Marcie Free: An Amazing Musical Legacy.
Mark Free burst onto the scene as a young rock singer in King Kobra. The sales and fame richly deserved may not have followed, but this fine singer has made a huge impact on our melodic rock community with each release seemingly another classic. Signal, Unruly Child and the Long Way From Love solo album are all albums that have attained a cult following and are highly regarded as staples of classic melodic rock and AOR music.
But it all ended too soon. We were left with the music, but longed for more when Mark Free made the ultimate life altering decision to undergo sex change surgery.
It happens everyday in the world around us, but is almost unheard of in the world of rock music. Thanks to the Internet and the ability to interact with fans, Marcie, as she is now known, has made a comeback of sorts setting up a website and once again saying hello to old fans. Not only that, but making many unreleased demos available so us fans can at least hear some new music.
Marcie has never done a feature interview and I'm very proud to feature this in depth chat about her musical career, her life as it was and as it is now and possibilities for the future.
Many thanks to Marcie for talking openly and answering the questions put to her honestly.
Ok Marcie...I guess the very best place to start is right back at the beginning, as you have had a wonderful career that has produced some real landmark releases as far as the world of melodic rock goes.
Beginning with King Kobra - not too many artists achieve success on their first outing and even though you spent some time working before hand, you must have felt somewhat blessed to be on your way from the outset?
First of all let me say how much I have appreciated all of your wonderful friendship and support all these years. It is a pleasure to speak with you once again.
Yes, King Kobra was my first big break. I felt nervous and excited all at the same time. I was very grateful for the opportunity. I wouldn't really say that selling 50,000 records the first time out was all that much of a success though, but it was a start.
Two albums were recorded - both with a different flair. The debut was a little tougher and Thrill Of A Lifetime is more AOR. Do you have a preference for either release? Which album has withstood the test of time the best?
I really do not have a preference for either that much. It is kind of painful for me to listen to some of that stuff now as it was my first time making a record. I would say that Ready To Strike has to be the quintessential must have for all the KK fans. But my heart is much more into some of the Thrill of A Lifetime stuff as I had more of a hand in the writing and felt like I was starting to get more control over some of the production.
Thrill Of A Lifetime is still heralded as one of those cult classics - why the change of style for that album?
The first album was deemed a failure judging by the small sales figures, and by radio, record company, and MTV standards. Having a guaranteed two record deal up front, we were desperate to get on radio as we knew we only had one more shot before the company could opt to drop us. Carmine called on his long time friend Duane Hitchings to help us craft a more radio friendly sound. So that's what we did.
I don't think the band has ever received credit for it, but you were one of the very first rock bands ever to use rap-delivery in part of a song - Home Street Home being the track in question. What was the story behind that track?
Yeah. Carmine kept trying to make a big deal of that in the press but it always fell on deaf ears. Mick wrote the song while living in a very small one room apartment on a busy street in Hollywood at the time. He would see quite a lot of homeless people walking the streets. Rap isn't one of my forte's.
Of all the great tracks on Thrill Of A Lifetime (Second Time Around, Feel The Heat, Only The Strong), one track sits firmly ahead of the rest - at least as far as I'm concerned and I think this track stands today as one of the great AOR anthems of all time. I speak of Iron Eagle (Never Say Die).
The track was featured in the movie of the same name - what is the story behind this track - was it written for the movie especially or customized around the needs for the movie?
Duane Hitchings had a friend named Jake Hooker (Weird Al Yankovich's mgr.) Together they had an opportunity to write a song for a new movie that was being made called, "Iron Eagle". The movie people had secured a soundtrack album deal with Capitol records. Once that happened our manager (Alan Miller) along with Jake started lobbying Capitol's vice president of A&R to let us do the song since we were already on Capitol's roster. The decision was made to do it and it went on our album as well as the soundtrack album. Making the video with Lou Gossett Jr. was the best part though.
Did it bring the band some good publicity and attention? I must admit, it's where my love affair with your music began - the Iron Eagle soundtrack!!!
Yes, it did get more airplay than any of our other songs as a result of the movie and the soundtrack album.
