Original Post: 09/18/11
Updated 10/2/11: Photos Added
Last night at The Fender Center in Corona was the Steve Miller Rock Symphony. It’s happening again tonight in Temecula. I was the event photographer, and that gave me access to see Steve Miller – The Man, and I have to say it…
Steve Miller is My New Hero
The Fender Center has a program called Kid’s Rock Free that provides free, or low cost, music lessons for kids. It’s a great program, and one I am big supporter of. My son was in the program, and he ended up as the drummer in one of the Kid’s Rock Free bands – The Fender Benders. When my son was in the band he opened for Paul Rodgers. That’s a great opportunity for a kid! The current version of The Fender Benders opened the show last night. Two of the kids from another Kids Rock Free band, The Igniters, have been joining Steve on stage around the country, and last night was no exception. Matt and Dylan rocked.
The goal of last night’s show was to bring attention to the program, and to raise funds through live, and silent auctions. The photo above is Steve customizing one of many Fender Strats that were used for the auction. Behind him the VIPs were eating dinner and I asked if I could get him a drink – he did not have time. Steve has done so much for this program, and at the end of the night he did something I have never seen.
The “symphony” part of the show was Steve doing many of his hits with the Pacific Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO). The arrangement, written and conducted by Rune Bergmann and a gift to the Kids Rock Free music education program from John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mentor, Jens Moe and his lovely wife, Karin, was fantastic. After the show was a meet & greet with the kids from the PYSO, and the amount of time Steve took with these kids was nothing short of amazing. Here is a serious rock star, at 12 midnight, asking kids what instrument they play. He took a serious interest in these kids, talking as long as the kids, or their families, wanted. The line was long, but Steve was going to make sure these kids got the attention they deserved. It was a joy to watch.
I have over 800 photo to go through, and that will take awhile, but I wanted to get this up here as soon as I could. The Fender Kids Rock Free program is something I strongly believe in. The people at Fender work very hard to make Kids Rock Free the best it can be, but people like Steve Miller help take it to the next level.
Thanks Steve, and the show was GREAT!
Here are a few photos from the sound check and show: