As I sit here in Afghanistan and peruse (spelling?) the website, I remember the most amazing experience of my life, not just with Jim Small, I mean ever, so here it is for you to read. For those of you who cant put the names together, its not cosmic cooincidence that me and the bearded wonder of a guitarist have the same name, the one you all call "Slick" , I happen to call Dad.
Ive been playing drums since being influenced to start by listening to the old tapes and hearing Phil Cimino and his younger and marginally insane brother Vinny play. Im 22 now so its been about 15 years since the first time I picked up a pair of sticks and started hitting stuff in a concerted effort to make noise into music. After a while I started to get pretty good and would be treated to sitting in a rehearsals and being made an honorary part of the band for a little while.
Over the years the band started to become family and seeing the guys was like having a large number of Uncles come over on Saturday nights and play me a private concert in my basement. Life was good. It was to the point where I would stay in on weekends just to sit and listen, which in time paid off because Vinny became a huge influence on how I played. His uncanny ability to stay in the pocket and adjust the dynamics all while still performing complex fills or on the other hand leave larger than normal pauses in the rythym all the while keeping the time and not overpowering the band and become a showboater. Life was better.
Then 3 weeks before I shipped out for basic training for the army, I got my chance. I was allowed to sit in with the band for half a set on stage at Mulcahy's in Wantaugh. For some kids this probably wouldn't sound appealing on a Saturday night, but for me, this was the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the World Cup all rolled into one. We started off easy with Mary Jane and rolled into a song with a name I cant remember but it was a blast to play. Then we hit up "Your baby used to be me" and then I was loose, no longer trembling at the fact that I was 18 and on stage with guys whod been playing together for longer than I was alive. That being said, Phil Reilly and Mike Guido were like second fathers to me. Vinny was like a wacky older brother, slippin me shots before the show and sneaking me Marlboros to calm down. Bobby and Greek were always there with quick, witty lines to make me laugh, and Jimmy was just Jimmy, always there with support. After that song Dad looked at me and said something that would stick with me for the rest of my life. "I love you son, but dont f@&k this up". I then began to count off Kill the Pain.
The first part of the song Im a nervous wreck but having listened to that song so much as a kid I can pretty much play it in a coma. We hit John's solo and I loosened up and really started playing. Then it gets quiet, Dad walks out front a little to my right, the crowd goes nuts and he turns around and smiles at me a smile that loaded me with enough confidence to conquer a small country by myself, as if he was thinking to himself, "thats my son, this is great". I was happier than a kid on christmas. We rolled into his solo slow, keeping it quiet, but playin to the crowd. He gets a little louder and I answer with controlled rimshots on the snare and louder hits on the bass drum. Then he went into a riff that was the signal to kick it into high gear and rip the stage up. And oh man did we do just that. I caught a roll and made that set sound like a machine gun, Id never played like this in my life. He looked up at me and simply nodded telling me it was time to blow the roof off the place, now we were playing to eachother, the crowd being there was just a bonus,we went into the big Freebird-esque breakdown and its safe to say Im concentrating like Im taking the SATs for the second time. I count and I count and I get to the downbeat where we come back in and I nail it , I almost wanted to cry I was so happy. We play through the rest of the cuts and riffs and it comes time to end, he walks in front of the set and holds his guitar up while Im playin the last bit of life Ive got in me through these sticks.
I end the song and walk out from behind the set , the only hug that can compare to this one is when he watched me step off the plane after my first tour to Afghanistan. He hugged me so hard I thought I was gonna die but I didnt care cause if I did, it would be happily. I had just received a standing ovation on stage with my father. What son can say that. Life was amazing. Thats my JSB story.
Specialist Rick Silecchio
101st Airborne/Air assault in support of OEF ( Operation Enduring Freedom)
Bagram Air Field, Afghan/sandland
Editor's note: "Little Ricky" (who ain't so little any more) first played a drums set right here in the Paper Bag War Room way back in the early 90's. We who know him are very proud of him. You can send email to Rick in Afghanistan at email@example.com or just by clicking here
-OR- you can send him snail mail at:
It's George Lynagh, the dj/cop friend of John Boyles...Is it true that you're still playing the circuit? If so, looking to come down with a few friends. Don't know if JB is still playing with you as I remembered he moved to Florida. let me know. Stay well & stay safe!
