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Book Review – “Stick It!” by Carmine Appice

Published May 15, 2016 by Maryanne

Stick_it_book_01

NOTE: Contains spoilers!

Last week I went to Carmine Appice’s book reading/signing at Barnes & Noble, Springfield, New Jersey. One week later, I am a better person for it. Seriously. This was more than a rock ‘n’ roll memoir, it was a religious experience.

Carmine Appice is refreshingly honest, down-to-earth and funny as hell. With assistance from Ian Gittins, the book is beautifully written … as if you are right there talking with a friend.

From the get-go, your adrenaline starts pumping because Carmine knew right away he wanted to be a drummer and he never missed a beat getting to where he was supposed to be in his career — effortlessly. He was in so many different bands with so many prominent musicians during a 50-year work span: Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne … to name a few.

With life’s ups and downs, whether it was a band not working out, or a romantic interest going sour, or health issues, Carmine never stayed “down” too long. He was a survivor, a “roll with the punches” kinda guy. There was always an opportunity for him; and he always worked hard. Most impressive, he lived a rock ‘n’ roll life, but never really got into drugs.

Not that Carmine was a saint. Oh, no, there are plenty of groupie stories … weird, wild, and disturbing. Sex seems to have been his biggest vice. And love. Or what he thought was love; he married five times!

When reviewing a book, one is not supposed to reveal the ending, but #1, at the beginning of this blog I did write a disclaimer that this review contains spoilers. And #2, I can not contain my enthusiasm about how happy this book ended! Always a sucker for true romance, I cried tears of joy, at the end when Carmine fell madly in love with Leslie Gold (http://www.theradiochick.com/). Leslie herself even wrote a few pages about how they met and the challenges of their relationship. She is just as down-to-earth and honest as Carmine was throughout the book.

As anyone in a healthy relationship knows, love is not about having a “yes” man, but having someone who challenges you intellectually and emotionally, to get to a higher level. This is what Carmine found in Leslie. This is exactly what Carmine needed. In the final pages it’s where Carmine changed the most — for the best.

Carmine admitted to sleeping with 4500 women in his lifetime, but his Leslie was the lady that mattered most — his 4501. ❤

With all Carmine’s fame and riches, it’s the last pages that are truly the most prosperous — the last pages are like the pot of gold at the end of his life’s beautiful rainbow. During his final reflections, he looks back on the ups and downs of his career; he speaks of his remorse and shame for mistreating some groupies; he talks of his deep love for his children; and of course his love for Leslie.

If there’s ever a “feel good” rock ‘n’ roll story, this is it!

For more information on Carmine Appice and/or to purchase “Stick It!” please visit: http://www.carmineappice.net/

SAM_0028Maryanne Mistretta meeting Carmine Appice, Springfield, NJ

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award winning journalist and two-time author. Her book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” can be purchased on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Carmine Appice Book Reading/Signing at Barnes & Noble, Springfield, NJ

Published May 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0028Meeting Carmine Appice

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than meeting a rock legend and hanging out with other music fans?!

Carmine Appice was at Barnes & Noble, Springfield, New Jersey,  today, promoting his memoir “Stick It!”

Over 50 people were in attendance, listening attentively as Carmine shared great stories about his adventures working with Ted Nugent, Rod Stewart, and Ozzy Osbourne. Carmine is also known for drumming with Vanilla Fudge and Cactus.

I first heard of Carmine from one of Rod Stewart’s records when I was a teenager. Back then, you’d listen to an album and study the album cover, front and back, and learn who all the musicians are. That’s how I learned the name Carmine Appice. Kids today don’t do that; they download music and take it all for granted. This is what I spoke to Carmine about during our brief chat. He was awesome! And afterwards I had a similar chat with his beautiful wife Leslie who was hanging out in the back with other fans. That’s the coolest part about going to any intimate music event — meeting so many people on the same wavelength!

Rod Stewart wrote the foreword to the book, which is endorsed by Max Weinberg, Brian May, Paul Stanley, Marky Ramone, and Ted Nugent.

I can’t wait to start reading it!

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For more information on Carmine Appice, visit: http://www.carmineappice.net/

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

Attack of the Psycho Vegans (Written by a Former Vegan)

Published September 26, 2015 by Maryanne

vegans my food shits on your food

Note: This is about the vegan extreme, elitists. I do have two friends left who are vegan and non-judgmental. This isn’t about them or any sane vegan I’ve yet to meet, but I seriously need to vent for the sake of my health and sanity.

I never thought I’d see the day I’d be writing a blog like this.

First of all, I love animals and I was a vegetarian most of my adult life — 28 years. During those 28 years I tried being vegan several times. However, it didn’t work for me. I’d get to that 10-month mark and all of a sudden I’d get dizzy spells and back aches. Doctors couldn’t explain it. Then I’d be told to “eat some meat.”

Stubborn, I didn’t listen.

But that was back in my 20s, 30s, and even 40s. I got by not eating meat until two springs ago. I was having dizzy spells every single morning. It was suggested by not one, not two, but three holistic health care practitioners that I’d be better off eating some meat. I argued that I hated the taste. “But did you ever have real, grass-fed beef?” one asked.

“No, I hate it.”

Finally after much reading and investigating, particularly in the book “Paleo Manifesto” by John Durant, reading the bad news about soy, I said a prayer to the animals and got some grass-fed beef.

Moving forward, I pray over my food when I eat. In the beginning, I needed a lot of beef to make blood. Within two months I felt better. No more dizzy spells! And for a year straight my blood pressure was finally normal. As a vegetarian, it was always too low, borderline anemic. Now at 52, I feel and look better than I did my entire life!

With the exception of eating grass-fed beef only once a month now, I am still for my animals. I do not buy any products that test on them. My favorite items are Gabrielle Lux mascara and Mineral Fusion.

