Steve Macdonald

by Mary Ellen Wessels (2006)

With quotes from: Ju Honisch (JH), Gretchen Roper (GR), Pete Grubbs (PG), Daniel Glasser (DG), Nancy Mabile (NM), Puzzlebox (PB), Diana Huey (DH), Susan Moerdyk (SM), Lisa Hunter (LH), and Bill Roper(BR). These were sometimes shamelessly taken out of context for veracity.

Mew replies to Mark Olson:
Sure, I'd be honored to write Steve's bio!

Mew has second thoughts:
Oh man, My new semester starts tomorrow- I have to write a project plan for my Master's Research, an outline my independent study, and a paper... plus the kids are sick... how the heck am I going to write a witty, charming, informative bio as well!?

[In the background music softly begins: "I'm just a girl who can't say no...".]

Wait! I've got it! Steve has no less than 11 bios on his web site! I'll just steal from them... er... um... USE them for research! Research! Yeah! That's it. Us grad students excel at research.

Lead In
I first met Steve in 1992 at OVFF. I was drawn to his strong rhythm guitar and his equally strong voice. (and, OK, he was kind of cute) He shares my reputation as a 'Harmony Slut' (he'll sing with anyone). He's an incredibly strong and polished performer and you should go hear him yourself. To encourage this I humbly (and with admitted laziness) present:

'A Potpourri of Quotes about Steve with Commentary from the Author.'

Steve was born in 1961 near Kalamazoo, Michigan. He had a happy but somewhat difficult childhood where he was frequently confused with the family dog: "...they ...put a leash on that kid". (NM) His musical career "...began in the bathtub." (NM) but he went on to study music at Western Michigan University majoring in Bassoon and voice. "I saw Steve numerous times ...flying down the steps of the Music building, arms raised over his head like wings, singing The Sound of Music at volumes which ...shattered windows." (NM) After serving time for destruction of property he eventually left, married and had three children: Luke, Renee, and Josh. Currently he makes his living as a musician but his secret identity is as a systems engineer.

Steve had typically fannish beginnings and was not always the polished, elegant, (occasionally silly) performer he is today. "He had a shirt pocket protector. He shoved so much crap into his double-knit polyester pants pockets that they bulged. [He] was a geek!" (NM) Now when he performs it's a different story: "A whole group of pretty, young serving maids stare at him lovelorn. Hearts get broken today." (JH)

Musical Background
Steve's powerful rhythm guitar playing matches his voice. "Steve likes to sing. That's about it. He likes to sing. A lot. Real loud." (PG) He's been singing his whole life. "He has played more open stages, under- paid gigs, slow bar nights, and places with questionable futures than I'd even ever care to think about." (SM)

He also performs at Renaissance Fairs as Gallamor the Bard. "You would imagine him with a lute. A bloody loud 12-string lute." (JH) He is terrific at getting a whole bunch of people to sing along and often heads up jam sessions. He's happy to make music with anybody. His musical influences are diverse ranging from Jethro Tull & The Beatles, to Beethoven & Saint Saens, with some Indigo Girls, Peter Paul and Mary and John Denver thrown in... these and many many more! Operators are standing by...

Do not think that Steve has avoided the more sordid aspects of the music biz. In his lycra and makeup strewn, heavy metal period, while other performers were content to merely smash guitars, "...he shot himself a guitar..."(BR) Fortunately it was only winged and has since recovered fully. During Steve's avant-garde period he once "...appeared on-stage nearly naked and painted blue." (PB) This was later referred to as his "Blue Man Solo" tour. Steve has sung in choirs since 3rd grade and composed well over a hundred songs. How did he find his way to the strange but friendly little world of Filking?

Steve Discovers Fandom
Steve started reading SF at 13 with Heinlein. He loved SF and classic Sci-Fi films (as evidenced by his wonderful song "I Just Love Those Old B Movies"). So when he finally went to a con he "didn't waste time testing the waters of fandom. He just bellyflopped right on in." (LH)

Daniel Glasser describes the sordid lure of filking and its effect upon Steve's tender psyche:

"In this Opium-Den-like atmosphere, Filk was traded and abused, sometimes to the point of the sharing of instruments without sterilization...To Steve...Filk pushing is not a business, it's a way of life." (DG)

Since then Steve has won the Pegasus award 4 times and been nominated at least 5 other times. He has won several songwriting contests. He has helped run filking at cons, and his WorlDream project was an ambitious attempt to unite filkers from all over the world on a single song. For this project Steve attended every filk con in 2001. A seemingly noble undertaking although rumor has it that WorlDream is actually short for "...World Domination Requires Every Able Mouth." (DG)

Other (mis)Information
"For a long while there were people that thought that Steve was living in an alternate reality..." (SM) "Earth to Steve! Need I say more?" (NM) The elusive and mysterious Steve avoids daytime predators but is easily found nocturnally by following the strains of music wafting down hotel corridors.

'Watching Steve... is like witnessing the unfolding of one of the universe's great mysteries." (DH) "He has likened himself to ravioli, in that he's reasonably predictable, but sometimes has a surprise hidden inside." (PB)

Steve is a lot of fun at parties (and not just 'cause he can sing Beatles /Tull/oldies rock for hours). He's a powerful singer songwriter, a hard working member of the filk community, and an accomplished professional musician. Yet in spite of fame and glory (as opposed to fame and fortune) he has remain ed friendly and encouraging to all newcomers. ''It's only me!... I'm harmless. Trust me.'' (JH) His broad appeal is even rumored to be inter-species, though there is no substantiated evidence of the affair with the moat monster. "Versatility, lots of material, and long hair. Yep, he has a lot going for him!" This fall Steve will be moving to Germany to join his fiancée, fellow musician Katy Dröge. Go hear him while you can and take him home by picking up one of his 6 albums (Gather Day, Crossroads, Playing in Traffic, Reap the Wind, Journey's Done, and Songspinner) in the Dealer's room!

Copyright ©2006 Steve Macdonald