While recently minted Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and recently outed Rock Hall hater Steve Miller is drawing praise for calling out the Cleveland-based institution for—well, for being dysfunctional as fuck—at least two of his fellow musicians don’t agree. It’s not that The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbauch and Patrick Carney disagree, necessarily, that it’s bullshit to charge Miller’s band thousands of dollars a ticket to attend the ceremony, as he claims, or favor the bias towards male artists Miller’s been citing in interviews. But, because life is complicated and many things can be true at the same time, Auerbach does report that Miller was a dick to them at the ceremony.
He says as much in a muckraking interview with Rolling Stone, where he claims to have been losing sleep after the traumatic experience of coming face-to-face with Miller’s bad attitude. In the interview, Auerbach, a man, defends the Man against another man:
It’s always so easy for a fucking artist to rag on a big institution. It really is. And a lot of times you have to do that and it’s necessary. But me personally, the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame has only ever really brought me joy since I was a teenager! I used to go there with my dad [when] they would do workshops. They’re responsible for a lot of really positive things in my life.
Maybe that’s just the Ohio loyalty talking (the Black Keys are from Akron, Ohio, about a 45 minute drive south of Cleveland). But Auerbach also pointedly critiques Miller’s invocation of sexism in the Rock Hall, saying, “The Steve Miller band has had 35 members and no women,” as well as alleging Miller was just plain rude to him and his bandmate. He says Miller had no idea who they were and made to attempt to find out—”it’s almost like he doesn’t have respect for the younger generations and how hard it is in the business today,” Auerbach says—and that he was just prickly and unpleasant the entire evening. His first words to them were, apparently, “I can’t wait to get out of here.” And that’s what a ”disappointed” Auerbach and Carney did, apparently, midway through Miller’s performance.
Then again, according to comedian Jimmy Pardo—who covered this year’s induction ceremony for The A.V. Club—The Black Keys invoked Wikipedia in their induction speech for Miller, which may have come off as a tad insincere. (“You felt an entire arena stop listening to these two guys talking,” Pardo says.) But hey, at least Chicago and Cheap Trick were good, right?