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My Weekend With The Amazing Kreskin

Published July 10, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta with The Amazing Kreskin!

Last weekend, I had the honor to work as celebrity handler to The Amazing Kreskin! (http://www.amazingkreskin.com/)

Some of my older readers may remember him from The Johnny Carson Show. Kreskin is a mentalist who became popular as a guest on talk shows in the 1970s.

For four days, I was hired to serve as his assistant. I drove him from his home in New Jersey, where he lives with four beautiful cats, up to NE ComicCon (https://necomiccons.com/), at the Regency Hotel in Boxoboro, Massachusetts.

Thursday, July 1, we drove up to Massachusetts during a blinding rain storm. It was an adventure I’ll never forget. It took seven hours to make a 4.5 hour trip.

The next day, Kreskin signed autographs and sold plenty of merch. Saturday afternoon, he did a Q&A segment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7seM7iODYE), followed by an evening performance, which truly was AMAZING! And now, I can tell you firsthand, his act is not rigged in any way, shape or form. He is the real deal!

Other notables at NE ComicCon were Tim Rice, who designed the puppets in Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal; Butch Patrick, actor best known for playing Eddie Munster on The Munsters television show; (https://www.instagram.com/the_real_butch_patrick_/?hl=en) and actor John Capodice.

Of all the cool things I’ve done in my career, this is truly one for the books. In addition to helping out Kreskin, I’ve made some great friends; and I am also now helping out booking Kreskin for gigs!

If you are interested in having Kreskin perform at your event, contact me directly at: maryannechristiano@maryannemistretta

Tim Rice and The Amazing Kreskin

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and John Capodice
The Amazing Kreskin at home with one of his four kitties.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Atlantic City, NJ

Published November 10, 2020 by Maryanne

NJ Musicians, promoting one of my favs, Debbie Harry

My husband and I recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City. It was so cool I had to give them a big shout out via a blog.

First of all, I’d like to point out that my husband and I are diehard music fans, not “Greatest Hits” types, nor music streaming types. We like to have the actual albums/CDs/tapes. (And I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I wonder how many people had Cher’s “The Way of Love” single who know the flip side “Don’t Put It On Me” was just as great? I was always about both the A-sides and the B-sides.

That said, I went expecting nothing more than a fab time with my husband. We’re a great couple who make our own fun. As we were making our way to our room (we got lost–this place is huge!) I heard Blondie music. The song “X-Offender” which was not a big hit. I was shocked, and immediately got silly and started singing. Followed by that I heard Interpol and Generation X. Bands you don’t hear too often.

I’ve been to the Hard Rock in NYC and Atlanta, and have seen so much rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, but what got me the most excited was a letter Buddy Holly wrote to his family while he was on the road, before he hit it big.

Here, you can also see Elvis’ Rolls Royce, Joan Jett’s hand-written lyrics to “Bad Reputation,” costumes worn on stage from rock and pop stars including Ann and Nancy Wilson, Prince, The Beatles, and Cher, to name a few. There’s also guitars, footwear, and other artifacts. Not to mention lots of shopping. (A side note, the Hard Rock clothing and jewelry line is incredible. Shirts/sweaters/hoodies are form-fitting, cozy, and durable. Jewelry is also well-made).

In the Cafe itself, the food was good. The only issue I had was they were playing more sports videos than music videos. It is the Hard Rock Cafe, right? But that didn’t stop my husband and I from having fun.

There’s also a pool and spa. The room we had offered a super view of the city and water. But most impressive about the room is that they use soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion from a company that doesn’t test on animals! I always bring my own stuff because I’m a cruelty-free supporter, so imagine how thrilled I was to see that!

The Hard Rock Hotel took great precautions due to Covid19. As you entered, your temperature was shown on a screen. There are social distancing Beatles “records” painted on the floor situated 6 feet apart. People stood on them while they waited on lines for restaurants and cafes.

Stores were careful too. You weren’t able to try stuff on, which made clothes shopping impossible. That was the only drawback.

I’m sure people want to know about gambling. I’m not a fan. Not for any moral reason, it just doesn’t amuse me. But, yes, gambling was in full swing.

The hotel staff was the best ever. They truly give the high hospitality. Everyone was so friendly and efficient. Service dogs are allowed inside the hotel and casino.

I highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City.

