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Blinded by The Light = BEST MOVIE, EVER!

Published August 25, 2019 by Maryanne

Sarfraz ManzoorSarfraz Manzoor

First off, let me just say this is not a movie review. It’s more of a personal account of why I thought “Blinded by the Light” was the best movie I ever saw in my entire life!

I went in last night, thinking it was another beautiful date night with my husband. From the trailers, I knew the movie was going to be fun, and funny. Little did I know how much depth it was going to have, and that it was based on a true story.

While many of us will never know the tragedy of prejudice, which brought tears to my eyes, many of us growing up in the 1980s know the struggle between child/young teen and parents who don’t understand our hopes and dreams. This was a time when there was still a great generation gap between parent and teenager. (Unlike today when parents are best friends with their kids).

When Sarfraz’s father ripped up his Bruce Springsteen tickets, a part of my heart was ripped out. I had a similar experience when my mother ripped up my beloved Queen posters when she was mad at me. That happened when I was 12, and all these years later, it still cuts me like a knife, seeing my young mom standing on my bed tearing down what was to me, my life. I wanted to die right then and there.

Like Sarfraz, I started writing poetry as a teenager, as well as song lyrics I hoped friends from bands would use. (One friend said he’d pay me $100 to use one line. I said, “You could have it for free as long as I could write more songs for you.” That never happened. And another friend stole my lyrics. I realized it later while I was sitting at a bar in a nightclub and I heard my lyric being sung onstage. I was devastated. When I confronted him, he said, “It was just one line.” But it was a great line.) The struggle was real.

You always see movies about how music inspires aspiring musicians to start a band. But this just may be the first and only movie about how music inspires a young journalist.

Before I became a professional journalist, I began reading my poetry to an audience. A girl wanted to interview me for a fanzine. She shamed me by putting every “um” and “uh” I said during the interview. (And later she wondered why I didn’t compliment her on the interview. Well, duh!)

When she asked who inspired me, I rattled off the names of musicians and bands. She insisted I tell her which WRITERS inspired me. Okay, Patti Smith and Jim Morrison wrote poetry, so AGAIN, I tell her about musician who inspired me. She didn’t get it. I could have said e.e. cummings, whose work I carried around with me in my wallet. But, no, I was stubborn and I wanted anyone reading the fanzine to KNOW I was inspired by music. ….And still am. I need music like I need oxygen.

Music fans, whether it’s Bruce Springsteen or not, can relate to “Blinded By the Light” replicating that intense feeling of discovering music that you relate to for the first time and how it can get you moving. Whether it’s writing, starting a band or just getting out! Like a few weeks ago when I first discovered the music of Sierra Ferrell and insisted that my husband take a trip with me to see her in Kingston, N.Y. because, I said, “She’s going to get really big and we may someday regret seeing her in small club.” So we went, and had a fantastic time. She’s the best thing in music since Amy Winehouse! Well guess what? She’s now signed to Rounder Records!

I just ordered Sarfraz Manzoor’s book, “Greetings from Bury Park.” I need to support this author who wrote such an intense account of his life. Like his quest to meet Springsteen, I am now on a quest to meet Sarfraz Manzoor. Just a few weeks ago both he and Bruce Springsteen were in New Jersey for the premiere of the movie!

I missed it. And of course I would. I’m not a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I only have one album, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” which is his best! But perhaps now I may explore more of his music. Ain’t that the way it goes? But more so, I want to explore Sarfraz Manzoor. After all, we authors have to support each other! (Especially authors who are moved by music).

Tell me, readers, how does music inspire you? 

Blinded by the Light: https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/blinded-light

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

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

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“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

 

Freddie Mercury, Bullied as a Young Boy

Published July 3, 2019 by Maryanne

Freddie Mercury as a BoyFarrokh Bulsara (photo found via Google Search)

The other night, my husband and I once again went to see our favorite Queen tribute band, Almost Queen (http://www.almostqueen.com/). Note that they have been around long before the successful Bohemian Rhapsody film. That said, if you’re a true Queen fan who loves the deep tracks, as well as the hits, be sure to check them out, as you will definitely hear some rare gems.

Anyway, before the show, I thought about how I’ve heard the stories of Freddie Mercury being bullied as a young boy because of his overbite. He was called a donkey by school bullies.

But did that stop him from becoming Freddie Mercury? Absolutely not.

If you’re having a hard time and being bullied, perhaps you have that special something that you can bring to the table by being YOUnique!

Check out my new video, where I speak about Almost Queen, Freddie Mercury, and how being bullied didn’t stop him from becoming a household name! (And if you like it, give me a thumbs up).

