the beatles

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Lyrics From Queen’s First Album Manifested in The Band’s History!

Published May 19, 2019 by Maryanne

Queen album coverQueen’s Debut Album

While many people jumped on the Queen band wagon after seeing the film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I was a fan since 1975, just after their album “A Night At The Opera” came out. I loved the music so much, I went backwards and got their prior albums, “Queen” and “Sheer Heart Attack.” Note that it took me some time before I found “Queen II” because back then you couldn’t order from Amazon. You physically had to go to a record store. Each week, I’d got to Korvettes and actively seek Queen II.  I was thrilled when I found it and FINALLY had the complete set of Queen albums. To this day, almost 45 years later, I favor Queen’s first five albums.

In the late 1990s I was writing for several NYC news publications, mainly The Westsider and The Chelsea Clinton News (which covered the Chelsea and Clinton areas of NYC).

When I reviewed the play, “Mercury: Life of a Rock God” it dawned on me … lyrics in the song “Great King Rat,” written by Freddie Mercury were a foreshadowing of what was to come with Freddie’s failing health, and eventually death. I had to write that in my article because it was something a true Queen fan couldn’t overlook.

Check out Freddie Mercury’s lyric in “Great King Rat” …

“Great King Rat died today
Born on the twenty first of May
Died syphilis forty four on his birthday.” 

Both syphilis and AIDS are transmitted by unprotected sex. And Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45, one year older than his Great King Rat character. It truly is a bizarre coincidence. And a sad one. But Freddie Mercury wouldn’t want to be remembered with pity. Far from a “rat” — he truly is the Great King (make that the Great Queen!) Let’s remember him that way!

After the success of the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” it dawned on me how sustainable Queen has been in their career. I think back to the 1970s when I was a kid and recall how hard it was to find a Queen record or a poster. Now there’s Queen memorabilia everywhere. I recently got a Freddie Mercury Bobblehead doll. Just Goggle “Queen” and you will not come up empty handed at all. Collector’s rejoice! Thanks to the overwhelming success of Queen, if you want something, you got it.

While it was Freddie Mercury who said, “I’m not gonna be a star, I’m gonna be a legend,” it was actually Roger Taylor who predicted the band’s success with his lyric in “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” …

Everybody in this bum sucking world
Gonna know just who you are

It’s pretty safe to say that Queen is now a household name. But back in 1973, when Queen’s first album debuted, who would have known? In the song “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” Taylor could have been talking about any band or any rock star, but it was his band Queen that manifested the magic of the song and made it way over the top!

Freaky, right? Keep reading …

“The Night Comes Down” also on Queen’s debut was written by Brian May in 1970 shortly after Queen formed, following his break-up with Smile. Brian May admitted to being a Beatles fan, and there seems to be a nod to The Beatles and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” in the song with the following lyric:

When I was young it came to me; And I could see the sun breaking; Lucy was high and so was I…

In the past year, due to all the success of “Bohemian Rhapsody” there was a Lucy who was high, right along with Brian May. That would be Lucy Boynton who played Mary Austin in the film. How crazy is that? What are the chances of an actress playing Mary Austin having the same first name as someone written in a song by Brian May 50 years ago?!

Lucy-Boynton-and-Brian-May-Fox-party-e1551134444579

Lucy Boynton and Brian May riding high on the success of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

There is one more crazy Queen coincidence that I can’t take credit for, but other Queen fans will appreciate if they have all the albums. I saw this in a letter in Circus magazine after “A Night at the Opera” came out. I am so sorry I can not remember the letter writer’s name, but this is something incredible he figured out. If you count all the Queen songs, in order, from the first Queen album to “A Night at the Opera” you will discover that Brian May’s song “39” is the 39th song recorded.

You can not make this stuff up!

Queen fans, comment below … Are there any more coincidences you’ve noticed Queen’s career that manifested from their lyrics?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (which both mention how she was inspired by Freddie Mercury): 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Rob Fusari — The Bitter End

Published May 25, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0145Rob Fusari and Andrea Martin

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Last night Rob Fusari put on an electrifying performance at Paul Colby’s The Bitter End, on Bleecker Street, NYC.

The theme of the performance was The Beatles vs. David Bowie; with unique musical spins on both artists, as well as incredible originals in the mix. The show was put together in such a short time, Fusari joked that he didn’t even know the last names of the band members and introduced them simply as Matt (guitar), Mario (drums) and Dennis (bass). With four back-up singers known as The Constellations and special guest singer Andrea Martin, it was a surreal, five-star extravaganza — a true class act!

Songs included: “Heroes” (Bowie), “Under Pressure” (Bowie/Queen), “Young Americans” (Bowie), “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (Beatles), “Don’t Let Me Down” (Beatles), Fusari’s original “Don’t Let Love Down,” and Andrea Martin performing a gorgeous version of “Paparazzi” (which Fusari co-wrote and produced for Lady Gaga).

