Dick Dale

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My Prized Guitar Pick Collection

Published July 7, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1496The late Dee Dee Ramone played bass with this very pick!

As some of you know I’m a major music fan and went to hundreds of shows over the years. And over the years, especially in my younger day, I was always up front at the shows and therefore built up quite a collection of guitar picks from famous guitarists and bassists. Tonite I present to you, from my very own scrap book, some of the more impressive ones!

I saw The Ramones play so many times, and the above is from Dee Dee, the bassist.

SAM_1491From legendary late Johnny Thunders

I was too young to see the original New York Dolls, but I followed Johnny Thunders all over NYC, seeing him perform at least 25 times (the most I’ve seen any performer!)

SAM_1505Steve Jones 

I was too young to see Steve Jones play guitar with the Sex Pistols, but followed him all over NYC and New Jersey when he played with The Professionals a few years later. Amazing guitarist and song writer, great guy too!

SAM_1485Richie Stotts of The Plasmatics

SAM_1494More picks from Richie Stotts, Plasmatics

The Plasmatics were always my favorite live band and it was so easy to get picks from them, as I have six from Richie Stotts. And for years I’ve kept pieces of flower pots that Wendy O. Williams smashed onstage, as well as pieces from the demolished television sets, etc.

I love how banged up Stotts’s picks are! How great is that?

From what I can remember, other picks I have include: Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks, Dick Dale, and Rick Nielson from Cheap Trick.

Funny story about the Cheap Trick pick. It was in the early 1990s when rubber dresses were in vogue. (Remember Pamela Anderson in “Barbed Wire” or Heather Locklear on the cover of Details magazine?) At the time I was young, single, good looking and in excellent shape. So, being in vogue, I had a rubber dress too. Mine was similar to the one Heather Locklear wore on the cover of Details magazine. I was in the front, wearing my rubber dress and Rick Nielson kept trying to get pick in my cleavage! Well, he succeeded and I still have the pick.

Another time, I’ll share set lists! ENJOY!

Happy Birthday Dick Dale!

Published May 4, 2013 by Maryanne

dick-dale-mary-anne-and-dennis-surf-clubDick Dale, Me, Dennis (2007 or 2008?)

At the Surf Club (now demolished thanks to Hurricane Sandy)

Happy Birthday to legendary Dick Dale!

My husband and I make it a point to see him perform whenever he comes to New Jersey. For a few years he was struggling with cancer so he wasn’t touring, but last summer we saw him again. I posted about it on my Maryanne’s Jukebox page: http://maryannesjukebox.wordpress.com/tag/dick-dale/. There are pictures and some video footage, from The Surf Club that no longer exists  thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Here’s his best song ever, “Misirlou” from 1963

Here’s another goodie:

I think Dick is coming around again in August — I can’t wait!

Maryanne’s Best 12 of 2012

Published December 15, 2012 by Maryanne

Me in front of original Batmobile earlier this year

It’s the end of 2012, also the end of my first year as a blogger.

For those who follow me, you may have picked up that “fun” and “positivity” are my middle names.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and I am so blessed that I have my amazing soul mate husband, Dennis; two gorgeous healthy kitties; my friends; a wonderful immediate family as well as in-laws; and all the other wonderful folks in my life; all a part of my big picture, there for me for fun times, as well as being there for me when I need shoulders to cry on or some damn good advice. What a blessing. Thank you all!

With so many special things going on every day, it’s really hard to pick what I feel is best, but I am giving it my best shot and I hope you enjoy my list! Thanks for reading and following!

Love, Maryanne xo

BEST OF 2012

1. Proudest Moment: When I found out The Aquarian Arts Weekly newspaper got into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame — every issue, which means a lot of my writing since I had my own gothic column in 2002 and reviewed CDs for them. Not to mention in 1991 I was a model for a guitar ad! After receiving this news, I felt like I became a part of pop culture history!

2. Creative Project Most Proud of: I am beyond honored to have had the opportunity to work with Scott Schiaffo, actor best known for his role as the Chewlies Man in Kevin Smith’s movie “Clerks.” Scott hired me to edit his poetry book, “Vicious Dogs Attack Me in Sleepless Nights of Summer.” But even better, I wrote the foreword about my long time friendship with Scott.

3. Most Rewarding Work: All year long I was writing for The Paterson Press online. This was a very rewarding experience to me for two reasons. One, I was able to write four articles about the Great Falls; and two, I got to write about so many positive things that kids have been doing for the community and the rewards they have received. Not much could beat the high I get when I am in the midst of it all. Writing will always be my first love and I am blessed to be able to make money doing it. Not to mention all the inspiring people I meet along the way.

