1990s

All posts tagged 1990s

Why I Won’t Pay Big Money For Concerts

Published February 23, 2020 by Maryanne

Duran Duran concertMy husband and I at a Duran Duran show — FREE! 

I’ve been a music fan as soon as I knew what music was. Music was always playing in my house when I was a kid. And growing up, music was my priority in life. Mind you, I am not a musician; just a huge fan.

Concert going was always important to me. And even back in the day, growing up in an upper middle class family, tickets were overpriced. However, back then, you still had a fighting chance if you got to the mall early in the morning, you could score a front row seat for the regular ticket price before the scalpers got their grubby hands on them.

Then, things changed. You had no choice but to get tickets from scalpers. However, the most I paid to see a big name star, David Bowie, was $150 for 10th row center, during his Serious Moonlight Tour at Madison Square Garden in 1984.

David Bowie set the bar for me; he was worth it. And I subconsciously made a vow that I’d never pay more than $150 for a concert — over 30 years later, I stuck to it. The only other times I shelled out money close was $100 to see The Stones and $75 to see Prince.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen many big name concerts free because they were outdoors. OR, because, lucky, ambitious me, I was a journalist and was guest listed. And I have some friends in the music industry. And I married a musician. And I’m lucky. I’ve won tickets to see some great shows. And, last but not least, let’s not minimize the talent of our own friends who have made their way in the music industry on a smaller scale. Local talent should never be disregarded.

About 15 years ago I reconnected with a music loving friend I knew from high school. We went to many concerts together as teenagers; then a few as adults. She complimented me, saying that I was always up for a good time, and that I always had money to do things. She invited me to go to a concert with her that was well over $200. I declined. I couldn’t see the justification for paying that kind of money to see anyone when I’ve spent a lifetime of going to see music — GOOD MUSIC– for way less.

Here are some examples of great shows I’ve seen over the decades, for free, for winning, for being on the guest list (due to being a journalist or knowing someone), or for a real good deal. (Note: I’m not including concerts where people treated me as a gift).

Check it out….(note, all random off the top of my head, there are TONS more)

Free Outdoor Concerts

Elton John

Patti Smith

1910 Fruitgum Company

The Smithereens

Lou Christie

Tommy James

Gary Puckett

Ian Hunter

NY Dolls

Tom Tom Club

Peter Noone

Nancy Sinatra

The Turtles

Joan Jett

Chuck Berry

The Zombies

Sheila E.

And many, many more!

On The Guest List

Blondie

Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks

The Pixies

The Plasmatics

Diamanda Galas

Duran Duran

Judy Collins

Roger McGuinn (The Byrds)

The Fab Faux

Tommy James

And many, many more!

Tickets I Won

Richard Barone (The Bongos)

Jeffrey Gaines

Rain (Beatles Tribute)

Probably more, but I can’t remember unless I go to my diaries.

(And don’t get me started on tickets I won but couldn’t attend for whatever reason, urgh! Still kicking myself for not going to see the late Hasil Adkins at Maxwell’s in Hoboken!)

Shows I paid $10 or less! 

Sierra Ferrell (upcoming artist, Rounder Records)

Ratt (1980s hair metal band)

Brute Force (Apple Records Recording Artist)

And many, many more!

Maybe I’m blessed, or just spoiled, but with so many great musical acts out there, and so many opportunities to see cheap or free shows, why should I shell out big bucks to ticket agencies? It’s definitely not necessary. Especially since, when you think about it, what goes up eventually must come down. Not to put anyone down–no way, I love these musicians way too much–but it’s just a great fact for us fans that in years to come, one of your favorites that was charging a ton of money in a large venue will perform for much less (or even free) in a smaller venue in years to come. Just a few years ago I saw Cher in a theatre in Maryland for under $40.

What was your favorite cheap or free concert? What was the most you ever spent on a concert? How do you justify it? 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

The 1990s, the Last Romantic Era

Published January 5, 2017 by Maryanne

modeling-outlaw-biker

The 1990s; the last romantic era. We were beautiful but didn’t need Instagram or Facebook to prove it to anyone. We created poetry; a high form of art that people actually got back then. We interpreted lyrics our own way without the use of the internet. We hand-wrote each other letters. We laughed in person and on the telephone. We made our own clothes. We made each other tapes of songs we loved. And they would listen to them. We stood apart from the crowd. We had messy hair and that was a good thing. God bless the last romantic era. When we were really real.

