Pat DiNizio at Crossroads, Garwood New Jersey

Published July 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7922A Monkees Evening with Pat DiNizio

It was a real treat seeing Smithereens legend, Pat DiNizio perform in an intimate setting at the Crossroads in Garwood. This was the third time I saw him perform and every time in addition to Smithereens songs he honors other bands like The Beatles and The Who. This time we got to hear The Monkees. My husband is the true Monkees fan of the family. Shame on me, I only knew the hits, including “Stepping Stone” (which I first knew as a Sex Pistols song). But I’ve come a long way, as over the years with my husband I got to see Mike Nesmith and the Monkees Reunion Tour. Now I’m a Monkees fan too, favoring the work of Nesmith.

DiNizio was accompanied by three guitarists and it was like getting a private basement rehearsal show. One of the guitarists was WNEW DJ Jim Monaghan.

Some of the songs included:

Monkees: “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Hey, Hey We’re the Monkees” (twice); “Behind Blue Eyes” (The Who); and “Norwegian Wood” (Beatles); “Barbara Ann” (Beach Boys) and Smithereens hits, “Only a Memory” and “Blood and Roses.”

Like many other great artists, what I love about DiNizio’s performances is that he’s a great story teller in between songs. One of New Jersey’s finest!

SAM_7915Before the show with my husband!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” — available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Gentle on Our Minds

Published June 29, 2015 by Maryanne

Glen-Campbell-Feature1-1Glen Campbell (from his website)

The trending musical topic of today is the heartfelt documentary, “Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me” that aired on CNN last night.

It was an insight on the performer’s struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease and what it is like for his loved ones. It was very sad to watch. I agree with Glen’s wife that this is probably the worst way to die.

I was one of the fortunate ones who saw Glen’s last tour in 2012. Please visit my blog: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/getting-cards-and-letters-and-blogs-from-people-i-dont-even-know/

Noted below are some of the highlights from the show I mentioned in the blog, but to get the full gist of the show, I highly recommend clicking the link above.

2012 Farewell Tour Highlights

Glen hit the stage and began with “Gentle on My Mind.” He was forgetting lyrics from the get-go and had to restart the song.

The best things about the show were: #1, Glen Campbell, at age 78, is still a wonderful showman. This was the first time I ever saw him and he really commands the stage and has a great presence. He still looks good and healthy, in spite of having Alzheimer’s.  God bless his soul.

#2, Glen can still play the guitar. And unless you’re a musician or have a really good ear, you may not even realize he was playing the wrong key. (Most of the time I didn’t, but one song it was very obvious and his daughter, Ashley, kept helping him out and mouthing the right key to him).

#3, To hear so many songs that I love and have loved since I was a little girl, performed right before me by a legend gave me thrills throughout the night. I screamed like a teenager throughout the show. Even though he did many hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights” I have to say my all time favorite Glen Campbell song is — and always will be — “Galveston.”

My love and prayers to his family during this trying time.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and “Love Cats” — both available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Celebrating “I DO” in 50 States!

Published June 27, 2015 by Maryanne

gay marriageVictory!

Hooray! Now everyone has the right to get married in all 50 states! It’s certainly something to be celebrated, as all my friends are doing so on Face Book. It’s thrilling to see all the positivity for something that was long overdue!

I’ve always been a supporter of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender rights. In fact, on my first Valentine’s Day with my husband, when we were still dating, we went to a rally for gay marriages. We wanted to be the straight couple that showed our support.

Over the years as a reporter, I was always determined to write pro-gay articles. That said, it was a thrill to be on the set of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” — one of my favorite shows back in the day.

QueerEye2Me and Kyan Douglas on the set of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (2004)

Now as an author, I’m able to continue to respect in written word via books. In my first fiction book, “Love Cats” I created a gay character, Heather, who falls hard for the main character Janey, who is bisexual. There’s a lesbian love scene between them.

back cover proof CORRECTLove Cats (back and front cover)

My upcoming book “The Gypsy Smiled” is much more tame (rated PG) and I still put in a lesbian character to support and respect the gay/lesbian community.

Everyone deserves the right to live their lives as they feel most comfortable. Even if we don’t understand, the best we can do is to love and be a friend — that is how you learn. And always allow others to be safe around us.

Always remember, we are all human beings.

CONGRATULATIONS TO

ALL MY GAY/LESBIAN FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES!

“Love Cats” can be purchased on Amazon, available in paperback and on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

Joseph Mercola’s Maple Miracle Whey Protein Powder

Published June 25, 2015 by Maryanne

miracle whey

I’m all about free samples … who isn’t?

So I was thrilled to see a container of Joseph Mercola’s Maple Miracle Whey Protein powder at my doorstep! I won the product via a promotion.

It’s extremely tasty and you can feel a difference in your energy right away. It can probably be a weight loss supplement too as I felt extremely full after drinking just one scoop in a glass of water, though a serving is two scoops. I mixed my second scoop in grass-fed yogurt with blueberries.

I feel amazing!

For more information, visit: http://proteinpowder.mercola.com/Miracle-Whey-Protein.html

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author and public speaker. She presents her lecture “Here’s to Your Health” and many others to libraries, assisted living facilities, senior groups, rotary clubs, etc. For pricing and availability, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Will travel for the right price.

