any new albums, the “Space Cowboy” singer turned bitter.
“No. I don’t think about it at all,” he said. “There is no record business. I record a lot of things. There is no record business. There’s no reason for me to spend any money producing stuff that a record company … All the people that were sitting in the front row tonight, like the guy that came from my record company, I wanted to pull him by his necktie and kick him in the nuts.”
Miller also called the industry a “private boys’ club” full of “jackasses and jerks and f–king gangsters and crooks.”
Despite Miller’s headline-making rant, Auerbach told Rolling Stone that he hopes to remember the experience as a learning one.
“It was just a real eye-opener for us,” he said. “Because as we get older, I hope that when I’m in my twilight years, I can look back and be grateful to the people who have appreciated me and to be able to give back. Because music is about sharing and passing on inspiration, and that was his opportunity to do that; not just lashing out in a way that was just completely unfocused.”
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