With over 30 million records sold and more than fifty years of making music, there are a few things that you may not know about this illustrious musician, singer and songwriter. We’ve listed 10 little known facts:
1. Miller formed his first band The Marksmen when he was only 12 years old.
2. Miller was only 6 credits away from a degree in literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison when he moved to Chicago to play the blues.
3. Steve Miller Band was originally called the Steve Miller Blues Band until they signed with Capitol Records in 1967, and shortened the name.
4. The lyrics, “Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah/Some call me the gangster of love/Some people call me Maurice,” in Miller’s song “The Joker” reference earlier songs by Miller; specifically, “Space Cowboy,” “Gangster of Love,” and “Enter Maurice.”
5. Miller broke his neck in a car wreck in 1972, while on his way to the airport for a European tour.
6. Miller won a lawsuit against rap group The Geto Boys when they used “The Joker” without his permission in 1990. In 2000, he let Shaggy use the bass line from this on his hit, “Angel.” Miller also let Run-DMC sample “Take The Money And Run.”
7. In the TV show Friends, Joey has an imaginary friend named Maurice whose occupation is “Space Cowboy.”
8. For the 2010-2011 school year, you can call Steve Miller “professor” at USC’s Thorton School of Music.
9. His latest album Bingo! has been nominated for “Best Blues Album of the Year,” by the Blues Music Awards. His latest single “Hey Yeah” from that album can be heard on the radio today.
10. Steve Miller Band plans to release a second blues-rock album entitled Let Your Hair Down in the spring of 2011.