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“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

Shape Shop ‘Angel’ Tours with Living Legend Punky Meadows

Published March 24, 2017 by Maryanne

Barbara Serbes

Here’s an article I wrote about Asbury Park Shape Shop owner, Barbara Serbes, touring as back-up singer with Punky Meadows: http://www.shapeshopasburypark.com/single-post/2017/03/20/Shape-Shop-%E2%80%98Angel%E2%80%99-Tours-with-Living-Legend-Punky-Meadows

Empty Hearts and The Dough Boys at Wonder Bar (Asbury Park)

Published May 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7515The Empty Hearts

My husband and I had the most fabulous time at the Wonder Bar, Asbury Park seeing The Doughboys http://www.thedoughboysnj.com/ and The Empty Hearts http://theemptyhearts.com/

We missed most of The Doughboys set but what we saw was phenomenal! This was the second time we saw them and they are just off the hook. They’re a New Jersey garage rock band and have been around since the 1960s.

Next up were The Empty Hearts — my new favorite band, power pop at it’s finest, as you have the legendary Elliot Easton (guitarist from The Cars), Clem Burke (Blondie drummer), Wally Palmer (of The Romantics) on vocals and guitar and harmonica, and Andy Babiuk (of The Chesterfield Kings) on bass (and he broke a string! Did you ever see a bassist break a string before? Those strings are THICK!).

They played every song from their CD and also Cars, Blondie and Romantics songs. We were so lucky to get right in front of the stage, but unfortunate for the band, the place wasn’t packed. So sad, it was the greatest show everyone missed.

After the show they signed autographs. I grabbed their set list and got that signed. Enjoy my pictures! (All taken by my husband, Dennis. Please do not swipe!)

SAM_7491Power Pop Guitar Legend ELLIOT EASTON!

SAM_7504Clem Burke

SAM_7507Wally Palmer (left) and Andy Babiuk

SAM_7516Elliot’s guitar!

SAM_7514Wally’s guitar and Andy’s bass

SAM_7506Elliot’s pedals!

SAM_7517Andy, Me, Elliot

SAM_7518Clem Burke

SAM_7519Wally

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SAM_7524Set List

They only did ONE encore, so we didn’t get to hear the last two songs. Not fair.

I almost cried during “Just What I Needed.” ❤

SAM_7486Lighting setting is off, but I wanted to show my cute outfit

(before I got so sweaty from all that jumping around!)

Parlor Gallery Art Show, Asbury Park, 11-16-13

Published November 17, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2833Artist Darlene Foster and her work (on left)

OTHER ART INCLUDED:

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This was an amazing exhibit, for the names of artists, their pieces and prices, please visit the website, as this link will take you directly to the current exhibit: http://www.parlor-gallery.com/?page_id=1053

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!

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Embracing the Jersey Shore

Published November 2, 2012 by Maryanne

Spring Lake

My husband Dennis and I, Manasquan, 2011

In the water at Belmar — OCTOBER 2007, unusually warm October day

The night we met Dick Dale at Surf ClubWith my wonderful friend Darlene, Asbury Park photo booth, 2010

Asbury Park, with my friend Diane, maybe 1999 or 2000, before it was renovated

Our Wedding Day, Nov. 9, 2011, with Neptune County Mayor Randy Bishop

Once the electricity turned on in our home last night, my husband and I spent an unusual amount of time on the internet checking out all the damage and devastation to the Jersey Shore. I woke up this morning thinking that even though I’ve traveled all over the United States and have been to the Bahamas twice, the Jersey Shore will always be my favorite place in the world. It’s just absolutely magical in ways that an outsider can’t even imagine.

I’ve always pitied the ignorance of people who didn’t “get it” or just made up their mind to hate New Jersey from the little they saw on television, or perhaps a brief ride along the Parkway, not even exploring by getting off the Parkway!

Two years ago I brought a NYC friend to Spring Lake and he was raving about it and loved it more than what he had in New York. I love “SHOWING” people how wrong they were.

And I look forward to the day when New Jersey rebuilds itself and I can continue to prove people wrong!

As a child, my uncle Johnny had a summer bungalow in Seaside Heights and while I loved the beach, it was always the most fun going on the boardwalk at night. During the day I’d beg my grandmother to take me to the boardwalk, but she’d insist, “Wait ’til tonight … when it’s all lit up.” That is when my love affair with the boardwalk began.