Induct David Cassidy Into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame!

Published June 23, 2015 by Maryanne

David CassidyMy husband took this shot when David was shaking my hand (2011)

A few days ago I signed the petition to induct David Cassidy into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. You should do by visiting this link: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/induct-david-cassidy-into-rock-roll-hall-of-fame.html

Not only is David Cassidy a musical talent who plays several instruments, he’s also an artist who respect other musicians in his work. Not to mention a great actor, author and story teller (that’s my favorite part of the shows, when he shares his heartfelt stories!)

He also has amazing people behind him. The official “Induct David Cassidy Into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame” Face Book (https://www.facebook.com/Cherishistheword?fref=nf) and Twitter pages, David Cassidy Rocks (https://twitter.com/CassidyUnited) are absolutely awesome in thanking everyone that signed the petition. It’s just fantastic that they go out of their way to show appreciation and make everyone who signs feel special.

So, thanks for everyone involved in this, and I just know you’ll reach your goal of getting David in!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist and author.  Her books “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and “Love Cats” are available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

David Cassidy Concert, Manalapan, New Jersey

Published June 21, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7815David Cassidy

Hooray that the rain held out! My husband and I ventured out to Manalapan and saw David Cassidy perform (for the second time).

I was a few years too young to go Cassidy Crazy during the Partridge Family years, but I tapped into their greatness in the early 1990s when I was in my late 20s/early 30s. The songs are just perfect and David has a beautiful voice. He shared that he had to get an operation for lymph nodes, but he still sounded like he did as a teenager and delivered a five-star performance.

What I love best about his live performances is that he’s not only a great talent (the first time we saw him, he got behind the drum kit) he’s a heartfelt story teller. If you read his book, “C’mon Get Happy” you can feel like you’re right there with him, listening to his tales. His honesty gives you chills. It’s the same when he’s up on stage. He speaks to his audience as if we’re good friends. And he’s a music fan too! This go-’round we got to hear him speak fondly of his father, his family, John Lennon, Davy Jones and B.B. King and pay tribute in song: B.B. King “B.B. King Blues” and Cole Porter “Night and Day,” Davy Jones “Daydream Believer,” as well as John Lennon “In My Life.” And of course all the Partridge Family hits: “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted,” “Cherish,” “I Think I Love You,” “I’ll Meet You Halfway,” and more.

A pleasant surprise was Jax, from American Idol, warmed up the show! She was one of my favorites of 2015 and did her signature tune, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” She was absolutely lovely and a positive spirit. After her performance she was signing autographs for the crowd and I even saw her holding a little girl. (I usually like to meet music artists, but due to the extremely humid weather, I wasn’t feeling 100 percent up to par, so I didn’t make an effort to meet her or David Cassidy).

Interesting side note, both Jax and Cassidy are from New Jersey. Before moving to California, David Cassidy lived in West Orange. My husband and I visited his home (his book had the address in it) and took photos a few years back.

SAM_7822David Cassidy’s set list

SAM_7793Barefoot me, in front of the welcome truck — cute Partridge Family tribute!

SAM_7788Beautiful Jax, from American Idol

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist and author.  Her books “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and “Love Cats” are available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Get The Plasmatics into the Long Island Hall of Fame!

Published June 19, 2015 by Maryanne

Meet_PlasmaticsAThe Plasmatics

When I was 17, in 1981, I discovered an outrageous punk rock band, full of super high speed energy and stage theatrics. And the music was so emotional, it touched you deep in your soul.

I first met them in a local record store. The drummer Stu Deutsch put me on the guest list for the show at a NJ niteclub called “Hole in the Wall.”

It was really something to see. The lead singer Wendy O. Williams was onstage, half-nude with black electrical tape covering her nipples, underwear and shaving cream all over her body.

The lead guitarist, Richie Stotts had a blue mohawk and dressed in a nurse’s uniform. He played so hard, this is what his picks ended up looking like:

SAM_1485Richie, sorry I spelled your name wrong, I was only 17!

Jean Beauvoir was the bassist, a black man with a snow white mohawk. And Wes Beech on rhythm guitar.

That original line-up was all from Long Island, New York. I am trying to get them into the Long Island Hall of Fame via Face Book (https://www.facebook.com/groups/701821216542687/). That is the line-up I saw quite a few times before original drummer Stu Deutsch left the band. And even as young as 17, I knew some of the magic had gone when he did. The band just didn’t sound quite right anymore and I stopped going to their shows.

At 17, I had finished my third year of music theory in high school and was able to see that The Plasmatics were so much more than a stage show.

Listen to the break halfway through “Sometimes I” and tell me it doesn’t hit the spot.

You can’t deny this is a moving pop song!

This band had so much musical talent that was shadowed by their theatrics and Wendy O’s sex symbolism. Though their theatrics are what made them so legendary that you have generations of new followers.

