What would it be like to be a ... Musician?

We asked Steve Millerof the famed Steve Miller Band - what it's like to be a musician, writer and someone touring with their band around the world. We especially love singing his wonderful, top -10 song 'Fly Like an Eagle'.
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Steve Miller, rocking it out!

Steve Miller here!
Thank you for all your questions. They are fun and I'll do my best to answer them. Here goes!

How did you come up with the song Fly Like an Eagle? (Isabella, Emily, Jack and Alya)

I made up some music and taught it to my my band during practice. When the music started sounding good I started writing the lyrics. When I had several verses and a chorus I started singing the song with my band at our concerts. We played it for three years in front of audiences before it was all finished. It changed a lot over that time period. When it finally was just right I rented a recording studio and recorded it with my band. We mixed the music and voices together in the studio and it was ready to be released as a record.

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The iconic cover of the 'Fly Like an Eagle' album.

How old were you when you started playing a musical instrument? (Samuel, Emily, Samir and Daniel)

I was five years old. My uncle Dale gave me his guitar, it was a very nice guitar that I still have. It was small enough that I could strum it. My Godfather Les Paul taught me my first chords and I started practicing and started singing and playing every day from then until now. It is what I love to do best.


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What was the first song you wrote? (Pik Kwan and Lauren)

The first song I ever wrote was called DARLING THE SKELETONS ARE COMING OUT TONIGHT. I was five and it was for Halloween a funny holiday we have in the USA where everyone dresses up like ghosts and goblins and plays trick or treat.

Why do you have Pegasus on so many of your album covers? (Henry, Harry, Tehya and Kamley)

Pegasus (Ancient Greek:Πήγασος, Pégasos, Latin Pegasus) is one of the best known mythological creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged horse usually depicted as white in color. He is the symbol of poetry and the creator of sources in which poets come to draw inspiration. I think Pegasus is a strong visual image for my music and art and people always remember the beautiful image of the horse with wings.


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Some of the Pegasus artwork found on the album covers

Can you remember the first time you sang in front of a crowd? (Sam and Aida)

I was 12 years old with my parents where a jazz band was playing. The leader of the band was friends with my parents and knew I loved music and could sing so he invited me up to the stage to sing. I was pretty surprised and nervous at first but everyone was very kind and as soon as I got started I really enjoyed it and it wasn’t scary. I knew three songs pretty well and did them. It was a lot of fun to sing with a band and I wanted to do it again.

Why did you start writing songs? (Henry)

When I was young I was learning and playing other peoples music and started thinking about trying some of my own ideas. I wrote some tunes and they seemed to go over well. There were other people my age writing and it seemed like fun so I was inspired to try my hand at it by learning lots of music.


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Steve with a young fan ... Do you know who this person may be Henry?

Do you get scared when you go on stage ... because I do!? (Olivia)

Everyone gets a little nervous in the beginning but the more you do it the easier it gets then it becomes exciting and I always look forward to it. It always brings out my best. Especially if you do songs people know and like. In the beginning I was playing for my friends and class mates so I got used to doing it at an early age.

What’s it like performing in front of a huge crowd? (Samuel)

It's a lot of fun. Everyone in the band looks forward to playing a concert for an audience. It’s exciting to share music especially if the audience is enjoying what you are doing.

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Here's a photo of a crowd in front of which the Steve Miller Band recently performed. Big enough for you Samuel?

What do you like about singing? (Samir and Lucy)

Singing comes from the heart, when you have a good song it it makes people feel good and happy and if you share it with others it is very gratifying. I like to sing about love and positive things and sometimes sad songs too and sometimes just tell a good story. Music makes us all think about the past and the future at the same time so it's very special.

I really liked the background music in Fly Like an Eagle. What made you do it like that? (Tabitha, Tehya)

We always played the song with a beautiful light show and I used the sound effects to create that same feeling in music. I wanted the song to sound kind of mysterious and made the sound effects do that.

Where did the ‘Tick, tock, tick, do- do- doo-doo’ come from? (Lucy)

I wanted to make people think about time and tic tock tic sounded good next to the doots. It’s that simple. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.


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Here's Steve performing recently ... with a floating ear!

Do you like flying because a lot of songs I’ve heard of yours are about it? (Alexander)

I fly all the time from city to city to play concerts and I do love it. The idea of flying makes me feel free as a bird.

Do you like touring Australia and have you ever visited Tasmania? (Thomas)

I have been to Australia and I loved the people I met and how beautiful and different all of the land is. I’ve never been to Tasmania but I hope to visit soon. The pictures I have seen are beautiful. It’s obviously a very special place.

How do you get inspired and who inspires you? (Aida and Noah)

Many times my guitar will inspire me to try some new chords or I’ll play a piano and get an idea for a melody. I have been inspired by many other musicians, performers and writers some of them are, Les Paul, T Bone Walker, Freddy King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Miles Davis, The Beatles, and Ella Fitzgerald and the Modern Jazz Quartet. They all play different types of music and I always learn a lot and get lots of new ideas when I listen to them.

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Les Paul, T Bone Walker, Freddy King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Miles Davis, The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald and the Modern Jazz Quartet

Have you enjoyed covers of Fly Like an Eagle by Seal, The Neville Brothers and mashups like Dj Lobsterdust's? (Mr Williams)

I always enjoy it when someone else records one of my songs. It’s exciting to hear how some one else sings and plays something I’ve written. Well I hope that answers your questions and that you all have a great time listening and learning to play an instrument. Just do it for fun and you’ll be glad you did.


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Daniel has got Steve screaming out a number; Lauren presented Steve as uber cool; maybe Lucy sees mellow-Steve here; and Grace is presenting a new way of Steve bending notes

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Thomas certainly shows Steve's snarl!

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Tehya, Tabitha and Emily have certainly got the eagles right Steve.

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Flying like an eagle ... that's what Alexander, Henry and Ira have certainly tried to show.

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Connor, Pik Kwan, Alya and Samuel have all showed us their visions of eagles.

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Here's the Band! Top job Olivia!

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Kamley has copied the Pegasus album cover. Great job Kam!