The Steve Miller Band had a number 1 song (for one week) in 1974
with The Joker
, a terrific song about a picker, a grinner, a lover, and a sinner all rolled into one.
One of the most famous lines in the song deals with The Joker's various nicknames - the Space Cowboy, the Gangster of Love, and Maurice (an odd nickname for sure). The nickname Maurice is allegedly earned due to the singer's tendency to "speak of the pompatus of love." Putting aside why you would call a guy Maurice for that reason - and why the existing alternative nickname The Gangster of Love would not cover it - the lyric raises the question of just what the heck the "pompatus of love" is. (The "pompatus of love" lyric was not limited only to The Joker, it also features in another of Steve Miller Band's oeuvre, Enter Maurice
, and it is spoken by Wolfman Jack
in The Guess Who's "Clap for the Wolfman
"). [more inside]