British Invasion

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Rockin’ in Atlanta

Published October 21, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF0512Atlanta, Georgia (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Some time ago I wrote that after nine years of being self-employed, I started working in the editorial department at a magazine. That said, I went on my first business trip with the company. My days were very full, but I had free nights. Being the music lover I am, the first night I had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (now I’ve been to three — Atlanta, NYC, and Atlantic City).

DSCF0521Iggy Pop’s leather at Hard Rock Cafe

Being a big Iggy fan (more so for his solo efforts than The Stooges), seeing his leather was a notable for me. Other great items were outfits by Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks, and Steven Tyler, plus a Led Zep concert ticket that never happened because of the death of John Bonham.


Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone at City Winery, Atlanta

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Now, before I even got on the plane, I had it in my head that I was going to see Peter Noone at the City Winery, Atlanta. This was about the 6th time I saw him and Noone just keeps getting better and better. He did all his hits: “Dandy” “No Milk Today” “Something Good” “Listen People” “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” “Henry the 8th” and “There’s a Kind of Hush.” And hits by many others, plus imitations of Johnny Cash and Mick Jagger, because in addition to great music, Noone is a very funny guy. He makes his way into the audience a few times, shaking hands and taking photographs with fans. His energy is electrifying! The place was jam-packed and everyone was having a blast.

I gave Mr. Noone several standing ovations throughout his performance; and he even shook my hand during the show.

After the performance, fans were lined up to meet and greet. I opted out because my jet lag was so bad I was seeing blurry (without even drinking alcoholic beverages!)

Nevertheless, it’s always fun to see a live show when you’re out of your area! I wonder if I was the only Jersey Girl in the audience that night?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a full-time associate editor; and a three-time author. Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” (which has a rock ‘n’ roll theme) is available at Amazon:



Herman’s Hermits/Gary Lewis and The Playboys Show 9-9-2016

Published September 10, 2016 by Maryanne


Peter Noone autographed album to me and my husband

A super fabulous show was put on last night at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. (Note, while I love the shows that are put on at this venue, I am truly disgusted with PNC Bank Arts Center. The workers there behave like ex-cons pushing their weight around and yelling at people, telling them not to dance. Hello!!!!! This was an “oldies” show and most of the people there were seniors; this was not a Marilyn Manson concert — no need for the over-obsessive “security”!! Imagine such behavior from so-called professionals. And at the end of the show, I was innocently waiting at a table in the concession area while my husband was in the bathroom. All the lights were still on, which meant that it was still OPEN. One ugly bitch who worked there told me that I had to LEAVE. She was completely out of line! Even my husband, who is the most mellow person on the planet was pissed about her attitude towards me. SHAME ON PNC BANK ARTS CENTER!) 

But, back to the show, hosted by radio DJ favorite, Cousin Brucie, who always does a great job as emcee to these shows each year. The Cousin Brucie theme song was done by The Four Seasons and was played during Cousin Brucie’s time onstage.

First up was Gary Lewis and the Playboys! Gary Lewis is the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, who is now 90-years-old. The band was excellent. They did their hits, plus hits from other artists of the 1960s. Interesting side note “This Diamond Ring” was co-written by the late Irwin Levine who was a NJ resident.

Gary Lewis is 70-years-old and looked incredible. He was very high-energy, as was the rest of the band.

Lewis opened up with Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon’s “Palisades Park” and did such a great job, he seemed to own it.

It was one great hit after another and my absolute favorite song was “Green Grass.”

Next up was Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. This was the third time I saw Peter Noone perform and the best of all! Noone was incredibly entertaining doing a comedy routine in-between songs, imitating Mick Jagger and Johnny Cash (which was incredible). He also joked a lot about New Jersey.  It’s wild that he knows our area so well, making jokes about Sussex County, the Newark Airport, Hackensack and so on. He had the audience in stitches.

My favorite songs of the set were “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “There’s a Kind of Hush.”

Peter Noone still sounded like a teenager — and ran around the stadium like a teenager, shaking hands with fans. I shook his hand twice during the show and once afterwards when my husband and I met him after the show. We scored the “Blaze” album which Noone autographed for us.

