Black Keys on First Rock Hall Ceremony: 'It's Like a Viagra Commercial'

Black Keys on First Rock Hall Ceremony: 'It's Like a Viagra Commercial'

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Black Keys on First Rock Hall Ceremony: 'It's Like a Viagra Commercial' news

Black Keys members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney discuss their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of Steve Miller and their experiences at the ceremony. Theo Wargo/Getty (2)

Steve Miller was the second artist to be inducted at tonight’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn, and doing the honors were longtime fans the Black Keys. Rolling Stone caught up with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney to get their thoughts on Miller’s Midwestern appeal and their own future Rock Hall chances.

Have you talked to Steve tonight?
Auerbach: We walked up the stage, and we just saw and ran into him. “Steve, how are you doing?” “Dude, what are you here for?” “We’re doing a speech”. He’s like, “Great, great. Can’t wait to get out of here.” [Laughs] That was right when we walked in.

Wow.
Auerbach: Then he apologized to me like 10 minutes later when his wife told him who we were. And then I said, “That’s why we love you. Don’t pay any attention to what’s going on in the music business. That’s why we love you.”

Exactly. Is he a hero in that way? He’s done what he’s done. He’s had hits and not hits.
Auerbach: Yeah, we love that. He’s from the middle of America, and you know, he was kind of able to morph his love of blues music into [something] new and his own.

How did it come about that you guys inducted him? You were asked?
Auerbach: We were asked and we said yeah. Just, like, growing up in northeastern Ohio, Steve Miller is constantly being played. Steve Miller and Tom Petty are constantly on the radio. … It was like air.
Carney: Just as back home in Cleveland, I put the classic-rock station on, and the playlist was exactly the fucking same from when I was 16. It was the same. Ugh.

Have you run into anyone else tonight?
Carney: We met, like, nine of the members of Chicago so far.

What was that like?
Auerbach: What’s your favorite Chicago album? III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX? You like the first one?

There’s some wild stuff on there.
Auerbach: That’s what everybody says. … “I like the early stuff.”

There’s wild guitar improv on that stuff. Jim O’Rourke is a big fan. And he played it for Thurston Moore and didn’t tell him who it was. … It totally blew Thurston Moore’s mind.
Auerbach: That’s awesome. I love that.

They were edgy back then. Have you guys been to these ceremonies before?
Auerbach: No, we’ve never been to one of these. I mean, I’ve gone [to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]. We’re from Akron. I’ve been going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since I was a kid with my dad. They do these cool things at the Rock Hall, like bring musicians in and have them play songs of, you know, someone from that. We went to Hank Williams, Sam Cooke. … It was always fun.

What’s tonight been like so far?
Auerbach: It’s awesome.
Carney: It’s like a Viagra commercial upstairs.
Auerbach: “It’s like a Viagra commercial upstairs?” [Laughs] It’s awesome.

What are you guys up to now? Are you working on a new record now?
Auerbach: No, we’re just taking some time off to finish the tenure. [Laughs] We’ve just taken a little bit of time off, yeah.

Still recovering from the whole France incident? [Ed. note: Auerbach performed in Paris with the Arcs on the night of the November 2015 terrorist attacks.]
Auerbach: Well, luckily we didn’t see any of the awfulness. It was very tense.
Carney: It was fucked up. I was texting Dan that night. I saw it.

It’s so crazy.
Carney: I was actually asked to play drums on that tour for Eagles of Death Metal.
Auerbach: We know the guy that was drumming. He was from Nashville. We toured with him.
Carney: Josh asked me if I would do it, and I recommended Julian [Dorio]. And also our merch guy was working that … our European merch guy. It’s fucked up.

They caught the guy today, the mastermind. They arrested him today in Belgium.
Auerbach: Really? Wow. I didn’t know that.

Yeah. So do you have your speech prepared? Did you write it in advance?
Auerbach: Yeah

Did you both write it?
Auerbach: Yeah, we both wrote it. Pat’s got the best joke of the whole thing. It’s the second line. Pat’s first line is to pay attention.

Who is going to do the speaking?
Auerbach: We both are.

Back and forth?
Auerbach: Yeah.
Carney: This is kind of a nightmare for me, public speaking. I still remember when we won a Grammy and [were] on TV. He went up and spoke. [To Auerbach] I don’t remember what you said. I don’t know if I said English afterwards.
Auerbach: This one is not live on national television.
Carney: That’s true.

“People who are really vocal about not getting in, it’s funnier to keep them out.” —Patrick Carney

It will be.
Auerbach: Shut up.
Carney: Is it on cable? It’s on cable though, right? No one watches TV.

You can edit it out. …
Carney: When you binge all the Rock Hall ceremonies, wait until you have 25 of them and then you put them on Netflix.

Do you watch them every year on TV?
Auerbach: I’ve never seen it.
Carney: Most of the time I’ll hear Howard Stern talking about it on the radio. He’ll never know most of the bands.
Auerbach: Of course not.

What do you make of this year’s lineup? It’s a very Midwestern. Cheap Trick …
Carney: There’s a lot of Wisconsin going on. [Are] Cheap Trick from Wisconsin?

They’re from Illinois.
Carney: So it’s a lot of Milwaukee and Illinois.

Seventies and Deep Purple …
Auerbach: I don’t care about [who’s not in] the Rock Hall, except for Link Wray. He’s not in the Rock Hall.
Carney: Have you ever been to www.chubbychecker.com?

No.
Carney: OK … He wrote a fucking article. He paid for an ad in Billboard magazine in, like, 1990 about [how] he should be in the Rock Hall and how there should be a statue of him out front, and it should be a statue of him holding his beef-jerky brand. Apparently, he has a beef-jerky brand. If you go to his website, it’s all about him not being in the Rock Hall, cause he’s still not in. I don’t think he should be. It’s funnier at this point. I do think there should be a statue out front.
Auerbach: Shouldn’t let him in, but the statue …
Carney: As long as the statue is …
Auerbach: They should make him choose: “You can either go into the Rock Hall, we can induct you or we can put a statue up.”

Pat, who do you think should be in the Hall? We have Link Wray over here.
Carney: Captain Beefheart.
Auerbach: Oh, nice.

It’s an interesting lineup tonight, an eclectic lineup. From Chicago to N.W.A, that’s a spectrum right there.
Carney: I was trying to think what bands [were inducted] last year. Was it Nirvana that went in last year?

It might have been last year. Kiss was last year. Controversial Kiss induction.
Auerbach: Why is that controversial?

It took them a long time to get in.
Auerbach: And they were very vocal, that’s why.
Carney: People who are really vocal about not getting in, it’s funnier to keep them out. Chubby Chucker, you should do an article about him not being in. … I’ve actually never been through the Rock Hall. I’ve seen a concert in the lobby. … I wonder what songs Deep Purple [will play]. I like that record In Rock, where they’re at Mount Rushmore.

And Ritchie Blackmore …
Auerbach: I don’t know much about that.

He was the main guitar player. He was the “Smoke on the Water” riff guy. He didn’t want to attend for some reason.
Auerbach: Making a stand, huh? Good for him. I love when millionaires make stands.

You don’t have to have a big band meeting. You can avoid all that kind of stuff.
Auerbach: Yeah. I guess so. I never thought about it like that.

Your first record was 2002, and it takes 25 years. 2027 you guys will be eligible.
Carney: Unless we get [ignored like] Kiss.
Auerbach: That’s why we’re going to keep our mouths shut.

I think you have the critical acclaim more than Kiss.
Auerbach: Seriously? I have a hard time putting us into perspective. I really don’t know. The music business is just so much different. Everybody we’re inducting — I mean, whatever … Too depressing to talk about.

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