was, by the late ’70s, already a legend. He was the single driving force behind the East Coast Singalong in the early ’70s. He could always be found, at con after con, gathering people around a piano or his trademark keyboard, and getting them singing. He was often seen behind a gaudy name tag inviting everyone to ask him about filk, and would always make time to explain what filk was to curious newcomers.
He was an avid collector and publisher of songs. His now legendary “Filthy Pierre’s Microfilk” was one of the first widely used songbooks available to filkers. Distinguished by its amazingly small print, it made accessible an enormous variety of filk lyrics, many of which were otherwise unavailable. Though filk dealers and electronic communications were still to come, even fans on the West Coast had copies.
His contributions don’t end with filk. Erwin is the inventor of the “Voodoo Board”, the inter-member communication method used at WorldCons. He is still a strong supporter of the filk community, and includes filk cons in his monthly “SF Convention Calendar” in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Filthy Pierre can still can be found at cons with his keyboard, his name tag, and his willingness to sing.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Erwin Strauss is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame, this Nineteenth Day of April, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight.
Photo credit: Mark Shallcross