6/18/2010 ~ My JSB Story

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 yamahastuntin2009@yahoo.com or just by clicking here
-OR- you can send him snail mail at:
Silecchio, Richard
APO,AE 09354

5/24/2010 ~ Katie Hume
Great to see the band still rockin’! Just checking in from Charleston, South Carolina. I used to see the band in the early 80’s. Say hey to Phil R for me!

Katie Hume
4/17/2010 ~ Carol & Judd Dunn
Wow what a great surprise to find you guys online ! itís great to see you all together still plus some, itís been a long time since those days of ďSTUMP THE BANDĒ at Garvins. But I have nothing but Great Memories of those days. Next time Iím up on the Island again Iíll have to look you up. Keep Rocking !

Judd Dunn
1/24/2010 ~ Sally McGarrity
A heartfelt thank you to the Jim Small Band for making my birthday celebration so much fun! You definitely helped kill the pain of turning 50! (I know, that was bad). Just when we think that you never sounded better, you sound better...great time. Looking forward to the next show. Like it or not, I think the video's will be posted on Mary's facebook!

1/5/2010 ~ George Lynagh
Hey Jim,

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!

1/1/2010 ~ Hudson Armstrong
Hey guys ,
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
12/31/2009 ~ Bill Baldenko
Mike, I'm a fan from back in the day. Dakota Rose. My friend Don Sharkey, who unfortunately died this year, was a bartender who worked for Degs there. That's when I first saw you guys (1983-ish). I also used to see you at OBI, back when the greatest bar in the world was still open. Last night i heard Late in the Evening on the radio and it reminded me of you guys. Since I live in wantagh, i hope to make it to mulcahy's for your feb gig. anyway, thanks for a ton of fun times over the years. i'm looking forward to hearing the disks. hope all you guys are well. happy new year!

Editor's note: Bill ordered several JSB cds and a JSB baseball hat through this very website. Check it out by clicking here
9/21/2009 ~ Jan & Jeff Liebowitz

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
5/12/2009 ~ John V.
Hi mike johnny here (tow truck jacks friend) saturdaynight's show was outstanding. I loved every minute, by far the best perfomance I've seen. You guy's rock thank you so much.
12/8/2008 ~ Mike & Pat
My husband, Mike, was a good buddy of Jim's back from the days at Neptune's -playing basketball and heading to various clubs on Long island. We actually met at a Small Talk show, and used to hang with John and Phil and crew. So, please let Jim, Phil and John know Pat and Mike say hi! We still have family on LI but don't get back often. We moved to FL over 20 years ago after getting married. If we're ever in town, we sure would try to attend a show! We have a second home in Asheville,NC, too. I'll send a picture to remind everyone about us... And will let you know when I get the package.
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
9/1/2008 ~ Degs
Boys I just want to thank you for a great night. I know we can't be this old when I hear the songs that made my life so much fun. As I listen to your CD, great cover by the way, I can't help but smile thinking what we all did in that little room with the Big Bar. Did we really play softball in Hawaii? See you next Saturday.


