Story Time With Shay (#2)


Story Time With Shay (#2)
Last Episode of Johnny Carson

Posted by Shay Bell on 2023-06-14
EDITOR NOTE: During our April 2023 trip to Ireland, we started filming some interviews of Shay and Charlie telling old stories. Back when we first started, we had an idea of "Story Time With Shay" to be inserted in the pauses of David Bowie songs. OK, maybe that wasn't a winner. But finally, we're collecting some classic Bigfellas stories.

Once a month or so, we'll roll out another installment of Story Time With Shay. It will debut here in transcript on the blog on Tuesdays and then appear online on our YouTube channel as part of our new Big Wednesday series.

SHAY: Later. I was like, years later, like when I was 16 or something, and I got my own set of drums. And this guy came to my house one day. I don’t know how he knew, but I live in a small town. He had heard through the grapevine, whatever. I had a set of drums, right? He came to my house. He said to my mom, I heard Shay has a set of drums. I’m in a band, and we’re playing a gig on Friday. I never played a gig in my life. But he heard somehow �"

CHARLIE: Had you played with anybody?

SHAY: No, nobody. At all, period. And he heard and he I talked to the guy, actually, I kind of knew him, but and he said I were playing the gig on Friday night at this small actually so weird. Gig on Friday night out in Killmore where Pam are getting chips. That’s where this gig was, right? I was maybe 15016. Like, super naive. I’m not naive now. I’m very worldly now, as you can see. I’m a man of means. I got three bucks..

He said, we have a gig on Friday night. And I said, okay, because I didn’t know, right? So that Friday night, came and my mom got me in her car and I put all the drums in the back of her car. And we drove up to Killmore for this gig, right? And got to the gig, and this guy, Frank Sennett people in Wexford know the guy, right.

Frank Sennett was kind of an awesome guy. Kind of insane in the membrane. Kind of cool, right? And he was inside the bar. He said, oh, sure, come on. Come on in. Into the bar of this place. And there was like, maybe six people, right? And I thought me. Okay.

Now, I didn’t know any songs. I never played forever. I only had a drugs for three weeks at this stage. I didn’t know what I was doing, right? And he goes, you walk into the bar as I’m bringing my drums to the bar, he makes this kind of right turn and goes through this other door into this big fucking kind of ballroom, right? And this place is jammed.


SHAY: There was at least 300 people jam packed all these tables. I think it was some kind of company party - close to Christmas, I don’t know what the fuck it was. It was jammed with people, right? I go, what the hell is going on? And he says, if there’s a stage, drums up. I go, but what? But I never played a gig before my life. So I get the drum set up, especially three or hundred four people. My only saving grace was they’re all drunk, right?

That’s probably the best one. So we got on stage, and I had to drums the wrong way. I had a high tom on the floor, they're falling down. All my head sally holes and tapes,

[interrupted by drunk at hotel]

I said to Frank, and don’t ask me how he he was able to he was able to talk he’s he’s kind of like you, he was able to talk his other band people to do this, right? Because he has the kind of gift that I guess and he had, like, banjo guys, double bass and shit. I’m not making this up, right? And all keyboards. I’m the drummer. That’s kind of a big thing, right? It’s not like I was doing tambourine or something, right?

I’m just sitting like this, like some innocent poor little son of bitch. So we get the stage and I go, Frank, what’s going on? What’s happening? He said, "Don’t worry, we'll be fine". Be fine. Right? And I said, what’s the first song? And I think I was thinking of Rolling Stones or something. And I said, I don’t know it.
I’ve never played it.

He said, "Just go along."

CHARLIE: "Just go along" Good advice

SHAY: I think it was satisfaction. I think that could be the first song. Could have been, right? I have no idea. I’m doing so I start playing what he’s playing?

That's what I was doing. Which kind of sounded cool for the first ten minutes. Ten minutes sounded kind of cool. But after ten minutes, it’s like the most worst nightmare ever. I don't know how I did it.

CHARLIE: How did you get through?

SHAY: I don’t know how I got through, but get this, it was a long ass gig. We played an hour, had a break, 6000 songs I never heard of. I don’t know what he was talking about, any chords.. But we played a gig and I don’t know why I did. Right. And I actually got paid.

CHARLIE: And people seem to like it.

SHAY: People loved it. We’re drunk. But even so, I got paid. I can remember going home, man. The car that night, all the drums come over the back of my head and stuff. I was sweating the shit. I remember, man. That was fucking awesome. And that was it. I was hooked.

CHARLIE: That was it.

SHAY: That was it. But I had never that’s amazing. I don’t know why I would say yes to the gig. I’m not sure. I had the drum set up �" I had the high hat in the wrong foot. I had the crash. At least.

CHARLIE: You probably went down there thinking you'd play to five people, but like but if you if he told you �"

SHAY: Yeah, but I mean, it was so funny. We walked into the bar part. It was like three or four old barflies.

CHARLIE: I’m picturing some shithole like Desis or something.

SHAY: Yeah. Has he [Rick with the camera] been to Desi’s.

CHARLIE: Desi's, it still exists. It should be condemned, but it still exists.

SHAY: Yeah. Have you been?

Video will be available on YouTube and here starting Wednesday, May 17, 2023.