joannebest











{May 7, 2014}   Entertain Them

mic1
It’s always loud.
People.
Laughing talking drinking arguing bodies pressed against each other humming electric.
Waiting.
Sometimes they’re waiting for me.
Of course I’m not stupid enough to believe it’s just me, it’s the whole band. And it doesn’t make it easier knowing that more than half the crowd consists of far better musicians than myself.
It can be petrifying, nothing but me and a mic-stand on a stage surrounded by real musicians.
As I peek out from backstage I flash back to the day I ran out of the auditions for the high school musical because I was afraid to sing alone in front of my chorus teacher.
I see familiar faces mixed amongst strangers eyes. It’s times like these I’m glad I only wear my glasses when I drive, I figure it’s ok because I only have one bad eye. Don’t tell my eye doctor I said that.
The faces are a blur for the most part but I can tell who’s who, hell, if I squint a little I can see who’s standing at the back door smoking a cigarette outside the exit.
So I try not to squint.
It’s time. There’s no turning back. The me that hates being the center of attention, the shy girl, she’s got no say in the matter.
The me that decided it’s my life? Well I’m me, deal with it or don’t.
She’s the me that slinks onto the stage, stares them all in the eye as I spill my blood.
Here they are now entertain them.
mic2
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/witness-protection/
this is my response to the daily prompt, ‘witness protection’ with this description: When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why? It brought to mind my still-on-hiatus band, and these words…

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{April 22, 2014}   Showdown ~ Daily Post

hand4
out of nowhere i’m back there
flying head-on into my past,
it hits me hard and
bruises me,
like the time you slapped me across the face
outside that store on st. marks place
mad because i was without you
or your permission,
a stranger walked by and told you to stop,
in retrospect i’m surprised you did
but i just filed it away,
forgot it like the rest of the night and like so many other times, i  made my fake excuses,
i left with you because 17 knew no better,
a self proclaimed king possessed you
and you sat me on red velvet because i was your queen,
meant to be at your side,
everybody worshipped the you they imagined
and your puffed-up pride inflated
along with your legion of fans
but i always kept your secrets,
that other version of you showed up again,
when you backed me against the bathroom wall of cbgb’s
before you smacked my face for talking to someone who wasn’t you,
my words were meant for you alone,
that’s what you told me so that’s how it was,
and i walked out the door with you, hand in hand
because you loved me,
you drove my car into a telephone pole that night
even though i was driving, you grabbed the wheel,
but still, it was my fault you said,
right before your knife slid into my thigh
and blood dripped down my leg,
it wasn’t your intention but
you woke me up that night, brought out my violent
when my fist hit your face without thought,
truth is i was more upset about my ’68 chevelle than bleeding on my favorite jeans,
but you finally brought out my irish and i kept on walking,
deaf to your promises of white picket fences and a dog on a leash,
i walked away,
it was the other ones,
‘friends’ crawling out of the mud
because they all knew you when,
they made you a legend after you died
living your rock star dream,
but even after all that time,
inbetween the always phone calls
and all the ‘we shoulda’s’ from you up to the bitter end
we both know without a doubt,
the last thought you would have would be of me
you reminded me the other night, we were right,
when you made your latest dreamtime visit,
to tell me you still love me
hand
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/showdown-at-big-sky/



