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Alan MacDonald is an Australian rock musician and lawyer, best known as the drummer of the 1980s band The Triffids, where he performed under his nickname 'Alsy'.

He was born on August 14, 1961 to Prof. Bill MacDonald, a professor of child health at University of Western Australia and Dr Judy Henzell (AM), was a well-known paediatrician. He was the youngest of the four children, with two older brothers and a sister. As a child he couldn't say 'Alan' properly so called himself 'Alsy'. He went to Hollywood Senior High School in Perth, Western Australiamarker and was close friends with David McComb.

In 1976, partly in response to the emergence of punk rock, MacDonald and McComb formed Dalsy, later known as Blök Music and then The Triffids (from the post-apocalyptic John Wyndham novel, The Day of the Triffids). McComb and MacDonald wrote and performed songs with Phil Kakulas (later in Blackeyed Susans), Andrew McGowan, Julian Douglas-Smith, and later Byron Sinclair, Will Akers and Margaret Gillard. By Christmas 1978, they had released several home-recorded cassette tapes and been through many line-up changes.

In 1981, The Triffids released their first, 7-inch vinyl single, "Stand Up", as a result of winning a song competition run by the Western Australian Institute of Technologymarker. Subsequent releases included the Reverie EP, "Spanish Blue", and the Bad Timing and Other Stories EP. They moved to Sydneymarker, in 1982. The band's first 12-inch vinyl album, Treeless Plain, was released in 1983. The band's line-up stabilised to David McComb (vocals, guitar), his brother Robert McComb (guitar,violin), Jill Birt (keyboards), Alsy MacDonald (drums), Martyn P. Casey (bass).

In August 1984 the band flew to Londonmarker, where they recorded the critically acclaimed album, Born Sandy Devotional, they toured Euorope and returned to Western Australiamarker in 1986 to record In The Pines on the McComb's family property in Ravensthorpe, south east of Perth. The Triffids line-up was finalised with the addition of 'Evil' Graham Lee on pedal steel and guitar. Lee having recorded the mini-album, Lawson Square Infirmary with the band members in 1984.

In 1987 the band signed a three record deal with Island Records, which saw the release of Calenture and The Black Swan. In 1989 tired from the constant travelling and touring, the band dissolved. MacDonald played with The Blackeyed Susans between 1989 and 1990 and upgraded his high school qualifications. He enrolled in law at Murdoch University in 1992.

MacDonald who had fallen in love with Jill Birt, the keyboardist for the band, got married. They have three children, and his wife Jill, who completed her architectural degree at the University of Western Australia is a qualified and practising architect.

After graduating with his law degree in 1995, MacDonald applied for a short term contract at the Equal Opportunity Commission in Perth and is currently Commission's senior legal advisor.


  1. Equal Opportunity Commission - staff profile

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