he Steve Miller Band is an American rock band formed in 1966 in San Francisco, California. The band is managed by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals. They are best known today for a string of (mainly) mid-1970s hit singles that are staples of classic rock radio, as well as several earlier acid rock albums. Miller left his first band to move to San Francisco and form the Steve Miller Blues Band. Shortly after Harvey Kornspan negotiated the band’s landmark contract with Capitol/EMI Records in 1967, the band shortened its name to the Steve Miller Band. In February 1968, the band recorded its debut album, Children of the Future. It went on to produce the albums Sailor, Brave New World, Your Saving Grace, Number 5, Rock Love and more. The band’s Greatest Hits 1974–78, released in 1978, sold over 13 million copies. The band continued to produce more albums and in 2014 toured with the rock band Journey. In 2015, Steve Miller was nominated as a solo artist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Steve Miller’s career has encompassed two distinct stages: one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late ’60s and early ’70s, and one of the top-selling pop/rock acts of the mid- to late ’70s and early ’80s with hits like “The Joker,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Rock’n Me,” and “Abracadabra.” Miller was turned on to music by his father, who worked as a pathologist but knew stars like Charles Mingus and Les Paul, whom he brought home as guests; Paul taught the young Miller some guitar chords and let him sit in on a session. Miller formed a blues band, the Marksmen Combo, at age 12 with friend Boz Scaggs; the two teamed up again at the University of Wisconsin in a group called the Ardells, later the Fabulous Night Trains. Miller moved to Chicago in 1964 to get involved in the local blues scene, teaming with Barry Goldberg for two years.
He then moved to San Francisco and formed the first incarnation of the Steve Miller Blues Band, featuring guitarist James “Curly” Cooke, bassist Lonnie Turner, and drummer Tim Davis. The band built a local following through a series of free concerts and backed Chuck Berry in 1967 at a Fillmore date later released as a live album. Scaggs moved to San Francisco later that year and replaced Cooke in time to play the Monterey Pop Festival; it was the first of many personnel changes. Capitol signed the group as the Steve Miller Band following the festival.