But like it was back in the day, you have those who loved the music and believe in everything Wendy O. stood for. She was a feminist ages before her time … so much so that she had to kill herself because the world wasn’t ready for her yet. In her suicide note she wrote that she didn’t feel she fit in society as an older woman. That was in 1998. Today older women are KILLING IT! We are ruling the world!! And we gotta admit, Wendy paved the way for us! Thank you Wendy!

There’s a video of Wendy O. on a talk show that was promoting Mrs. Fields cookies. Wendy spoke up about the amount of sugar in the cookies and ended up getting kicked off the show. She was a huge health food advocate and ended up on the cover of Vegetarian Times.

Sadly, I see on Plasmatics Face Book groups, that most people don’t get the depth of this band. It’s just “punk as fuck” to them and that’s as far as it goes. They don’t even know the names of the band members. Nor do they care to read a book by a journalist who was there, up front, first hand, my book: “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

It’s like I wrote in my book, about going to the shows and being up front and really digging the music, while other “fans” were just there to get a glimpse of Wendy’s nude body or see her trash a Cadillac. No one quite got the message … that they were anti-materialists. If Wendy were around today she’d be trashing SUVs and iPhones.

The reason Wendy cut her beautiful long blonde hair into a mohawk was that she didn’t want to be seen as a “Barbie Doll.” Yet, underneath all that stage persona, when you saw her on talk shows you saw an undeniable softness. Whenever I met her, as a teenager, I was so afraid she was going to be mean to me, like the bullies in school where. But, no, Wendy and the rest of the band were always nice and respectable to their fans.

When I was writing “Guest List” I was lucky to get back in touch with Stu Deutsch and equally as lucky to have had him endorse my book and do a promotional signing with me at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown last year: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/guest-list-book-signing-at-man-cave-in-bordentown/

SAM_6195Stu Deutsch, Me, Randy Now (press taking photograph!)

This is why it’s so important to get this band into the Long Island Hall of Fame. They are not only great talents (in 1980 they were featured on so many talk shows, including the Tom Synder Show and Fridays — a variety show like Saturday Night Live) but they were good to their fans!

One night my friends and I trekked out to a show that we had to take a train and a bus to get to. I forgot where it was, I have to look it up in my diary. But we missed the show. It was a transitional time for rock music. Shows used to start after midnight and things were changing, bands were going on earlier. Anyway, Richie Stotts came out to talk to us. He felt bad that we missed the show.

I can go on and on about stories like this from The Plasmatics. At the height of their success, they remained true to the people who put them there. The Plasmatics were more than a stage show, they were an experience.

So if you’re a REAL FAN, do your part and help get the ORIGINAL Plasmatics into the Long Island Hall of Fame:

Contact:

Jeffrey James
Chair, LIMHoF

Jeffrey James Arts Consulting
4Tay Records & ClassicalCDs.net
45 Grant Avenue
Farmingdale, NY 11735 USA
Tel: 516-586-3433
E-mail: jamesarts@att.net
Website: http://www.jamesarts.com
JamesArts Radio: http://songza.com/listen/jj-radio

INFO on ORIGINAL PLASMATICS

THE PLASMATICS (1978-1983) were an internationally recognized, notorious band from New York, with strong ties to Long Island (as specified below). Their world concert tours included numerous venues on Long Island: The Calderone Theater in Hempstead, where a red ford mustang was blown up on stage; My Father’s Place in Roslyn, where the audience would dress up like the band members at their traditional Halloween shows; The Malibu in Long Beach, and Speaks in Island Park.

Original Members:

Wendy O. Williams, vocalist. Outrageous lead vocalist, Williams sang and carried out theatrical stunts onstage, such as blowing up equipment and chain sawing guitars. Williams was known as “the queen of shock rock” and is considered the most controversial, radical female singer of her time. She sported a Mohawk haircut and performed nearly nude. In 1985 she was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance category during the height of her popularity as a solo artist. Williams died of a self-inflicted gunshot, April, 1998 in Stoors, Connecticut. Williams was born and raised in upstate New York.

Richard Stotts, lead guitarist and main songwriter. Stotts was with The Plasmatics since the band’s inception in May 1978 until he left in 1983. He was born and raised in Oceanside, Long Island and has resided in Brooklyn, New York for many years. Stotts was known for his wild guitar style on his Flying Vs along with his flamboyant stage outfits and blue Mohawk that topped his 6’7’’ frame.

Stu Deutsch, drummer. Deutsch was with The Plasmatics since the band’s inception in May 1978 until he left in April 1981. He was raised in the Flushing, Whitestone section of Queens, New York where he went to Flushing High School and Queens College; graduating shortly before joining The Plasmatics. He has lived in Nassau County since then.

Jean Beauvoir, bassist and songwriter. Beauvoir was with The Plasmatics until in the summer of 1981. He was raised and has lived in various Long Island Towns throughout his early days, where he attended Sachem High School. He continued to live on Long Island throughout his time in The Plasmatics. Beauvoir replaced Chosei Funahara of Japan, who appeared on early independent EPs. This was shortly after Wes Beech also entered the picture.

Wes Beech, rhythm guitarist and songwriter. Beech joined the band approximately one year after its inception. Wes was born and raised in Freeport, Long Island and lived there throughout his Plasmatic tenure.