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There are stories we tell ourselves. There are stories we tell our friends. There are the stories we tell strangers. There are stories we never tell.
Somewhere, in the middle of all of this, is the Third Story. The intersection between the art and the craft, making a living and doing the living, the personal and the professional…The place where all of these meet is the Third Story.

The Third story features long-form interviews with creative people of all types, hosted by me, Leo Sidran. Their stories of discovery, loss, ambition, identity, improvisation, risk, and reward are deeply moving and compelling for all of us as we embark on our own creative journeys.

In addition to my passion for discovering and sharing the stories of others, I have built a career in New York as a musician and producer. Learn more at

Aug 26, 2016

Singer songwriter Pat MacDonald grew up in a working class family in Green Bay, Wisconsin with no thought of going to college, but he came of age just as the students were marching on campuses all across the country.

He was a gifted songwriter early on. By the time he showed up in the post 60s hippy haze of Madison as a 19 year old musician, he was writing world class songs. He refers to himself at that time as a street urchin. But he was street smart, with a sharp tongue and wit to match it.

When Pat, along with his then wife Barbara moved from Madison to Austin, Texas – basically the only place weirder that they could go - they renamed themselves Timbuk3 and put out “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades”. 

That song was one of those classic misunderstandings between an artist and his audience. The chorus implied optimism and hope for the future, but the verses revealed a darker truth.

In recent years he has become an activist and song-festival creator in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He's also the owner of the Holiday Music Motel.

We spoke recently at his motel about inadvertently writing a hit song, the art of allowing circumstance to rule, the value of mishearing the world around you, the ideal hippy-to-punk balance, and the power of threes.