Either way, it seems the band couldn't capitalize on this as the KK line-up disbanded without recording anything further. What happened at this stage in your career?
The business arrangement between Carmine and the rest of us as set up in the beginning by his manager and their lawyers was inequitable at best. As a result it left very little incentive to remain with the band if it was not going to be a huge success. And it became apparent after the second album tour was over and Capitol had dropped us that it wasn't. Going on the road and touring was very grueling. Once Johnny left for the money W.A.S.P. was offering him, I tried for a while to go through the process of replacing him and moving on, but the chemistry was not as much fun and the guitarists (Dave & Mick) were attempting to move the band in more of a trash metal direction which I really didn't want to do. With no money in my bank account and after two years of touring and no record deal
my heart just wasn't in it any longer.
I guess the very next thing was the Black Roses soundtrack, How did you get involved in this?
Alex Woltman was an apprentice recording engineer at Pasha Studios at the time King Kobra recorded our first album. He had a friend named Elliot Soloman whose father was producing a new monster movie called Black Roses. They had written some material and wanted to hire me to sing four of the songs. It was the summer of 1987. Alex was still working at Pasha, and I was working as a driver for a courier service to survive between gigs. I got paid $750 to sing the songs which helped me out quite a bit at that time. I've never seen another dime since.
We are right smack in the middle of the Mark Free golden era (if you can forgive the self appointed terminology!), as the next release from you was the utterly classic Signal record.
Let's talk about Loud & Clear - an absolute anthem packed AOR masterpiece!
I believe it was former Peter McIan (Men At Work) that had a project going he needed a singer for and that featured Erik from Signal and songwriter Mark Baker?
Signal was hard to form. It originally started as a Peter McIan project with Erik and Mark as co-writers. It evolved over a two to three year period between late 1987 and 1990. It was originally called The Fugitive Kind. The name Signal was given to us by Ron Fair who had taken over the A & R duties at E.M.I. after our original A & R rep Bruce Dickinson left the label. He got the idea when he went into his bathroom one day and saw the bottle of mouthwash on the back of his toilet. I had tried for years to get everyone in the band to agree on a name. I had come up with literally hundreds of names. In fact the name Unruly Child was one of them. They didn't like any of them, so after two weeks in the studio and still no name, we had to basically settle for the name Signal which I hated, but hoped it might help influence our rapidly sinking support at the label.
Kevin Elson produced the album - I love his stuff to death - what influence did he have over the material?
I love Kevin Elson very much and his work as well. I felt honored to work with him for his accomplishments with one of my all time favorite singers Steve Perry. But you would be surprised to learn he actually influenced the material on this album very little. Not to say he didn't have some interesting ideas in the studio, a few of which I believe we ended up using. But Erik Scott had very meticulously pre-produced much of the material before we went into the studio. Kevin brought his pristine mixing and engineering skills to the table which added a lot of sheen to the overall presentation.
The writing credits for this album are very diverse, it seemed to be the first time you wrote with people outside a band itself and generally speaking, you were not involved in much of the songwriting here.
As it was basically a vehicle for Mark Baker's writing, and he was writing such good songs, I felt like "go Mark go". Once Danny came into the band near the end of the process, he and I started writing together. If the band would've survived another few years I feel that he and I would've been able to write some pretty cool things.
This also marks (I believe) the beginning of writing relationship with Mark Baker. How did you and Mark hook up?
Mark and I had tried to write together a few times. Not always successfully. Mark had very specific ideas that were hard for him to let go of at times which kind of butted heads with mine. I always felt inferior to him and his ideas. It wasn't the best of chemistry.
Also of note is the use of songs by outside writers - did the label force/suggest you go down that route?
I believe that "My Mistake" was the only song the label may have suggested. "This Love This Time" was a song that I had done the demo version of for Peter Glenister while he was in the United States on a writing assignment for his publishing company. He and I were paired up to write together by E.M.I. one day and that is how I met him. I loved the song and brought the song to our manager at the time who also fell in love with it.
And Eric Martin guested on the marvelous My Mistake. How did that come to pass, as he wasn't that big a name himself at that time.
