Where Are They Now? Mike Sieger Goes Solo
by Natalie Dorman
KEVIN J. MIYAZAKI
He was known as the other half of songman Pat McCurdy's act, but since he left Pat's side and public life as a musician more than a year ago, bass guitarist Mike Sieger, 54, has turned his attention to another logtime passion -- building custom furniture. A stark contrast to Pat's unrestrained antics, Mike's sober countenance was a hit with audiences and he made enough money to retire from the stage. We found him in his Walker's Point shop.
Q: Did you ever enjoy the spotlight? A: I didn't mind it from time to time. But I've always kind of shied away from the spotlight.
Q: How did you end up making furniture? A: I've always tinkered. When I got back from the Navy, I enrolled in [the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse], hated it and dropped out.... I took a night class in woodworking and just fell in love with it.... Working with Pat, I had my days free and I wasn't worried about supplementing my income, so I just started spending more and more time with this.... I've done this for about 30 years.
Q: What did you enjoy about being the sidekick? A: It was probably the least crowded spot on the stage, and not liking crowds, that suited me fine. I got to sit back, just enjoy pretty much being the deadpan.
Q: Did you tire of playing the same songs over and over again? A: There were certain songs you would just hear too many times and you would get sick of them. [But] as soon as you got to a point of just loathing a song, then you got over it. Pat always thought I hated the songs I didn't hate....
Q: Have you written songs? A: I've tried a couple times and been a miserable failure.
Q: If you could be reborn as another musician, who would you be? A: I'm pretty much happy being myself.
Q: What has made you stay in Milwaukee? A: I'm able to make a living here. I don't know if I'll stay, but until I know, it's just as good a choice as any place else I can think of.