P.S. How did we not buy Yahoo stock?
5/4/2008 ~ Dick & Lorraine
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
2/8/2008 ~ Cathy Bristoll
Well guys, it took me this long to finally get back to see you again, and it was worth the wait. Saturday night at Mulcahy's was a lovely trip into a time tunnel (except of course for the fact that I wouldn't have known John Boyle if I fell over him except for the always heavenly horns!) Wow, Guido still has his hair, albeit salt and pepper, Reilly sports glasses (don't worry, I needed mine to see this across the room) and although the circumference of Jim Small is now Larger, from the kneck up he looks the same to me, and still does that stand-on-tiptoes-and-scan-every-face-in-the-room thing that he always did back in the Brokerage days. And guys, ALL of you still have your mojo. Close my eyes and I am back around 1984, before I left my beloved New York and all I never realized I would grow to appreciate more at a distance and with the wisdom of age for Sin City and someone else's life. And I had heard you would play all new stuff on Saturday, but whomever decided to meet me on Memory Lane, thanks....oh, and though I spent Super Bowl Sunday with the other same two Cathy's from back in the day, they didn't make it to Muls this time, but next month is birthday month for all of us, so pick out a birthday ditty willya? I think we'll be back......PS please put "Time Enough" up on the website.....it's my favorite.....thanks....... Cathy Bristoll
Las Vegas, NV
editors note: Cathy's previous submission to the Tell Your Story Here Page can be found by clicking here
12/27/2007 ~ Kevin Kelly
It's Kevin Kelly.... I used to see you guys in the late 70's and early 80's. It's been 20 + years and I still think I'm drunk from some of those paper bags. I spoke to H today and he told me about the web site, so I figure let's scape the bong resins from my brain and e-mail you guys.

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.
8/27/2007 ~ Bruce
Backatcha ! Cindy's food (as well as Paul, Barbara and Marty-he brought the cheese / pepperoni platters) was a huge hit........thinking of e-mailing John and offering my services as a Food Coordinator and will get other people to donate and maybe give them @ some $$$$ off on a ticket (which I think most people would be willing to do gratis anyway !) or something while I figure what we need or can use etc. while I supply all of the Steam tray set ups, plasticware , bowls , condiments etc. as well as making my own stuff....whaddya think !
PS I'm telling you , this just might have started a trend !!!!!!!!!....and hopefully it did !!!
8/27/2007 ~ Richie
Wow, wow, wow!!!
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!!
8/9/2007 ~ Richie
Looking to go to oblivion on the boat! I know the music will be great! What about food and drink? And oh yeah! Is it bring your own life jacket?
8/9/2007 ~ Mike Sachs
Jim and the Gang-
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)
4/12/2006 ~ Fred Grieve
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!
7/17/2005 ~ Francine & Tom Jasunas
Hello: To Everyone in the Band:
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
6/4/2005 ~ Cathy
So I'm surfing around AOL looking for something to do when I come back to Long Island for vacation, and what do I see? The Paper Bag!! I can't believe you guys are still doing this!  Wow, its been a long time.  I used to hang at the Brokerage on Tuesday nights, it was the only time my friend Cathy (who waited tables there), my other friend Kathy, and I (Cathy) had during the week to hang together.....we are all still friends, seven kids between us, and still talk about the good old days when we could actually stay out all night and then go straight to work the next morning.  I left Long Island in 1985, but I come back alot (flying free helps) and don't even hold against you guys that I met ny now ex-husband on a Tuesday night at the Brokerage.  I'd love an actual, real-life, almost professional recording of all those great old songs, then I could finally get rid of the old cassette tapes I still have somewhere. 
Oh, and I still have the t-shirts.  My kids wear em.
One of the three Cathy's
6/11/2004 ~ Jeanne M
I've got to get your CD since the band was such a big part of my 20s. Embarrasingly, I still remember most of the words to "One Watches, The Other One Goes"...Don't know how I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday but that hung around all these years.
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.
Jeanne M
10/29/2004 ~ -L
Yes, it was nice to see a photo of , "Jim" (and all of you) whom I knew very briefly many years ago from the Silver Dollar Saloon...Ahhhh those were the carefree-toss caution to the wind days!
Glad to see you are all still singing!
: )
Live,love,laugh,listen,learn...lie only to survive...
1/20/2004 ~ Wally Relling
wow that was fun
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 ).
12/15/2003 ~ Larry Galletta
Jim, Phil, John, Guido
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.