Judging from your photos, you're not a band any more. You're an Orchestra.
Just thought I'd let you know I"ve thought of you---fondly even.
Editor's note: Hud was a bartender at Canterbury Ales in Huntington and worked many JSB gigs during the 80's. Check it out his caraicature of the band by clicking here
Editor's note: Bill ordered several JSB cds and a JSB baseball hat through this very website. Check it out by clicking here
All we have to say is You have spoiled us for all future live concerts. This year's boat ride was as close to perfect as anything in life. The incredible weather, the stars, the fireworks, the camaraderie, but more importantly, the music. As musicians you absolutely rock my world.
Keep the music coming!!!
Thanks for all you have given us
Would love to hear from the old group!
editor's note: the "package" Pat refers to contains a Jim Small Band cd that she purchased here
P.S. How did we not buy Yahoo stock?
Last night was awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!
Talented guys that make great music and make people feel good. That's what the Jim Small Band is all about. Our hats off to you all!!!
Congratulations on the terrific new CD, (which we listened to on the way home). Congratulations on an amazing heartfelt night. It truly was joyful. The audience really feels your passion and sincerity. The kids were a great touch! They were so proud too.
All our love to you. Can't wait for next time.
Dick and Lorraine
Las Vegas, NV
editors note: Cathy's previous submission to the Tell Your Story Here Page can be found by clicking here
How is everyone... Jim, John, Phil and Slick. Man, I think back to those days and it's a wonder we survived. Talk about drinking and driving. I don't think I drove when I wasn't drunk.
PS I'm telling you , this just might have started a trend !!!!!!!!!....and hopefully it did !!!
This was the greatest boat ride ever. The band was balls on dead center and sounded great. We had the best time. Thank you for another wonderful evening. Cindy, our cousins, friends and I had a blast. We love you guys!!
Just wanted to find out about your CD and where to get it. Hope all is well and I'd like to get the time to come and see you guys play again. It's been a long time. Also, no pix from Chelsea's Pub? Whazup!
I was hoping sooner or later you'd get a CD out. Hope "Melody" and "Everybody" is included. Always loved those 2 songs the best. Write back if you'd like. I still have some more music that I recorded with Lee Foster (were'd he go?) and if you need some more give me a shout.
Mike Sachs (Bay Shore)
I used to see Small Talk back in '78/79 at the Silver Dollar in Bay Shore and another venue out in Wantagh. I thought you guys were freaking unbelievable and I still remember like it was yesterday, "Room to Move", "Down by the River" & "Can't you See"......I can't believe I stumbled on this website. Did you record any of your live stuff from the late seventies? I would love to hear those songs all over again! I just saw Zebra & The Good Rats, (what's left of the Good Rats) at the Patchogue Theatre last week and I see you are at Mulcahy's next month. Please let me know about the live stuff and you belong in the Long Island Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!!!!!! Rock on!
Much to our surprise we were talking about the good old days and your band that we used to come to see at Garvin's in Huntington, N.Y. back in 1983. I still have the T-Shirt from the 1983 Mardi Gras they gave out. You even came to a party at our house once. Well it is now 22 years later we are living in Virginia and have been for the last 18years. We are about to celebrate out 25 wedding anniversary on July 27th. We still remember your songs like it was yesterday. Sure wish we could hear you again.
Well if we ever get back to L.I. we will be sure to come see you. Please let us know if you ever play in Va.
Francine & Tom Jasunas
Oh, and I still have the t-shirts. My kids wear em.
One of the three Cathy's
I hung out with Holly Erghot (who took those 1985 promotional pictures -- in fact I was there when she took them and have a few copies myself), Eileen Harte, etc. at Dakota Rose every Thursday night after working the night shift at Newsday for years. Also many visits to The Brokerage on Tuesday nights and Huntington whenever (more pictures), a few Sundays at OBI, a Cruise or 2 to Oblivion and a couple of Paper Bags. Dated Jimmy the Greek for 2 years (Hi to Jimmy if you see him).
