Remembering Billy Fries
The passing of Billy is a really difficult thing for all of us who knew and loved Billy. I pray for Billy's loved ones. For those of us who were friends of Billy, all of us are grieving. Billy's talent was a gift from God, but no one worked harder at his kraft. I have always said that Billy worked as hard on his music as Frank Sintra did on his singing. Many times Billy would play the whole night with no breaks. Incredible work ethic.
All of us all know that Billy was ahead of his time with everything when it came to his music and performing. If there was iTunes & YouTube back when Billy started his music career, he would have been as famous as, and compared to Billy Joel, Elton John, & any performer out there. A lot of us are musicians and have all said this so many times to each other. We were also so happy that Billy found Beth, the love of his life. We are all praying for you Beth and we all love you for loving Billy and always supporting him and loving him.
Billy was a great person, loyal person and friend. The famous Hot Wax night was an example of who Billy was.
A group of us all went to the Thunderbird in Wildwood, NJ on a Saturday Night. Billy played there every summer for decades. Well, one of Billy's friends and ours was Larry who happened to be black. Billy lovingly would occasionally refer to him as black Larry. Unfortunally, Wildwood was not black friendly. We had a big group and they had to put a lot of tables together. We were about 8 feet from the bar. There was a regular customer there who was in his 60's. He was giving Larry dirty looks and making comments to people sitting next to him at the bar. He was a drunk and a regular. It was about 11 o'clock and Billy started at 9 and played until 3. Billy decided to take a rare break and came over to join us. This guy came to our table and was so drunk, he had to put his hand down on the table to steady himself and lean in to start telling Larry he wasn't welcome. Now my back was to the bar and Larry was sitting across from me facing the bar. Well, when he started in on Larry, Charlie sitting next to Larry, hot waxed the guys hand! The candle had been burning since they lit it around 9. It was one of those candles shaped like a Hershey kiss with the netting attached. You know the one. Now the guy went to throw a punch at Charlie, but before he could, someone at our table threw a punch that knocked him back over to the bar! It was great. Well the owner came over and threw us all out. Billy left with us!!! We all left and laughed all night about the guy being hot waxed by Charlie. Too Funny. Well you know Billy, If God gives you lemons, you make lemonade. We all went bar hopping with Billy who decided that he could take advantage of it by going to check out the competition! That's Billy.
To Beth, From Billy!
One Of My Favorites
Under The Boardwalk
Billy, (Larry) & Friends
One thing we all know about Billy is, He was the cleanest person in the world. He vacumed his car every time he got out!!! When he leased a car, Im sure when he took it back, The dealer probobly asked his if he ever drove it! I bought one of his cars and it looked brand new.
Mark Fries, Vinny, Charlie (Mr Hot Wax)
More about Billy. He was not only a great musician, but was a very smart business person. While other single acts were charging $75 a night, Billy charged and got 4 or 5 times that amount. All other musicians were in awe of him. His vocals were un matched. His vocal range & control was incredible. His playing was also incredible. What seperated Billy from other musicians was his desire to be the best. While other musicians were playing on the same old keyboard for years, Billy spared no expence on new keyboards. If there was a new better sounding keyboard, he bought it to always have the best sound. He used multible keyboards when he played and probobly had $20,0000 on stage. He would sell the keyboards he didnt want to help with the expence.
More about Billy. He was not only a great musician, but was a very smart business person. While other single acts were charging $75 a night, Billy charged and got 4 or 5 times that amount. All other musicians were in awe of him. His vocals were un matched. His vocal range & control was incredible. His playing was also incredible. What seperated Billy from other musicians was his desire to be the best. While other musicians were playing on the same old keyboard for years, Billy spared no expence on new keyboards. If there was a new better sounding keyboard, he bought it to always have the best sound. He used multible keyboards when he played and probobly had $20,0000 on stage. He would sell the keyboards he didnt want to help with the expence. Billy ws the first musician to use midi files and was a master with it. It took 15 years before other musicians started even using them. Thats why he sounded like a full band when he played. He was the first performer to master the vocal harmonizer. It would make it sound like he had other singers singing harmony with him.
The Brandywine club, Billy was the performer that every bartender and other musicians came out to hear after thier bars and resturaunts closed at 1 or 2 am. The Brandywine Club was an after hours private club that opened at Midnight and closed at 5:30am. It was always packed and Billy was the guy we all enjoyed and loved to hear and watch his performance. Thats how good he was. Billy is known by almost everyone who lived in pennsylvainia, south jersey and Delaware. Billy will always be with me until its my time to go. I am lucky enough to has almost all his CD's. He is always in my car, home & work. I am so greatful to have them and he is my #1 playlist. Thank you billy for being who you are and were. We all Love you.
Billy in the Keys, Billy and Beth were in the Keys. Billy's favorite place to go. Beth sent me this Pic. Well, if you ever heard Billy play and never saw him or knew him before while you were walking in to where he was playing, many people thought he was black because of his soulfull sound. After his first week in Wildwood, Billy always looked like a model for a tanning company! LOL. If a tanning lotion company ever saw Billy they would have signed him to a long term contract for all the TV commercials!!!! I've known and loved Billy for decades and never saw him this dark, LOL, Along with his talent, Billy was a perfectionist in every way and was blessed with his looks, skin tone, and Talent. His Vocals were off the charts along with his playing. I really think about Billy every day since his passing. it wont go away. I was just a close friend while Beth was Billy's whole life and her whole world. Please pray for Beth. All I can say to you out of respect for Beth and Billy is, Beth his having an extremely difficult time with Billy's passing and needs our prayers. Great Pic Beth and thanks for sending it.
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