Yes, but I knew of him and thought very highly of his talents. I had actually met him at a Capitol records party in 1985 while I was in King Kobra. He lived in the San Francisco bay area where we recorded the Signal album. Eric was managed by Herbie Herbert who also managed Journey, hence the connection with our producer Kevin Elson. Doing the song this way having Eric answer me during the chorus was one of those great ideas I told you about that Kevin came up with. It worked well I thought. Eric is one of the worlds truly great singers and a wonderful person.
Favourite songs Marcie? Personally I'll vote for Arms Of A Stranger, Does It Feel Like Love and the monster ballad This Love, This Time!
Oh let me see
would I be too egotistical to say I love them all? The ones you mentioned would also be high on my list that are close to my heart. But I do love some of the demos that I did like "Your Wild Ways", and the Jonathan Cain and John Waite song "I Wish That I Was There".
Yes, I will get to that track shortly! The Signal album was a one-off....which was extremely disappointing. Why? Was their label pressure for a hit single, or other complications? It seemed as if the band was on it's way to great things - touring etc...
We got signed to E.M.I. by a guy named Bruce Dickinson (not of Iron Maiden). He was good friends with a lady who at the time was an old flame of Peter McIan's. She was acting as the bands manager when I came into the picture. She persuaded Bruce to leave his position at Chrysalis records and come over to E.M.I. so that he could sign us to their label. Once he came over to E.M.I. he signed us and six other bands then decided to leave E.M.I. and take a position with M.C.A.. This pissed off a lot of people in the marketing department who are responsible for support at radio and MTV when it comes time to release the album. The decision was made at the executive level to release the album, but to drop us and to not spend any money to promote the album once it was released.
A three year break followed here - during which you spent a lot of time signing demos for various writers.
First to the art of that craft - for those new to the workings of the music industry, why would someone call you to sing on their songs?
Actually I apologize but I have to correct you on your timeline. Signal was released in April of 1990. Unruly Child was released in April of 1992. I left Signal in October of 1990 and started slowly forming what became Unruly Child. It took U.C. about a year to write all the songs and come up with our deal at Interscope. I believe you are referring to the time between King Kobra and Signal. That being said, I was working as a driver for a courier service in L.A. and in the meantime I met Judithe and Robin Randall. Once they hired me to sing their demos, they started telling all their other writer friends in L.A. about me and the phone started ringing and well I needed the money really bad so I started singing demos for people. It really helped me to develop further my ability to sing in the studio and I was being paid for it. Cool huh?
Indeed! Let's continue on with the demos for a moment...If you don't mind me asking, was this a good way to earn a living? How did it compare with working for yourself in a band?
It's a great way to make a living. A lot of singers have done this in between gigs. You don't really make a killing but it beats the hell out of working at a bank.
You sang an amazing amount of songs for some amazing people - I want to talk in more detail about your relationship with the Randall's in a moment, but just briefly, could you share a line or two about your thoughts of working with some of the others you sang for. Any that stand out in your mind for one reason or another?
Yes. Jeff Silverman, David Tyson, Christopher Ward, Teddy Castellucci, and Tom Mgrdichian to name a few. You would have to throw in Jonathan Cain as well. Jeff for his unique song writing ability and speed and accuracy at the controls when recording. David and Christopher for their impeccable song writing and precise producing and engineering skills. Teddy and Tom for all of the above. And do I need to say anything about the great Jonathan Cain??
You recorded several tracks for Jeff Silverman, another writer I am big fan of. Any memories there?
Yes. And Jeff - I apologize - but he had a reputation of being a bully on singers who he had worked with in the past. I on the other hand found him delightful and very fun to work with. I welcomed each and every time my phone rang when he was on the other end of it asking me to sing another one of his songs.
Many of these great demos you have copies of and are featuring in the members area of your website - what a cool idea. Let's plug that a little now - tell us about it.
Thank you so much Andrew. Yes. My website www.marciefree.com has a section which I refer to as my "vault" where people can come and subscribe for a year and receive access to all of my demos and most everything else I have ever done that may be hard to find out there and the ability to download them. All for a nominal charge of only $36.00 per year.
You and James Christian seemed to be the go-to guys for anyone that needed their songs demoed in the best possible light. Is that something you look fondly back upon?