Meet Darlene Foster: “On the Guest List” Cover Designer!

Published March 29, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3813Artist Darlene Foster

I was honored to have lunch with Darlene Foster today! Not only is she the cover designer for my book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” she’s also a very good friend!

Last fall when I was nearing the finishing stages of my book (which is now available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) I gave Darlene a photo of me taken in the mid-1990s by my friend Ed O’Brien at a club called Cake in NYC. I felt the photo truly represented what the book was about, being on the guest list in the punk rock circles. And Darlene truly nailed it — where I was coming from and where I wanted to go with the cover — which received tons of compliments!

Cover proof 4“On the Guest List” cover design by Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster also designed the back cover which includes endorsements for the book and a recent photo of me, taken by my husband last June.

back cover proof 2“On the Guest List” back cover

I’m now writing my second book, which is my first attempt at fiction. And of course I’m going with Darlene once again to do the job! You can check out more of her work here: http://www.darlenefoster.com/

And for all you foodies out there, you can check out the menu of Toast in Montclair: http://toastmontclair.com/

It was absolutely delicious! I had the homemade veggie burger, sweet potato fries and a red velvet cupcake for dessert!

The Smithereens at Duke Island Park, Bridgewater, New Jersey

Published August 25, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2237New Jersey’s legendary Smithereens

Had a wonderful time with my husband at the Smithereens show at Duke Island Park.

A classic 1980s band from Scotch Plains, New Jersey, did many of their songs plus some Beatles songs, a Who song and the Youngbloods.

True musicians, such great talents and Pat DiNizio has such a gorgeous voice.

Current line-up: Pat DiNizio on vocals, rhythm guitar; Jim Babjak, lead guitar and vocals; Severo “The Thrilla” (from Manila) Jornacion on bass (awesome bassist!) and vocals; and Dennis Diken on drums and percussion.

My favorite songs included: “Only a Memory” “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “Blood and Roses.”

The entire show was phenomenal! They were fun, making the audience feel as if you knew them personally, shared great stories on stage. Very cool.

I only have one CD, now we’ll get more, definitely.

Thank you to The Smithereens for performing tonite! Much appreciated — a million times!!

SAM_2238Pat DiNizio

SAM_2239Pat DiNizio and Jim Babjak

So cool, looks like Jim is posing for me!

Pinball Party!

Published April 7, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0497Retro pinball machines

Last night my husband Dennis and I attended a private party at the Silver Ball Museum in Asbury Park, New Jersey (http://silverballmuseum.com/).

We got to play pinball machines from the 1950s to modern times. Truly amazing, the artwork that went into all of them.

SAM_0498From 1968

SAM_0501The King and I

SAM_0517I’m a Pinball Wizard

SAM_0518The ballerina spins around during the game!

SAM_0502

Some Like it Dark

Published January 8, 2013 by Maryanne

Buffalo 66Christina Ricci and Vincent Gallo, “Buffalo 66”

Winter is a perfect time for snuggling up and watching movies. The past two days I checked in with On Demand and watched two of my favorite movies from 1998, “Buffalo 66” and “High Art.”

I highly recommend both, and they are very deep and dark.

“Buffalo 66” is about an ex con who kidnaps a pretty young tap dancer to impress his parents who never cared for him or believed in him. It’s a dark film, but offers dark humor as well. Gallo’s character is a real piece of work and I found myself laughing at him often, especially knowing that he wrote the lines and Ricci has more than once referred to him as the “most handsome man in the world.” This was the first movie I saw with Ricci as an adult and she’s been one of my favorite actresses ever since.

“High Art” starring Ally Sheedy is about a young girl who has a bright future after being made editorial assistant at an art magazine but life changes for her when she falls in love with an artist (Sheedy) who lives in her apartment complex and is very much into the heroin lifestyle. Sheedy was once a famous photographer and now lives off her trust fund and is supported by her mom. The storyline is intense and complex.

