The Life of Scott Miller
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on July 26, 2013
Follow-up to Remembering Scott Miller (1960-2013)
The Loud Family - Last Honest Face
Loud Family: Mixing Art and Politics
Loud Family: Creative Modern Rock
The Life of Scott Miller
Nan Becker Remembers Scott Miller
Scott Miller is remembered by family, friends and fans not just for his music, but for his friendly
personality and inspiring intellect. The song "Soul Drain" by his band The Loud Family is one of many
powerful songs that showcase his ability to think outside the box and bring new ideas to energetic pop/rock music.
His several albums were filled with equally as unique and profoundly poetic songs.
He grew up in Sacramento and entered UC Davis in 1979. While attending the campus, he formed the band
Alternate Learning, who broke up the following year in 1980. While still at UC Davis he started Game Theory
in 1981 and the band played several clubs in Davis and Sacramento. Early members included Fred Juhos, Michael Erwin and Nan Becker, who
had known Scott since childhood.
The Davis version of Game Theory broke up in 1983 then Scott moved to the San Francisco Bay Area
in 1984 and put together the band's new lineup, which consisted of Shelley LaFreniere on keyboards, Suzi Ziegler
on bass and Gil Ray on drums. After Suzi left the band in 1985, Scott's girlfriend Donnette Thayer and her friend
Gui Gassuan joined the band. Donnette's other band was called The Veil.
Miller wrote most of the material for Game Theory, although he allowed some contributions from other members
occasionally. Donnette, for example, contributed a few songs for the album Lolita Nation. She originally
sang the songs in The Veil.
Friends have described Scott's personality as "emotionally restrained," as he was not the type of guy who
would talk about his day to day life. He revealed his intelligence to friends with subtlety. He also had
a great sense of genuine humor. He was progressive in his views, but mainly cynical about politics, which can be felt in
his Game Theory song "Throwing the Election."
"He could be sweet and kind, generous and enlightened," remembers Donnette's husband Robert Toren, "but working
with a genius was tough - and band members had to put up with the difficulties because they loved to play his
great songs." But his friends did not consider him to be egotistical or self-serving. They considered him
to be more of an artist with a huge heart dedicated to his craft. He encouraged other musicians to be great
at their craft as well. Musically, Scott created complex melodies set to playful, funny, smart lyrics.
Game Theory did not make the national charts but approached the threshold of national popularity after
being signed to Enigma Records and working with R.E.M.'s producer Mitch Easter. Unfortunately, Engima
went bankrupt and so the band broke up in 1989. Scott formed The Loud Family in 1991 and worked with various
musicians in the Bay Area. The band released a wealth of innovative and melodic rock music throughout the next
few decades. Following Scott Miller's untimely death on April 15, 2013 about a week after his 53rd birthday, his fans
have made it clear that his life and music will be long remembered.
Read more about the Scott Miller Tribute at Shine Cafe in this Sacramento Press article.
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