Summer In Stereo #36

After the first few hundred times HERC heard Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle" on WLS in January (and February) (and March) 1977, he thought it was a great song but resisted buying the single.  He had already picked up the "Rock N Me" single back in October 1976 and was still enjoying listening to that one.  But one day near the end of the school year, while walking home (you could literally see his house from the school playground) he heard a wonderful new sound coming from an open window.  HERC listened for a minute, that's how long it lasted, hidden behind a tree. Once that song was over, it immediately segued into "Fly Like An Eagle" and then "Fly Like An Eagle" segued into some other song he hadn't heard before - it was like all one big song instead of three songs.  HERC's little eleven year old mind was blown and he was now on a mission to get that album.  Before the Summer of 1977 was over, it was his. What he learned was that the version of the song that had been getting radio play was even shorter than the album version so after hearing the album version coupled with the "Space intro", HERC could never listen to the radio edit again. Most people associate the song and the album with the Bicentennial Summer but for HERC, both bring back memories of the following year's Summer.
Also in the Summer of 1977, HERC fell for another Steve Miller song on the radio, this one closer in sound to "Rock N Me" than "Fly Like An Eagle".  It was a tune called "Jet Airliner".  HERC bought that 45 shortly after getting the Fly Like An Eagle album.  And fortunately for HERC, HERC SR., picked up Book Of Dreams, Miller's follow-up album so HERC didn't have to himself.  But a remarkable thing happened the first time HERC took his Dad's record for a secret test spin - he found out that there was another secret Space intro, this one just before "Jet Airliner" on the album. It was called "Threshold" and it lasted about as long as "Space intro" did, a little over a minute before segueing directly into "Jet Airliner".  A second surprise was the extended guitar riffage that opened the album version of "Jet Airliner" that had been excised on the single.  So HERC has not one but two Steve Miller Band musical memories from the Summer of 1977.

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