I can go on and on and on, but I’m purposely leaving out major musical high points of the evening, because if this particular show ever happens again, one should be surprised! ❤

A big shout-out to Paul Colby’s The Bitter End! The staff was incredibly attentive to patrons with fast and friendly service. (As a side-note, I had the honor of interviewing the late Paul Colby in his Montclair home over a decade ago before his passing. I have an autographed copy of his book, “Hanging Out in America’s Nightclub” in my collection. )

For more information on Rob Fusari, visit: http://robfusari.com/

For more information on Andrea Martin visit: http://rocnation.com/artists/andrea-martin-2/

For more information on The Bitter End, visit: http://www.bitterend.com/

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

“The Life and Music of John Lennon” at Roseville Manor, Newark

Published April 13, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9920Maryanne Mistretta and musician Keith Beck with Roseville Manor resident

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Pear Tree Enterprises (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) presented “The Life and Music of John Lennon” which featured Keith Beck (http://www.zigmanbird.com/).

The presentation was fantastic as Keith rocked the house with John Lennon favorites including, “Oh Yoko,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Stand By Me,” and “Imagine.”

Now, perfect example of how healing music is — a room full of people, many with dementia, yet Keith hit the stage and they were singing along. At the end they were all screaming, “Come back every week!” It was absolutely precious. Great audience and a totally rewarding experience!! Keith is an awesome musician, gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes!

One resident was a huge Beatles fan and said she saw them back in the day! Lucky her!

Thanks so much to activities director, Amanda, for having us!

SAM_9921Maryanne with Amanda, Roseville Manor activities director

“The Life and Music of John Lennon” presentation is a half hour biography on John Lennon, followed by live music.

To book this presentation at your library, senior center, assisted living facility, rotary club, Jewish Community Center, etc. contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta for pricing and availability at maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Rain at NJPAC, Newark

Published February 26, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9688Rain (photo by Mistretta)

It was so awesome going to see Rain (Beatles Tribute) at the fabulous NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey.

Actually I won tickets!

Before I talk about the show, I want to give a big shout out to NJPAC. Everyone who works there is so classy and friendly. It’s a gorgeous theater with parking very close by.

Rain (http://www.raintribute.com/) was amazing and have been around for a very long time. While it’s great to hear Beatles songs no matter what band or tribute band performs them, it’s really cool that Rain performs in costume and takes you, in order, on a trip to the Beatles career.

Their light show was incredible, especially in the end for “Let it Be” the lights were made to look like stained glass in a cathedral. The covered a few songs from each era of the Beatles career. My favorites were “Across the Universe” and “Let it Be.” Other hits included “She Loves You,” “Help,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (during a tribute to George Harrison as it was his birthday yesterday), “Blackbird,” and as a finale “Give Peace a Chance.”

My favorite moment of the evening was “Eleanor Rigby” — mainly because I was so super impressed how this band did it bare bones with the basic guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. I’ve seen another band do the song with strings (which of course is phenomenal), so in my head I was expecting strings and when I didn’t hear them it was just as good without. It’s the little things, right? And that’s the greatness of the legendary Beatles, you can listen to their songs in so many ways and they never cease to fascinate.

The crowd was in great spirits. It was one of the rare shows, in this day and age, that people in the audience actually talked to us. An all around great night!

SAM_9691Off the hook lighting for “Let it Be”

SAM_9674Looking forward to the show!

SAM_9663My husband, a huge Beatles fan loved the show too!

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

Beatles Party

Published February 10, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3641It’s The Beatles!

SAM_3638Mary Anne and Maryanne

SAM_3639Me and My Love

SAM_3643Mary Anne and Paul

My husband and I had a fabulous time visiting our friends Mary Anne and Paul in honor of the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

Prior to the television special we watched a fantastic movie, “20 Feet From Stardom” a biography about back-up singers.

The Beatles special was excellent. It was great seeing Paul and Ringo sing their hits together and other stars such as Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder, Joe Walsh, Alicia Keyes, Jeff Lynn, Eurythmics, and Peter Frampton. (Though I could have done without Katy Perry doing “Yesterday.”)

I was too young to see The Beatles, but was lucky enough to once catch Ringo’s All Stars at Garden States Art Center (now PNC Bank Center) in NJ.

When I was just 13 and getting into music, I was told by a cool older cousin that the album to get was “The White Album.” He truly did not steer me wrong, as to this day that is my favorite album and it was so cool seeing The Fab Faux perform it last year.

There is so much to say about The Beatles and everyone has their stories of inspiration. Even as solo artists they all had amazing hits, not to mention the more obscure stuff you rarely hear on the radio.

I can not pick a favorite Beatle, but from what I’ve read about John, I’d have to say he seemed like a fun guy to hang out with. Over the years I met his two loves on separate occasions, Yoko Ono (who was nice) and May Pang (who was a total doll!)

I can write a list of favorite Beatles songs, but that would go on forever — and it changes as years go by.

God bless them for all the wonderful music they’ve provided us and some of the greatest love songs ever!

Thanks to Mary Anne and Paul for providing a most wonderful evening with great music, great food and great people.

Snuggly Rainy Day!

Published June 7, 2013 by Maryanne

Bambi Rain

I love rainy days when I could be inside all day!

I have the whole day free to work on my book – yay!

Here’s some comforting rainy day songs to enjoy on this gorgeous day:

Partridge Family – “Walking in the Rain”

Cowsills “The Rain The Park & Other Things”

All About Eve “Shelter From the Rain”

The Beatles – “Rain”

Elvis “Kentucky Rain”