STEVE MILLER BAND – ANTHOLOGY
This two record set compilation includes hits from 1968 to 1972, before Steve Miller concocted the perfect recipe for extremely successful ’70’s Pop Rock Hits.
After Steve Miller’s eventful musical childhood that included family friend Les Paul, the “Steve Miller Blues Band” made its way from Texas through Chicago and then out on the West Coast to become one of the highlights of the San Francisco Sound of the mid-to-late ’60s as the “Steve Miller Band”.
Steve Miller always delivered a ear-pleasing balance of supreme Rock and exquisite Ballads; but it was when he took off and let loose that Miller clicked with Rockers and Psychonauts. His songs aligned with the Psychedelic Vibe: Living In The U.S.A. – 1968, Song For Our Ancestors – 1968, Space Cowboy – 1969, Going To Mexico – 1970, and the totally righteous Jackson-Kent-Blues – 1970 were mini-anthems that totally Rocked and went straight to the core of the Best of the ’60s and ’70s Classic Rock.
Side 1: “I Love You” (Miller) – 2:46, “Going To The Country” (Miller, Sidran) – 3:14, “Baby’s House” (Hopkins, Miller) – 8:07, “Kow Kow Calculator” (Miller) – 4:26
Side 2: “Your Saving Grace” (Davis, Miller, Sidran) – 4:50, “Going To Mexico” (Miller, Scaggs) – 2:29, “Space Cowboy” (Miller, Sidran) – 4:55, “Living In The U.S.A.” (Miller) – 4:06
Side 3: “Journey From Eden” (Miller) – 6:25, “Seasons” (Miller, Sidran) – 3:51, “Motherless Children” (Traditional) – 4:22, “Never Kill Another Man” (Miller) – 2:44
Side 4: “Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around” (Miller) – 2:29, “Little Girl” (Miller) – 3:24, “Celebration Song” (Miller, Sidran) – 2:32, “My Dark Hour” (Miller) – 3:08
Steve Miller – guitar, vocals, harmonica, bass, Boz Scaggs – vocals, guitar, Tim Davis – vocals, drums, percussion, Ben Sidran – piano, keyboards, Lonnie Turner – organ, James Curley Cook – guitar, Buddy Spicher – violin, Charlie McCoy – harmonica, Nicky Hopkins – piano, organ, Richard Thompson – piano, organ, James Peterman – organ, vocals, Lee Michaels – organ, Gerald Johnson – organ, Bob Winkelman – bass, Gary Mallaber – drums, Glyn Johns – vocals, Paul McCartney on backing vocals, drums, guitar and bass guitar on “My Dark Hour” and he performed additional backing vocals on “Celebration Song”.
STEVE MILLER BAND Top 13
Living In The U.S.A. – Miller* – 4:04 – 1968
Song For Our Ancestors – Miller* – 6:00 – 1968
Quicksilver Girl – Miller* – 2:43 – 1968
Dear Mary – 3:34 – 1968
My Dark Hour – Miller* – 3:09 – 1969
Your Saving Grace – Davis* – 4:50 – 1969
Space Cowboy – Sidran*, Miller* – 4:57 – 1969
Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around – Miller* – 2:30 – 1969
Going To Mexico – Scaggs*, Miller* – 2:28 – 1970
Jackson-Kent-Blues – Miller* – 7:18 – 1970
Evil – Miller* – 4:36 – 1973
The Joker – Ertegun*, Curtis*, Miller* – 4:25 – 1973
Fly Like An Eagle – Miller – 3:20 – 1976
1970’s PCP ADVENTURES
00individual was living out of his suitcase after saving up from an art department job that he quit after a year and a half. He got the job at 19 after a very short stint in junior college after high school graduation in February 1969.
Rounding the very memorable psychedelic spring, summer and fall bend of 1970, 00individual and friends were experiencing the new body and mind bender PCP, also known as Angel Dust.
Phencyclidin (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic, but this was not the superhuman maniac PCP/Angel Dust popularized in the media, no, this was the original “good stuff”. This early strain was a very fun, goofy, spacey, tactile-intensive, sensory-distorting, time-warping, laughter-causing sound-enhancing mind-bender. The “Rocket Fuel” strain came later and that was it for 00individual.
