Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

During a memorable trip to Limerick several years ago, I had the delight of hearing the percussionist (for lack of a better word) Johnny "Stix" at Dolan’s pub. I’m assuming he’s no longer alive, as he was quite old and needed assistance to and from the musicians corner and loo back then. He would seemingly fall asleep during breaks, only to come alive at the extremities when the music started and tear off on his old battered drum sticks and "tins" that he had secured to the pub table. The man could make serious "music" come forth from old sardine tins and drum sticks….I believe he had a gold name-plate secured to his seat on the bench. He played along to every tune masterfully as he obviously knew them all. Have not seen any clips or mention of him in cyberland, so checking to see if anyone can share anything regarding this "legend of the sticks."

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

I met Johnny Stix a couple of times in Dolan’s. The sessions there were seemingly all he lived for. I think he passed on a few years ago now. I believe he’d played drums in Ceili and ‘modern’ dance bands in his younger days. Being only a very occasional visitor to Limerick, I cannot add anything to your description of him - it sounds spot-on to me (and put far better that I could have done).

I haven’t been to Dolan’s since Johnny died, but I am sure his absence will be conspicuous next time I go there.

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

Yeah - I remember Johnny Stix well. I worked in Dolans for a good few years, and I have to say he was the nicest, gentlest type of fella you could meet, he was full of great spirit.

I drew a picture of him once that was behind the bar for a good few years, but its well gone now… as is he. I’m not sure exactly what year he passed away but it was probably about 5-6 years ago.

I always remember him for the plain cheese sandwiches he’d request toward the end of every night, oh and the stix and tins of course.

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

I remember him well. Got the cousins in Limerick. So whenever I get across the pond I crash there and we hot the Dolans sessions and Nancy Blakes. I have some great photos of Johnny playing away in that bar.
He always seemed to be on with the tempo.

Salt

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

hit not "hot"

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

JJ, there’s an old guy in Ennis who almost exactly fits your description of Johnny. (He was still around last time I was there, anyway, I’ve not been there for a few months.) His name’s Frank - I don’t recall his last name. The only real difference from what you said about Johnny is that he plays on a wooden block, not a sardine tin.

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

"…he was the nicest, gentlest type of fella you could meet, he was full of great spirit."
"He always seemed to be on with the tempo."
Thanks for your comments Mikiemax, saltcast, and everyone else. That fits my memory of Johnny exactly. Johnny was one of the top highlights of my Limerick trip as he reminded me, like few humans I’ve ever encountered, of my late grandpa Shea. My grandpa not only looked a bit like Johnny, but played the drums in his younger years, and with similar veracity, often at the dinner table in his final days minus the tins.

DaveL335, I’d love to hear a clip of this Frank you mention. Sounds like Johnny for sure- maybe they knew each other?

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

It’s nice to see ‘ordinary’ people remembered several years after their death, a great tribute to this character.

Posted .

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

I love this kind of information. It’s a pity that we don’t have a section on this site that can be added to like the tunes section, but listing and discussing such personalities as this guy. I can see the difficulties in doing that, but meanwhile I love threads of this nature.

Posted by .

Re: Who remembers Johnny “Stix”?

I remember him well from my last trip over about 10 years ago. He carried his instrument in a wooden case with the several tin lids set inside it. Would doze off in between tunes. Thought it was Jimmy the Stix or would that be his brother?