dbcb
And that was the first time I saw my Mother punch my boyfriend in the face.
Let’s put it in reverse and start from the beginning, shall we?
It started out innocently enough. Sometimes, Lori and Mark and Bobby and I did what passed for entertainment in Sayreville back in the day, we drove around town with a six-pack or two blasting really cool, mostly obscure music also known as Punk Rock and it’s roots. The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, Silverhead, Mott The Hoople, The Stooges, The Sweet to name a few, as well as Ramones, Dead Boys, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Heartbreakers, you know, all the good stuff.
There wasn’t much to do around town, the drinking age had just been raised (I was grandfathered in so I was able to drink at 18) but there wasn’t a rock scene to speak of much closer than New York City.
I have no idea who came up with the harebrained scheme but it wasn’t me. I think.
One minute Lori was dropping us off one at a time at our respective houses, next thing I know she and I were back in her little Volkswagen sneakily on our way to CBGB’s.
Without our boyfriends.
Well, it’s not like any of us were engaged or anything.
It was a Friday night, but there wasn’t anything big going on at CBGB’s that night band-wise. There weren’t a lot of people there but the ones who were there were the crème de la crème, at least in my big blue eyes.
I remember sauntering in, Merv in his yellow hardhat near the door giving us the nod that meant ‘walk right in and sit yourself down’ as Lori and I walked in, looking for an empty seat at the bar. I figured we should go say hi to Cosmo but it wasn’t to be.
That’s about the time I felt a leather-clad arm wrap around my waist and pull me in, planting a kiss on me while ruffling my hair.
It was him.
I mean THE Him, as in Steve, the man/boy I lost my virginity to.
Yeah, I know, everyone called him Stiv but his name was Steve and he was the lead singer for my favorite band, The Dead Boys.
*Sorry Mama, I can’t censure myself, and besides, it’s not like it’s a big secret! Besides also, remember, you went out with musicians before you got married too, so apples and trees.*
I guess it was Rock Star Night because Cheetah Chrome and some of the rest of the Dead Boys were there, as well as Joey Ramone, a bunch of roadies and other bands but the truth is all I knew was Stiv pulled me on his lap and talked me into sipping his Margareta (I hate tequila!) and my mind went blank. In my defense I was only 18 with a history of nearly zero boyfriends… yes I know, Bobby, but we were dating, we weren’t exclusive yet (um, I think).
I was young, innocent, inexperienced, infatuated, and my Rock Idol was asking me to come back to The Diplomat Hotel with him and a few of his friends for a bit.
Lori, in the meantime, had managed to hook up with Joey Ramone in her tiny little Volkswagen. I was on my own for awhile anyway so away we went.
One of the best parts was sitting in the back seat of Stiv’s friend’s car singing along to Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. Well that and his hand on my leg, but I digress.
We hung out for awhile as they all snorted coke and I said “no thank you” then went back to CB’s within in hour.
Lori was gone.
She left me in New York alone.
She left me in New York alone and we were on a sneaky mission!!!
I was so dead.
~
I guess I have to weigh the good against the bad, so the good outweighs the bad, at least in my memory.
Imagine, you’re 18 years old and the Rock Star you lost you virginity to a few months ago hails a cab and brings you back to his room at The Diplomat Hotel to sleep over and take a train home the next morning. Imagine lying next to him while he plays Iggy Pop’s Kill City over and over, you know, the one with the song “Johanna” (which my Mother really wanted to name me), imagine him saying all the right things, recognizing and acknowledging my innocence, talking and treating me gently and sweetly (at least that time and I really am going to Hell aren’t I?), as he continued to do for years. But again, I digress.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but I should have known.
After sitting with Stiv making phone calls (no cell phones back then kiddies) to make sure someone could pick me up at the bus station I hopped in a cab, got on a bus where I proceeded to tell a complete stranger my entire night and finally, there was my friend and savior, JB (RIP), waiting to pick me up.
He dropped me off in front of my house and like a scene from an Afternoon School Special about abusive boyfriends, Bobby’s car came flying down the street and I mean flying. He slammed on his brakes and sprang out of his car, hand around my upper arm pulling me into his car, screaming at me incoherently.
That’s when it happened.
My Mother, the one I’d lied to by telling her I was sleeping over a girlfriend’s house, flew out of the house, grabbed my other arm yanking me away from Bobby and then she let loose with an Irish Temper fueled punch right to his face.
I’m not talking ethics or morals or who was right or wrong, but let me tell you, it’s kinda awesome to see your Mom punch somebody in the face on your behalf when they deserve it. And Bobby deserved it, as you’ll find out…to be continued…
punch
AUTHORS NOTE: I wrote this bit for the daily prompt, but in all honesty, I’ve got a WIP going on offline, non-fiction, because you know me, it’s all about me, me, me! Right? (be careful how you answer that) Point is, I guess this is kinda a first draft of something I have up my sleeve because after all, they say write what you know and what do I know better than my past? Especially since it really was pretty awesome!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/daily-prompt-lets-go-crazy/

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMPULSE.



{December 28, 2013}   I’m Singing Again

bbtrainI’m the girl

Well here it is, after two years of not playing, tonight my band Bullet Train will be playing at The Dogs Of War Benefit.
Stage fright? Nope.
Nervous? Kinda.
Excited? Definitely!
As I said in my previous post, all money raised is going to a family affected by cancer.
btrrainme singing

Wish me luck my friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve been onstage but I know the Spirit of the Season and my Guardian Angels will be right there with me.
I wish each and every one of you could be there with me tonight but Sayreville New Jersey is a long way from where most of you live so I shall carry you all in my heart and if you don’t mind, I’ll be getting strength from you as I sing my heart out in the name of love and charity.
btraindowwme singing at a previous Dogs Of War
Anyone interested in attending can see my previous post where all the details are because I can’t get the link to work



