Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steve Miller Band Performance History July 1968-December 1968 (Steve Miller IV-end)

This continues the Steve Miller Band performance history from 1966 through 1968. For the first installment, from October 1966 through May 1967, see here,for the second half of 1967 see here, and for the first half of 1968 see here. Anyone with additional information, corrections, insights or memories should contact me or post them in the comments. This installment attempts to identify every Steve Miller Band and Steve Miller performance from January to June 1968.

July 12-14, 1968: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Band/Howlin Wolf/Conqueroo
The Conqueroo were from Texas and were regulars at the Vulcan Gas Company ballroom in Austin.
July 26-28, 1968: Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI Steve Miller Band/Odds and Ends (26)-Carosel (27)-Air Speed Indicator (28)
There must have been a few other dates outside of California, but I am not able to find any.
August 3, 1968: Shrine Expostion Hall, Los Angeles, CA Jeff Beck Group/Blue Cheer/Steve Miller Band/Big Mama Thornton and the original Hound Dog Band/Charles Lloyd
August 4, 1968: Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles Butterfield Blues Band/Ike & Tina Turner/Electric Flag/Magic Sam/Steve Miller Band/Kaleidoscope
August 13-15, 1968 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA The Byrds/Steve Miller Band/Blue Cheer/West
This date is noted in Chris Hjort’s Byrds book. Hjort notes that there is some doubt whether the shows took place. It may have been filming for a TV pilot.
August 16-18, 1968 The Cheetah, Santa Monica, CA Steve Miller Band/Barry Goldberg Reunion/Eastside Kids
High Torr Presents
August 31, 1968 Palace of Fine Arts Festival, San Francisco, CA Mike Bloomfield Jam Band/Quicksilver Messenger Service/The Lamb/Linn County/AB Skhy/Ace of Cups
Faren Miller has a detailed review in her diaries. The billing was somewhat different than what she describes, and its not clear who were no-shows and who she simply missed or didn’t comment on. John Handy, Steve Miller, Big Mama Thornton and HP Lovecraft were billed, and Mike Bloomfield was not. Miller specifically refers to HP Lovecraft as no-shows, but the rest aren’t referenced.
There were multiple stages, with multiple light shows. Peter Albin was the MC (Big Brother was apparently booked, but canceled). Mike Bloomfield Jam Band was initially Bloomfield, Gravenites, Mark Naftalin probably Ron Stallings on tenor and vocals, Bob Jones on drums and a bassist and conga player. Steve Miller and Curley Cook came out and played guitars, and Bloomfield played some organ.
September 5-7, 1968 Fillmore West Chuck Berry/Steve Miller Band/Kensington Market
An eyewitness blog post says that the entire 5-piece Miller Band backed Chuck Berry.
September 20-22, 1968: Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Band/Muddy Waters/A.B. Skhy Blues Band
The fact that there are conflicts with two of these dates (see below) suggests that the Miller Band may not have played the gigs. Two gigs in a day was not unheard of, but it seems unlikely on multiple nights.
September 20, 1968: Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band/Ace of Cups
Note the conflict with the above Avalon date. It appears Steve Miller played two shows in one night, or more likely did not play the Avalon on Sep 20.
September 22, 1968: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, CA Grateful Dead/Buddy Miles Express/Taj Mahal/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Sons of Champlin/Mother Earth/Curly Cooke’s Hurdy-Gurdy Band/Youngbloods/Ace of Cups/Phoenix
The Buddy Miles Express were billed as “Formerly: The Electric Flag.” An eyewitness reports that Steve Miller Band performed as well, with Boz Scaggs still in the band.
September 25, 1968: Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Blues Band/Santana/Flamin Groovies/It’s a Beautiful Day/Frumious Bandersnatch/Cleveland Wrecking Company/Country Weather/The Womb
Benefit for the Peace and Freedom Cabaret
September 28, 1968: Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA Super Session with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield/It’s A Beautiful Day/Loading Zone
Mike Bloomfield does not show up the third day of "Super Session", so Elvin Bishop, Steve Miller and Carlos Santana take turns sitting in. Miller's guitar playing was left off the Super Session album because of record company conflicts (Miller was on Capitol, while Kooper was on CBS).
September 29, 1968 El Camino Park, Palo Alto, CA Steve Miller Band/Frumious Bandersnatch/Phoenix/Freedom Highway
Yet another “Palo Alto Be-In.” I have had to approximate the date from eyewitnesses and other peripheral evidence . At this show, the Steve Miller Band was a trio (per Bobby Winkelmann of Frumious Bandersnatch), as Scaggs and Peterman apparently did not make the gig. However, Carlos Santana did show up to jam with the Miller trio.
October, 1968: The Steve Miller Band’s second album, Sailor, is released by Capitol. Much of it had been recorded in London earlier in the year. However, guitarist/vocalist Boz Scaggs and organist Jim Peterman would quit the band by year's end (the clipping above is from October 3, 1968 edition of The Capital Times from Madison, WI).
October 2-6, 1968: Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood, CA Steve Miller Band/Chicago Transit Authority
October 16-18, 1968 Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA Steve Miller Band/Liverpool Scene
October 24?, 1968 [venue], Kansas City, MO Quicksilver Messenger Service/Steve Miller Band
Date approximated from a newspaper reference. I would presume there were other East Coast gigs.
November 2, 1968: Golden Gym, Cal Western College, San Diego, CA Country Joe & The Fish/Steve Miller Band/Framework
December 22-23, 1968 Sports Arena, Los Angeles LA Pop Festival A Christmas Happening
>December 23, 1968 Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA Chambers Brothers/Steve Miller Band/Buddy Miles Express/The Turtles/Love Exchange/Box Tops/Grass Roots
December 26-29, 1968: Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA Steve Miller Band/Sly and The Family Stone/Pogo
A tape from KPFA-fm circulates from one of these shows. Boz Scaggs and Jim Peterman are still in the band, but their role seems reduced, and in any case they would both leave shortly afterwards.
The Steve Miller Band continues to record and perform to this day, but my research into early Steve Miller Band dates ends here. Please comment or contact me with additional information, insights, corrections or memories.


  1. The Steve Miller Band played The Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, TX on November 8-9, 1968. Opening acts were New Atlantis and Shiva's Headband.

  2. It now appears that the five-piece Miller Band remained intact through December of 1968, and the KPFA broadcast was dated correctly. I do know the band played as a trio on August 11, 1968, and they may have played without Scaggs on other dates. Nonetheless, the Miller/Scaggs/Peterman/Turner/Davis lineup did end the year together at Fillmore West.

  3. New gig!

    November 24, 1968: Alexandria Roller Rink, Alexandria, Virginia with Rhinoceros and Vanilla Fudge