*12.28 - FLY LIKE AN EAGLE (Steve Miller Band)

Steve Miller Band


        [Intro: tick tock tick]

        Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
        Into the future

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
Till I'm free
Oh, Lord, through the revolution.

Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat.
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet.
House the people
Livin' in the street.
Oh, oh, there's a solution.

[Repeat 1st verse]

        [Chorus 4x]


[Repeat 1st verse]


        Tick tock tick (5x)

        [Chorus 2x]

The Steve Miller Band formed in 1967 in San Francisco, and performed at the Monterey Pop Festival that year. The band is listed on psychedelic posters as performing at several “happenings”, warming up the stage for such acts as the Grateful Dead, Moby Grape, and Big Brother and the Holding Company. Though known fairly well in Northern California, the band only achieved limited national success in the 1960s. Their biggest radio hit during this time was Livin’ in the U.S.A., released in 1968, which barely broke into the Hot 100 at #94. However, during this time the band attracted the interest of Paul McCartney, who wrote a song in 1969 with Steve Miller called My Dark Hour, from which the initial guitar riff for Fly like an Eagle is lifted. The band’s big break came with the release in 1973 of The Joker, which reached the top of the charts (with its hippie admission of being a “midnight toker”). Steve Miller reported in a YouTube interview that he invested his royalty money from The Joker in new recording equipment and time off the road to write a couple dozen songs, among them Fly Like an Eagle.

By the mid-1970s, the Steve Miller Band had shed many of its psychedelic trimmings and were billing themselves as a blues based rock ‘n roll band. But they also tended to be album-oriented, and Fly Like an Eagle on the album has over a minute introduction that did not make it to the radio cut (though FM radio routinely included the introduction in its broadcasts). The introduction uses a cheap synthesizer that bleeds into several moments of Fly Like an Eagle, evoking space travel, sometimes becoming the dominant sound. Steve Miller called it “space rock” rather than psychedelic music. In the 1970s there was a TV show called Space: 1999, popular in Britain, that had Eagle space transporters; in the U.S. these Eagle transporters had become popular Dinky Toys; maybe that’s the connection. If so, there would be a twist of irony here. The song may be implying that rather than spend money on the space program, the United States (in the popular image of the Eagle) needs to feed the babies, shoe the children, and house its people in preparation for the new millennium.