Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steve Miller Band Performance History June 1967-December 1967 (Steve Miller II)

This continues the Steve Miller Band performance history from 1966 through 1968. For the first installment, from October 1966 through May 1967, see here. Anyone with additional information, corrections, insights or memories should contact me or post them in the comments [2017 update: I am substantially updating the Steve Miller posts in honor of the 48th anniversary of Brave New World]

June 1-4, 1967: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA The Doors/Daily Flash/Miller Blues Band

By the middle of 1966, the Steve Miller Band were an established attraction in the San Francisco Bay Area. Organist Jim Peterman, a friend from Wisconsin, had auditioned in February, but had wanted to finish college. At the end of his senior year at UW, he flew out to join the Steve Miller Band, arriving in late May or early June.

The group was often billed or listed in newspapers as the Miller Blues Band. This wasn't correct, but it didn't interfere, since all the local hippies knew who they were.

June 6-8, 1967: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band

June 10, 1967: California Hall, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Anonymous Artists of America
The poster suggests that Miller headlined two nights at California Hall, but a contemporary listing in Ralph Gleason's column shows that Quicksilver headlined Friday (June 9), and AAA replaced The Sparrow.

June 10, 1967: Muhammad Ali Festival at Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/many others
This mysterious two day event (Saturday and Sunday June 10 and 11) is only known from a poster. I have written about it elsewhere. I have assumed that the Miller Band played June 10 since they played Mt. Tam the next day (see below), but I do not even know for certain that the event occurred. I presume the Miller Band would have played the Ali Festival on the afternoon of the 10th (Saturday) and played California Hall (above) that night.

June 11, 1967: Mt. Tamalpais Theater, San Rafael, CA Fantasy Fair and Magic Music Festival-Benefit for Hunter’s Point Child Care Center
Byrds/Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band/Country Joe and The Fish/Every Mother's Son/Grassroots/Jefferson Airplane/Lamp of Childhood/Loading Zone/Merry-Go-Round/Mystery Trend/New Salvation Army Band/P.F. Sloan/Penny Nichols/The Seeds/Sons of Champlin/Steve Miller Blues Band/Tim Buckley
Originally scheduled for the weekend of June 3-4, and delayed a week due to rain, causing a significant change in the performers. Listed above are the actual June 11 performers.,albeit in alphabetical order.

June 13-15, 1967 The Matrix, San Francisco Steve Miller Blues Band

June 17, 1967: Monterey Pop Festival, Horse Show Arena, County Fairgrounds, Monterey, CA
Otis Redding/Booker T and The MGs/Jefferson Airplane/Laura Nyro/The Byrds/Hugh Masakela/Moby Grape/Steve Miller Blues Band/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Electric Flag/Butterfield Blues Band/Al Kooper/Country Joe and The Fish/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Canned Heat
This was the middle day (Saturday) of the Festival. Acts listed in reverse running order (Otis Redding closed the evening).

June 17, 1967 Athletic Field, Monterey Peninsula Junior College, Monterey, CA: Grateful Dead/Eric Burdon and The Animals/Country Joe and The Fish/Steve Miller Band/others
The Grateful Dead did not entirely approve of the organization of the Monterey Pop Festival, and at their insistence the athletic field across from the Fairgrounds was available for camping. There was also a free stage, and the Dead and some other bands performed. Some eyewitnesses put the Steve Miller Band there, which seems logical, as it was a great opportunity to get heard, but of course no ones memories are very clear.

June 20-21, 1967: New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA Steve Miller Blues Band

June 22, 1967: Bandshell, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA: Steve Miller Blues Band/Sons of Champlin/Ridge Runners free concert
The San Francisco Examiner sponsored free Thursday afternoon concerts from 1:00-3:00pm in the Golden Gate Park Bandshell, with Examiner music critic Phil Elwood as the MC. This was the first one. Supposedly, this was Boz Scaggs debut with the Miller Band, but the dates don't quite line up. The Ridge Runners were a band from nearby St. Ignatius High School.

June 24, 1967: Earl Warren Showgrounds, Santa Barbara, CA Chambers Brothers/Steve Miller Blues Band/Canned Heat

June 25, 1967 Provo Park, Berkeley, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Loading Zone/Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band/Motor free concert

June 27-July 2, 1967: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA Chuck Berry/Eric Burdon and The Animals/Steve Miller Blues Band
Steve Miller Blues Band backed Chuck Berry, released on lp Chuck Berry Live at the Fillmore (Mercury Nov 67). This was The Steve Miller (Blues) Band's first appearance on an album. Steve Miller duets with Chuck on "It Hurts Me Too."

July 1, 1967: Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley, CA Doc Watson/Steve Miller Blues Band/Sam Hinton/Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band/Charley Marshall/The New Age
UC Berkeley Folk Festival “Freedom Concert” 8:00 pm, Saturday Night.
The Steve Miller Band was listed for the Saturday nighttime concert at the Berkeley Folk Festival, but there was an inherent conflict with the Fillmore. Given that they would have been playing four sets over six hours (two of their own and two backing Chuck Berry), they probably didn’t play on Saturday night. More likely they appeared at the Sunday afternoon concert the next day at the Greek Theatre.