Oh I know for a fact there were lots of others. Stan Bush I think was one. There was this guy named Joe somebody I can't remember his last name, who sang all of the Diane Warren and Desmond Child demos. I cannot remember the names of the others. But anyway James and I would seem to meet about once a year at a Judithe and Robin Randall Christmas party and exchange glances.
Do you have any idea how many songs you sang for others over the years and of all of these, what are the stand out favourites?
I remember once I counted about 150 songs that I had sung over the length of my career. These also included the songs I sang on my albums. But that's still quite a substantial number if you compare it to the number of songs you can find out there by some of the so called, major artists.
At what stage were you introduced to Judith and Robin Randall? You bonded on a personal as well as professional level didn't you?
From my own experience with Judith, these gals were class all the way and super nice people.
Yes very much. Judithe was one of a kind. She selflessly promoted me to everyone of her contacts from the first day she met me until the last day of her life. And for not one dime of compensation did she ever ask for her tireless efforts. Her ability to write lyrics was magical. Robin is one of the sweetest most gentle, compassionate, and extremely gifted musicians I have ever known. Perhaps not so much as in playing ability, but certainly in music knowledge and in musical composition. She and Judithe will always be in my heart as two of the greatest individuals who changed my life for the better.
How many songs did you record vocals for the Randall's?
According to my records, I sang 19 songs for them. I may have missed writing down a session or two though.
Of course, some 17 tracks would appear on Long Way From Love as your first ever solo album! Let's skip time a little and run through that - Now & Then Records released the album - what got the process underway for this album?
I received a call from Mark Ashton. He promised me the world if only I would agree to release the demos I did for Robin and Judithe, and he ripped me off for practically every record sold after that. In his companies defense they did pay for our expenses to come over and do the first God's of AOR concert. Other than that, I never saw a penny from his company after the first quarter accounting which was a complete joke. To this day I have no idea how many records I sold.
Who decided on the songs that would make up the release?
Robin, Judithe and I.
Again, another classic collection of AOR material - it was later re-issued with bonus tracks and The Gods 1993 performance on it. Did you have much to do with the re-issue? This leads us into the new release you have lined-up, but I'll get to that shortly.
No. That scheme was cooked up by Mark Ashton and the guys in Italy at Frontiers Records. Ha.
I'd like just to clean up some confusion over some of your demos which have long been traded like gold - some of which are in the Vault section of your site.
There are numerous references to some tracks being a second Signal record - is this correct, or are they merely tracks you sang on that fitted the same song/style as the Signal material?
I am not quite sure to which songs you are referring to but there were two songs that were recorded in addition to the ten songs we recorded at the original recording session for Loud and Clear. Those were Runaway, and You And I Need Love. There was another song which appeared on the Signal Live video that I released a few years back called No One Gets Out Alive. But other than that there was only one other demo that I did for Signal in hopes of getting another record deal after we were dropped called What Goes Up.
Of the unreleased material there is some seriously amazing songs....just amazing....for example The Night Has A Way, Dancing On The Edge, You Do It For Love, Hopelessly Lost, Do It For Love....and stacks more!
Where did those tracks come from, as they all sound very close sonically?
The Night Has A Way was written by David Tyson and Christopher Ward producers and song writers for Alannah Miles. One of my favorites. Dancin' On The Edge was written by Jeff Silverman and Rick Springfield. Rick actually sang backgrounds with me the day I sang the lead on that track. Very cool. You Do It For Love was written by Teddy Castellucci and Tom Mgrdichian who wrote and produced all those pop delights I did later on for them as a possible solo endeavor in the summer of 1993.
I must dedicate a question to my all-time favourite unreleased demo and that is Your Wild Ways. What an amazing song - tell me about that one and the amazing vocal. Who wrote that one??!!
That track was the first song I ever sang for David Tyson and Christopher Ward. Most enjoyable. My Canadian friends.
There is also a set of 10 songs in a more pop/dance style over the AOR tracks. What was that project?
Those were the pop delights I was referring to in the answer above. Teddy Castellucci and Tom Mgrdichian. Two very extremely talented players, producers, and composers I had met while living in L.A..
