Carl Macek, creator of Robotech, passes away

Carl Macek

Carl Macek died Saturday, April 17th, 2010... on his way to a concert in Topanga, California. I didn't find out until the following day after receiving an e-mail from my friend, web administrator and business manager, Vivian Lanza.

I only met Carl Macek a few times while I was working on the animated televison series, Robotech. After the series ended production, I did say hello to him at a couple of anime conventions... and I spoke with him on the phone about the release of a Robotech soundtrack CD after he had moved to Texas and co-founded Streamline Pictures. I wish I had known Carl better, but appreciate the time and collaboration we shared together.

Back in the ‘80s, Steve Wittmack and I were hired by Robotech music supervisor Thomas White, to write music for the show and worked directly under Thomas's supervision. But we knew this show was Carl Macek's baby, and his enthusiasm and ideas filled those offices.

We met Carl early on. If I recall correctly, he came in to briefly discuss "Flower of Life," a song he wanted us to write for one of the episodes during the first year of the series. I still have the original memo Carl had sent to Thomas, describing what the song needed to reflect, lyrically. It shows Carl's self-deprecating sense of humor when he parenthetically says "Nice name, huh?" after alluding to the character, Musica, who would be singing the song.

More often than not, whenever we would finish a piece of music, Carl would come into Thomas's office to hear it. He was always gracious and encouraging. He liked my voice and actually suggested I read for the part of Lancer... which was too late, because the part had already gone to actor Cam Clarke. But still, I would be the singing voice of Lancer's alter ego, Yellow Dancer... and for that, I am forever grateful.

I have one specific memory of Carl that I will never forget... because it has affected my life to this very day. He came into Thomas's office one day and told us that he wanted us to write a song called "Lonely Soldier Boy." He was very enthusiastic and thought it was a great idea. I remember thinking that I did not like the title... it reminded me of the chorus of "Soldier Boy" a 1950's hit by the Shirelles. I had no idea that the song title was one of the few English phrases (and a song) from the series, Mospeada, from which Robotech was derived, and it really was a great idea to include a song with that title. We begrudgingly went back to our home studios and wrote the song. During the recording of the demo, I realized this was going to be a great song... and the title worked! “Lonely Soldier Boy” became our most recognized work with Robotech. When I performed this song in Chile a few years back... I could see tears in the eyes of many of the fans. It still amazes me how Robotech and its music has had such a lasting impact on so many lives.

If there had not been a Carl Macek, there would not have been a Robotech. There would not have been a "Lonely Soldier Boy," "Look Up! The Sky is Falling," "Underground," or any of the songs which are known by thousands of Robotech fans around the world.

So, Carl Macek died on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, on his way to a concert to celebrate Earth Day up in the canyons of Southern California… and he was struck down only a few hundred yards from me. Because it was my concert he came to see that day. He had arrived with his wife, Svea, and was on his way to meet me and Thomas White and his wife, Karen. Thomas, who I had also not seen in years, found out I was performing at the festival and wanted to surprise me... and to make it even more special, he invited Carl, who had never seen me perform live. I will forever have this hollow feeling in my soul, knowing he had come out of his way to see my performance and to reconnect with some Robotech contributors… and then this tragedy happened. I was looking forward to seeing him again. It was the 25th anniversary of Robotech, and we had so much to talk about, but we never got the chance. When I was onstage, I kept looking in the audience to see if I'd recognize his face... but he wasn't there. He was already gone, and I had no idea.

I didn't get to say hello to Carl that day, and I guess writing this remembrance is my way of saying good-bye. It's still so hard to believe that it happened as it did. In my mind, and in the hearts and minds of thousands of fans around the world, Carl Macek's legacy is Robotech. And it is only fitting that his life ended on the way to reconnecting with the people who helped shape the music of Robotech... after all these years.

Carl Macek has passed on, but he leaves a legacy that will live forever. Rest in peace, Carl.

mb





A message from Vivian Lanza, Administrator for Michael Bradley Music

In 1992, I attended the very first Anime Expo held in San Jose, CA. I approached a table in the dealer’s room, immediately drawn to a stack of VHS video tapes on display of “Robotech II: The Sentinels”. It was such an exciting feeling to see some new Robotech after it stopped airing on television in the mid-1980s. Part of keeping my love for the series alive between 1986-1992 was through reading the Jack McKinney Robotech novels, which included the continuing story of “The Sentinels”. I didn’t even know that a new animated series to showcase the Sentinels had been in work, let alone released on video! But there it was, right before my eyes, and I scooped it up!

I started babbling to the dealer behind the table, asking all kinds of questions regarding Robotech… actually, more like dictating facts that I knew about Robotech and the story of The Sentinels. Facts that I figured most people couldn’t possibly know about unless they really followed Robotech. After a few minutes of my babbling, the dealer politely asked me, “Do you know who I am?” So I read the name on the convention badge he was wearing: Carl Macek: Streamline Pictures. I couldn’t have been more excited and embarrassed at the same time. Here I was, asking how familiar this man was about Robotech, and what he knew about the Sentinel’s storyline… and it was the creator, Mr. Macek, himself. Carl was extremely kind. I think he got a real kick out of my enthusiasm to talk about Robotech, and in return, I was treated to some great story-telling by him. He autographed my copy of the “End of the Circle” book after I showed Carl the authors’ Foreward crediting him for his accomplishments and dubbing him as “Robotech Master Macek”.