As a teenager in early 1980s Seaside Heights was just as hip as New York City because it was where you could find all the punk rockers and even great punk rock clothes. For a brief period, Seaside Heights got a little dingy, but it always made a comeback. Some nights my family would take a ride down just for the night, to have dinner on the boardwalk and then go on rides. My sister and I always got free tickets to go on rides because we were cute girls. The guys who ran the rides just handed us a ton of tickets to use. We never were able to use them all so we always gave them away to little kids.

I’ve explored so many of the shores over the years: Point Pleasant, Neptune, Manasquan, Belmar, Keansburg, Ocean, Spring Lake, Cape May, Tom’s River, Brick, Sandy Hook, Long Beach Island/Surf City. It was all good. But my all time favorite Jersey shore was — and always will be Wildwood.

The Jersey Shore was the grand back drop to my husband and I falling in love. In the beginning, we went to the shore every chance we got. We started dating November 9, 2005 and that winter we were at the shore quite a bit. The shore was always so amazing off season. It was fun trying to scout out a place that was open.

We spent our first New Year’s Eve in Cape May. I remember shortly after midnight, running on the beach to kiss under the massive amount of stars. It was like being in a movie.

Other shore highlights in our romance include:

* The first time we met legendary Dick Dale at Joey Harrison’s Surf Club (which now no longer exists due to Hurricane Sandy).

* Going to see 105.5 DJ Joe Henry’s talent show on Sunday nights on the Beach in Seaside. Some of the young New Jersey talent blew away what you see on American Idol!

* Getting caught in a minor storm one night. It was sexy and romantic.

* Reading 1970s Circus magazines under the blanket on the beach before the official season began.

* Being able to walk a mile into the ocean thanks to a very long pier in Keansburg.

* The one October in 2007 when it was an unusually warm day and I got to go in the water.

* Our second year together when we first stayed at the Starlux in Wildwood. It was January and we decided to use the outdoor hot tub. It started snowing and we were catching snowflakes with our tongue. Then we get out an hour later and there was a sheet of ice over our towels! We just RAN upstairs to our room to get warm. It was hilarious.

* And of course, getting married in Neptune Township, November 9, 2011 by the Mayor of Neptune, Randy Bishop, who gave a most heartfelt ceremony; a day I will never forget … I now learned what “walking on air” meant — that is what you really do feel like when you are so in love and end up with the person of your dreams!

So many memories … as I’m sure so many people have … that would be book worthy.

I’ll never forget about 10 years ago, my friend Diane and I were down in Asbury Park to see free-form radio DJ Glen Jones. Diane commented to me, “Mare, wouldn’t it be great if Asbury Park could be built up again?” And sure enough, Asbury Park made a comeback. It became one of my favorite places with a bar at the beach (this bar even had beds to lay down on!) and a Boardwalk mall filled with art and clothing stores. Over the past few years, Asbury Park was becoming one of my favorite places to spend a Saturday with a girlfriend. So sad that what was refurnished and built up so beautifully is now destroyed.

Looking back to another horrific tragedy many years ago, it was just few days after 9/11 I went into New York City to “make peace” with it. I didn’t want to be scared. I didn’t want to let the terrorists win. And guess what? Hurricane Sandy isn’t going to win either. As soon as I get a chance, when getting gas isn’t such a problem, I will get right back down to the Jersey Shore and own it again! Amongst the devastation, I will find a little restaurant that is open and give them some business. Like I made the most of the power outage, I will make the most of it and enjoy it and do all I can to help others get their life back, while I get mine back.

And once again, New Jersey will prove the “haters” wrong!

Vintage Win!

Published July 11, 2012 by Maryanne

Vintage me! (Photo by Darlene Foster, 2010)

I’m a big fan of vintage clothing and love to shop in thrift stores choosing pieces to add to my personal style which is a mixture of vintage and modern.

So I was THRILLED that I won the book, “Style Me Vintage” by Naomi Thompson by participating in Vintage Living’s contest. (Check out Vintage Living here at Word Press: http://vintagelivingmagazine.wordpress.com/)

The contest was to write about a vintage experience.

My story was that when I was a little girl, I had a Bugs Bunny doll that I loved and took everywhere. One day, in downtown Paterson on Market Street, in the 1960s, I was crossing the street with my beloved Grandmother.

I dropped my bunny in the busy street and my Grandmother stopped traffic in order to get my bunny for me.

Long gone are the 1960s and my bunny.

Or so I thought.

One day I was shopping in a vintage store in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, with my husband, and found the Bugs Bunny doll! It was old and worn and may have even been the same doll my Grandmother got me — you never know!

Of course my husband got me the bunny! Life is GOOD!

And, THANK YOU SO MUCH, VINTAGE LIVING, for the book! I will not only get some super ideas, but it will remind me of my late Grandmother every time I read it! What a blessing!