john holmstrom

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Happy Read Across America Day!

Published March 2, 2015 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4

Happy “Read Across America Day”! Some of you may know I wrote a book called “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.”  It’s a positive book from my teenage years up until my happy marriage. While there are some cool stories about people I met in my career, there’s a lot more about people I met by chance! It’s fun and upbeat.

Below is the back cover with all my celebrity endorsements. The book is available on Amazon or via my publishing company, Next Century: http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

back cover proof 2

“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

Frank Secich (Musician/Songwriter/Producer)

Published December 18, 2013 by Maryanne

Frank SeicheFrank Secich (photo by John Koury)

Not too long ago on Face Book, WDVR DJ Deirdre Gilmartin recommended Frank Secich as a friend. Then I was thrilled to find out Frank not only played on a Stiv Bators albums (including “Disconnected” which is one of my favorite albums of all time!) but he also wrote quite a few songs I absolutely loved since I was 18-years-old and STILL LOVE: “A Million Miles Away” and “Evil Boy.” In fact, I played “Evil Boy” when I deejayed John Holmstrom’s 50th Birthday Bash back in 2001!

I quickly learned Frank is a super great guy and I loved his song, “Johnny Sincere” from his newest band, Deadbeat Poets (around since 2006). The first time I heard “Johnny Sincere” I loved it so much I played it three times in a row. Frank and I became Face Book friends and he was cool enough to read my upcoming book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and endorse it.

In return, I thought it would awesome to interview Frank for this blog. We had a great chat on the phone and I look forward to seeing Deadbeat Poets perform when they come back to New Jersey!

Like many other musicians growing up in the 1960s, Frank Secich got into playing music after seeing the Beatles perform on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” His first instrument was the harmonica. Frank grew up in Pennsylvania and had a grandfather who was a bassist and uncles who were musicians. He picked up the guitar when he was 14 after seeing Bob Dylan in 1965.

During his teenage years he played in local bands at parties and record hops. “I was in a cover band, the Mother Goose Band,” Frank said, “played all Rascals, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Cream …”

When Frank was ready to move on to an original band, it was his childhood friend Stiv Bators (who lived right across the Pennsylvania border in Ohio) who took his place in the Mother Goose Band. Stiv Bators is a punk rock legend known for his work with The Dead Boys, The Wanderers, Lords of the New Church and his solo albums. Frank knew Stiv since they were teenagers. “We became friends … met at teen dances in sixty-six, sixty-seven … he was two years older” he said.

After leaving the Mother Goose Band, Frank started Blue Ash and followed his dream of writing original material. After playing together three years, they were signed to Mercury Records by Paul Nelson, who also signed The New York Dolls. (And as a side note, the Mother Goose Band often warmed up for Blue Ash).

Frank Seiche - earlyFrank Secich, 1974 (photo by Geoff Jones, colorized by Tom Sailor)

When the Dead Boys were breaking up in 1978, Stiv contacted Frank to work on some solo stuff and he worked with Stiv until 1981. He played with another Dead Boys member Jimmy Zero in a band called Club Wow from 1982 to 1985. Then Frank produced the Ohio band the Infidels from 1985 to 1990.

Since the late Stiv Bators is one of my favorite musical artists of all time, I asked Frank to share some Stiv stories. Frank just couldn’t stop laughing when he told me this gem:

“We were living in Los Angeles. Stiv was a big fan of Morey Amsterdam from ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ We took our suit coats to get dry cleaned. There was a Chinese kid waiting for us, he has a real funny look on his face. He looked star struck … it was Dick Van Dyke. We met so many people [throughout music career] we were never really starstruck.

“Stiv says to the kid, ‘Give me a pencil and paper.’ He [Stiv] said, ‘Mr. Van Dyke, can I get your autograph? Mr. Van Dyke, I gotta tell ya, this is really special to me. I grew up in Ohio in an orphanage’ … getting teary-eyed … ‘the only show they let us watch was The Dick Van Dyke Show.'”

“He [Dick] said, ‘That’s nice.’

“Stiv starts crying. ‘You were like the dad I never had! As a matter of fact, you inspired me to do what I do today.’

“‘What do you do?'”

“‘I’m a singer in a punk band.'”

“‘Oh, that’s nice … take it easy guys.’ Stiv was gonna ask him if he wanted to go out to get a drink. At the time Dyke was in Alcoholics Anonymous. He [Stiv] was just a natural comedian.”

stivFrank Secich and Stiv Bators (photo by Mick Rock)

“A Million Miles Away” was one of the songs Frank wrote which Stiv Bators recorded on the Disconnected album (which when I told Frank was one of my favorite albums, he said he gets emails every day from fans who say that.) Michael Monroe, of Hanoi Rocks fame, recorded the song (not to be confused with the Hanoi Rocks song of the same name). Frank said that was his favorite cover recording of someone doing his song and is quick to note that The Records recorded one of his Blue Ash songs, “Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her).”

“Stiv would always pull my leg,” Frank said. “He said, ‘Mike Monroe recorded A Million Miles Away.'”

“I said, ‘Aw, Stiv, you’re crazy.'”

So when Frank went to see Mike Monroe perform at show, he saw outside the dressing room at least 40 girls, “dressed to the hilt, waiting to meet Mike.”

A guy Frank knew from Polygram told Mike that Frank was waiting outside and wanted to talk to him. “There I was, the forty-year-old. He comes running out, ‘I love you!’ The looks on these girls’ faces. Their jaws all dropped.”

