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Lester Holt on jamming with Steve Miller Band

By TODAY's Lester Holt -- How many of today's hit songs will we still be hearing on the radio 35 years from now? Which singers and groups will still be selling out concerts then? In other words, who among today's hit makers will pass the test of time?

The question of music staying power was one I tossed around recently with fellow baby boomer Steve Miller at a theater in Michigan where his legendary Steve Miller Band was performing last week.

I'm profiling the band this weekend for our series "TODAY Goes on Tour."

I was in high school when the Steve Miller band started cranking out hits like "The Joker," "Jet Airliner" and "Fly Like and Eagle," so of course I'm familiar with their work.

But then again so are my sons who are both in their early 20s. The oldest thought it was "very cool" I was going to interview Steve Miller. The crowds filling venues on the Steve Miller Band's summer tour span generations, which says a lot.

When I asked Steve about why groups like his have such a broad and deep appeal he mentions a couple of things. He says his group has been "low drama" and that there has been little change over in personnel. These guys have been together a long time.

He also notes that the Steve Miller Band found success before the digital era, when a big record collection was measured in hundreds of albums or 45's, not the thousands of MP3 cuts that now exists on our music devices. The playing field was a lot smaller.

My own observation is that at the core of groups like the Steve Miller Band is deep musical talent. They were not the creation of a record studio. As I told Steve, "You guys are the real deal."

Steve and the band gave us full behind the scenes access to some of their recent gigs, and they even invited me to grab a bass and jam with them during a pre-concert sound check.

Watch that video below and tune in Sunday morning for the complete segment.


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