Any way I can share a few of these with the site regulars, or will they appear in The Vault?
I am sorry, but I am planning on putting them in the vault and have hopes they will be hot sellers for me.
Jumping back a little - yet another major label deal came with the signing of Unruly Child. How did you come to be a part of this project?
The timing was impeccable because I was already planning on leaving Signal. It was July of 1990. After floating around for a couple of years doing demos for all the various songwriters in L.A. you start to get a reputation. Bruce Gowdy's publisher at Warner/Chappel contacted me one day and asked me if I was available to sing some of Bruce's demos. The first song I did for he and Guy Allison was a song called "Let's Talk About Love". I had first met Guy Allison back in 1980 while he was in a band called Lodgic. I had always fantasized playing with him in a band as I thought very highly of his talents. We all jelled immediately and the chemistry was magical. We ended up writing all the material for the Unruly Child album in the next 10 months to come as well as some of the songs that were not used on the first U.C. record that ended up on the Tormented C.D. It was a very cool time in my life as well as a very tormented time as I started actualizing my life long gender issues around that time as well.
Metal was huge at the time of this release and as a vocalist you toughened up your sound for the release also. This was a rocking record, but also seriously high-tech as far as layers and technical achievement!
Beau Hill was the album's producer - I'm not so much a fan of his - but this was a monster sound! Do you know how much money the label spent on this album and how long did the recording process last?
Yes the recording budget for this album was around $200K. The recording process started in the fall of 1991 and was wrapped up by December of that same year. It was scheduled for an April 1992 release.
As for me toughing up my sound - I felt for the first time that I had nothing to lose by singing the way I always wanted. I felt free for the first time to actually be me in this group. I knew that I could always do a more subdued singing style if that was what would bring me financial security but at this point in my life I was going for what was in my soul.
As we would later learn - through the release of the Unruly Child Basement Tapes - the original tracks were quite different than the finished product. Any thoughts on this?
I actually liked our demos better than the finished product that Beau presented. He homogenized our edge and took away our soul I felt.
And directly from that question - what did you think about the release of the Basement Tapes and the inclusion of the behind the scenes DVD? Quite a brilliant package for fans...
I bless anything that Bruce and Guy wish to do regarding our relationship past or present.
With Unruly Child, you had a much greater involvement in the songwriting. Did the record label believe you guys more than EMI did with Signal?
It was just a whole lot different. Signal was presented to the label as a project, and U.C. was presented as a group. Plus I had the benefit of the power of Herbie Hebert behind me when first being presented to Interscope as he ended up managing Signal in the end times.
I suppose this question is aimed more at the tracks that would become the Tormented release, but how much was your inner turmoil affecting the subject matter of your songwriting?
Tracks like Forever and Falling contain some haunting lyrics and although you did not write Still Believe, I feel the vocal on that track is about as heartfelt as it gets.
That track was actually written by Bruce and Guy after the breakup of the band but they still wanted me to sing it. I believe they actually paid me to sing it as well. I believe very deeply in always putting my heart and soul into everything I do. The anger in the songs which appeared on Tormented was actually the whole bands rage directed by the frustration of being on the losing end of the newly found "grundge era" and the wittnessing of the L.A. riots after the Rodney King verdict.
At the time of your change of lifestyle announcement came the Marcie Free release Tormented. Obviously the title was an absolute understatement, the music itself was more or less the second Unruly Child album wasn't it?
The title of the album had nothing to do with my personal issues. I had written the song Tormented with the guys back when we were Twelve Pound Sledge and it just seemed like an appropriate title at the time.
First of all - why the decision to release under the Marcie Free moniker, but more importantly, tell us about the music within and why Unruly Child wasn't to be?
I think that is pretty much obvious by now being that I am transsexual and the world was not ready for the likes of me or anyone like me. After I announced that I could no longer live as Mark my whole musical world quickly fell apart.
Ok. There were two separate masters for that release wasn't there - a European release and a superior Japanese release. How did this happen and who made the decision to go with the different master (and artwork also) for each release?
Different companies make different decisions. The Japanese company simply chose to re-master the DAT before the release. I had no problem with this decision.