{December 27, 2013}   The Christmas Dogs Of War Benefit

doww
Every year at Christmastime there is magical musical tradition in my hometown of Sayreville NJ, a Benefit called The Dogs Of War.
Unfortunately, most of us know someone with cancer. It’s an ugly painful horror for anyone to go through, whether it’s you or a family member, a friend or neighbor, cancer has it’s way and there is nothing we can do but offer support and be there for our loved ones.
One day, over 25 years ago, a young man lost his Mother to cancer. He lived with that loss, as we all do when we lose someone we love, but he turned his pain into something that grew and grew over the years, leading us to the point of this post: The Christmas Dogs Of War, a benefit where every single dollar is handed over that very night to a local family affected by cancer.
This year there is a young family, the husband has cancer, his wife is pregnant, and her Father also has cancer, who can use our help.
I can’t imagine the horror they are going through, I saw my Mom go through breast cancer, she had just reached the 5 year mark of remission the month before she died, and I did the only thing I could do for her by going with her to each and every one of her treatments yet still I felt helpless. My Mom had excellent health insurance but she was lucky for that, so many people are in need these days and don’t have the benefits she had.
Hence The Dogs Of War. In the words of Mike Grau, the young man that dreamed up this yearly benefit:
The Christmas Dogs of War Christmas Cancer Benefit has been around a long time and it raises money for a local family dealing with this terrible disease. ALL the money raised goes directly to the family in CASH it’s that simple. It’s an evening of dreamers and screamers and strange holiday music. Al Muzer will MC this year’s event as well as offer terrible things for people to give money to own. Scheduled to perform (but obviously not limited to); Schnitzel,Bongo Jones, The Trip Dogs , El Muchacho,Joe Canzano , The Marbles ,The Pretty Goats, The Dead Pony Cats,Keith Beck, The Molecular Blues Machine, Bullet Train, The Whale Ashtray, Marty and the Great Unwashed Music Band, Rachel…etc etc etc
It’s a great night and everyone will have fun until Schnitzel performs

And it is a great night, always. Good music, a million bands including {blatant self-promotion} my band Bullet Train, crazy auctions, 50/50’s etc. In one of those magical coincidences, the weekly newsletter promoting the bands each Saturday just showed up in my email. Written by Mike Grau, the Einstein of musicians and organizer/inventor of The Dogs Of War, please allow me to share his newsletter with you, and believe me, it’s well worth the read:

Good People of Metropolis;

“Every time a bells rings an angel goes to their neutral corner.”
Christmas has been turned into a conveyor belt. A line stretching out as far as the eye can see waits to board the belt two weeks before Thanksgiving. Angry wrinkled business men with bald heads and thick eye glasses operate the belt. Hapless, hopeless Americans, exhausted from their workweeks, hop up on the conveyor belt because the media told them to “go”. Happily confused and unaware of the financial pounding they are about to receive the belt drives them toward a monolithic mall owned by Disney, some cable companies, Adolph Hitler and a shell company owned by members of Congress. Along the route gigantic billboards remind the dimwitted masses that “There is no God”, “Jesus was an Ancient Alien” and “Do Not Say Christmas…. Say Holiday”. At the end of the belt stain covered families flop into the lobby of the Mega Mall. They are presented with amazing choices for their hard earned public assistance checks. They can buy plastic things that promise to make their sedentary lifestyles easier. They can purchase huge sweat suits for their fat bodies and double wide television chairs to place near mammoth snack trays filled with high calorie, zero nutrient goodness in the shapes of their favorite Hollywood heroes. They can be places in motorized chairs and rolled within inches of low cost jewelry which can be altered to fit their bloated unhealthy American saturated fat fingers. They can gaze in wonder at electronic devices that promise adventure and freedom and creativity but deliver only eye strain and further estrangement from their fellow man. It is “idiot world” and the conveyor belt keeps flopping stained clothed, unthinking, hypnotized, bloated, Americans into the Mega Mall. The meaning is lost or broken. This country and it’s people should pray one last prayer together. We should all come to together and pray for a great famine. A famine that leaves crops unharmed but eats through every television in our country. A famine that poisons the internet, murders smart phones and ends social media. A famine that shortens the workweek, bridges misunderstandings between family members and reminds us all that we need each other. A famine that reminds us of God , shines bright light on the manipulators and removes power from the wicked. A famine that reminds us that love is all that matters. A famine that brings us clarity of thought. A famine that mends broken hearts and brings about the use of the phrase “I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you.” A great famine that unifies Americans and erases the puppeteer hatred brought down on party lines.