4. Favorite Creative Moment: For the past several days I’ve been blogging about “Hounds of Winter” a Christmas studio project courtesy of musical masterminds Tom Corea and Tom DiPaolo. Each year my husband, Dennis, plays bass on several tracks and sometimes guitar too. Each year I go several times to the studio with him and have a blast. Well, this year I got to sing back up on one of the tracks “C’mon, C’mon.” Not a big deal, but a very big deal to me. You see, I’m not a singer. Several years ago I wrote a children’s Christmas song for one of the CDs and I couldn’t even sing my own song! Luckily we had a professional singer sing the song — the way I wanted her too (like Rudolph!) So I was shocked when Tom asked me to sing. Not like it was a big singing job, but it was singing! My husband coached me, tapping my leg when to join in because my sense of timing and rhythm is completely off. But I did it and I am so happy that this little dream of mine came true! It only makes me wonder what other great things can happen in the future!

5. My Most Viewed Blog: According to my stats, hundreds of people have viewed my tribute to Helen Gurley Brown when she died this past summer: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/rip-helen-gurley-brown-feb-18-1922-to-aug-13-2012/

6. Best Concert: I can’t do this to myself! I’ve seen so many fantastic shows this year (Gordon Lightfoot, Smokey Robinson, Dick Dale, Glen Campbell, the original Crickets, The Toys, 1910 Fruitgum Company, to name a few) … no, no, no, I can’t pick one!! But if I was strapped to an electric chair and had to pick one or die, I would have to go with Glen Campbell. Yes, the man has alzheimer’s disease and was playing songs in the wrong key, it was hard to notice unless you are a musician yourself and his audience was so supportive of him, he received standing ovation after standing ovation. He still had the star quality and I was moved beyond belief!

7. Best Song (and comeback): “Stay Away From Downtown” by Redd Kross. Check it out:

8. Best Cover Band: Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute). This band is so freaking amazing I saw them several times over the summer. They are just so on the money. The guitarist plays so well he inspired me to add a few Lindsey Buckingham CDs to my collection. What a terrific treat! Check them out: http://fleetwoodmactribute.com/

9. Best Natural Food: GT’s Chia Kombucha. I am so hooked, I have to have this drink at least once or twice per day.

10. Email of the Year:  Two years ago, 2010, I interviewed fashion icon Oleda Baker for my health column, “Here’s to Your Health.” I absolutely loved talking to her. She was great. But the surprising thing was, she emailed me earlier this year saying how much she loved my interview back in 2010 and wanted to thank me again. In all my years of journalism, I’ve had people thank me in the sweetest ways, but never so many times as Oleda did. She is just a wonderful person, that’s all there is to it! You can read the interview here: http://verona.patch.com/articles/fashion-icon-oleda-baker-shares-her-fountain-of-youth-beauty-secrets

11. Best Radio Show: The Glen Jones Radio Show w/X-Ray Burns. If you live in New Jersey, you can get it at 91.1 WFMU. If you don’t live in the area, you can listen to it on the internet: http://wfmu.org/jones/

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!

Happy Birthday Dick!

Published May 4, 2012 by Maryanne

Dick Dale, Me, and my husband Dennis, Surf Club, circa 2007 or 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the surf guitar legend, Dick Dale! Today he is 75-years-old and still touring!

One of the traditions in our household is to see Dick Dale when he comes to New Jersey every year, which is usually at Joey Harrison’s Surf Club down the shore. For a few years, we missed him because Dick had some struggles with cancer and wasn’t touring. But now he is all well and touring all over the USA!

Dick is a legend. For those old enough, you may remember him in the 1960s surf movies. And for you youngsters, you may best know him for his music being featured in “Pulp Fiction.”

Even in his 70s, Dick is still a hit with the ladies. The first time I saw Dick, I was absolutely shocked at all the young girls in the front row, SCREAMING for him! It was just so damn cute. Some even wore buttons that read, “I love Dick!”

I am always one of the girls in the front (but not young and not screaming). The first time I saw him perform, Dick pat me on the head and gave me his guitar pick.

My husband said, “Pat on the head by a legend!”

Dick is very accessible to his fans. Anyone can meet him, get his autograph and chat with him. Who knows — maybe even hang out with him. (I once overheard him giving out his phone number to a fan. And another time, the day after he performed, I found his card on the boardwalk with his phone number on it).

Well, finding out Dick is returning to the Surf Club this summer just made my day even happier! The Surf Club is a fabulous place to see a show. The back of the club is gutted out, so you can go on the beach and dance and drink, while you are listening to great music. And after a few drinks, you may even feel like you are in one of Dick Dale’s beach movies!