It all started in the early summer of 1970 when he received a phone call from a fellow dope fiend who told him to get to Doctor Dean’s pad as he had some Pretty Cool Pot. Being that this was during the ever-evolving very fun period of drug experimentation, he need not say more, 00individual was there!
Once he arrived he went to the back room where he came upon a half dozen known zombies and was immediately offered a toke of a joint that was being passed around. He took a long slow drag of the strangely-tasting herb and inhaled deeply and before he finished passing the joint he was beginning to feel its effects. He was slowly melding with the piano bench he was sitting on as it began to move up the side of the room’s wall. By the time the joint came back around he was half way up the side of the wall! This was too cool! He took another hit and a peaceful feeling of pure ambivalence overtook him, but he was in full control – other than being part of a wooden bench that was attached halfway up the side of the wall.
After some mutual giggling with the other zombies, he somehow detached himself when Doctor Dean told him he was going to Hawaii in a few days and wanted to know if he wanted to purchase some of his PCP stash, 00individual said yes and thus began the beginning of a very memorable psychedelic summer and winter. This stuff was potent just a very little sprinkled on a joint was enough to allow a small group a hit or two each to gain entrance to Wonderland.
A good friend’s parents were away for the summer so 00individual crashed at his not-too-far-from-the-beach house and celebrated their Lords of the Manor dominion by lacing a joint with 00individual’s new stash of PCP. Since his house was also situated not far from the Los Angeles International Airport, they could hear the jet airliners fire up their engines in preparation for takeoff; this sound was the equivalent to “Vacuum Cleaners in the Sky”. They were having so much fun that they wanted to share this high with all of their close friends and decided to throw a party that coming weekend.
But first they had an exciting concert to attend on Wednesday; Ten Years After and Grand Funk Railroad at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood on July 22, 1970. On their way they stopped by a friend’s and got him and his friend so dusted on PCP that they couldn’t get out of their chairs. They left them reaching out for help – they were in no danger and recount fondly to this day on their bizarre experiences.
00individual and friends had great seats for the concert and decided to drop some Double Dome Acid on top of the waning PCP. They met up with their usual group of Rock Fiends and were witness to a true unplanned World Class Battle of the Bands.
That weekend at the manor the more devout and eager drug fiends had begun to arrive early to partake in the evenings’ festivities. By this time 00individual was starting to have a Tarzan swing from tree-to-tree connection of PCP weirdness peppered with the acid from the concert and never really had come down since his first introduction at Doctor Dean’s. Not to worry, all good things come to an end and he knew that it was just a matter of time before he’d eventually come down and be back to the real world.
As the house filled with partiers who were slowly, or rather quickly, experiencing the fun-filled bizarreness that this drug provided, 00individual was in a back room with his then girlfriend and his friend and as they sat on the floor the house felt as if it were levitating about 5 feet off the ground. And for some reason they were all wearing different hats that were laying about the room, and as they passed around a PCP laced joint, a new level of truly bizarre things began to happen.
Just like with Alice, his two friends were beginning to grow and he watched as his girlfriend went right through the roof like in Jack in the Beanstalk and all he could see was her “tree-trunk” bare leg! Before he could comprehend what was happening they began to shrink back down, thankfully, until they continued shrinking and disappeared into the shag rug carpet!
The next thing he knew another buddy of theirs was at the door and said they’d better come see this. They all got up as if nothing happened and proceeded down the hall. As they peered into the living room from the hallway they could see a small group of people doing different things. One guy was teaching his dog (a girl) tricks (she thought she was a dog) and others were spacing out, when down from the kitchen hallway came a guy who thought he was a plane and started flying in circles around them.
00individual continued to the kitchen and when he leaned his arm against the wall, the wall sunk in like foam. He could press into the wall and leave a hand-print and then it would recede back flat. Although this new high was semi-incapacitating, after somewhat getting used to its rubbery distorting influence he found that he had become its master and could operate heavy machinery, like a car.
