WIN A FREE, AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF BOB MILLER’s NEW BOOK! Details below.
LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history on June 11, 2012, many fans turned their thoughts to the Voice of the Kings, long-time play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, who was in this 39th season behind the microphone, and had finally seen the Kings win hockey’s Holy Grail.
But even with the post-game celebration, the team party, the parade in Downtown Los Angeles and the celebration at Staples Center that followed, along with numerous Stanley Cup parties scattered across Southern California all summer long, Miller knew that someone had to get the stories about the historic Stanley Cup win down on paper, and not just in a newspaper or a magazine.
As a result, Miller has a new book out, Tales From The Los Angeles Kings Locker Room: A Collection Of The Greatest Kings Stories Ever Told, published by Sports Publishing, a division of Skyhorse Publishing.
“I don’t know that there are stories that fans haven’t heard before,” said Miller. “But I wanted to get it down, in writing. That last game, writing about the atmosphere in the building, and the events as the game went on, as it became obvious that the Kings were going to win the Stanley Cup, and my feeling and Jim [Fox’s] feeling—and afterwards, too, with no problems whatsoever outside after the game, and during the parade.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, Miller was quick to note that the although the book includes stories from the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup run, it is an update of sorts of his first book, Bob Miller’s Tales From The Los Angeles Kings, published in 2006.
A few stories from the first book are included in the new one, along with more recent stories written by Miller.
“It’s an update with Stanley Cup stories, and stories that I wrote for the Kings web site about games I did in arenas that no longer exist,” he explained. “Either they were demolished, or they no longer have NHL hockey. I thought that I might as well put those in there because you don’t know how many people saw them on the web site, and there are probably more stories about those arenas that fans wouldn’t know than there are about the [Kings] winning the Stanley Cup, since so many have read and heard so much about it.”
“We deleted some stories from the previous book, but left some of the funnier, more interesting stories,” he elaborated. “There wasn’t enough to write a whole new book without incorporating some of those stories, and you can’t assume everybody has read the first book.”
“I don’t know how people will react to that, if they’ll think, ‘gee, I read these stories before.’”
Of course, this is Bob Miller, the beloved, legendary play-by-play announcer for the Kings, who became a media honoree in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000, when he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, which recognizes “…members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting.”
In short, while there might be a small minority who will complain about having some stories from the first book included in his new one, the majority are not likely to care.
In the spirit of not giving too much away for those who have not read the book, Miller recalled one of the stories about the old arenas he called games at, in this case the old Olympia in Detroit.
“Glenn Frey came up to do an interview with me at the old Olympia in Detroit,” said Miller. “He’s from Detroit, but he lives here, and he’s a Kings fan. I told him that we were going to be in Detroit, and he said, ‘I’m going to be at your game,’ so I asked him if he could come up for an interview, and he agreed.”
“I told him that I would leave his name with the press box usher, because we had booths in the old Olympia, which was a great place to do a game,” added Miller. “But at the end of the first period, no one showed up.”
As it turned out, in a city that gave birth to Motown, the usher had no idea who Frey was, let alone his band, the Eagles, one of the all-time great Rock bands.
“There was a knock on the door, and it was the usher,” Miller recalled. “He said, ‘there’s some guy out here who says he’s with the Philadelphia Eagles, and I don’t believe him.’ I said, ‘not the Philadelphia Eagles!’”
“Frey is about 5-9,” Miller added, very small by National Football League standards.
Miller has already had two book signing appearances, the first one at The Grove here in Los Angeles on April 25, 2013.
“I’m doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble store at the Grove,” Miller said, prior to the event. “Ironically, the same woman who ran the first signing I did for the first book at the Borders store in Torrance is running this one.”
“I think she said they got 400 books, because she’s expecting a big turnout,” Miller added, before recalling that first book signing event.
“It was funny,” he reminisced. “That night, and I had never signed a book before. I didn’t know anything about it. She said, ‘Bob, there’s 200 people in line.’ I said, ‘is that good,’ and she said, ‘good?! Most times, we’ll get a well-known author, and we’ll get 15 or twenty people!’”
“We had the advantage of publicizing it on the air, and we had fans of the team who wanted to read it,” he added. “The funny thing there was that they were going to run out of books. A guy at the end of the line heard that. He got in his car, and he drove over to the Barnes & Noble in Manhattan Beach. He bought what they had, and sold it to people in line back at Borders.”
A humorous anecdote from Miller’s first book came from a late-night “search” in Miller’s garage.
“We had a Thursday night game,” said Miller. “We came out of the broadcast booth, and a guy said, ‘congratulations.’ I asked, ‘for what?’ The guy said, ‘your book is number nine on the Los Angeles Times Best-Seller list.’ I said, ‘what? Where did you see that?’ He said, ‘in the book reviews in last Sunday’s paper.’”
“At our house, Friday is trash collection day, and I’d thrown Sunday’s paper out,” added Miller. “So I got home from our game near midnight, and I got the recycling bin, and I dumped it out on the floor of the garage, looking for that paper. I have this vision of my neighbors: ‘look at this guy, dumping his trash!’”
The book made the best-seller list shortly after the book signing in Torrance, which was the apparent source of the numbers that pushed the book into the best-seller list.
“I found it, and sure enough, there it was,” Miller noted. “It was number nine, one ahead of a book written by Robert Woodward [of Watergate fame]. So at that point, I couldn’t wait for next Sunday. I was thinking, where will it be next Sunday? Maybe number two or three?”
“When that Sunday arrived, that morning, I rushed out, and grabbed the paper,” Miller added. “It was the first time in my life that I ever opened the Books section before the Sports section, and it wasn’t in there, and it was never in there again.”
Miller’s new book might make the local best-sellers list again, and of course it might not. Regardless, even with a few stories from the first book included, Miller’s take on the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup win guarantees it will be a fun, informative read that any hockey fan should want to read.
Miller, Bob. Tales From The Los Angeles Kings Locker Room: A Collection Of The Greatest Kings Stories Ever Told. New York: Sports Publishing/Skyhorse Publishing, 2013. ISBN-10: 1-61321-360-3. ISBN-13: 978-1-61321-360-5.
Win A Free, Autographed Copy of Miller’s New Book
You can win a free, autographed copy of Miller’s new book, but you’ll have to do a little homework to enter the contest. Here’s what you need to do:
Answer the following questions correctly, and provide the URL from this web site where you found the answer:
Miller became a media honoree in the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) in 2000, when he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, recognizing those members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting. But being honored by the HHOF has not prevented Miller from openly criticizing the HHOF. Briefly describe Miller’s criticism.
Like everyone else, Miller lamented the work stoppage that plagued the NHL, resulting in the shortened regular season this year. But he also offered a way to resolve it. What was his solution?
- Contest entries must correctly answer each of the questions above, and provide the URL from a story on this web site where the answer was found.
- All entries must include the entrant’s full name and a valid e-mail address (if you win, and you’re not reachable, another winner will be selected).
- Entries will be accepted until noon Pacific Daylight Time on May 13, 2013. Entries submitted after that time will not be accepted.
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- Those affiliated with the Los Angeles Kings, members of the broadcast or print media, any web site that covers the Kings and/or the NHL, or any related web site, are not eligible.
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