I want that famine.

And speaking of the “unspeakable” This Saturday Night @ Buddies Tavern it’s The Christmas Dogs of War !!!
Over 1 million bands and people who think they are in bands will swarm down onto Buddies Tavern at 8 p.m., pay their 20 dollars and see what has never been seen before.
So come on down and give some money to a great cause. All money raised will be handed to a family in Sayreville who is dealing with cancer 24 hours after you hand it over…. And that’s a guarantee.
See you at the show
Mike Grau
And because I want to have the last word, I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who lives close enough to attend to come on down, see a bunch of great bands including me singing, and give to a family in need. We can’t beat cancer, but we can make a difference, however small, by raising some money for a young Family in need. Your heart will grow at least 3 times larger. Click on the link below for more information as to directions and time, etc. Go on, click!!!
dowThis is Schnitzel, do not be afraid.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1427110850840670/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular



lizzie
AUTHORS NOTE: Lizzie is kinda pissed James didn’t mention he had a twin brother…ooops
“Huh? What are you talking about? What do you mean you haven’t heard from James?”
“Sweetheart I’d be glad to answer all your questions but do you think you can ease up a bit with the knife?”
He looked so much like his brother I was finding it hard to tear my eyes away from his face.
“I’ve already been circumcised luv but I’d be happy to show you if you don’t believe me.” His James-blue eyes were filled with laughter which did nothing but piss me off more than I already was.
“You’re disgusting,” I hissed as I punched him in the face one more time, only not as hard as I did before. His stupid James-face was making the punching part less fun than it should have been.
Then I remembered the way he imitated James before and I wanted to stake him. But I punched him again instead.
“What the fuck was that all about before? Why the asshole act?”
My ego was still stinging from his insulting behavior before. I was also more than a little pissed off at James for neglecting to mention his brother was not only a vampire but his identical twin. My life was a bad soap opera.
“We can stay like this as long as you want luv, happy to be on the bottom but if you keep wiggling around like that don’t blame me if I flip you over and- owww!”
I was so infuriated I forgot I was straddling him and it was becoming apparent that he and James were identical, at least physically.
“Stop being a pig and what do you mean you don’t know where James is? And,” I waved my knife in the general direction of his James-face enjoying his barely discernible discomfort. “Don’t think you’re gonna get away with that little scene before either.”
“I-” he began.
“Shut up. Where is your brother?”
“You-”
“Don’t “you” me!”
I could hear myself making no sense and screeching like a harpy.
Still sitting on top of what looked like James, who always made me melt.
I punched him again.
~
There’s nothing I hate more than stereotypical bullshit and there I was, a walking talking cliché.
Make that a straddling cat-got-my-tongue cliché.
He wasn’t helping by finding this funny.
“What are you laughing at?” I try to sneer but can’t quite pull it off. He is as exasperating as James can be, and I was beginning to see the resemblance might be more than physical.
I gave myself a mental mind shake and pushed off of him, it was becoming evident that he was enjoying me pinning him down a little more than he should have been.
“You’re an asshole,” I said matter of factly.
He was chuckling as he stood up. Brushing off his jeans he stood next to me, James-height and all.
“Sweetheart, the look on your face was priceless.”
The more he laughed the more I fumed.
“Oh shut up,” I shoved him and he tried to hide his smirk.
“What the fuck is going on and where’s your brother? I mean your twin brother! He is so dead!” I hate when I yell. “You’re dead too!” I poke him in the chest for emphasis. It’s just as toned as James- argh what was I thinking?
“We already are luv, you know, undead and all that,” he taps his head as if to infer I’m an idiot.
“You sure are a feisty little thing Elizabeth, James neglected to mention that,” he frowned.
When did James mention me? They were barely on speaking terms far as I knew.
“What’s your name anyway? James ‘neglected to mention that’ to me,” I snapped.
I was embarrassed, pissed off and I had to pee.
“You know what? I don’t even care what your name is right now. I’m sick of the lot of you… James is always disappearing and being all mysterious and you! You’re a dick and don’t fucking laugh at me and fuck you I’m going home.”
“Liam,” he called after my retreating form. “My name is Liam, and I think we got off on the wrong foot.”
Liam.
I started laughing, hard. I couldn’t stop. You know that laugh you get at inappropriate times and you can’t stop no matter what? It was that.
I was doubled over holding my stomach, laughing at the ridiculously stupid that is my unlife.
“What? It’s short for William,” his voice was part confusion, part soothing as if he was dealing with a crazy person.
That made me laugh harder and Liam looked like he was about to bolt and I snapped out of it.
I cleared my throat as if I was having a coughing fit and wondered when my life turned into an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
lizziepto be continued…



cover-proof-4
I have been gifted with the honor and privilege of posting the following interview with Music Journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/about/ author of a book I can’t wait to sink my greedy little teeth into. Treat yourself to an early Holiday present, starting with a little taste of Maryanne as she talks to Cynthia Santiglia about some of her many adventures in the world of Rock and Roll. Believe me, you will be glad you did. ~ jb