For more information, visit: https://www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com/

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. In addition to Love Cats, 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:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Dance the Night Away

Published October 11, 2020 by Maryanne

Fun times with my late friend Vinnie, 1982

A few days ago I heard Eddie Van Halen died.

I was not a big Van Halen fan. But when a musician is that huge a hit or two is bound to be backdrop music for whatever is going on in your life at the time of their massive success. So, of course it hits you. Even though I never saw them in concert and never owned a Van Halen record, I have a memorable story to share.

Earlier this year a very dear friend of mine died suddenly of a heart attack, at age 56. My friend Vinnie, who I have known since I was a teenager and absolutely adored.

The stories of Vinnie can go on and on and on. He had a kind heart and a wicked sense of humor. He was the type of person who could say anything and the way he presented it, it would just make you almost die laughing. He had that power about him. And was oh so humble about it. He was the kind of friend everyone wanted to be around. Anyone who knew him was a better person because of him.

As soon as I heard Eddie Van Halen died, once again Vinnie was on my mind. During the early 1980s, Vinnie and I were both into the dance club music of the time — The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, Culture Club, Haysi Fantayzee … you get the picture.

So what does this have to do with Eddie Van Halen?

When the song “Jump” came out, Vinnie was raving about it. He was always the first to get on the bandwagon of new music. He played the song for me and it was a “wow” for me too. We were not die-hard Van Halen fans, but that was a song we could get into.

There was a bar in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, called Aldo’s Hideaway. Vin and I were regulars there. The owner’s uncle, Pete, was a bartender there and he loved us. He told us many times we were his favorite customers. If I went to Aldo’s alone and Pete looked out the window and saw my Monte Carlo pulling into the driveway, he’d have my drink ready for me at the bar — a White Russian.

One Christmas, Vinnie and I gave Pete a Christmas card and we drank for free all night. The memories we made at Aldo’s were grand ones. Especially the “Jump” night.

On our way to Aldo’s one Saturday evening, Vinnie was playing a cassette tape he made. It was songs we grooved on, by artists we were fans of — Johnny Thunders, Aerosmith … and now that new Van Halen song, “Jump.” It was a great mix.

Saturday night at Aldo’s there was a DJ named Brian. He was very much into David Bowie and Japan; two of my favorites. That’s why Saturday nights at Aldo’s were a win.

This particular evening, we arrived at Aldo’s and ordered drinks. Pete was concerned because a crowd was on the dance floor, more people were coming in the door, and Brian had not yet showed up to DJ. The place was filling up and there wasn’t any music.

“What about that great tape you have in the car?” I asked Vinnie.

“Oh, do you want me to get that?” he asked both Pete and me, as if my say had any clout. It wasn’t hard to twist Pete’s arm; he thought we were great and trusted our judgement. He said, “Sure.”

Now, for those who aren’t familiar with music of the late 1970s or early 1980s, I have to tell you, the hard rock sounds of Aerosmith and Van Halen were nothing like David Bowie, Japan, Psychedelic Furs, and other ambient dance music Brian played. So, obviously, that mix was NOT the type of music Brian played. In fact, you would NEVER hear Aerosmith or Van Halen at Aldo’s. Never, ever, ever!

Nevertheless, people were enjoying the music, and dancing! “They’re digging it,” Vinnie said, and then smiled.

By the time “Jump” came on, Brian showed up. He looked flustered, obviously concerned about what was playing on the DJ mixing board at Aldo’s. His Saturday night reputation of playing austere art rock was now tarnished.

A drop of sweat ran down Brian’s forehead as he jolted towards the dance floor. He got to the DJ booth. He looked out of breath and slightly agitated. “Jump” was still playing. It would be unprofessional to cut the song off mid-way. Plus, people were dancing and enjoying it.

Vin and I sat observing. We felt like little children who got away with something bad. We looked at each other and smirked. A Van Halen song at Aldo’s — and on a Saturday night no less. It was hilarious.

When “Jump” ended, our party was over.

I do not remember the next song Brian played after “Jump.” Most likely something by Depeche Mode or Medium Medium; who knows.

But Vin and I were easy to please music fans. We didn’t care. It was fun while it lasted. Vin went up to the DJ booth to retrieve his tape. Then we hit the dance floor, and danced the night away. Well, until our young appetites kicked in and we decided to leave and hit a diner.

