Younger stars push back against curmudgeonly rocker

Dan Auerbach (C) and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys induct Steve Miller at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

The Rock ‘n Roll food fight that started last weekend when long-time Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame critic Steve Miller was inducted into the Hall of Fame has intensified.

Miller called the people who run the music industry “gangsters and crooks.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone today, however, Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and drummer Pat Carney have fired back at the old-timer with a vengeance. The pair walked out of the Hall of Fame concert during Miller’s performance on Friday night.

What do you think about what’s happened the past four days?

Um, well, I guess Pat and I definitely… [Pauses] I guess we felt, I don’t know, we read a lot of things and we got a really uncomfortable feeling when we first met Steve. He had no idea who we were. No idea. The first thing he told us was, “I can’t wait to get out of here.” He knew that we signed up to do this speech for him. And he made no effort to even [laughs uncomfortably] — he didn’t even figure out who we were. I don’t live in New York City. This is like three days out of my life flying from Nashville and leaving my kids at home.

It was just a real eye-opener for us. Because as we get older, I hope that when I’m in my twilight years, I can look back and be grateful to the people who have appreciated me and to be able to give back. Because music is about sharing and passing on inspiration and that was his opportunity to do that; not just lashing out in a way that was just completely unfocused.

“I just had a couple sleepless nights. He really disappointed us.”

What was your initial reaction when you realized that he didn’t know or care who you were?

Pat and I were both definitely disappointed, to say the least. But you never really know what to expect when you meet quote unquote “superstars.” Rock & roll superstars, it used to be different for them. Playing stadiums and selling millions and millions of albums. It’s almost like he doesn’t have respect for the younger generations and how hard it is in the business today. When he made his first record, he did it at Olympic Studios with Glyn Johns. Pat and I made our first record in a basement with broken gear.

But we were there for the same reasons. Because we love music and because I felt like we had a connection just because I come from a place where I love blues music and so does he. And at least we had that connection, but that ended up not mattering in the end.

Uncomfortable? The pair had to go on stage and induct Miller into the Rock hall.

Auerbach took issue with Miller’s characterization of the Hall as “a boy’s club.”

“The Steve Miller band has had 35 members and no women,” he said.