Finding Your Way into Print: A Talk with Music Journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
By Cynthia Santiglia

The art of getting your name out there in the press, most musicians know, has a direct effect on exposure, and ultimately, on an artist’s bottom line. This comes more naturally to some than others. We spoke with author, respected music journalist and New York City music industry fixture Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta for an insider’s perspective on musicians’ relationships with the press.

Cynthia: Tell us a little about your history in the music scene, Maryanne.

Maryanne: I’ve been a music fan since – forever. I remember being a little girl in the 1960s hearing all the top hits on the radio like Lou Christie, probably from age 3 onward. My mom loved Tom Jones and Barbra Streisand. My grandmother listened to WNEW-AM, so I was exposed to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. My grandmother also worked as a short order cook in a tavern. I’d go with her with a bunch of dimes for the jukebox that played current hits. There was a top 40 band that played there called Donna Lori and the Music Box. I was in awe of the singer who had long black hair like Cher.

So you got started young!

Absolutely! When I got older I started going to concerts and was fortunate enough to catch the tail end of the punk and new wave scene in NYC. I went to Max’s Kansas City, Peppermint Lounge, The Ritz – every night. You could go to Peppermint Lounge on a Monday night, and if you got there by 11 p.m. you only paid a penny to get in! I rarely got home earlier than 5 A.M. I’d write in my diary, take a shower and go to work. That was my life. I worked in the corporate world in my earlier days and took journalism classes on the side. Eventually, I started working for music companies like Latin Percussion and Long & McQuade Music.

How did you get into music writing?

Early on, I started helping a friend write a fanzine and really enjoyed that. And at all the corporate places I worked, I wrote for the company newsletters, I was always writing. In mid-1990s I started interviewing bands for Tattoo Review and In the Flesh magazines. After that it snowballed. I went on to write theatre reviews for several NYC newspapers like The Chelsea/Clinton News and the Westsider. Then I began writing for music.com, Punk, The Aquarian and The Montclair Times.

Do you think artists can really benefit from developing a rapport with their local music journalists?

Oh absolutely! Off the top of my head, I remember writing feature articles in The Montclair Times for bands that performed at Tierney’s a popular local venue. SO many people would come up to me and say, “I came because of your article!” Press really does help.

From your insider’s perspective, what do you think bands should do to get noticed? Is it all about the music, or is image as important as it seems?

I’m huge on image. I love all the Chers, the Freddie Mercurys, the Lady Gagas. I think if you’re on stage, you shouldn’t look like everyone else on the street. I love excitement and gimmicks. I still miss the onstage antics of The Plasmatics. You want to see a SHOW – cars blowing up, beautiful women, guys in tight clothes. Hell, you can even look like Meat Loaf and be sexy! When I was only 14, I saw him onstage acting all hot, rubbing up against Karla DeVito, it was mind blowing to a kid! He was wearing a tuxedo and was all sweaty. But he tapped into his confidence and it worked in his favor. Not to say I had a teenage crush on Meat Loaf – but I was in awe at how larger than life he appeared.

Do you think it’s easier to cultivate an entertaining image nowadays?

It’s a bonus that in this day and age creativity is more acceptable. When I was a kid, I got rocks thrown at me for going to school with a little Clash button on my t-shirt that you could barely notice. I’m so happy for kids today. I see kids in the suburbs walking to school with Mohawks and pink hair – it’s great! They’re adorable and so much more open-minded towards each other. You’ll see the geek with glasses hanging with a friend who has a shaved head. I wish life was like that when I was young. Not to downplay the seriousness of how bullying still exists … [sighs] some steps forward and many steps back, right? But back to style, even for myself, I want people to look at me and think, “She’s a music journalist or music lover.” Over the years I’ve had so many people approach me and ask if I was in a band. I have a visible tattoo of a 45 rpm adaptor on my wrist that I got to celebrate having my first music article published world-wide. I just think people – men and women — are more beautiful when they stand out a little bit. Be YOU-nique – it’s a great cliché to live by!