It was an honor meeting an artist I listened to when I was a little girl — “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” on a 45-RPM record. In the early 1970s I was only 9-years-old and had a much younger cousin who was wise beyond her years. She said that song was “sad.” I never thought of it as being sad at the time, I just loved the melody. Then last night, listening as an older woman, it choked me up a bit — yes, it is a beautiful, sad song. ❤

For more information on Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, visit:

For more information on Gary Lewis visit: 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available in paperback only on Amazon:

The British Invaded Mendham on July Fourth Weekend

Published August 3, 2016 by Maryanne

carnaby streetCarnaby Street

This article originally appeared in the Mendham News. 

The British Invaded Mendham on July Fourth Weekend

By Maryanne Christiano Mistretta

It was the 1960s British Invasion all over again Sunday, June 3, when New Jersey rock outfit Carnaby Street performed at the Borough Park Gazebo in Mendham. Over 200 people, of all ages, and all areas, gathered together to enjoy Mendham’s picturesque park setting.

The band executed spot-on recollections of British artists such as Herman’s Hermits “Something Good,” The Zombies “Time of the Season,” The Kinks “Well Respected Man,” The Rolling Stones, “Out of Time,” and an epic rendition of The Who’s “See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You” which had about a dozen happy kids dancing and doing gymnastics on the well groomed lawn in front of the pergola.

After a 90 minute set, Carnaby Street ended the show with a magnificent tribute of Simon and Garfunkle’s “America” in honor of Independence Day.

“That was my favorite,” said 5-year-old Fiona Carty, enthusiastically. “It made me feel good.”

Ten-year-old Lexie Hammel added, “That was my favorite too. I liked the music and it was fun to dance.”

After the show, excitable children ran to the stage asking the band members for autographs. But this is nothing new to Carnaby Street singer and guitarist, Chris Roselle, of Bordentown, who has been playing professionally since 1982, right after he graduated high school.

His first band was The Characters. “We played in New Jersey doing covers then went to all originals,” said Roselle. “We played the Dirt Club and were on the original circuit.”

In 1986 The Characters had an opportunity to perform at the 20th Anniversary Monkees Convention, which coincided with The Monkees reunion tour – which helped skyrocket The Characters popularity. The Characters also cut an album with Chip Douglas from The Turtles, who also produced The Monkees.

Roselle officially stayed with The Characters, fronted and led by Danny Solazzi, until 1987. Today The Characters still perform regularly on the NJ club circuit, as well as at The Monkees Conventions and other retro conventions such as The Brady Bunch conventions. On occasion Roselle will resume his original post in the band to help out.

In addition to playing lead guitar/vocals in Carnaby Street, Roselle also plays lead guitar and sings with Rave On, a Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison tribute band.

Carnaby Street has been around since 1995, with Roselle joining the following year. The band is based around the British Invasion music and other artists of the 1960s. “It’s just a love for that music,” Roselle said.

In addition to Roselle, Carnaby Street is made up of Dino DiMartino of Madison, on drums and vocals; and Pete Bremy of Stanhope, on bass guitar and vocals. Chris Breetveld of Maplewood was the substitute bassist for Sunday night’s show.

Roselle’s love for music began as a child. He started out listening to old school country music like Johnny Cash and Buck Owens. “My intro to music was what my father was listening to,” he said. “Then I found Elvis and The Beatles.”

He got his first guitar at 12 and started playing with guys in the neighborhood doing Beatles songs. “Not singing,” Roselle said. “Learning the instruments.”

Roselle was raised in a musical family. His father played guitar and his mother played piano. But Roselle was the only one that took it to a professional level.

Though Roselle put out a solo project 10 years ago, he feels he’s better at interpreting other people’s songs rather than writing his own. He said, “Johnny Rivers was notorious for that; Elvis too. Not to put me on those guys’ levels. I’m not a songwriter, that’s all.”

He continued, “My purpose of doing Carnaby Street and Rave On – this is my way of carrying the torch. Even though we did a CD of Roy Orbison, I want people to listen to the original songs.”

For more information on Carnaby Street visit:

For more information on Mendham community events visit:

 Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.” Her book is available on Amazon: