Meet Steve Macdonald

by Lisa Hunter (1996)


Steve Macdonald didn't waste time testing the waters of fandom. He just bellyflopped right on in. After wheedling, conniving, plotting and finally just outright paying his way, I got Steve to his first convention, Capricon 12, in 1992. He didn't see a whole lot of the convention, programming-wise, having spent most of the daylight hours searching for guitar strings. But. Come dark, the lobby of the Lincolnshire Resort filled with music of an odd sort (what, haven't you ever heard Jethro Tull filked before?). The sun rose on a lobby crowded with various musicians, off-key audience singers, and bemused hotel employees. (Really, we weren't the reason Capricon was kicked out of Lincolnshire. They liked us. Really!) Steve hasn't come up for air yet.

I've known Steve, sort of, since my first year at Western Michigan University in 1982, when I caught him rifling through the books that were stacked out in the hall while my dorm-mate and I painted. Odd little scuffling noises and the occasional CoOL!" drew me out to look. We talk a bit about our favorite scifi authors then he was dragged away by the person he was supposed to be visiting. I saw Steve numerous times that year, usually flying down the steps of the Music building, arms raised above his head like wings, singing "The Sound of Music" at volumes which should have shattered windows. Or, sitting in an atrium between three buildings, playing "Science Fiction, Double Feature" and "Timewarp", while other students walked by giving him strange looks.

Then I didn't see him again.

Until. About 4 years later, mutual friend invited me to... I think it was a basketball game. (I'm still not sure why I agreed to go.) My friend introduced me to his friend, and I spent most of the evening with looking sideways at the person, and catching him looking sideways at me. At one point conversation turned to Rocky Horror and we exclaimed simultaneously: "THAT'S WHERE I KNOW YOU FROM!"

It wasn't, of course, but we sorted it out in due time.

I've watched Steve agonize over music that just wasn't happening. Listened to him talk about dreams that he didn't have a direction to fulfil. Seen him struggle to make his life, marriage and family work. Gone to bars I wouldn't have thought of entering, except, my friend was playing there. And every so often, given him a good swift kick in the rear, when he wasn't trying hard enough. (He's done the same for me.)

I heard "Dreamer's Song" years before Steve knew that such a thing as fandom existed, before he found those 'others just like him'. I had the good fortune of listening to him work on "Carriage Ride", then his first new song in several years. I sat at the door of an old student hangout, collecting what would be all the money Steve would make for hours of playing.

I found the fen myself in college, just a brief dabble. I didn't go head-over until Chicago's last Worldcon. But, at the first con I ever went to, I sat in a room with about 8-12 people singing different words to familiar melodies, and songs that were new to me. Some funny, some poignant, many just simply rousing fun. The more I got to know Steve, the more I knew that his dreams needed to live it that room, with those people. It just took awhile.

Worth the wait, I think.

I used gripe at him for rushing through sets (adrenaline rush!) and fiddling with his guitar between songs (NOW what do I play.). His presentation is a bit more polished now, though he's always been a professional in his performance and attitude about music. Give the audience what the audience wants. I'm glad he's finally found an audience that wants... just him.

Current Achievements:

"Cold Butcher"
Winner, 1993 OVFF
Songwriting Contest

"To Touch A Star"
Winner, 1995 FilKONTario
Songwriting Contest

"Journey's Done"
1995 Pegasus Award
Best Filk Song

Steve Macdonald
1995 Pegasus Award
Best Writer/Composer

And fathering three children:
Luke, Renee, and Joshua.

Not to mention, not getting killed by his wife: Susan.

Copyright ©2004 Steve Macdonald