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The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company, and Ron Dante at Jonathan Dayton High, Springfield, NJ

Published August 17, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0928Ron Dante

Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, Jonathan Dayton High School, Springfield, New Jersey, hosted a five-star musical extravaganza featuring The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company, and Ron Dante.

The Rip Chords (http://www.theripchords.net/) — starring Richie Rotkin, Arnie Marcus, Mitch Schecter, Amy Lynne, Tony Tuttle, Mike Kelly and Randy Dance — were first up and wowed the audience with their classic surf/hot rod sounds. They performed their hits “Hey Little Cobra,” and “409” as well as a bunch of tunes from other artists of their era including a stand-out performance of Amy Lynne singing “Vacation.”

Original member Richie Rotkin was an exciting front man, showing off his groovin’ dance moves and later going into the audience shaking hands with fans. All members played instruments exclusive to the era, including the amps, creating an authentic sound.

Next up was The 1910 Fruitgum Company (http://www.1910fruitgumcompany.com/) with line-up: Frank Jeckell (original guitarist), Mick Mansueto, Glenn Lewis, Bob Brescia, and Keith Crane.

This is one of my favorite live bands of all-time. I started seeing them about 15 years ago when they first reunited and still had original  drummer Floyd Marcus in the band at Tierney’s in Montclair, New Jersey. Since then, I must have seen them at least 10 more times and it never gets old. I had their records when I was a little girl and to this day my favorite songs are “Simple Simon” and “1-2-3 Red Light” which they do at every show. Other tunes in their set include: “Kicks” and “Midnight Confessions.” This band is just so much fun and so full of life. You’ll always be greatly entertained.

Finally the legendary Ron Dante was up (http://www.rondante.com/). He’s best known for singing for The Archies and The Cuff Links.

The 1910 Fruitgum Company stayed onstage to back Dante up, which was a perfect fit. Last month I saw Ron Dante perform two songs at an outdoor concert before the show got rained out (though I was thrilled to dance to “Sugar Sugar” in the rain!) This time fans got to see the full show and it was amazing. In addition to “Sugar Sugar,” Dante performed his hit “Tracy,” a song that always sent chills up my spine; it’s just an adorable love song. Dante also sang some of the jingles he wrote, like the theme for Almond Joy. Finally, he brought the house down with the grand finale of “Johnny B. Good.” His vocals sounded just as pristine as the records; a true class act.

With three great acts, the night ended way too soon.

After the show all band members stuck around for a meet and greet. It was my honor to get to meet all these legends; some for the first time and others again. When you’re in the company of musicians you loved since you were a kid, it’s always fun and magic!

SAM_0938From left: Frank Jeckell, Ron Dante, Me, Mick Mansueto, and Keith Crane

Thanks to Mick for arranging this magical spur of the moment shot! 

SAM_0916Richie Rotkin and Me — He’s awesome! 

SAM_0941Two handsome fellows; my husband Dennis and Ron Dante.

Thanks Ron for signing these rarities! 

Check out their websites for upcoming shows — these acts are not to be missed! — and background information, as this is all the REAL DEAL! ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon in paperback only: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Highlights from Resintopia, Saturday, March 23, 2013

Published March 24, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0427Model by Vincent Bordogna, Resintopia CEO and Founder

All weekend long the Resintopia extravaganza was held at the Crowne Plaza in Fairfield, New Jersey.

My husband Dennis and I got there just as they were closing shop for the evening, but with well enough time to hit the lounge, have a beer and some snack food and see the amazing New York surf band, The Octomen, with our friends Nick Conti and Ed O’Brien; as well as Vincent Bordogna. And we got to meet actor, Jeff Yager (see photos below) who also makes models and sculptures. He came from California to be a part of this fabulous event put on by Vincent Bordogna.

A good time was had by all, as The Octomen performed two great sets and people mingled.

This was the second year for Resintopia. Next year will be even bigger! We had a BLAST!

SAM_0428Model by Vincent Bordogna

SAM_0430Model by Vincent Bordogna

SAM_0419“Six Feet Under” and “Seinfeld” actor, Jeff Yagher and Resintopia CEO Vincent Bordogna

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

SAM_0426Me and my husband, Dennis (Photo by Ed O’Brien)

 SAM_0421

The Octomen drum kit — how cool is that?

And from another show, but just to illustrate how great the Octomen are, check out this video I found on You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbyU3iw9wqk

Come on Christmas! (Songs from Tom Corea’s Studio!)

Published November 29, 2012 by Maryanne

(Left to right – Ric Pink, Dennis and Me, 2011)

Every year our good friend Tom Corea puts out an amazing Christmas project via his Babyfishmouth Studio.

My husband, Dennis, often plays bass (and some guitar) on many of the tunes, along with Tom DiPaolo on guitar.

Sometimes I’ll join them in the studio and once in awhile participate.

“Come on Christmas” was a really fun song that was recorded over the summer. (Vocals: Ric Pink, guitar: Tom DiPaolo, bass: Dennis Mistretta, Drums: Tom Corea). And I got to help by singing the back-up vocals! What an honor to be working amongst such great talents!

If you click on the following “Come On Christmas” you will see there are some great shots of all of us having fun in the studio. The album cover photo of Tom DiPaolo and Tom Corea was beautifully done by my very good friend, Darlene Foster (www.darlenefoster.com). It’s worth it to check out the song just to see her fabulous work!

Check out the song and photos by clicking here:

Come On Christmas!

And here’s another one from a few years back, 2006, it’s a surf song featuring Dennis on bass guitar and rhythm, Tom DiPaolo on guitar, Tom Corea on drums, and I’m the opening spoken word vocal, “Hey, Santa, Surf’s Up!”

SURFER’S CHRISTMAS

And finally, a surf take on this Nutcracker classic. Tom DiPaolo on guitars, Dennis Mistretta on bass and Tom Corea on drums: Dance of the Sugar Plum Scary

I always love going to the studio with Dennis. I adore music and watching a tune be put together step-by-step. Or sometimes I’ll go upstairs and hang out with Tom Corea’s wife, Carol, and have a fantastic time drinking wine and having great conversation. They also have two beautiful kids, Jessie and T.J.

We are so blessed to have such great friends and so many wonderful memories!

Tom Corea, of Babyfishmouth Studio and his son, Jessie

Me, Carol Corea and Darlene Foster (Ric Pink in background)