July 6-9, 1967: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco Steve Miller Blues Band/Siegal Schwall Band
Somewhere around this time, guitarist Curly Cooke quits the Steve Miller Band. The group plays as a 4-piece for a little while, but they realize that the band sounds better with two guitarists. Miller puts in a call to another old friend, this time from prep school in Texas.

July 9-10, 1967: California Hall, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/The Sparrow

July 14-15, 1967: California Hall, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Sunshine Company/Anonymous Artists of America

July 17-20, 1967: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Mother Earth

This photo was taken at Buckeye Ranch in Lafayette on July 26, 1967. Memories are vague. Based on other photos, this guitarist is playing in front of Country Joe and The Fish's equipment. Note the reel-to-reel tape recorder, possibly for sound effects. The perfomer may be Steve Miller.
July 22, 1967: Casa Loma Swim Club, Lafayette, CA Country Joe and The Fish/Steve Miller Band/New Salvation Army Band/Roger Collins/Majestic Sound/Don Holland/Clark Miller Trio/Maggie’s Farm/The Virtues/Blue Union/Frumious Bandersnatch/Opus Three
The Oakland Tribune (in its July 26, 1967 edition) reported that after this 12-hour “Happening” on private property (at the Buckeye Ranch on the end of Springhill Road) the Contra Costa County District Attorney filed an injunction against the organizer, alleging zoning violations related to traffic and noise. The organizer was expecting 6,000 fans, but only 2,000 showed after a court order “ruined” the show. Only six of the twelve groups played, including CJF, Miller and Salvation. Country Joe and The Fish were named in the injunction. I have written elsewhere about some interesting, if fragmentary memories of this show. An unidentified photo may in fact be of Steve Miller, playing on Country Joe and The Fish's equipment, with a tape recorder. It is possible that the entire Miller band did not show up, since the event was flaky, and Miller fulfilled the obligation himself.

July 24-27, 1967: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Mother Earth

July 28-29, 1967: Continental Ballroom, Santa Clara, CA Steve Miller Band/Kaleidoscope/Anonymous Artists of America

August 4-5, 1967: Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR Steve Miller Band
There are reports that the Miller Band played some dates at the Crystal Ballroom in the Summer of 1967. The promotion of Crystal shows was murky in that Summer, and little evidence survives. The dates are just guessed, based on the Miller Band’s schedule. Crystal shows were on the weekend, generally both Friday and Saturday. 19-20 or 25-26 August are just as plausible.

August 9, 1967: New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA Steve Miller Blues Band

August 11-13, 1967: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA Electric Flag/Steve Miller Blues Band/Southside Sound System
Although all three bands were based in the Bay Area, they all had deep roots in Chicago.

August 15-17, 1967: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA Chuck Berry/Charles Lloyd Quartet/Steve Miller Blues Band
Although I have not been able to confirm this, there is good reason to assume the Miller Band backed Chuck Berry. It's also possible that some members of the band backed Chuck Berry, but not the guitarists (see Dec 26 '67 below). 

September 1-3, 1967: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Band/Mother Earth/Bukka White
Per our Italian correspondent, Curley Cooke's last gigs with the Steve Miller Band were at the Avalon, probably these shows. Cooke recalled that he was quite sick and had a hard time playing. Cooke returned to Wisconsin for a while to recover. The Steve Miller Band played a few shows as a quartet (confirmed by Jim Peterman), but they realized they needed another guitarist and singer, so Miller got in touch with Boz Scaggs.

September 9, 1967: California Hall, San Francisco, CA Kaleidoscope/Steve Miller Band/Sopwith Camel/Southside Sound System/Hair/Mt. Rushmore
Benefit for Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic

September 12-14, 1967: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Peter Walker
Apparently, the Miller Band played a number of gigs without a rhythm guitarist, but the date of Boz Scaggs actual debut is unkonwn. Scaggs and Miller had played together in Texas when they were in school together. Scaggs had since gone to Sweden, where--strangely--he had made an album of folk songs, but he returned to San Francisco when Miller reached out. I have to assume that Boz' debut was at a club like the Matrix or the New Orleans House, rather than a larger show.

I don't have any specific evidence that Boz debuted at these Matrix shows, but the timing fits.

September 15-16, 1967: The Straight Theatre, San Francisco, CA The Steve Miller Band/Billy Roberts/Sopwith Camel/Notes From The Underground
Around this time, the Steve Miller Band starts to drop the "Blues Band" tag, although they are often billed that way anyway, since that is how they have been known.

September 19-20, 1967: New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA Steve Miller Band
>Fall, 1967: El Camino Park, Palo Alto, CA Steve Miller Band/New Delhi River Band
A free concert, confirmed by an eyewitness.