Marcie, it seems almost every band you were involved with has been the subject of some kind of archive release (King Kobra, Unruly Child & Solo). While some will see that as a cash-in on the part of the labels involved, I also see that as tantamount to the legacy of music you recorded over the years and the continuing demand for that great music. How do you feel about this?
I really don't know to be honest with you. But I do know that archives are always important to the hard core fans and I suppose that is what provides the value of their content.
Speaking of which, you have released a coupe of archives of your own :)
As well as the continuously updated Vault section of your website came the Signal live release. Good memories to put that together? Is that still available?
Yes it is still available and I plan on making a DVD release of the live performance available soon.
The Gods 1993 performance was I think your only ever UK appearance - it was recorded and filmed and as already discussed, has been released as a bonus audio CD already.
This time around you are releasing it yourself, both as a DVD and a CD. This time without the involvement of your old record label.
As I previously discussed they have no issues with me. They already made their money. Now I am simply making mine.
I've gone on record previously naming this live show as one of my favourite live recordings ever - it's nice and raw, features the odd mistake, but has an amazing energy. Who was in the band on that day and what are your memories of the UK appearance and that show?
The band was made up of a bunch of crazy Swedes named Snakes In Paradise. (I of course mean that very lovingly guys) They were all freaking incredible. I watched the whole DVD recently after not seeing it for many years and I couldn't believe how great the band was. They had not only learned all the songs we were to play during the show but also learned how to transpose the songs in no time once we showed up for our first rehearsal in the U.K. together. I also brought with me from the U.S. Robin Randall and Diana DeWitt without whom I could have not survived long enough to do the shows.
Oh yeah, I did forget that
fabulous band! There are not too many places you will hear a string of classics like these tracks all in one place!
Feel free to plug the DVD/CD purchase details right now also :)
Thank you Andrew. You are so kind. The DVD which is available now on my website, www.marciefree.com is one of the last live shows I have ever done. It was filmed at the Ritz Club in Manchester England in October of 1993. I remember how wonderful the fans were that night. Everyone who was standing in front of the stage that I could see were all mouthing the words right along with me as I sang that night. It was such a thrill for me. And a memory that I will never forget. It also includes a MTV interview with me which gives the viewer a lot more than just a live performance. The price is right at only $19.99 USD
How did you like touring/live performing Marcie? You performed a lot with King Kobra and Signal and even a few solo dates at the advent of signing with Now & Then Records. Did Unruly Child perform much?
Live performing with King Kobra at first was grueling for me as we traveled with 13 guys in a sleep 6 broken down old motor home. Night after night I had to take sleeping pills and lay in a corner of the bed in the back along with 6 or 7 other guys to try and get enough sleep before we arrived at the motel the next morning so that I could have the physical rest my voice needed to be able to sing the next gig. I always loved being in front of the fans but the logistics of being a live performer night after night got very tiresome for me. I need to be more grounded and have roots. Signal only did 5 maybe 6 shows in the time we were together. It was a shame as we were becoming an excellent live band near the end. Not as exciting visually as King Kobra, but much better musically I think. Unruly Child tried to do some live shows a few times but I think we only did 3 or 4. Again quite a shame as U.C. was very talented and extremely tight live.
I recall the guys speaking fondly of the band and leaving the door open for possible new music in the future.
I suppose anything's possible. That would be up to Bruce. He treated me quite harshly near the end and I would have to see an intense sincere effort on his part to make amends.
I think I have covered the music Marcie, which leaves me to talk about the person behind the music.
I noted with some concern at the time and now looking back, it still makes for a powerful sentiment, but you wrote within the thank you's for the liner notes of this album "All of whom have inspired me to persevere and survive through some of life's darkest hours".
Just how dark did things get for you Marcie?
If I could've wished myself back to heaven instead of living my life as I am I would have. I never had the courage to actually harm myself. But I thought about it many times.
As hard as it is to put into words to ask you about, I can't begin to imagine what you have been through over the last 10 years.
I read a quote attributed to you at the time of your decision to have a sex change that you literally had to decide between life and death. To chose life was to make the hardest decision imaginable.