Rest in peace, Vinnie. You are so very missed.

And rest in peace, Eddie Van Halen.

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. In addition to Love Cats, 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:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Social Distancing, First Outdoor Concert of the Summer!

Published July 8, 2020 by Maryanne

DSCF5086Do you see the social distancing circle in white paint? 

Last night was exciting. It was the first outdoor concert my husband and attended since COVID19. I don’t keep up with the news (it’s too depressing), but last I’ve heard is that New Jersey, USA is doing good. We now have outdoor dining and outdoor concerts — with social distancing. We are in Phase 2 of Covid; hopefully moving to Phase 3 soon. I truly believe our Gov. Murphy is doing a great job, especially with the two-week quarantine for those who have visited other states and countries. Why not? NJ has worked so hard to get to this point; why should we be punished because other states are careless?

Woodbridge Township is offering a concert series all summer long, on the lawn of their high school. Mondays are Golden Oldies; Tuesdays are Tribute Bands; Wednesdays are indie acts; Thursdays are local bands; and Sundays are country bands.

Since many of the acts are from out of state, they will most likely cancel because they don’t want to quarantine for two weeks. You can’t blame them; they need to earn a living. But according to the Township, they will replace those bands with others, so it’s still a music win!

Though humid, it was still a lovely summer evening. It stays light late and it’s romantic watching the sun go down while listening to great music.

Last night the concert was Best of The Eagles. They were a great tribute band and so on the money. Such a vast collection of music, much of which sends chills up your spine, like my favorite, “Best of My Love.”

They also had a bar garden; and treats like popcorn and ice cream. It was especially lovely seeing so many senior citizens coming out, wearing their masks, and having a great time. Dancing was not permitted because it would bring strangers too close together. Everyone obeyed. It was truly a scene I was proud to be part of — a small piece of history, and people coming together during trying times.

For more information on Woodbridge Township and their concerts, visit: Woodbridge

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. In addition to Love Cats, 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:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

 

Love Cats – Second Printing Now Available!

Published June 4, 2020 by Maryanne
Love Cats 2020
“Love Cats” by Krystianna Mercury
With all the tragedy happening, I was hesitant as to when to write about the second printing of my book “Love Cats.” (Krystianna Mercury is the first time I’m using a pen name. You can purchase directly from Pink Flamingo: Love Cats).
I’ve decided that making my announcement today, National Old Maids Day would be appropriate, because it’s a day to support single and childless women.
In “Love Cats” (Love Cats) I address the “old maid” issue via my character Janey.
 
Janey starts out as a smart character who wants a guy with substance. Though when she meets one, her insecurities get the best of her and she subconsciously does everything she could to kill the relationship. Though the difference between me and her is that while creative success is what drove me, Janey doesn’t need any kind of success as she’s already a wealthy trust fund and she’s simply driven by her own selfishness.
 
Whatever motivates us to stay single (work, fear, waiting for the right one, etc.) I think it’s super cool that in these modern times women are viewed as so much more and we no longer have to live in “shame” because we aren’t hooked up.
 
I tell everyone who asks my advice, to wait. Wait until you meet that one of a kind soul mate who rocks your world. There is no need to settle. Nor was there a need to settle 30 years ago either, we just took more shit from people for not settling. I’ve avoided certain relatives for years because they were more interested in who I was dating and how serious it was. Not my career, not my interests, not my dreams or desires. Just who I was dating and if marriage was in the cards.
 
I dreaded those horrible questions, yet stuck to my guns and never settled.
 
Mind you, when I say “never settled” while I did date a ton of jerks, I also dated some really cool guys — just not right for ME. I am still friends with some of these guys and my husband likes them too. We are so blessed that we have such an honest relationship with each other. And his ex-girlfriend’s brother is my favorite of all his friends! And that’s another cool blog for a later date, how trust is the most beautiful thing in a relationship.
 
But back to Janey …
 
In “Love Cats” Janey’s live-in maid, Lucia refers to her as an “old lady” for not having a ring on her finger — and she’s not even 25 yet! But that’s how it was in the 1980s. So much pressure for a young girl trying to find herself. Too much noise from the peanut gallery. Urgh!
 
It’s so cool that it’s acceptable today for women to live at home longer, concentrate on their careers, and not even marry at all if they don’t want to. Even though I’m married, I can sigh with relief that there is no pressure on me to bear children and raise a family. My husband and I are perfectly fine with our little love cat, Derick. Life is so good when you don’t have the rest of the world throwing their desires in YOUR face. We’re so blessed to exist in a live and let live time. Let’s keep it that way!
 
We’ve come a long way baby!
 
THANK GOD!

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. In addition to Love Cats, 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

Love Cats Second Printing Cover Reveal!

Published April 24, 2020 by Maryanne

Love Cats 2020

My second book “Love Cats” was originally printed in 2015. Earlier this year it went to “Out of Print” status. Yet you can still read the great reviews on Amazon

Once the book went out of print, I submitted it to several other publishers and it got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media and will be released MAY 2020!

AND, this is the first time I am using a pen name, Krystianna Mercury!

If the 1980s is your thing, and you love music from that era, this is a page-turning piece of chick lit erotica you may want to pick up!

Here is the synopsis:

Janey Peyton is filthy rich and living in NJ during the 1980s. She seems to have it all, including an Italian live-in housekeeper who drives her batty with overbearing dated love advice.

Since Janey’s workaholic, status-driven parents are absent in her life, love-starved Janey desperately seeks a soul mate as she cruises the new age nightclubs.

Enter Beck Stewart. Like Janey’s parents, he’s addicted to the grind—but for all the right reasons. He wants to make a better future for himself, and his potential wife, who he hopes would be Janey.

Because of their electrifying chemistry, the fact that Janey’s a good lay—and she has an impressive book and record collection—Beck falls hard for her and turns a blind eye to the immediate red flags: she’s a snoop and obviously hates his beloved old cat, Morticia.

When Janey discovers Beck can’t resist overtime hours, she mistakes his job loyalty for neglect. For “revenge” she takes on other loves and is careless when it comes to hiding her male and female conquests.

Does this sound like something you will want to read? Put your email below in the comments section and I’ll let you know when the book is published. It will be available on e-books; and in print version! 

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

COVID-19 in the 1970s

Published April 8, 2020 by Maryanne

1970s_Albums

Everyone can use a laugh right now, so I came up with an idea. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and imagine, what if COVID-19 happened in the 1970s?

CB radio

In the 1970s truckers were communicating to each other on CB radios, a citizen’s band radio for short distance communication. If they were dealing with COVID19, the conversation would go a little something like this…

TRUCKER 1: Breaker Break. This here’s Social Distancer, can I get a check-point Charlie on a picklepark that has toilet paper?

TRUCKER 2: Good Buddy, this here’s Coughin’ Mouth. Negatory on the T.P.

gettyimages-74105388

There would be no dancing. The movie “Saturday Night Fever” would be known as “Saturday Night Fever, Tiredness, and Dry Cough.”

jaws_0

Jaws would be irrelevant. No one is going in the water. No one is going anywhere. But if we did, and the shark got us, he’d definitely spit out those nasty latex gloves!

Streaking

Streaking would still be a thing. Nudists social distancing — from their clothing!

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper’s hit song “School’s Out” would also be relevant, especially the line, “School’s out forever.”

Corona Virus

Lava lamps would contain floating images of the COVID19 virus.

One_Day_at_a_Time_female_cast_1975

And like we’re doing today, we’d just have to take it One Day at a Time.

Stay safe and healthy!

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

A Shout Out to Musicians For Live Streaming

Published March 30, 2020 by Maryanne

DSC_0012

My husband and I put this home photography collaboration together earlier today. I’m modeling with his B.C. Rich Warlock. My boots are Katy Perry.

I wanted to get dressed up today because social distancing and staying in isn’t very glamorous. Then I got the idea, hey, so many musicians are putting their work out there to entertain us, why not do a tribute for them.

Billie Eilish and Finneas, in my opinion, were the best part of the iHeart Living Room Concert for America last night. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mQB5s7uvZs

This one is very funny (but not kid-friendly, so proceed with caution): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0-2XxgHIXk&feature=youtu.be

I’m also digging the COVID-19 parodies that are circulating on You Tube. Stayin’ Inside, a parody on Stayin’ Alive is my favorite, because it’s not only hilarious, it’s a great performance; truly genius: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmUXntGlqFI

And last, but not least, I want to share a video of the late Alan Merrill, the man who wrote “I Love Rock and Roll.” He died yesterday due to COVID-19 complications. Godspeed to this legend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AT_Pbtyid0

Are you a musician who is streaming your music for us? Or are you a fan who is turning to music during these hard times? Share your thoughts, videos, etc. below. We are all in this together.

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

NJ Vocalist Working On New Projects During Coronavirus Lockdown

Published March 21, 2020 by Maryanne

EV3A4604 (2) (1)Stephen Fuller 

Stephen Fuller, of Newark, New Jersey, longs to see his kids and grandchildren who live in New York City, but that’s not an option. Neither is performing live shows.

Fuller has been a working musician, both solo and with a group for most of his adult life. With the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, all his gigs have been canceled. Nevertheless he is keeping himself busy organizing his taxes and preparing for a Lionel Richie tribute show. “It’s a perfect sound,” he said. “It’s going to be really good. He [Richie] did a lot of ballads and I love ballads. They really resonate with me.”

Growing up in Newark, Fuller was inspired by his neighbors who were into music. “They all took piano lessons,” he said. “The daughter ended up being a concert violinist.” But what really planted the seed was an eighth grade teacher who told him he had a nice voice.

Fuller attended Arts High School in Newark. Famous names who attended the school include: Melba Moore, Sarah Vaughn, and Savion Glover. While still in high school, Fuller worked in a professional choir, which paid for his voice and piano lessons. He received a scholarship to study at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey where he learned about singing and conducting with a choir.

He then went on to Colgate University, a liberal arts college, in Hamilton, New York. He joined the band Colgate 13 as lead vocalist. They traveled around the country, and the Virgin Islands. “I was so glad to get into that group,” he said. “They are friends for life.”

Colgate had concerts featuring Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers. Fuller had the opportunity to be the opening act for both artists. He continued to travel to England with Colgate 13 and ended up meeting Roberta Flack by taking a wrong turn in trying to find a bathroom!

Then Fuller married his first wife and moved outside of Kansas City, Missouri. He continued his music, singing for a band at a hotel. He also had his own group, The Stephen Fuller Quartet. And he sang the National Anthem for the NBA team. Fuller also recorded with a couple of songwriters. “We did original material,” he said. “Some was pretty good. I’m sorry it didn’t go anywhere.”

During his time in Kansas City, Fuller had two sons. When he returned to New Jersey, he joined some more bands including The Ted Klum Trio, and Vince Seneri in Platinum II.

An opportunity to perform in Japan came up, but Fuller had his family, and a day job at AT&T, which had him traveling the USA. Fuller continued to work full time and tried to sing in the evening, though his first wife didn’t like the idea of him singing.

For the next 25 years, he stopped doing music professionally. Instead, he sang at family events like weddings, and funerals. Then he got into real estate and was “so miserable.” For his health and sanity, Fuller left that business and returned to where his heart was — music.

Fuller divorced his first wife but said, “I got two great sons out of the deal.” Neither followed in Fuller’s steps as a musician. “They are smart,” he said, then chuckled. “They are both in finance.”

He met his second wife in the choir at his church. “We just hit it off,” he said. “Her daughter said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if Mr. Fuller dated Mommy?'” Fuller beams when speaking of his wife, who is very supportive of him, and his music. “We go out of our way to do nice things for each other,” he said.

In 2012, Fuller joined Jazz Vocal Collective, which is a group of jazz singers supporting each other. Fuller currently works both solo, and with his band Armani, which was formed in 2016.

“We’ve got some good things coming up this year,” Fuller said, “We’ve done big shows and big shows are coming up, including a bunch of Nat King Cole Christmas shows.” The King Cole Show was originally part of a project created by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta called “The Learn & Listen Series,” which was presented in New Jersey libraries. Christiano-Mistretta would give a talk on the artist, followed by live music performed by Stephen Fuller. The Christiano-Mistretta/Fuller team also included Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra in the series.

Fuller looks forward to debuting his Lionel Richie tribute and some new things for jazz projects. And learning new songs to perform in the nursing homes and libraries. “I have a lot of new things that’s gonna make me better at the end of all this,” he said, regarding the corona epidemic. “I feel we’ll be okay, and we’re going to get through this too.”

For more information on Stephen Fuller, visit his website at: https://www.fullersounds.com/

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

 

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