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Billy 'Stix' Nicks' band honors him at DTSB First Friday

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – As part of South Bend’s holiday-themed First Friday, Billy ‘Stix’ Nicks’ band Motown Machine turned its performance into a tribute to the legendary drummer.

“I was proud to be a part of Billy’s band. He was such a good artist and very humble. He was such a good teacher, and he loved to teach. Billy loved to teach,” said singer for Motown Machine, Terry Austin.

His students say they loved learning from him.

“Billy taught me that if you want to get good, you have to practice. Once he told me he said that I didn’t study the lesson but I went and tried to fake it, and he realized that. He didn’t take my money. He told me, go home, do your lesson and then come back next week,” said Kirk Moragne-Wright, the drummer filling in Billy.

That’s exactly what Kirk Moragne-Wright did, and now he’s filling in for his beloved teacher.

“Billy had that pocket play, and I do it my way, but a lot of people tell me, they say man, you play a lot like Bill and I take that as an honor,” said Kirk.

“We’re just playing these great old tunes. That’s just what we did. That’s just what we went out and did every time we played, you know. Played these great old songs that don’t go away…We play to people in their 60s, we play to kids,” said Jason Quick, guitarist and musical director.

“I have his spirit in me all the time, all the time I’m playing,” said Kirk.

“He was a beacon of light,” said Jason.

 “He never met a stranger. He was very warm. He loved people He loved his church. He loved his family, and he loved his music,” said Terry.

To see what Billy ‘Stix’ Nicks’ friends and family had to say at his funeral last Friday, click here.

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