October 2-4, 1967: New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA Steve Miller Band

October 30, 1967: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Sopwith Camel/Mother Earth/Incredible Fish/Collectors
This KPFA Benefit was originally supposed to be headlined by Pink Floyd, on their first American tour. However, the band had visa problems and canceled their first American dates. Steve Miller Blues Band took their place. The above is a contemporary ad from the Berkeley Barb (h/t Ross). The Incredible Fish were Country Joe and The Fish but without Joe McDonald, who had temporarily left the band due to the usual "creative differences" (he rejoined a few months later, although the creative differences remain at issue).  The Collectors were a hip band from Vancouver.

November 14, 1967: North Face Ski Shop, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Jesse Fuller
“Rite of Winter” presented by The North Face Ski Shop. 
North Face was the hip ski wear company started by Doug and Susie Tompkins, later famous with the Esprit clothing line. The store was at 308 Columbus. Unlikely as it may seem, the Steve Miller Band were not the first rock band to play the North Face, as the Grateful Dead had played the stores opening the month before. It appears that this event was to celebrate the second store, near the Stanford University campus.

November 15, 1967 North Face Ski Shop, Palo Alto, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Jesse Fuller
“Rite of Winter” presented by North Face Ski Shop. 
North Face also had a store in the Old Barn near the Stanford Shopping Center. I'm not sure if this was a grand opening or not.

December 26-28, 1967: Winterland, San Francisco, CA The Doors/Chuck Berry/Salvation (26th Fillmore)
December 29-30, 1967: Winterland, San Francisco, CA Chuck Berry/Big Brother and The Holding Company/Quicksilver Messenger Service
Wolfgang’s Vault has promulgated a tape of the first night’s Chuck Berry set (Dec 29). Berry plays a very fluid set with some nice guitar work, backed by (as the announcer calls it) “The Steve Miller-less Blues Band”, Jim Peterman on organ and Lonnie Turner and Tim Davis on bass and drums. Presumably the same group backed him all week.
For the next installment, see here.


  1. A reliable eyewitness recalls a late Summer 1967 show at Longshoreman's Hall. Boz Scaggs had joined the band, so it was definitely later, but it was warm enough to sleep on the beach, so it may have been as late as September.

  2. Add another show

    Provo Park, Berkeley Loading Zone/Miller Blues Band/Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band/Motor

  3. Whoops, forgot the date

    June 25, 1967
    Provo Park, Berkeley
    Loading Zone/Miller Blues Band/Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band/Motor

  4. I added a date newly discovered by Ross

    October 30, 1967
    Steve Miller Blues Band/Sopwith Camel/Incredible Fish/Mother Earth/Collectors
    KPFA Benefit

    Pink Floyd was supposed to handle, but they had canceled due to visa problems. Miller replaced them, which we know thanks to an ad discovered by Ross.

  5. Re: July 23, 1967: The Bandshell, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA..."According to SF Examiner music critic Phil Elwood, Boz Scaggs debuted with the Steve Miller Band at the Bandshell in the Summer of 1967, but whether it was this date or not isn’t clear. Guitarist Curly Cook had fallen very ill, and needed to return home to Wisconsin. Presumably, the Miller Band played a number of gigs without a rhythm guitarist"

    Corry I asked James 'Curley' Cooke about this and his answer was: "I believe my last gig was at The Avalon Ballroom. I was so sick at that time, I was seeing stars on stage. I ended up in the hospital in SF. I believe Boz Scaggs came to the Bay area a month or so later, and joined Steve. This was in the fall of 67".

    About this above Cooke's words, I think his last gigs with the band were supposedly on September 1-3, 1967 at Avalon, then the band played a number of gigs without a rhythm guitarist and finally Boz joined supposedly in early October 1967. What you think Corry?

  6. It seems reasonable, but another eyewitness (comment above) recalls seeing Curley in the band (she knew him) in Late Summer, so October seems kind of late.That being said, Phil Elwood wasn't very precise about dates, so i don't put much stock in his dating.

    Thanks for adding in all this great research, Bruno.

  7. Corry,

    I see the comment about Boz Scaggs at the Longshoremen's Hall and your comment about the approximative date of this gig as September 1967. Yes, it's likely because Curley said "a month or so", so maybe Boz joined in late September.

  8. The 118th Annual Edgar Allen Poe Electric Memorial Concert at the Hullabaloo Club, featuring Miller Blues Band, Kaleidoscope, West Coast Branch, Taj Majal, Bluesberry Jam, etc. KFWB – B. Mitchell Reed – 10/3/67
    Psychedelic Radio Spots CD

  9. You can hear it here, after the two Love songs...

  10. There was a poster recently on facebook for a show that The Steve Miller Blues Band did at the Callison Dining Hall on Monday, November 27 (which would place it in 1967). This would place the show at UOP in Stockton.