Six Degrees of Separation

The Steve Miller Band (SMB) has acted as a magnet for first-rate talent for more than five decades. While the namesake vocalist-guitarist has remained the focal point, many of his collaborators claim impressive resumes of their own. Here are 11 musicians — members and guests alike — whose histories seem to establish six degrees of separation with the broader music community.

Boz Scaggs
Boz Scaggs’ relationship with Steve Miller goes back to their childhood and nascent ‘50s band, the Marksmen. Both vocalist-guitarists would attend University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scaggs then moved overseas before being drawn back to the U.S. by San Francisco’s psychedelic scene. After playing on SMB’s first two records, he inked a solo deal and achieved commercial fame via the five-times-platinum “Silk Degrees” (1976). In addition to boasting a deep back catalog, Scaggs earned mention on “Breaking Bad” as a favorite of Walter White.

Live! Breaking Ground

Documenting the exciting period when the Steve Miller Band ascended to playing arenas, and professionally recorded in Landover, MD, “Live! Breaking Ground: August 3, 1977” captures a 17-song concert staged in support of the blockbuster albums “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Book of Dreams.”

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Bob Gendron has been obsessing over music, albums and audio ever since he landed a job at an indie record store at age 13. A longtime contributor to the Chicago Tribune and the first Associate Editorial Director at The Coda Collection, he was also the longtime Music Editor at The Absolute Sound and performed the same role at TONEAudio. Gendron is the author of “Gentlemen” (Bloomsbury) and a coauthor of “Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History” (Voyageur). His writing has also appeared in DownBeat, Rolling Stone, Revolver and other outlets.

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