What I’ve always loved about indie movies (and foreign films) versus Hollywood is that the endings are unpredictable. This is similar with much older Hollywood films too.

I love a movie that you can get lost in, that gives you the same “can’t put down” effect as a book and I feel that way about both of these movies. I’d give them both a five-star rating and it was great watching them again after 15 years! (“High Art” I think I watched on HBO or Sundance channel back in the day, but I went to the movies in NYC, alone, to see “Buffalo 66.”)

Call Me

Published June 20, 2012 by Maryanne

Me, using an effective tool for friendship  (Photo by Darlene Foster)

I have a friend I’ve known since high school who, for the past few years, does all her communicating online. It wasn’t always like this. I used to call her whenever I needed someone to talk to, and she was there for me. But once Face Book came along, she started this new rule that it was best to communicate to her via email, which irked me to no end and evidently after quite a few miscommunications — via email of course — the friendship ended.

To me, a phone call will always be vastly superior to an email. You can hear the tone of a person’s voice and know immediately if they are happy or sad, if you called at a bad time or if they have exciting news to share. You can hear laughter. You can hear a joke or sarcasm that may not be translated via email. And you can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the touch tone buttons.

People seem to think it’s some sort of status symbol to say they have no time for phone calls, or that they don’t get many phone calls. In the 21st century, a phone call uncool and not something to be used by those who love to keep up with the Joneses.

I don’t know what Joneses these hipsters are keeping up with, but I prefer the Joneses of yesteryear — the Tom Joneses, the Shirley Joneses and the Davy Joneses — the Joneses that were around when it was cool to be on the phone. If a person’s line was busy, that meant he/she was popular.

I was the last person on earth to get an answering machine and in the early 90s I still didn’t have one. People either caught me when I was home, or didn’t get me at all. This was great when I was still single. I actually got letters in the mail from friends and potential boyfriends because they had no other way of getting in touch with me if I wasn’t home to answer the phone.

To this day, I find that so amusing.

The whole concept of emails and texting being a major source of communication just escapes me. I couldn’t imagine being a younger person and using these methods for dating. It takes away the whole mystique of being unavailable.

I remember being a young person and coming home from a night out and my grandmother telling me a certain someone had called while I was out. How exciting!

I feel so sorry for young people who don’t have that grand element of surprise anymore during their dating years. They are missing out, big time. Everything is too easy, which takes away the fun. It’s just human nature that people like a bit of a challenge.

Last year during a slow period with my business I took on a part-time job at a music store for a couple months. The store owner’s son would spend entire nights hanging out at the music store texting a girl he was interested in. It was so pathetic to watch. She obviously wasn’t interested in him and just used the texting tool as a way to kill her boredom because from what he told me she had no life. (And clearly he didn’t either).

I felt bad for the kid, but he made his own bed. He was obviously addicted to this little device that was preventing him from getting out in the world and enjoying life. I wondered if the same girl would spend as much time with this guy had he called her or set up a date to see her in person. Probably not.

I remember being young and telling my grandmother, “Say I’m not home!” when an undesirable person would call. How do you do that with a text? With texts and emails — the punchline is, you’re ALWAYS home. But I guess the younger generation has new concepts of what a loser is and isn’t.

And, think about it, how sexy was it back in the day when you first met someone and he/she wrote their phone number on your hand? In this technology day and age, people are like, “call my cell, then I’ll have your number in there.”

Eww … how dull! And people are missing out on the thrill of touching someone’s arm for the first time as they write their phone number on it. Talked about a missed opportunity!

Call me old fashioned, but I simply love the idea of going through a phone book and calling random friends from a land line. (Note: I don’t call people who only use cells — I do not want to compete with traffic and background noise, and people certainly shouldn’t be talking on their phones while driving!)

It’s so exciting when someone you left a message for calls you back. It’s just so cool that there are still people out there that have courtesy skills — and even cooler that I can call these people friends!

Sometimes while I’m waiting for my husband to come home, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and talk for a half hour or so to my friend Gina or my friend Darlene (who took the photo above) who also lives close-by. Even though I see Gina and Darlene often, it’s still so nice to keep in touch on a regular basis. When we see each other we still have plenty to talk about and laugh about.

What a blessing it is to live during a time when the good things in life are just a phone call away.