Yes it was extremely difficult, but it has been very rewarding in ways I never thought could be.
Yet, you had the courage to make that decision....
Courage or desperation? I think I had no choice in the matter. If I would've continued my life as Mark I would have died for sure.
At what stage did you decide that your only way out was the course of action you took? Dare I ask how hard it was to tell friends and family about your choice?
I had tried to be the man once again and fell deeply in love with a gorgeous woman named Laurie Richardson. She was and is a very talented lady rock radio personality. We were married on June 24, 1989. After only 2 years of marriage we were divorced because of my gender issues and I knew then it was only a matter of time. As I have said many times previously there were very few friends who stayed by me once I came out with it. Including my former wife Laurie. My family is still with me though. Thank God.
I did hear you were married at the time. I'm sorry to hear that things ended badly.
Laurie was and will always be my last love affair with another human being in this life time. The fact that she could not stay with me was her choice and I suppose I cannot blame her for that. But to this day she still does not wish to talk with me or have anything to do with me what so ever and that makes me believe she never truly loved me and that really hurts me very much.
I know for a fact that many did not stand by you, but some others did. How important was the support of those that did stick by you and were there some that surprised and hurt you by not supporting you?
I learned during that time that there are 3 groups of people in this world. Those who like you, those who do not, and those who are indifferent towards you. As hard as it was to accept that there are some who do not like me, as I think I am lovable always, I had to gravitate myself to those who do and to not worry myself about those who do not.
In the few years following your change of life, did you feel exiled from the music business and the world in which you had been involved since being a teenager?
Yes at first. But it was best for me to bow out anyway.
You obviously got well away from all that - what have you been doing over the last few years?
I have just been living life and working as a normal person does every day. The best thing this change has given me is my peace of mind. That is the most simplest concept for most people but the most difficult to attain if you are not living inside the body of who you feel like you are inside. Once I did attain it, it immediately took away my desire to become famous and to be loved and adored by everyone like I was striving for while living in the body of Mark Free. Loving myself so that I can love others is all I care to do now.
How important has the Internet been in allowing you to finally again mix with the many fans you left behind?
Extremely. Without it I would have never even known anyone still remembered me or even cared about me. I love being in touch with you all very much. It gives me so much joy. I really am a people person in spite of my reclusive nature.
As you are well aware, the melodic rock community has a great deal of love for you as a performer and as a person, as witnessed by the amazing amount of entries in the guestbook I set up for you.
What were your first thoughts when you read those entries, which continue to be added to still!
I was shocked because I truly had no idea that there were so many out there who even knew who I was. I am deeply touched by all the outpouring of support and love the people have written about me on your message board. My appreciation and my heart goes out to everyone of them.
Without getting to personal (as that's not what I'm trying to do), are you happy Marcie? I ask as I - and I'm sure everyone else - is hoping you have found peace and comfort in your new life that the past did not fully allow?
Yes I am very happy. Life is just life now. It has it's ups and downs but I deal with it as it comes. It was always such a struggle for me before.
That leads me to what's next - the future!
Do you have any other archive releases planned and what might fans be in store for?
Yes believe it or not there are still more demos to be put up in the vault so please be looking for that.
My biggest hope is that you will consider some form of new/fresh recording. I hope (again) I am not being in sensitive hear, but how is your singing voice now? I am still amazed at the power you held over your career, and just hope it is not the last we hear from you!
I too would like to be able to run my studio and to be able to record the new songs I have written lately. My voice is still the same. I never had it altered surgically like some do. I would never do that. I don't sing as much as I used to though and I would most likely have to do some practicing to get back the stamina I had built up at the end. But I am still planning on someday recording those songs and putting them out.
To a few more light-hearted questions, is there one thing you have not been asked, but you wish you had been - this is your chance to ad-lib!
Laughing... No Andrew I think you have about covered it all very thoroughly indeed!!!
Marcie, is there anything you would like to add to fans reading?
Just please know that I feel your love, and your support, and your good will deeply, and that if I could be with you all I would. Thank you all so much for the caring and the giving. My life is much fuller as a result of our relationship together. May God continue to bless us all. Love, Marcie xoxoxoxoxxo