He signed my book: “With humble thanks, Carl F. Macek”

Just recently, we were making preparations for the RT25 Celebration that’s scheduled for September 18th, in which Carl was to be a Guest of Honor. It’s a harrowing feeling that in this year, the 25th anniversary of Robotech, Mr. Macek is no longer with us, and that we will be commemorating the momentous twenty-five years of Robotech without him.

Without Carl Macek, there would not have been Robotech. So much of my life was influenced by Robotech, that it’s impossible to define me as a person, without it. He has touched my life in ways that cannot be described, and he will truly be missed.

With humble thanks to you Carl F. Macek, rest in peace.

~ Vivian aka Valkyrie22



En Español. Muchos gracias al Javier "Alois Fisher" Vaca para sus traducciones

Falleció Carl Macek, el Creador de Robotech.



A PayPal account has been set up (by Steve Kramer) for those who wish to donate to the Macek family as they go through this very tough time.

Go to PayPal.com and use this e-mail address:

carlmacekmemorialfund@gmail.com

Or CLICK HERE to donate at CarlMacek.com

Such tragedies are never anticipated and can cause difficult hardships. A donation can offset the burden the family faces. Every little bit helps.

All funds sent will go directly to the Macek family.

You can also mail a donation made out to Svea Macek to the following address:

Carl Macek Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 2612
Toluca Lake, California 91610


All efforts are being made to help out the Macek family. Your generous support is greatly appreciated.


5 comments

  • Alois Fisher

    Alois Fisher

    he was a wonderful friend to me, always supporting his fans. I´ll miss him so much! But he is not gone, he´ll be forever in out hearts, he leaved us his legacy!:D

    he was a wonderful friend to me, always supporting his fans. I´ll miss him so much! But he is not gone, he´ll be forever in out hearts, he leaved us his legacy!biggrin

  • Martin Waters

    Martin Waters

    I fucking worshipped Carl, and I didn't even know he died until 3 days later. When I found out, I was overwhelmed with sadness. The man and his work have been a big part of my teenage years. I didn't know about Robotech until 1998, but didn't become a fan or get into it until 3 years later, and I was obsessed with it when I did first become a fan. For months, it was not just my favorite anime, but my favorite TV show period. And I think it's not just the greatest anime ever made, but the greatest cartoon I ever saw period. After that, I started checking out Carl Macek's other work like Vampire Hunter D and The Dirty Pair movies (his dub of The Dirty Pair:Project Eden is one of my all-time favorite anime dubs). I even got to talk to Carl on Facebook a few times. He was so nice, and I asked him about his work other than Robotech, and he had great and interesting stories to tell. R.I.P. Carl. I still can't believe you're no longer with us.

    I fucking worshipped Carl, and I didn't even know he died until 3
    days later. When I found out, I was overwhelmed with sadness. The
    man and his work have been a big part of my teenage years. I didn't
    know about Robotech until 1998, but didn't become a fan or get into
    it until 3 years later, and I was obsessed with it when I did first
    become a fan. For months, it was not just my favorite anime, but my
    favorite TV show period. And I think it's not just the greatest
    anime ever made, but the greatest cartoon I ever saw period. After
    that, I started checking out Carl Macek's other work like Vampire
    Hunter D and The Dirty Pair movies (his dub of The Dirty
    Pair:Project Eden is one of my all-time favorite anime dubs). I even
    got to talk to Carl on Facebook a few times. He was so nice, and I
    asked him about his work other than Robotech, and he had great and
    interesting stories to tell. R.I.P. Carl. I still can't believe
    you're no longer with us.

  • Dennis

    Dennis

    What can I say that hasn't already been said? When Carl told a story, his enthusiasm and energy were second to none. I had the pleasure of meeting him numerous times, and he never got tired of talking about Robotech to those who engaged him in conversation...even after all those years. He always seemed happy to talk to you. It has been ten years since the last in depth conversation I had with him, and it just seems so odd that I will no longer run into him at conventions. RIP Carl. We'll miss you, put your creativity will stay with us forever.

    What can I say that hasn't already been said? When Carl told a story, his enthusiasm and energy were second to none. I had the pleasure of meeting him numerous times, and he never got tired of talking about Robotech to those who engaged him in conversation...even after all those years. He always seemed happy to talk to you. It has been ten years since the last in depth conversation I had with him, and it just seems so odd that I will no longer run into him at conventions. RIP Carl. We'll miss you, put your creativity will stay with us forever.

  • Aaron

    Aaron

    I will always be greatful to the late Carl Macek for the way he helped to enrich my childhood. Silly as it may sound, Robotech will always have a piece of my heart. It helped to shape me into the person I am today. Thank you Carl.

    I will always be greatful to the late Carl Macek for the way he helped to enrich my childhood. Silly as it may sound, Robotech will always have a piece of my heart. It helped to shape me into the person I am today. Thank you Carl.

  • evldog

    evldog

    I have always been a fan of animation of all kinds. In 1985, when I discovered Robotech, it opened an entirely new world of animation to me. I kept tabs on the proposed projects that would continue and update the Robotech universe, and looked forwaard to many of the projects that were said to be in the works. For that first introduction to anime, I will forever be greatful to Mr. Macek. May the wind be forever at your back, and a new star always before you................ Rest in peace Mr. Macek, your legacy is safe with us.

    I have always been a fan of animation of all kinds. In 1985, when I discovered Robotech, it opened an entirely new world of animation to me. I kept tabs on the proposed projects that would continue and update the Robotech universe, and looked forwaard to many of the projects that were said to be in the works. For that first introduction to anime, I will forever be greatful to Mr. Macek.

    May the wind be forever at your back, and a new star always before you................

    Rest in peace Mr. Macek, your legacy is safe with us.

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