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1910 Fruitgum Company and John Ford Coley, Springfield, New Jersey

Published July 5, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_79471910 Fruitgum Company

It’s tradition that every July 4 my husband and I go see the 1910 Fruitgum Company. I had their 45-rpm records when I was a little girl, so I love to support them. Their shows are always so much fun and yesterday was extra special because they had a kick-ass sound guy! I loved that they saved their best two hits for last: “1-2-3 Red Light” and “Simon Says” (which I always get up and dance to!) Their other big hits were “Indian Giver” and “Goody Goody Gum Drops” which they did earlier in the show. [Side note: Every time they play “Goody Goody Gum Drops” I always think about the ’90s song “Faith Healer” by Redd Kross — it’s almost the exact same song! Though I doubt Redd Kross blatantly ripped off Fruitgum Company, my guess is Fruitgum were a definite influence on them.]

Hits Fruitgum did by other artists included: “Midnight Confessions” (Grassroots); “Bus Stop” (Hollies); “You Know She’d Rather Be With Me” and “Happy Together” (Turtles); “Surfin’ USA” (Beach Boys); and so much more!

Ever since we’ve been going to these July 4th extravaganzas, Barbara Harris & The Toys performed too. Not so last night. I was sad not to see them, but thrilled to see John Ford Coley! Now his 45-rpm record, I had as a pre-teen, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” I was 12 when that song came out in 1976. I loved music since I can remember, which was probably at the age of 3 or 4. But it’s those pre-teen years that are extra special, when you go into a record store, pick out the singles you want — with your own money — and you feel like you know a little something. To this day I can remember buying the England Dan and John Ford Coley single, thinking I was so important! I was the nerdy late bloomer and all the other little girls had boyfriends already, but buying music, for me, meant something.

Ford Coley’s live performance was excellent. He had a great sense of humor, told some good tales and delivered his three hits: “Nights Are Forever Without You,” “It’s Sad to Belong to Someone Else (When the Right One Comes Along); and of course, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.”

SAM_7964John Ford Coley

After the show we approached John Ford Coley to take a photo. I told him I had his single when I was 12.

He jokingly replied, “You were single when you were twelve?!”

I was so in awe of meeting him, I didn’t know what to say next. My husband and I were just smiling and laughing. John Ford Coley is a cool, down to earth guy!

SAM_7966John Ford Coley and me

Prior to the show, we checked out the petting zoo. Of course, the rabbits were the best!

SAM_7938So soft!

SAM_7934My husband and I enjoying the show!

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

America Got it Wrong — Again

Published May 9, 2013 by Maryanne

angie_miller_idol_top_10_portrait_pAmerican Idol contestant Angie Miller

Tonite gorgeous songstress Angie Miller got voted off American Idol.

This was such a mistake, even the judges seemed shocked and disturbed. The final two should have been Candice Glover and Angie Miller (not Candice and Kree Harrison).

Don’t get me wrong, Kree Harrison is amazing too. She was one of my favorites early on, but she just never sang the right songs and near the end I wasn’t feeling her. Candice Glover was a no-brainer — she stunned America with her spine chilling version of “There’s A Place For Us” from “West Side Story.”

This year all the finalists were so talented, so endearing and so nice. And no one got on your nerves like annoying divas from previous years such as Hailey Reinhart and Thia Megia. But honestly I think Kree Harrison should have gone before Janelle Arthur. No disrespect to Kree though, she was such a doll and sincerely told her competitors she loved them when Ryan Seacrest asked the ladies if they had anything to say to each other. The show was very emotional.

It was heartbreaking to see Angie leave. She was getting all choked up during her final performance and was nervously laughing throughout, not being able to finish. Then her family came onstage to comfort her, along with the remaining two contestants and the judges. (And God bless Nicki Minaj in all her honesty – I couldn’t help but laugh seeing her face drop when it was announced that Kree was chosen over Angie. She makes the funniest faces!)

In honor of Angie Miller, here’s — in my little opinion — the best song she ever did:


But this will not be the last we see of Angie. She’s just mega-talented and certainly doesn’t need to be American Idol to have a bright future. Good luck to Angie!

And just for fun, here’s a cute song by Redd Kross as my “good-bye” to Angie. It’s called “Annie’s Gone” so just change the words to “Angie’s Gone.” I like this way better than the Phil Phillips song. Heh.

Redd Kross – Annie’s Gone

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:

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:

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:

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: