Steve Miller Rips Jimi Hendrix For Setting Guitar On Fire

October 8, 2019
Side by side photo of Steve Miller and Jimi Hendrix.

Steve Miller (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Little Kids Rock)/Jimi Hendrix (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)


Steve Miller was the subject of a glowing Washington Post profile surrounding the release of his new box set Welcome To The Vault, a career spanning 3 CD + DVD collection with 52 audio tracks and 21 performances on DVD.

If you're a fan of Miller's work you'll enjoy the piece as it delves into his longstanding feud with the music industry. However, there's one bit of the piece that'll raise eyebrows.

The interview took place at The Met where Steve Miller was walking the exhibit “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll." The exhibit showcased the impact of rock & roll and featured instruments from many of rock's most famous artists.

In the Washington Post piece, a Jimi Hendrix Flying V guitar caught Miller's eye and brought back a memory of playing the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The iconic image of Jimi Hendrix setting his Stratocaster on fire came from his set at Monterey Pop and instantly became the most famous rock & roll photo.

As noted in the book Jimi Hendrix: An Illustrated Experience, Hendrix recalled of the incident, "I decided to destroy my guitar at the end of a song as a sacrifice. You sacrifice things you love. I love my guitar."

Steve Miller wasn't having any of it.

“I thought that was pathetic,” Miller said.

“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---ing sucks,'" he added.

Give Miller credit for his honesty, but it's a shame he wasn't pressed to explain why it was pathetic.

Watch the footage of Hendrix burning his guitar below.

Related: How To Play Guitar Like Jimi Hendrix