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The Black Keys ‘Regret’ Inducting Steve Miller Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Black Keys and Steve Miller
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

The Black Keys inducted Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday (April 8), and almost as soon as he exited the stage, Miller tore into the Cleveland institution and the music industry at large. While many have since praised Miller’s dissent, the Keys frontman Dan Auerbach instead places blame on the new inductee.

“[Miller] said, ‘The whole process was unpleasant,’” Auerbach told Rolling Stone. “And for Pat [Carney] and I, honestly, the most unpleasant part was being around him.”

Miller told Rolling Stone the induction process needs to be “changed from top to bottom” to place more focus on the artists. He then laid into the music industry as a whole: “This little get-together you guys have here is like a private boys’ club, and it’s a bunch of jackasses and jerks and f—ing gangsters and crooks who’ve f—ing stolen everything from a f—ing artist.”

However, the Black Keys were more offended by Miller’s behavior that night. Auerbach and Carney previously revealed Miller didn’t recognize who they were when they first met. At the time, Auerbach laughed it off and said Miller’s lack of pretense and connection to the industry is “why we love you.” Now, Auerbach says they just didn’t want to “stir any s—.” In fact, the Keys were so “disappointed,” they immediately left after their induction speech during Miller’s performance. Auerbach says they “regret” inducting Miller at all.

Auerbach also called into question Miller’s criticism of the Rock Hall and its legacy of disproportionately inducting men over women. (During his acceptance speech, Miller said, “I encourage you to keep expanding your vision, to be more inclusive of women.”)

“He called the whole thing ‘a boys’ club,’” Auerbach said. “The Steve Miller band has had 35 members and no women.”

And finally, the Black Keys singer, who originally hails from Akron, Ohio, defended the nearby Cleveland Rock Hall. “Everybody at the Rock Hall was great,” Auerbach said. “It’s always so easy for a f—ing 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 brought me joy since I was a teenager!”

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