Meet the Artist and Adventurer Steve Beede

The veteran attorney and musician by Carol Percy, Reporter, Lincoln News Messenger (Jan. 4, 2017)

It would be hard to imagine someone more diversified than Steve Beede.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the Lincoln resident is both a practicing real estate attorney who owns two offices in Placer County and a professional musician with the local Big Bad Mama Band.

With 55 years of musicianship, Beede sings and plays drums, bass, guitar, piano and other instruments. His artistic resume includes drumming for a world championship marching band, performing at the Sacramento Jazz Festival and opening for rockers ZZ Top at the Arco Arena.

After moving to Lincoln Hills in 2014, Beede and his wife, Ann, have enjoyed participating in the senior community’s many activities, including golf and sports car clubs and the music and recreational vehicle groups. “Lincoln Hills is a Club Med for adults,” Beede joked.

steve beede attorney playing drums at one of his shows

The News Messenger asked Beede the following questions:

How has music influenced your life?

“Music has been a part of my life since I was about 5 years old and has been a constant ever since. Whether it be on drums, guitar, bass, trombone or something else, the creation of music and harmony is both relaxing and exciting. Plus the adoration of the fans is great, especially when they’re buying the beer. In my 20s, I did a lot of singing in men’s choruses in Boston and later in barbershop (quartets) in Sacramento.”

When did you first study music?

“At age 11 when I joined a drum and bugle corps and learned drumming. I later went on to teach drumming and played with a champion marching band from ages 14 to 17 and with the World Champion 27th Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps from ages 17 to 20. I also played trombone in junior high and percussion in high school and with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.”

What was your first instrument?

“Drumming was my first real instrument. I chose it in part because I found a pair of drumsticks in the hall closet at our home and found out that my stepfather had played drums years earlier. Drumming and drummers were cool and, best of all, I only had to carry my sticks. The adults hauled all the drums. Way easier than little me dragging the trombone around.”

What kind of music do you like?

“I like almost all kinds of music. I grew up with the Beach Boys, Beatles and the (Rolling) Stones but I was really into jazz, especially Dave Brubeck. I started dancing and singing along from about age 5 with 45-rpm records. What I like most about playing in bands such as the Big Bad Mama Band is that I get exposed to all sorts of music I’ve heard but never had a chance to play.”

How do you approach learning new songs?

“If I’m not familiar with it, I’ll download it on iTunes and listen to it in my car. I generally download the music when I’m learning the vocal parts. If I’m playing other than drums (such as bass), I’ll find out the key we want to do the song in, then practice playing along.”

When did you start playing in bands?

“I started (in Sacramento) through Skip’s Music “Weekend Warriors.” We’d form about five bands after a Saturday jam session, practice one week with a coach, then put on a show at Hard Rock (CafĂ©) or Harlows (Night Club). These were quick hits with only a one- to two-month commitment. However, several of us formed a series of bands that evolved into “Unlicensed Therapy,” which is still going strong in Sacramento. I was on bass (guitar). I dropped out when we were getting two gigs every week. But I really missed it, which made joining the Big Bad Mama Band so special to me.”

What music groups do you perform with now?

“Currently, I play drums with the Big Bad Mama Band and I play regularly with the Lincoln Hills Music Group, with pick-up groups and at the (Lincoln Hills) open mic events (at Kilaga Springs Lodge). I also keep my chops up with Steve Gust’s drum circle.”

What are your favorite musical pieces that you’re working on?

“‘Love Shack’ and ‘Uptown Funk’ are at the top right now because they’re fun, challenging and definitely beyond what I thought I’d get a chance to do. I also love anything Eagles and wish I still had the voice to drive Journey songs.”

When did you move to Lincoln?

“My wife, Ann, and I moved to Sun City Lincoln in April 2014 after watching this development for years. We were ready to start the next phase of our lives with the kids up and grown. The move has been wonderful, way better than we even expected.”

What’s your day job?

“I’m the founder and president of BPE Law Group PC. I started the firm (more than) 20 years ago to focus on real estate, business and estate planning needs of clients I’d known for years through our various real estate and investment businesses. When we moved to Sun City, I relocated our corporate headquarters to Gold River and opened a satellite office in Sun City (Lincoln Hills) near the Orchard Creek Lodge.”

“Moving to Sun City Lincoln Hills was the best thing we’ve ever done – other than getting married and having our kids. Life is exciting with lots of new friends and plenty of opportunities to learn, grow and participate.”

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Big Bad Mama Band is available for community events, parties, clubs, and concerts. If you’d like to schedule the Band for your event, or just want to learn more, please feel free to contact Steve at sjbeede@bpelaw.com.

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Steve Beede – Adventurer

Few people know that in 1980, Steve was a leader of an expedition that completed the first successful winter crossing of Yellowstone National Park. Known as The 1980 Yellowstone Winter Traverse, Steve and 5 other intrepid adventurers sought to trace the steps of John Coulter, a guide for the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. Coulter, accompanied by Indian guide, Sacajawea, is generally credited as being the first white man to travel in the area that would later become Yellowstone.

steve beede backpacking in the snow

At the time, Steve was a Nordic ski instructor, Member of the National Ski Patrol, and had been trained in avalanche rescue. The rest of the team had incredible experience in mountain and wilderness adventures and they came from all walks of life… business, science, banking, and even artificial intelligence.

steve beede in the snow

Like many adventures, the group under-estimated the challenges that awaited them even after two years of planning and the sponsorship of most outdoor equipment companies. From the very first day when they entered from Jackson Hole in the South until they emerged 200 miles later in Cook City in the North, they experienced freezing river crossings, blizzards, mountain climbs, avalanches, bison stampedes, and utter exhaustion… and they each lost at least 25 pounds…. not including the 60 lbs of gear on their backs and another 100 lbs they were each pulling on sleds. Steve summarizes the trip as 30 days at 30 below.

But they were rewarded with sights that few if any ever get a chance to see, the miraculous beauty of Yellowstone in Winter.
From steaming geysers and hot springs to the frozen Yellowstone Falls; from pristine windswept mountaintops to herds of elk and bison sheltering in the canyons. Overall, it was magical and certainly memorable

Since completing the Traverse, the group has had other adventures together, but none can top The 1980 Yellowstone Winter Traverse.

Steve often does presentations to groups on this adventure and the technicalities of putting together an expedition. If you would like to have such a presentation at your organization, please contact Steve at sjbeede@bpelaw.com.