Steve Miller Hated Jimi Hendrix's Guitar Burning Stunt. Here's Why

Steve Miller and Jimi Hendrix are both iconic musicians and guitarists, though their approach to the artform is radically different. Miller started out bluesy and slowly transitioned toward a poppier sound, while Hendrix was ... well, Hendrix. Still, despite their stylistic differences, the pair operated at the same time, and Miller had the opportunity to witness Hendrix play live. As such, one would think that he has plenty of respect for his colleague who, after all, is considered one of the greatest axemen of all time.  

In reality, however, Miller doesn't have much regard for Hendrix, at least when it comes to one of the guitar legend's most iconic performances. In 1967, Steve Miller Band and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were both part of the lineup of Monterey Pop Festival. As Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock tells us, the event is particularly famous for the frenzied finish to Hendrix' "Wild Thing," which saw the guitarist set his Fender Stratocaster on fire and smashed it to pieces. People loved it. Steve Miller completely and utterly hated it. Here's why. 

Steve Miller thinks burning guitars is 'pathetic'

As Geoff Edgers of the Washington Post tells us, Steve Miller is a fairly unassuming guy who thinks little of the excesses of the music industry, and who watches his money like a hawk. Even when he was playing with the Marksman at the tender age of 12, the musician had a habit of immediately quitting the phone call if a venue tried to haggle with him. As you can probably guess, a guy with that sort of mindset didn't think too highly about Jimi Hendrix's flamboyant guitar-burning antics. Miller is quite outspoken of his opinion about Hendrix's legendary guitar bonfire. "I thought that was pathetic," he says. "When I saw Jimi Hendrix stop playing the music he was playing, and get down on his knees, and pull out a can of lighter fluid and squirt it on the thing and light it, I went, 'Boy, this really f****ng sucks.'" Ouch.

That being said, Miller's not completely opposed to goofy musical hijinks. In fact, one of his most prized possessions is an old Roland synthesizer that he purchased in 1975 with the specific intention of acquiring "the dumbest synthesizer ever made." Then, he took it home and used it for the intro of his 1976 smash hit, "Fly Like an Eagle."