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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

 

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

SAM_7520

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!)

“On the Guest List” PUBLISHED!

Published February 6, 2014 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4Cover design by Darlene Foster

back cover proof 2

I did it! “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is now published.

You can purchase directly from my publisher, Next Century: http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

Or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

I’m super duper excited and even more happy because of all the support I received along the way.

I’m booked to be on a few radio shows. The release party is still in the planning stages.

Yay!

“On the Guest List” will be released later this month and sold on Amazon!

Published January 8, 2014 by Maryanne

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

Well, the time has finally arrived! I found a publisher I am excited to be working with and “On the Guest List” will be released and sold on Amazon later this month (as a book only, I am not into Kindle, as to keep with the retro groove of the book and adventures in it!)

People are asking me about book release parties and author expos, etc. Not sure if that’s my scene as I view “On the Guest List” as more of a work of art, than a book, as it’s not coordinated by chapters, but by song titles. Some gave advice along the way, but I disregarded that and went with my heart. I am so happy I did so.

That said, I highly doubt I’ll be on the author’s circuit schmoozing and selling. “On the Guest List” is my precious muse and as Sid Vicious once said, “I did it my way.” And I will continue to do it “my way” thinking out of the box and coming up with ideas not to sell the most books, but to touch the most people who will connect with the book, no matter how big or small that circle is. Not to mention, there’s the whole anti-bullying angle, so I highly look forward to lecturing in schools and conventions about anti-bullying, as I do want to give back to the community as much as possible.

Like so many other generous people, I want to “save the world.” And if my book helps prevent JUST ONE bullied child from committing suicide, my work is done.

What I am thrilled about will be selling my books at Resintopia (http://www.resintopia.com/)  later this year, supporting my good friend Vin Bordogna who is the CEO and founder of the operation. When good people work together, nothing but good comes out of it — and that excites me to no end.

Enjoy the back cover pictured below.. This is the first time I posted it on this blog. Darlene Foster (http://www.darlenefoster.com/) went above and beyond the call of duty. And I’m honored beyond belief that I was able to score such positive endorsements from people whose work I’ve admired throughout my life!

Well, count down … it’s only a matter of weeks now!

back cover proof 2

“On the Guest List” Sneak Preview Book Cover!

Published November 15, 2013 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4(Cover Design by Darlene Foster, photo by Ed O’Brien)

Hello All!

I am absolutely thrilled by all the hard work Darlene Foster (www.darlenefoster.com) did in putting together the cover for my upcoming book, “On the Guest List.”

She was truly an asset to my vision and went above and beyond my expectations.

It’s such a blessing to have such creative people involved in my vision.

The next several months I’ll be poking around seeking the perfect self-publishing company and plan on having my book out by Spring 2014.

I’ve hired a couple promoters and check out my Face Book page – I’m thrilled by all the positive comments! https://www.facebook.com/maryanne.christianomistretta.1

So, moving along as planned!

CBGBs Movie

Published November 8, 2013 by Maryanne

CBGB's movieI was there … in later years

I finally got to see the CBGBs movie (see my other blog about the nightmare of not being able to see it in the theater a few weeks ago): (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/cbgb-could-be-good-but-movie/)

After a friend told me it was On Demand, I just couldn’t start my day without watching it. Mainly because my friend John Holmstrom had a major role in it. He’s the creator of Punk Magazine and was played brilliantly by Josh Zuckerman. In fact, it was like the Punk magazine story was the official sidebar to the CBGBs story. And why not? Without writers and photographers, there is no story! Congrats to Holmstrom for finally getting his due — what an inspiration!

The movie is fast moving. The thing I love best about it, is that even though all of us punk rock fans know how the movie ends (with Hilly Kristal’s club becoming a success story), it was done so well that I found myself getting all goose-bumpy as I cheered him on — hoping the underdog would win, I got so lost in the movie I nearly forgot that in the end he does!

Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) and Cheetah Chrome (Rupert Grint) were my favorite characters. They were great to watch and their talent was phenomenal. They both were genuine with absolutely no over-acting (which is always a huge pet peeve of mine when watching movies or television).

The sound track was fantastic. They picked out the best songs from the bands that played there. I was so happy “Psycho Killer” was the Talking Heads featured song, and that they dug out “X-Offender” by Blondie.

When Patti Smith (Mickey Sumner) performs, they are out of synch with the music time line as she is doing her big hit with Bruce Springsteen, “Because the Night,” and that came out later, in 1979. BUT — the way it’s filmed, it’s more like a dream-like sequence, it doesn’t seem as if Smith is at CBGBs which allows the viewers (who know better) to imagine that Smith may even be daydreaming about the bigger and better things to come. So, bravo on that! (And I think Mickey Sumner pulled Patti off very well.)

Classic scenes include: when Cheetah Chrome (Rupert Grint) drops his pants in the middle of CBGBs to show Genya Raven (played by Stana Katic) he’s a true redhead; John Holmstrom (Josh Zuckerman) and Mary Harron (Ahna O’Reilly)  interviewing Lou Reed; and Hilly telling his daughter he was keeping all this CBGBs money in the freezer at his apartment. Good stuff!

Sweet side note, my friend Shel Stewart’s band Dorian Zero getting a mention! Go Shel!

My only disappointment was the Stiv Bators character, Justin Bartha, although Stiv’s boots were tough to fill as he was the coolest rock star ever to exist on this planet. Good try for being amazing enough to score the role, but not even close. It’s okay though, that was a tough one. Regardless, I have nothing bad to say about this movie. It’s a “right up there” bio-pic along with other great ones such as “The People Vs. Larry Flynt,” Man on the Moon” and “Walk the Line.”

I look forward to watching it again — tonite!

Oh, and about the bathroom — yes, it’s true the bathroom at CBGBs was absolutely disgusting but I must say, the bathroom at The World was equally horrific.

Whatever Happened to Angelyne, the Billboard Queen?

Published January 27, 2013 by Maryanne

Angelina billboardSunset Boulevard billboard

Yesterday I was in one of those “Whatever Happened To?” modes and was thinking about Angelyne, the billboard queen of the 1980s who became a Hollywood icon by having a billboard of herself.

Her life was pretty mysterious and you can’t find too much information via Google.

She came from out of nowhere but did a few music videos (really good, like a cross between Blondie and Missing Persons and Berlin) and cameo appearances in movies, most famous, “Earth Girls are Easy.” But then she also did some low budget films in the 1970s. She also sang in a band called Baby Blue.

Angelyne didn’t have a rich husband who paid for these billboards, she was single and said the money came from investors. She was also a candidate in a 2003 California recall election.

No one knows the  real age of this eccentric lady. In some recent photos she appears elderly with a ton of plastic surgery and make-up, but according to a Los Angeles register of voters list, which only has her first name, it said she was 44 in 2007, which doesn’t make sense considering that she was making films in the 1970s and was already an adult.

In 1996, The Neurotic Ousiders played tribute to her with their song, Angelina. I knew who they were singing about immediately!

And in 2012, her most famous billboard was used in the movie, “Rock of Ages.”

angelyne-2Angelyne in recent years, still driving her pink Corvette, with vanity license plate of her name

If you “Google” you’ll find so many cool things about Angelyne and discover that she has an amazing fan base. She’s often seen in Hollywood, driving her corvette. She’ll let fans take a picture if they purchase one of her t-shirts, for a mere $20, which she keeps in her trunk.

I think she’s kinda cute and endearing.

 Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513