Here’s a little bit of rock trivia on the eve of Steve Miller being inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Whatever.
Paul McCartney co-wrote and played on a 1969 Miller track called “My Dark Hour.”
Paul was listed as “Paul Ramon,” and the track has remained a deep secret in rock history except to very knowledgeable McCartney fanatics.
Produced by Glyn Johns, “My Dark Hour” came about when Johns happened into the studio right after a big fight among the Beatles. The subject was Allen Klein, who McCartney didn’t want mixed up in their business. But John Lennon did, and had convinced George Harrison and Ringo Starr to let Klein be their manager.
When Johns arrived, the others (including Klein) had left. McCartney was fuming. He told bis friend and biographer Barry Miles:
Steve Miller happened to be there recording, late at night, and he just breezed in. ‘Hey, what’s happening, man? Can I use the studio?’ ‘Yeah!’ I said. ‘Can I drum for you? I just had a fucking unholy argument with the guys there.’ I explained it to him, took ten minutes to get it off my chest. So I did a track, he and I stayed that night and did a track of his called My Dark Hour. I thrashed everything out on the drums. There’s a surfeit of aggressive drum fills, that’s all I can say about that. We stayed up until late. I played bass, guitar and drums and sang backing vocals. It’s actually a pretty good track.
It was a very strange time in my life and I swear I got my first grey hairs that month. I saw them appearing. I looked in the mirror, I thought, I can see you. You’re all coming now. Welcome.
The song sounds a lot like would become “Fly Like An Eagle” about six years later. It also sounds a lot like would become Wings type music in the interim. This is the kind of thing that should be on a McCartney historical box set. Alas, the set we’re getting soon from McCartney is just a rehash of prior greatest hits. Macca really needs a curator!