Moving forward to 1990 Frank said he was fed up with the music business and walked away for 15 years. “Didn’t even touch the guitar,” he said.

Frank spent that time working for an insurance company and spending time with his young son. But then, “They dragged me back in!” Frank said, and laughed. And so, he began Deadbeat Poets in 2006.

In addition to Frank, members for the Deadbeat Poets are: Pete Drivere, John Koury and Terry Hartman.

Terry is an old friend of Frank’s and Frank said they laugh about everything. “It’s the most fun band I was ever in,” he said. “I really have a good time. We’re old men and we have fun at what we’re doing.”

When asked who he’s inspired by, Frank said, “My heroes are Ray Davies, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, of course the Stones.”

Other than music, Frank said he doesn’t have too many hobbies. “I like to write, play guitar … I love going in the studio. Twelve hours in a studio seems like twelve minutes. It’s the opposite of being in school and looking at the clock. Other than that we’re just having a good time. We never argue.”

The Deadbeat Poets just finished recording for their new album which will be out in February or March 2014. “Then we’ll start touring,” Frank said.

“Johnny Sincere,” a super cool song by The Deadbeat Poets is nominated for “Coolest Song in the World” by Little Steven’s Underground Garage Station.

The competition is stiff with other great artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Joan Jett! If you like the song — and I’m sure you will — you can vote for it here once a day until Dec. 27: http://undergroundgarage.com/the-coolest-songs-in-the-world-2013.html

“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.

CBGB (Could Be Good But…) Movie

Published October 17, 2013 by Maryanne

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe and Emily from All the Pretty Horses at CBGBs in 2004

When I heard they were making a movie about CBGBs I was excited. I missed the 1970s heyday, as I was too young, but did catch another generation of bands there in later days (from the 1980s to 2000s) — one of them being Jayne County who is on the soundtrack for the movie.

I’m not a musician, but one night I had the pleasure of being on the CBGB stage. It was for a battle of the bands. I was a journalist and suggested that Father Divine, from Montclair, enter the contest as I recently reviewed their CD for Aquarian Arts Weekly and also did a write-up in Montclair Times. They were great — and they won the contest.

I was seated at a table of celebrity judges: John Holmstrom, founder of Punk Magazine, plus-size model Mia Tyler and musician/producer, Genya Raven. When the emcee was too drunk to continue his job, it was Genya who suggested I emcee! It was a thrill to be on the famous CBGB stage.

So, that’s my little CBGB story. I’m no one famous. I wasn’t at CBGBs during it’s heyday. And even when I was old enough to go to night clubs and see bands legitimately, I was more of a Max’s Kansas (again, tail end, not heyday), Peppermint Lounge and Ritz kinda gal.

STILL — I’m all jazzed for the movie because A. the soundtrack and B. my very good friend John Holmstrom has a major role in the film, he’s played by Josh Zuckerman.

When my husband told me the movie was playing in South Orange, I was so happy! We set up a “date night” mid-week (last night) and decided to go after voting. I washed my hair and was all set for DATE NIGHT! And CBGBs!

Everything was running smooth as silk. We voted quickly, got to the theatre (which was in a lovely artsy area near Seton Hall University) and parked with no problem. It was a gorgeous night in October.

SAM_2642CBGB movie at 7:30

SAM_2634We’re here! Going to see CBGB’s movie — yeah!

We went inside and it was just us — and another couple. The entire theatre was EMPTY.

My husband made a joke that we were at a private showing. I took advantage running up and down the aisles, jumping in front of the screen and taking photos.

Then the movie started. It looked amazing. Excellent cinematography. Then I saw my friend John Holmstrom’s name and I screamed, “YAY!”

Then …. it dawned on us …. there was NO SOUND!

My husband and the other woman in the audience went to complain to management. The answer they got was, “We’re working on it.”

Nothing happened. They just couldn’t get the sound working.

Now, my husband is very tech savvy, and the other guy in the audience worked as a cameraman for CBS. Both offered to try to get the sound going, but the management wouldn’t have it. “We can’t just let people go back there.”

Since it was a DVD, not film, the woman had a genius idea. She wanted to BORROW the DVD, leave her license there, and then have Dennis and I over their house for wine and a movie! How sweet is that? I was in shock of the kindness of strangers. But the management said, “No.”

The other couple said they were dying to see the movie because they were big CBGB goers back in the day. And the guy had a cousin who was in The Shirts. They seemed so cool and it would have been so much fun to hang out with potential new friends. But it wasn’t happening …

So, this was the only night it was playing in our area. Otherwise we’d have to drive to NYC, which is out of the question due to being actively busy both socially and business, so there are major time constraints.  (We could do it on a Sunday, but hey, it’s October, my favorite month of the year and I don’t want to be cooped up in a movie theatre in the afternoon).

We got a refund and tickets for a future movie. I’m totally bummed because “CBGB” is the only movie out I wanted to see. I’m not a movie person. The last movie I saw was “Frankenweenie” — a year ago!

“That really looked like it was going to be a good movie,” my husband Dennis said as we walked out.

So, I guess we will wait until the DVD comes out. Which means it will probably be a great movie because everything I ever had to wait for in my life was well worth waiting for!

UPDATED SIDE NOTE: I just realized Village Voice used the same headline I did in an earlier article about the movie! This was strictly coincidence.