I never met anyone quite like Steve Ceslik (AKA Steve Deal).He was simultaneously endearing and an asshole. Steve would be the first to tell you he was a jerk. He was comfortable with that fact, and it was this comfort that made him so charming and endearing. He was as quick to turn his humor on his own failings as that of others. Yet he was fully capable of acts of great kindness.
I first met him when we were both indentured servants at Barnes and Noble in Orange, Connecticut, of course I was aware of his existence earlier due to Bleached Black. Steve didn’t give a crap what anyone thought. He was consistently late for work, and yet the idea of me penalizing him for it (as his supervisor) never occurred to me. Yes, he was that charming. He was also consistently funny, and knew the exact politically incorrect thing to say. He made my days of slaving away in the stock room enjoyable, christened my future wife with the nickname “Puffin”, and always pointed out the stupidity of any situation (even when it was not in his best interest to do so).
As a musician he was tireless. Yeah, there were more than a few times he spoke to me of giving it up, but then 2 weeks later he would have a new band, or song, or gig. I have all of his work on CD and saved as digital files. Live, he was a force to behold, and never gave less than his snarling, energetic best.
To me though he will always be the guy that liked to talk about the Titanic, busted his ass to track down a GS scooter,was interested in World War II re-enactors (and perplexed why someone broke his car window on which he had placed a sticker which featured a swastika from said group). He was a truly likable guy; So much so that I asked him to be part of my wedding party, though ultimately he was unable to attend. I lost track of him about a decade ago, having lost his contact information in one of many moves, but I always missed his presence. So to honor my friend I would like to present you, dear reader, some of his work from his too short a season.