Friends who waved the vegan flag — well, now I’m down to just two because the rest were so freaking judgmental about me eating meat they are no longer friends but we’ll get to that in a second — were still wearing mascara that tested on animals “because it’s cheap”; still drinking wine that is processed through a bone char filter (they had no explanation for that one, they just turned it back on me, calling me a murderer); and eating cheese (that uses animal rennet) while pointing their fingers (can someone please tell me why it’s okay to eat the lining of a sheep’s stomach but not a piece of grass-fed beef?)

Hypocritical? You bet!

And it goes on and on and on and never stops. Vegans turn a blind eye not only to their own sins, but their own insanity. They defend animals, but aren’t other human beings animals too? Hello, I was once your friend! We broke gluten-free bread together. But now that I’m old and need a different kind of fuel in my gas tank — because soy and grass ain’t cutting it for me anymore — I should be scorned and harassed? Should I not be healthy to take care of my cats? Should I not be healthy to stay alive and keep buying products that don’t test on animals? Should I not be healthy so I can continue operating my animal rights group that is anti-trophy hunting?

No, I guess not. Because for two months I’ve been verbally abused on-line for having an animal rights group and not being vegan. I retaliated by making fun of psycho vegans because this is how I deal with stress — I give assholes a taste of their own bad medicine.

Well, a vegan “friend” didn’t like this and took offense. Instead of seeing that I was hurting and reaching out instead she chose to lash out  — true vegan style: not making sense, just seeing it her way, being self-absorbed and making it all about her (oh, by the way, this is the one who uses cheap non-cruelty free mascara).

I explained my situation … “Don’t take my venting personally. It’s not about you. I am just so drained of vegans telling me I can’t have an animal group because I eat meat once a month. I am so drained of vegans insulting me, putting me down and bullying me.”

If you slap a dog in the face enough times, the dog is going to bite you back. It’s a no-brainer. But vegans are so cult-minded, they don’t see other human beings as people … people who bleed, hurt, and cry out. In other words — heartless. YES, vegans are heartless. Anyone who can treat another human being like a piece of shit and then go on with their lives is not a nice person.

Now, the “friend” I mentioned previously …  A year ago she had financial problems. She was a single mom. I felt bad and created a children’s program so she could use her talents and make some money. I got us booked in many libraries, especially during Earth Day. Thanks to me, she made a lot of money. And in her last email to me, the bitch had the gall to write, “Since you make fun of vegans, I don’t want to be your friend anymore, but we can still work together.”

That blew my mind. A male friend said, “She has balls!” He was just as shocked as I was. Wow. Just WOW!

Then it dawned on me … this is why it’s nearly impossible to be friends with most vegans. They’re not capable of being a friend. They use animals as a clutch. I don’t even think they really love animals because I’ve seen a few vegans around animals and it’s weird … they don’t swoon the way non-vegans do.

Extreme veganism is a religion. But don’t call them “religious.” That’s another vegan “no-no.” Last year around Christmas time, the vegan “friend” went on an anti-Jesus rampage. As someone who believes in Jesus, I was offended, but I live and let live. I never questioned her motives, I let her have her rant (like a good friend would). Shame she never gave me the same consideration.

Extreme vegans are insecure people who are using a title to give themselves a sense of belonging. They are searching, but somehow hit a wall because they can’t go beyond what is black and white. This is where the cult-mindset and irrationality comes in. This is why even an animal lover like myself can adore someone like hunter Ted Nugent who takes it to the other extreme, but at the moment can be the voice of reason because you’re so sickened by these holier than thous who drive you to the point of insanity, making you want to grasp on to anything that is the complete opposite of what they are. Kinda of defeats their purpose, right? How ironic for them.

The reality is not everyone can be vegan or vegetarian. My mother is a vegetarian, but when she had open heart surgery, she had to have a cow valve. A cow saved my mother’s life. And here is a woman who called Johnson and Johnson and told them they were “disgusting” for testing on animals. Here is a woman who raised a beautiful Chihuahua that lived 15 years (much longer than the average Chihuahua life span because of all the love she gave her!) Just like my cats. My Billy Cat lived to 19. And now my Derick is 19 and still going strong. If I wasn’t a good person who treated animals with utmost respect, these cats would have been long gone.

But extreme vegans don’t see this. They just want to be haters. And judge. And bully.

And now, let me go one better on you … During my 28 years as a vegetarian, from age 23 to 50, I never judged anyone for eating meat. In my late 20s I had a long-term relationship with a hunter, who froze the deer meat and fed his family. He was a beautiful animal lover. We actually rescued many animals together who we saw wounded in the streets. It was simply meant to be because those animals were right in our pathway, waiting to be saved.

It’s the same thing now with me and my husband. I can’t count how many times we’ve rescued animals together. The cutest was a recent incident when a family of baby raccoons were trying to cross the street. I stopped traffic and my husband guided them into a safe wooded area! It was the most adorable thing!

I know many meat eaters who are also animal communicators. They have an incredible, admirable bond with animals. It’s super inspiring to see that. These are helpless, little babies who need us. And we need them just as much because they provide a safe haven. They are not just animals, they are little souls.

And so are humans …

So don’t forget this, Dear Vegan Extremist, the next time you want to hate and lash out. Take your ego somewhere else. Have a little taste of some humble pie (lard-free of course!) and stop with the judgements. Do a little research. Know that you are not always right and your way isn’t the only way. Just because I’m not a vegan, you have ZERO right to tell me I don’t love animals. Try telling that one to my cat! He’ll turn his nose up at you — for sure!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the founder of R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights), a refreshing animal rights group that isn’t vegan! She’s also the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback or kindle editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513