Nan Becker Remembers Scott Miller
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on July 27, 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 knew Scott Miller since childhood and went to high school with him at
Rio Americano. She played in his original lineup of Game Theory starting in 1981.
Her band Nan Becker and the Wheel performed at Scott's memorial tribute show on
July 20 at Shine Cafe in Sacramento. The following is a message she wrote to me
about her memories of Scott Miller. The video above represents a recording session
of Scott with his band the Loud Family in 1991, working with R.E.M. producer Mitch Easter.
"Scott was an intelligent, caring and extremely witty man. It breaks my heart to be
speaking of him in the past tense. I met him nearly 46 years ago at my brother
Joe's birthday party. I thought he was an odd kid, unlike anyone I'd ever known. And then he did his
Snoopy imitation (from the Peanuts' Halloween special) and I was charmed in spite
of my misgivings. Keep in mind he was 6 at the time. Although he was at our house
to visit Joe all the time, Scott and I became true friends when we were teens.
We hung out a lot, going to local concerts, music events in San Francisco, midnight
movies, Tower Records and Books (all the locations), the things kids did in the 70s
and 80s. We attended Rio Americano HS, he was a freshman when I was a senior.
"Much of our friendship seemed to feature driving to places, the above-named
activities or just driving around. One summer night we happened to be driving down
Howe Ave. The baseball field was lit up for a game that had just ended and a huge
full moon was rising over the backstop. Suddenly the lights went off leaving the
field utterly black. It took me a couple seconds to realize the Howe Avenue Park
lights' timer had switched off. I gasped, 'Scott, I thought the moon went out!'
We laughed all the way down Howe and joked about it for years. And he never made
me feel like an idiot for it. Scott kept track of the music charts like statisticians track baseball stats.
He followed those too but his abiding love was pop music.
"He applied all he
learned to his own music. His songs were perfectly crafted, exquisitely-shaped
and refined to reflect just the right tone and yet capture whatever his concerns
were. I loved playing his music in the band Game Theory. Even when I didn't
personally like a specific song I knew it was due to my taste and nothing to do
with the creator of the song itself. Scott was typical of most artists in that he
took pieces of his life--conversations, movies, books, the arts, concerns and loves,
experiences--and incorporated them into song. The difference was that Scott just
Knew more than most people. Amazing intelligence and, best of all, a hungry
curiosity about everything. If you talked about something he didn't know, the next
time he saw you he would've researched the subject and probably knew more than you
did. Very Intimidating! And it all wound up in music somehow.
"Scott was hard to know but easy to talk to. He was a good listener and reflected
intensely upon whatever the subject was. Back to his natural curiosity I believe.
He had an openness that I strove to emulate with mixed success. He could shock me
when he'd tell me of some song he admired, like Barry Manilow's, "Mandy".
"I was at the age where the music you liked defined who you were. I was very
dismissive until he explained what it was that made "Mandy" a great pop song.
He changed my musical life with that explanation. I listened to everything
completely differently after that moment. He taught me to listen to music, friends
and life with open ears and an open mind, a priceless legacy. I will be forever in
his debt and I will miss and love him for the rest of my life."
Nan Becker, July 26, 2013
Read more about the Scott Miller Tribute at Shine Cafe in this Sacramento Press article.
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