Saturday, July 11, 2009

Steve Miller Band - Preoccupation with Flight‏

by Brent Warnken

What is it with Steve Miller and flying? A disproportionate number of Steve Miller Band's greatest hits have to do with airplane travel in one form or another, and the imagery associated with the band's albums include a distinct aero-fixation. If you like the way he sings about flying in his songs, you could find Steve Miller Band tickets online. In typical Steve Miller style, you should have the tickets air-mailed to you.

Album Cover Art

If you go to the Official Steve Miller Band webpage, stevemillerband, you'll see the Steve Miller Band logo large and bold in the center of the front page. The words STEVE MILLER BAND appear in an upside-down frown curve at the top, and a picture of a blue, winged horse occupies the vast majority of the page space.

The muscular horse is tense and rearing his head, showing his teeth and gums, seemingly startled by something at his rear. The wings on the horse's back are humongous, and they're spread out in all their glory, ready to fly (like an eagle). They are the only part of the blue horse that has caught the light of the sunset in the background, thus coloring the tips of the wings red, orange and violet.

The first appearance of this flying horse image is on Steve Miller Band's 10th studio album, 1977's Book of Dreams, and it would appear on several more albums in subsequent years. Most commonly the flying horse is found on their best-of albums. It's used as a kind of band logo (like the Rolling Stones' lips and tongue), a trademark you can see on official band merchandise. Because the horse does not have a horn, it's clearly not a unicorn. So why the wings, Steve Miller?

"Fly Like an Eagle"

One of the most obvious examples of Steve Miller Band singing about flying is "Fly Like an Eagle," one of their popular radio hits. The song has few lyrics that aren't tied directly to air travel. Even when Steve Miller sings about how "time keeps on slipping, slipping slipping/ into the future" he's most likely talking about how, when time zones are crossed, time slips into the future.

The chorus, which was used by the US Postal Service to advertise their air mail, goes like this: "I want to fly like an eagle/ To the sea/ Fly like an eagle/ Let my spirit carry me/ I want to fly like an eagle/ 'Til I'm free/ Oh, Lord, through the revolution."

"The Joker"

The title of "The Joker" is commonly mistaken as "Space Cowboy" because the song's first few lyrics identify the narrator as a "space cowboy." The rest of the song is mostly about loving women's peaches and smoking and toking, but it's important to note that the line about being a space cowboy was prominent in the verses, prominent enough for radio listeners to focus on that part of the song more than any other.

"Jet Airliner"

As if it couldn't get any more obvious, the Steve Miller Band released a major hit song titled "Jet Airliner" in 1977. The song is about leaving on a jet plane, and the chorus goes a little like this: "Big ol' jet airliner/ don't carry me too far away/ Big ol' jet airliner/ cause it's here that I've got to stay." The rest of the song is filled with references to flying on airplanes. For example "As I get on the 707/ Ridin' high I got tears in my eyes," and "Touchin down in New England town."

"Rockin' Me"

While most of the song "Rockin' Me" is about Steve Miller sweet-talking his girlfriend, the chorus is, of course, about flying across the country. Steve Miller sings, "I went from Phoenix, Arizona/ All the way to Tacoma/ Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A./ Northern California where the girls are warm/ So I could hear my sweet baby say." Who would have that kind of travel itinerary besides someone flying zig-zag across the country?

Brent Warnken wrote this article in association with If you are looking for, sports tickets, theatre tickets, concert tickets, or any other kinds of tickets, is one of the best places to find them.

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