You haven’t made it in rock and roll until you’ve ticked off The Black Keys, so congratulations, Steve Miller; this, and not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction you so despised, will be your legacy. Last Friday, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney graciously took time out of their busy lives making music not with each other to induct their hero, Steve Miller. Seconds later, Miller spent the whole of his own speech and later backstage with press trashing the entire institution. It was, in a word, awkward — especially for the Keys, apparently, who dipped out on the ceremony while Miller was still onstage performing. Auerbach now tells Rolling Stone that he wishes he and Carney never inducted Miller for a whole laundry list of completely selfless reasons:
1. “We got a really uncomfortable feeling when we first met Steve. He had no idea who we were. 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 … figure out who we were.”
2. “I don’t live in New York City. This is like three days out of my life flying from Nashville and leaving my kids at home.”
3. “He said, ‘The whole process was unpleasant.’ And for Pat and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him.”
4. “We were there, unpaid, on our own free will, to come celebrate his achievements and spread the joy of rock & roll. To inspire kids to pick up guitars. To play music. And it felt like we were doing the opposite.”
5. “You know, Pat and I, we don’t do that kind of shit! We don’t do speeches. We’ve never done a speech! We put ourselves out there to begin with. That’s not our comfort zone.”
6. “He called the whole thing ‘a boys’ club.’ The Steve Miller Band has had 35 members and no women. It was just very disappointing. And I’m not looking for anything, really. I just wanted people to just know how Pat and I felt. That’s all.”
Their personal complaints aside, Auerbach also makes this great point: “It overshadowed Kendrick’s message of positivity, and it’s totally unfortunate. And I hated being a part of that. I hated the feeling in my gut of being connected to that negativity.” That point being, for the love of the rock gods, someone please save grumpy old white dudes from themselves.