When you were covering bands, how did you like best to be approached?

Usually it was me doing the approaching. I was always on the outlook for bands/musicians to interview. At The Montclair Times I was on the list for all the record labels. I’d get stuff in the mail and ferret through to see what CDs I’d want to review and who I’d want to interview. Or an editor would approach me with a story. Very rarely did bands approach me – no one knew who I was, ha-ha! *smiles*

Were there turn-offs that made you less interested in an artist’s story, even if you liked the music?

Oh my God, yes! When I was in my early 20s, I lived with a guy who had a cousin that was the lead singer of well known goth band. I loved the music and went to see them several times. Yet the cousin hated me. I later found out it was because I looked like a girl who broke his heart – but still, definitely no reason to be hatin’! It’s not my fault she was cute, right? This guy never said “hello” to me. I said “Hi” but he didn’t answer. He’d call my home and ask for the guy I was living with, never acknowledged that I was there. A total creep! And this was a guy I sat next to at weddings because I dated his cousin a long time! So, it’s not like he didn’t know me, yet he was still rude. Anyway, years later when I was writing for The Aquarian, I got an email from his publicity person – in the subject line: An Interview MUST! (How obnoxious, right?) I deleted it. Never interviewed the guy. Had zero interest.

That’s a good example of how sometimes it’s about what NOT to do. Any tips for artists who want to go after media coverage, but don’t know where to start?

Definitely call all the local newspapers. Contact magazines. Journalists are so easily accessible. One of my editors used to tell everyone his phone number was listed in case anyone ever needed him. I think promotion is so key. Get a good publicity person! Get on the local radios. Get in all the newspapers. Also make sure you have a great publicity shot. I’ll never forget interviewing David Johansen for The Montclair Times and receiving a measly black and white shot from his publicist. We wanted to put him on the cover of the entertainment section, but we couldn’t because black and white wasn’t cover material. The publicist couldn’t get us a color picture, so we ended up putting a local musician named Cate on the cover. Cate was a perfect example of a musician who knew how to promote himself. He was always sending us press releases, updating us on where he was performing. Hell, the dude even made all natural Cate cookies with his picture on them – and they were delicious!

Your upcoming book is called “On the Guest List”- sounds like you have a ton of interesting stories to tell that both musicians and fans will love hearing! What inspired you to document your experiences in a memoir?

It was never on my agenda to write a book. One day my husband and I were talking to a guy, Ron, who owns a small video store at Collingwood flea market down the Jersey shore. He is really into punk music and we hit it off. I told him a few funny stories and he said, “I’d read a book with stories like that.” I said, “Really?” I never thought my life was special, but the thing is – my story is everyone’s story. I’d like to believe there’s a little something that anyone can latch onto – even if they are not on the same page with music. Judy McGuire, columnist/author, wrote one of my endorsements. She gave a great compliment saying that unlike other rock ‘n’ roll memoirs, I start as a music fan and end a music fan. There’s no drug addiction or downward spiral. It’s just a happy, feel good story. I will share that the edge of the book is that I am very against certain negative things in life such as jealousy and bullying – and I make it no
secret how I feel about that. I hope the book will inspire young kids who are being bullied and make them realize, there’s a big world out there and there’s a place for everyone to feel they fit in. For me, it was always with the musicians. Hell, I can’t even brush my teeth without a record on! I need music – almost constantly!

Can you give us a little sneak peek?

I’m often getting myself into these “I Love Lucy” screwball comedy situations. One time I got locked in Max’s with friends- and we had to break out! Within minutes the cops came and we ran for our lives. Another time I was with a friend who was interviewing Cheetah Chrome for a radio show. I somehow got locked in his bathroom! Another bathroom story … over the years I somehow ended up being friends with Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group. A new magazine I was writing for was having a premier party at Sapphire Lounge in the East Village. I casually invited Lenny, never thinking he’d show. Well, here I am in this dinky bathroom and the editor knocks on the door, “Maryanne, your guest Lenny Kaye is here!” I already had a few beers, and you know how that is – so I’m trying to rush my business- just to greet Lenny Kaye!

Haha! It’s going to be such a fun read. Thanks so much for talking with us today, Maryanne!

My pleasure!