For some reason he found himself the volunteer driver for a liquor store run. This was really fun as the steering wheel became huge like an old time cartoon steering wheel and the seats seemed to drag on the asphalt as he could barely see the road through his new extremely low-rider position. Cruising took on a real-time “truckin’” atmosphere as everything was rubbery and swooshing in a slow motion speed but relative to his actions, so all was cool.
The next morning of going into the fourth day of Pretty Cool Pot shenanigans, a good buddy showed up with his converted-into-a-home step van with the invite to go on a road trip up north. 00individual felt that this would be a good opportunity to come down; as he was feeling that the effects were lasting or staying with him longer than he expected. His vision was kinda tunneled and he was still experiencing Rubber World sensations.
The Driver was his best friend at the time and they had rented places together, beach pads and alley joints over the years and had taken several road trips too, so riding for several hours and smokin’ several joints and listening to music and not talking was highly enjoyable.
As they pulled into Santa Cruz and got more supplies, they also stopped at a totally cool but required for the times, Hippie bookstore, with Hippie posters and big sofa couches, incense, and rockin’ over the speakers was Free’s “All Right Now”. As 00individual browsed the aisles he came across Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision” and sat in a big sofa and started reading. Soon he realized that this was some heavy shit – and at the same time that it must be some long version of “All Right Now” that he had never heard before because it felt like it had been on for at least a half hour.
The PCP was not letting go. Everything was still distorted in little ways; objects felt over-sized and somewhat spongy, there was a constant ethereal echo – of everything, of every sound; kinda like the swooshing echoey sounds heard on acid but more subtle, and still a little tunnel-vision. These weren’t bad side effects, just the slight headache that came with it was. However, he had to face the fact that this time he may have gone too far.
00individual bought the Velikovsky book and they got back on the road. They lit up another joint as they headed into Big Basin National Forest. The sunlight became less and less as they got deeper and deeper into the forest. Soon they were in this rich natural forest domain with trees on either side of the road that towered and canopied the forest bed like a cathedral. The Driver pulled over and without saying a word to each other they answered Mother Nature’s call and instinctually nuded-up and ran through the lush blue-green slightly sunlight-sifted forest with the pine needles serving as nature’s carpet under their bare feet – for that moment they were Natives in a Primeval Forest.
After a spiritual “getting back to the Garden” experience they decided to head back for L.A. the next day. On the way back 00individual told the Driver about his condition and said that he’d resigned himself to this state. The Driver laughed. 00individual got it, the irony of finally going too far, but the Driver continued to chuckle. Man, …” he said, “What do you think we been smokin’ all this time!” 00individual thought his pot tasted like PCP essence but attributed it to the lingering taste from the binge. The Driver had also purchased some from Dr. Dean!
On the one hand 00individual was fairly angry; his friend had been dosing him since they left L.A.! But on the other hand he was relieved – the cure was to stop the continual smoking of the Pretty Cool Pot. He did and lived to tell the tale.
Jackson/Kent Blues: “The PCP Theme Song”
As the winter months set in Steve Miller’s righteous “Jackson-Kent Blues” track from his #5 album became their PCP theme song. It is an epic classic and was so good that one almost forgot it was a protest song about the killing of four students by the United States National Guard during student demonstrations against the Vietnam war at Kent State University in Ohio and two at Jackson State College, Mississippi by police..
After laying down the hard-rockin’ rant, Miller takes off on a classic hard rock space jam showing his Space Cowboy roots; complete with LSD-laced watery echoes with trailing, surging guitar wrangling and wah-wah wizardry throughout – it quickly became their fave background / foreground music for Pretty Cool Pot shenanigans any day of the week.
00individual reminds anyone reading this that the above represents a moment in history when drug exploration was a integral part of the Counter-Culture.
Drugs were not taken to escape, they were taken to explore – other levels of thought, of human interaction, of creativity, of consciousness, of insight, of communication, and yes, other levels of fun.
PCP’s popular usage in the U.S. peaked in the 1970s –
as did most everything involving Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
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