Black Keys regret inducting Steve Miller into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

After Miller’s angry tirade mars ceremony, singer Dan Auerbach tells Rolling Stone ‘the whole process was unpleasant’ and that he and bandmate Patrick Carney left while Texan’s band was still playing

Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach has said he regrets that he and his bandmate Patrick Carney agreed to induct Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last Friday night. Miller caused controversy at the often staid event by laying into it during interviews after the ceremony, deeming it an “amateur production” and calling the music industry “a bunch of jackasses and jerks and fucking gangsters and crooks who’ve fucking stolen everything from a fucking artist”.

“He said, ‘The whole process was unpleasant,’” Auerbach told Rolling Stone. “And for Pat and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him.” Auerbach said Miller had no idea who the Black Keys were, and made no effort to find out. “Pat and I were both definitely disappointed, to say the least,” he said. “But you never really know what to expect when you meet quote-unquote ‘superstars’.”

Auerbach noted that while Miller had criticised the Hall of Fame for being a “boy’s club”, none of his own band’s 35 members over the years had been women. He added that he and Carney had been so dispirited by the experience they had left the Barclays Center in Brooklyn immediately after inducting Miller, while he was still playing.

“There’s a time and a place to stand up and be angry,” he said. “But when people are honouring you for how great you are, that’s not the fucking time or place. It was the only story everyone talked about … And I hated being a part of that. I hated the feeling in my gut of being connected to that negativity.”

Writing music industry circular email, the Lefsetz Letter, Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band stuck up for his boss. He said his wife, Diane Steinberg Lewis, had been asked to join the band in 1983, but was unable to, and that they auditioned a woman in 2008. “Also many world class female rhythm section players have only started surfacing in the last 10 or 15 years and we have had the same core band now for over 25 years.”

Lewis added that Miller had wanted an unnamed “very big rock star” friend to induct him, but was told he did not get to choose. “So Steve honestly did not know who the Black Keys were and frankly didn’t care and was extremely disappointed before he even showed up.”

Lewis had a more personal message for the Black Keys: “And as for Mr Miller being called an asshole and boorish for his bully pulpit moment, you spineless non artists who said it, you are disqualified from being able to make such a statement because you’ve never stood inside a rock star’s shoes nor have an inkling to what it’s like to be abused and exploited.”

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