Larry Galletta
4/14/2003 ~ liz
Wow!!! what is it 10, 15 20 years of playing in puke halls. Way to progress??  Well heres my story.  i was kicked out of my house and had no where to crash.  A week prior to being kicked out, I slept with [band member], what a waste.  Anyway, a week later when i was kicked out and had no place to stay, i stayed with [band member] for a second time, again, the worst lay i could possible have had.  Anyway, i needed to pee and throw up because i felt bad that i lowered my standards once again.  As i awoke i saw [band member]'s guitar case in the room, opened it and then took my pee.  He probably smelled like urine for a few weeks. but if you know [band member] that's an improvement.  just wanted to share,
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.
12/13/2002 ~ JB
I used to see you guys on Tuesdays @ The Brokerage.
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??)).

Thanks, JB
11/11/2002 ~ Paul Yovino
Recently,my wife and I were invited to join Jimmy and Patti Small at their home on Long Island along with several of our long time friends. I especially like the fact that I would have an opportunity to talk to Jimmy about what is and what will be going on with the band in the near future. My concern was upon hearing that John Boyle was moving to Florida that this legendary Long Island based band would call it quits. Now we all know how importent each member of this band is to it's whole sum.To make a long story longer this band is great because each individual member is so talented not because of just any one person. Even though at times one band member may stand out more than the other during a solo. The Jim Small Band is great because all the players have their heart and soul in to each gig they play since day one. In my opinion you would be very hard pressed to find a better group of musicians any where. During the evening at Jimmy's home as time went on he handed out to his friends one of the finest live CD'S you would want to hear. These recordings are from a live gig at Mulcahey's. How Jimmy went about cleaning up the sound and getting all the songs near perfect is beyond me even though he explained the whole process more than once. This is a testament to the hard work and love and many hours of the wee morning to make this an absolute must listen to CD. Through the many years of listening to this band at various clubs, the one thing that stands out the most is the love that their fans have for the music that this band has given us. I have often asked my self through the years if they really understand how much we enjoy them. I got my answer at Jimmy's house. He said "we do this for all of you". And i say thank you Jimmy Small.
Best of luck o the band,
Paul Yovino........
7/13/2002 ~ Phil Spaletta
Jim, John, Mike,
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.
3/2/2002 ~ Mike
Hey my Mom Margaret Wall knows u guys from high school and my band just cut a cd and I would like to get a opinion form a real band. My site is insane.as/xit The band names Emergency X-It.
Thanks, Mike
9/2/2001 ~ Ken
Hey! I was a bouncer at Garvins of Huntington around 89-90 when I saw you guys playing there. I was so knocked out I tried to have you play my wedding in 91---we ended up with a bad imitation of Peter Lemongello!!! I'm in a band called Bluehouse (singer) and we play mostly around Hicksville---Delaney's, Singletons Friday Happy Hour etc--- you guys are the real goods---good luck!!!!-- Ken (I'm gonna get me a website when I grow up).
8/28/2001 ~ Walter Symanski
Wow, what a great night on the boat ride! I was standing near the band with my cousin Bobby when the band started playing. Bobby and his close friend Ralph were taken back a little at first. They were expecting the music to be top shelf but I don't think they were believing what they were hearing. Now Bobby gets out his phone and calls a friend that was suppose to come that cancelled and says, "John this is Bobby, you really "F'd" up. The band just opened up with Little Feat and.......THEY SOUND BETTER THAN LITTLE FEAT!!!!!"

To all in the band, thanks for another great night of fun and music. We had a ball!!
8/26/2001 ~ Nuzzo
6/18/2001 ~ Pete Deignan
Hey Jim Small Band. I'm a very old, rather make that "long term" fan- formerly editor in chief of "Junior's Deli Review" who remembers such venues as The Shoppe, The Cane Lounge, The Palm Cafe, The Chart House, among others. Living here in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno for the better part of the last 14 years. Where does time go? I admire you for sticking with your dream. I can still hear "Save Your Love For A Rainy Day (and it never rains)"...and Brad Goldfarb, Levittown's would be answer to Tommy Mattola.
So, Newbar, take care. Junior
Pete Deignan