Steve Miller Couldn’t Drink With Buddy Guy but Could Take His Advice
Steve Miller recalled how he couldn’t keep up with Buddy Guy’s drinking rules but was able to take what he regards as some of the best advice he was ever given from Guy.
Miller spent some of the early ‘60s in Chicago, exploring the blues genre, and picking up work from Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and others. But after scoring a place in Guy’s band, he realized he wasn’t cut out for the lifestyle, as he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“Buddy’s rule was, Everybody in the band had to have one shot of bourbon before each set,” Miller said. “I was 21, we worked from 9 at night till 4 in the morning – the last set started at 4 in the morning … that would be nine shots of bourbon a night. I lasted about a month and I went, ‘This night club life’s killing me. I’m going to California to see what the film world’s like!’”
But he took with him some wise words shared by his boss. “‘Don’t give your band a name. Call it the Steve Miller Band,’ he said. “‘You’re going to go through a lot of musicians. You’re going to play all your life, obviously, you’re a musician … so, just call it the Steve Miller Band, and then, you know, you can change musicians as things change, as life situations change. And that’s the way it’s worked out.”
Be sure to listen to Ultimate Classic Rock Nights on more than 50 stations across the U.S. from 7PM until midnight, Monday through Friday. You can see the list of radio stations where it airs here.