Cynthia Santiglia is a freelance writer, copyeditor, singer, and swing shift convenience store clerk. Love notes welcome at MissCynthiaSantiglia@gmail.com



{November 23, 2013}   Daily Prompt~Playtime

AUTHORS NOTE: Playtime to me means playing with my band, so without further ado, here are some shamelessly self promoting pics of me playing.
me bullet trainMe singing with my band Bullet Train

mebtMore me singing with Bullet Train

mebtrMe again, singing with Bullet Train

mebtraMe in a very rare moment, smiling as we wait to hit the stage

mebtraiBullet Train CD cover

merwMe playing guitar before I finally cut my Pre-Raphaelite wanna-be hair

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/daily-prompt-play/



lizz
Keeping myself busy while James was gone kinda sucked, no pun intended.
I was bemoaning his absence to myself because everyone else was sick and tired of hearing me whine about it out loud. Even I was getting sick of hearing me talk about him, I was making my own damn self cranky.
“Fuck this,” I said to my reflection as I applied a coat of Chanel red to my pouting mouth. That whole vampires-have-no-reflection thing was really nothing more than a parlor trick we used when it came in handy. I mean really, how the hell else would we put on makeup without a mirror?
“I’m out of here Rupert. I’ll be back before dawn.” Rupert, as usual, ignored me as he continued licking his paws. He really needed his nails cut but I refused to get him declawed; his nails were his protection whenever he snuck out, declawing my cat would be no different than me being defanged.
It was a beautiful fall night, the moon was half full surrounded by a sky full of stars, the temperature just chilly enough to wear my new favorite leather jacket. I do look good in red.
I decided to walk to the bar, it was just a few blocks away and I was hoping the walk would cool me down because I was nearing the point of fuming. I mean I get it, I understand that James has obligations, it comes with the title of Master Vampire but he’s been gone a little too long for my liking.
I miss him so much.
~
As I turned the corner I saw him. Leaning back against the cold brick wall we’d leaned against so many times, one hand in his front pocket, the other hand cupped around a cigarette.
“James! You’re back!” I couldn’t contain my excitement, my whole world changed when I was anywhere around him so I jumped up into his arms.
Only problem was he didn’t hold his arms out to catch me and I landed hard on my ass.
“Oh Elizabeth, you make it so easy to fuck with you,” he was laughing at me and if there is one think that drives me crazy is when someone laughs at me. But James?
“James?”
“Come on Lizzie, I know you’re a little slow on the uptake but what’s it going to take to penetrate that empty head of yours?” He took one last drag of his cigarette then flicked it near me. “Let me say this in words you can understand, leave me the fuck alone.”
Without waiting for an answer James turned his back on me and walked away.
“James?” I tried calling after him but nothing came out. He’d shocked me into silence.
I stood frozen in shock. This made no sense.
Something was off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but there was no way in hell James would speak to me like this.
Even at his worst, he wouldn’t, he couldn’t, not my James.
As I watched him walk away from me, crossing the street into the cemetery I replayed the scene in my head. He’d been gone before but he always came back and we always-
“Wait a minute,” I mumbled. “That son of a bitch! I’m going to kill him.”
I tore after him hoping I could keep my temper in check long enough to find out where James was before I kicked his twin brother’s undead ass.
~
Of course they were identical because my life was turning into one big cliché. Unlife. Whatever.
My mind was churning as I dashed after him wondering why James neglected to mention his brother was his twin brother.
I didn’t take kindly to being made to look the fool but trying to pass himself off as the dick-version of James really pissed me off.
He was so cocky as he walked away he didn’t even notice me until he was flat on his back.
I have to admit the sound of his head bouncing off the ground gave me more pleasure than it should have.
Grabbing him by the collar as I straddled him to hold him down, I leaned into his face , I couldn’t believe how much he looked like James. Speaking of…
“Where’s your brother you fucking asshole?”
I was pissed. Anger is a good strength multiplier, as much as he struggled he couldn’t get loose from my grip.
“Lizzie, come on, calm down! I was joking, lighten up!” He was laughing again, bad for him.
I had caught him off guard when I first dove at him out of the darkness but it was the knife I held to his throat more than me holding him down. I pulled back a little, blade with me, and punched him in the mouth with my other hand.
“Ow!” He was still laughing and I was not happy. “Knock it off Liz, I was just fooling around!”
“First of all, fuck you,” I said calmly. “Second of all,” I punched him again. “And thirdly, where’s your brother?”
He looked at me like I was nuts as my knife was now perilously near his own.
“Hey! Watch where you’re pointing that thing! And what are you talking about?”
The last shred of control I had over my temper was about to snap.
You called him for help, what was it this time? What did you do now? You know he always comes running to your rescue whenever you call him to get you out of your latest mess, grow the fuck up already!”
I gave him the glariest glare I could muster. “Now where is he?”
James’s face stared at me, pale and serious, but it was his twin brother’s voice that came out of his mouth.
“Lizzie, I didn’t call James. That’s why I’m here, I can’t get in touch with him.”
lizzz
AUTHORS NOTE: Lizzie and James have been working undercover, I was inspired today by my deliciously evil muse Alice, so here is, as Alice says a “fragment”…because Muses know special things…



