Why The Black Keys Are Wrong To Talk Smack About Steve Miller!
If ever there was a band whose popularity outpaces their actual musical prowess, it would be the Black Keys, whose White Stripes V 2.0 approach has somehow resonated with the masses more than the White Stripes ever did.
Band members Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney are the same duo who has not only openly co-opted Jack White's sound, but also moved their base of operation to Nashville, knowing that Jack White had done the same years prior.
But when Auerbach's kid ended up in the same class as Jack White's, that is when the Detroit native got rightfully bent out of shape and urged his soon-to-be-ex-wife Karen Elson to rethink the matter by saying, "That’s a possible twelve fucking years I’m going to be sitting in kids chairs next to that asshole with other people trying to lump us in together. He gets another free reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world."
When White's emails to Elson were leaked to the press, both Black Keys members feigned surprise at realizing they'd somehow relocated to the same town as White while Auerbach went one step further and claimed to not know Jack White or why the former White Stripe was annoyed by Auerbach's growing presence in his life.
So when the duo were hand-picked to induct Steve Miller into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, my first thought was that this was yet another move by the RRHOF folks to eek out a few more ticket sales by again bringing in big names to induct this year's artists even if those artists have little connection to the artists their inducting - case in point, Kid Rock inducting Cheap Trick.
Steve Miller, of course, would go on an epic rant against the Rock Hall for its treatment of him and other artists during the months leading up to the event, including the Hall suggesting that if Miller wishes to bring his band to the event, he would have to pay $10,000 per ticket to have them seated at a table.
Miller would go on to attack the music industry itself, calling the powers-that-be "a bunch of crooks and gangsters".
While Miller's words have proven to be quite divisive in the days since, I will admit to being completely surprised by the Black Keys making this about them somehow, but also going so far as to slam the very man they inducted into the RRHOF.
For the Black Keys to willingly participate in such a charade in the first place was a calculated PR move and nothing but a calculated PR move. To then condemn a rock legend for speaking his mind in the days after the event is ALSO a calculated PR move by a band worried that Miller's tirade might somehow be detrimental to them.
Sadly, that's the chance you take when you start doing things for money, or publicity, or both, that you wouldn't normally do.
Is it the fault of the RRHOF for continually cheapening the event at every turn by charging the very bands they honor thousands of dollars a ticket to sit up front with the rest of the honorees or employing rock stars who know or care little about the legends they are inducting to speak on their behalf?
Yes it is, but it is also the fault of any band who accepts such an invitation. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked of the Black Keys is "If you didn't care for Steve Miller, why are you here?"
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