I met Steve in a Grateful Dead forum, looking for tickets for a Jones Beach show in 2003. He had the ticket but needed a ride, so I picked him up in Rego Park on the way. His seats were much better than mine, and during setbreak, he came with someone else’s ticket and stubbed me down to the floor, Bobby side. Steve was great at dodging security. I’d never met anyone more enthusiastic than him, and as long as the music played, he was a dervish. He was also a master of the ground score, picking up after the show whatever people had dropped.
We hit it off, and over the next couple of years, I saw a lot of concerts with Steve. Every summer, he invited Marcy and me out to the house he’d rented on Fire Island with his boyfriend Ray. There were lazy beach days, lavish dinners, and karaoke. The last time we visited, in 2005, I shot some video and later shaped it into a short movie I called Uncle Stevie. For some reason, there’s a lot of death in it.
I never got to show it to Steve. He died later that summer, of an overdose of Tylenol. I don’t know much else about it; there was a mix-up when the call came and for the longest time I thought it was Ray who’d died. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t reach Steve. When I finally heard, he was long buried. I filed the movie away and never looked at it again.
It’s been five years now, and I often think of Steve. Today, I dug out Uncle Stevie, and it’s still as strange and creepy as I remember. It’s also good to see Steve again. I miss him — and he’s missed a lot of great shows.