Maybe, maybe not. It is brilliant, and therefore its potential audience is limited. "Being a pop artist," he says, "is not my thing. I mean, 99 percent of the world's music is what comes on the radio. That 10,000 Maniacs shit. You have to work twice as hard and spend a lot longer. The real fans of people like Bruce are the ones you want to turn. If you write what I do and want to make a living, you have to turn those people A intelligent people. If you can get them on your side, you might have a chance."
If not pop stardom and fabulous riches, what then does Steve Ellis want a chance at? "I want to be good," he says flatly. "Not acclaimed. Just good. You don't get satisfaction from people telling you you're good. It's strange. You can't take too much from those who say good or bad things. What I really want, you know the song 'Thunder Road' by Springsteen? I want to write that before I die."
Steve Ellis performs at 11:00 p.m. Sunday at Rose's Bar, 754 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 532-0228. Admission is free.