ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It all started nearly two months ago. Best friends Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis put up a sign asking anyone: “black or white, relax and have beer.” Since then, their story has been shared across the globe.
Then they met Brad Paisley, and now they’re featured in the country superstar’s newest music video for “There’s no ‘I’ In Beer.”
It features Paisley’s surprise Zoom calls across the world, celebrity and musical guests, along with some “beersketball” challenges.
The country mega star is just like us, in that he’s been stuck at home. Paisley took it upon himself to edit the entire video, quite a task when you look at the finished product. He says the video is like a yearbook to him.
“There are so many stories, if you were to pause the video on anyone of those things,” he said. “The best friends in the driveway… It’s 600 Vanderbilt nurses… This Wegmans in upstate New York…”
“In many ways it’s the only thing keeping me sane.”
The one most familiar to us in Rochester — even featuring the faces and voices of our own Maureen McGuire and Dan Gross — is Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis.
“Never in a million years did I think I would be in a music video,” Ellis said.
While it was the message of conversation during the difficult times following George Floyd’s death and the pandemic, it was also the love between the two best friends.
“I don’t think we can get any closer. Blood ain’t nothing when you’re talking about a soul being intertwined,” Smith said.
“Bro you nailed it on the dot right there,” Ellis declared. “Get out of my head!”
Their message of camaraderie, togetherness, and meaningful conversation has touched thousands of lives.
“There are a lot of people who want what we want,” Ellis said. “and now that we have the power and the people behind us, it’s only right to do so. It feels right to have a bigger cause in life.”
So while this moment of fame with Brad Paisley was the start, they say the healthy soothing salve of beer and camaraderie is just beginning.
The two men, both of whom have families, say that while it is a lot of hard work to keep their message going, they’re handling it well. Smith says that they’ve taken calls from places as far away as France to thank them. They continue to host their weekly happy hours on Thursdays, where they often entertain guests from all across the country.