In Ketchum, Steve Miller is a local guy but his band hasn't played in the area in five years. It appears Steve Miller needs a big reason to hit the stage for his neighbors (summer and winter only) of the last 20 years. Now he's got one: It's the Snake River Alliance's 25th anniversary. Idaho's nuclear waste watchdog's celebration has the otherwise relaxed Miller revved up.
"It's the 25th anniversary of some really hard working people. They serve our community really well," he says markedly. "They are the only people who care."
It's true. The SRA, as a voice for Idahoans demanding water protection, deals with one of the most important problems in our country and one of the most dangerous health issues in Idaho. Nuclear waste is yucky, and in SRA's short life, they have begun laying the groundwork for the livelihood of our future through research, education, community advocacy for peace and justice, the end to nuclear weapons production activities and responsible solutions to nuclear waste and contamination.
"You talk to the governor about nuclear waste, his eyes glaze over," Miller says. "It's just this huge problem, very dangerous to all our health. Snake River Alliance goes to every meeting ... it is a watchdog organization that does all the work that really no one else wants to do."
He's not joking or smoking or midnight toking. In this egress, SMB is ready to churn out the goods. "On one hand it's a humongous rock show," he says. "We'll play all the big hits." And there are more than 35 years of hits under his belt, including an homage to local birds of prey ("Fly Like an Eagle") and a number about Idaho's very own high tech/Western dichotomy ("Space Cowboy").
On the other hand, it's a lot more. Plan to spend the whole day dance, dance, dancing with Miller's favorites, such as Peruvian flute players, a concert pianist, the Hailey high school jazz band, a marimba band, a blue grass group and, "Oh, we've got a real great guy coming from San Francisco, his name is Frank Olivier," Miller points out. "I guess the best way to describe him is a street performer; he's gonna blow everybody's mind. I always play at his birthday party because he's such a great entertainer."
Keep an eye out for other area hotshots, too. Rumors are afloat that Bruce Willis will bust out the harmonicas with famed harpist Norton Buffalo. All proceeds go to the Alliance, who will then take the money and run--but not away. :
Sunday, August 29, Wood River Valley High School Outdoor Special Events Field. Gates at 3 p.m., music at 4:30 p.m., The Steve Miller Band at 6 p.m. Food and non-alcoholic available. No alcohol allowed on school grounds. $40 adults, free for kids under 6. All proceeds benefit the Snake River Alliance.