shadowkiss
AUTHORS NOTE:This is part of the James and Lizzie Vampire Story,in which I am slowly introducing some new characters who will become important to the story, but for now, just a little tease…
There was a perfect symmetry to them.
The way they unconsciously mirrored each other, gestures, phrases, even the way they laughed together seemed like a well-worn routine.
There was something so comfortable and at ease about the two of them, I wondered if they knew.

My band plays a lot at the local watering hole, it was a regular blue-collar shot and beer joint before James took it over and turned it into a place where original bands could play without having to jump on the Pay To Play treadmill like most clubs.
It was a rare thing, a place to play with a built in crowd who appreciated original music instead of a jukebox with eight legs cranking out cover songs. James was making money hand over fist and the local music scene kept thriving.
There’s a lot of observation time when your band is playing the last set of the night, especially when you’re not much of a drinker. I spent many a night in a dark corner with a notebook and a pen in case inspiration struck, but mostly I just watched.
I love people-watching.
I’d make up intricate backstories in my mind and as the night went on and people drank more, letting down their guard, the stories I’d write in my head got more and more interesting.
And my appetite grew to the point where I was afraid my tummy rumbles were louder than the bands.
We had a strict policy though, no feeding on the patrons.
Of course that was just another stupid rule James decided we needed to adhere to.
I knew it made sense, at least I pretended it made sense but my body told me otherwise. And for some reason I can’t understand, I want to break every damn rule James has.
My rebellious tendencies keep getting worse due to all the sex I’m not having but yet again, another James Rule, none of
the fun stuff till he thinks I’m ready to graduate from vampire 101.
The other night, when I asked him who died and made him the boss of me, he raised an eyebrow before he answered.
“Do I have to remind you Lizzie, that you died and made me the boss of you?”
It’s times like these when I wish James wasn’t already undead so I could kill him myself.

I still had a good hour to wait before my band was up so I headed outside to my usual smoking spot to burn some time.
You’d be surprised how much you can learn about people when you’re leaning against a brick wall having a smoke, my heightened sense of hearing didn’t hurt either.
In other words, I knew all the gossip that everyone thought was private but at least I’ve always been good at keeping my mouth shut.
They were outside too, the two I’d been watching, both of them leaning against the wall themselves but they didn’t see me there and like I said, you learn a lot just standing around inconspicuously.
I don’t know why I was so fascinated with these two. There was just something about the way they sparked off each other. They were married, only not to each other, and I knew that both of their marriages were shit.
Neither one of them ever said those words, at least not in my presence, there were just bits and pieces I picked up over time and began weaving them together .
There was just something about them that I couldn’t ignore. Maybe I read too much, maybe I have an overactive imagination or maybe I’m just plain nosy but I started making a movie up in my head starring the two of them.
Ok I admit it, I get bored waiting for my band to go on, in fact half the time I don’t even care if I play or not, I’m a reluctant rock star but that’s another story. This is about them, these two beautiful humans who seem to glow whenever they’re in each other’s orbit.

See, I’d pay attention to them, watch their body language.
I started noticing that when they were on-stage themselves, singing in their respective bands, there was a subtle familiarity to their lyrics, as if they were playing off each other. I’d seen both of their bands hundreds of times and since I write my own lyrics I listen hard to other band’s lyrics and there was a definite connection between these two.
Maybe it was just my over-active imagination looking for evidence to support my mental movie.
I had this whole George Harrison/Patti Boyd/Eric Clapton thing going on in my head.
One night recently somebody dropped a dollar in the jukebox and the unmistakable opening riff to Layla filled the room as they were standing directly in front of the sound booth where I was hanging out with James. They weren’t alone, they were laughing with a small group of friends.
But there was this one moment I caught, I saw their eyes meet lit with laughter the way friends tend to do, but there was something different in their eyes, an unmistakable change that told me my suspicions were right on target.
I could almost see the electricity flowing between them, they hum and glow whenever they’re in each other’s orbit.
I wonder if they finally figured out they’re in love with each other.
blackrose
to be continued…



et cetera