Now married for 15 years with 2 boys (14 and 12) -- thus the end of my Jim Small Band years. Still working at Newsday. Just opened a restaurant in Greenport. I have such great memories from that time. It seems like yesterday, and yet a long time ago. Stumbling on your site was a trip down memory lane. I'm glad to see that you guys are still playing together. Maybe I'll get out to see you again sometime.
Glad to see you are all still singing!
Live,love,laugh,listen,learn...lie only to survive...
My brother sent me the link to your web site guys. Very cool. Been a long time John, Jim probably don't remember me. Phil , I remember you and I plan on sending your link to Trisha Szimanski (she'll get a kick out of it). Hopefully see you at the "Paper Bag" this Summer. John, I hope all is well with you and yours. Later.
Walt, I guess some may remember me as "Wally"
Hey Jim, I still sing "Souvlaki" to my kids on occasion ( lol ).
WOW! I'm glad I tracked you guys down. This is Larry Galletta. I know it's been a long time. I've always felt bad about losing touch with you. I'm living outside Cleveland now. A lot has happened - as I'm sure with all of you. I have very fond memories playing in the original SmallTalk lineup. In fact I just recently archived a bunch of live recordings (Silver Dollar Saloon stuff) and that studio version of Firelight to digital. Also archived somestoned-out stuff Jim & I did on acoustic guitars - jams, basically. I got very nostalgic listening to all of it. I'm sorry we never kept our friendships going. I wish I could mend all that.
Sadly, I had quit playing and writing for over 10 years - got busy with work, family etc. We have twin 15 year-old daughters - Leanne & Julia, and Clare is 10. But I picked it up again about 6 years ago and have now been playing and writing some of my best stuff ever.
I have built a recording studio on the 3rd floor of my house. I've got 24 track digital, some nice preamps and mics etc. In fact, I just "released" a CD of my own which I engineered, produced and mixed. Sent it out for pro mastering, though. I worked with a local singer/songwriter - Colette. I'm happy with it. Jimmy - I recorded "Should He Just Take Off His Hat" on it. I think you always liked that tune. Anyway - it's at www.cdbaby.com/fragilistic if anyone's interested. If you browse the MP3's, note that they truncate at 2 minutes - so all the best stuff (solos etc.) you won't hear! But it'll give you a pretty good idea. I'd love to buy a copy of your live CD. Send me info.
Too bad we're not local anymore - I'd love to record you guys. If you're ever thinking of visiting Cleveland... Please let me know what you are all up to these days. I'd really like to catch up. I hope you are all doing well. And is it true Boyle moved to Florida? Hope he didn't decide to do the lounge circuit! Ha! Oh - Jim - I also found an old lyric sheet with your hand-written lyrics to "The Saddest Hour". Do you still play that? I'd really love to hear back from all of you.
editors note: liz is obviously an incontinent, sometimes homeless women who slept around out of convenience, has bad grammar and frequents puke halls. She does tell a funny story though.
I moved to Jersey and just browsed your name on a whim.
What's the deal w/the CD?? Originals?? Covers?? Both??
(I remember: "Guitar Rick" knowin' all the tricks (licks??)).
Best of luck o the band,
This was my first paper bag ... it was better than I expected. Keep me posted on upcoming dates - gigs, boat ride, etc.
Thanks for the music,
Phil Spalletta ( one of your gray head groupies ) p.s. John: I saw kids playing wiffleball the other day - reminded me of the old days on your front lawn - also everytime I see Notre Dame play I remember the days of playing Pigskin Football in your garage.
To all in the band, thanks for another great night of fun and music. We had a ball!!
YOU GUYS HAVE FOR NEW FANS WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED "SPREADING THE NEWS"!...WE'LL SEE YOU AT YOUR NEXT GIG> THANX 4 THE MUSIC.
So, Newbar, take care. Junior