joannebest











bowie rip 1.11.16
“Oh no love, you’re not alone”
I’m finding it hard to string a sentence together right now, unexpectedly choked up about someone I never met and I know I’m not alone.
Rock stars come and go, they influence us, they encourage us, they lift us up when we’re down and make us cry when we need an excuse to reveal our emotions. They can define us, give us something to cling to when we are lost and broken, give us something to hold on to when we are frozen and can’t take one more step forward.
David Bowie captured everything we freaks suffered every day and welcomed us, encouraged us, gave us a place to drift to when we were overwhelmed and alone.
He wrapped his words around us and let us know we weren’t alone, influenced generations, kicked opened closet doors and told us, “it ain’t easy” but it’s worth it, we can let our freak-flag fly high and proud, and it was alright, we could all be rock and roll stars.
Growing up in suburban New Jersey wasn’t always easy if you didn’t fit the cookie cutter mold of a blue-collar town but David Bowie gave us a glimpse into what life could be like if we just stayed true to ourselves and didn’t worry about the whisperings behind closed living-room curtains when we walked down the street.
He showed us we were all limitless, we really could touch the stars if we just reached out and shrugged off the mud slung our way. He gave us courage, strength when we needed it most, there at the tip of our fingers and the drop of a needle on vinyl.
Inspiration to become ourselves.
Nearly every band I’ve loved has, at one time or another, done their own version of a David Bowie song, including my own band. Standing onstage singing a Bowie song was a rite of passage in my circle of friends, a sign to everyone that yes, I’m a freak too, just like you, and isn’t it grand?
No-one but his closest friends and family knew he had cancer, so the world woke up to a gut-punch this morning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was awakened by a text or phone call from a dear friend telling me the terrible news that Ziggy Stardust was no longer with us here on earth.
Rest in peace Mr. Bowie, you are now a true star, a starman waiting in the sky, making the Heavens glow brighter, a celebration of music left behind in your wake.
And all the children will continue to boogie, for you taught us all, we are not alone.
Watch me now….



maryanne
In continuing with the Writers Process Blog Tour, I am honored to (re)introduce you to someone I look up to, someone who inspires me every day in every way. Maryanne is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. Here’s a little bit of information about her to be followed by Maryanne’s leg of the Blog Tour.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta has been writing professionally since 1995. She’s a self-employed award-winning writer and public speaker. Her work has appeared in The Paterson Press, Westfield Alternative Press, Millburn-Short Hills Alternative Press, South Orange Alternative Press, Maplewood Alternative Press, Suburban Essex, The Patch, The Montclair Times, The Jersey City Independent, Skinny News, NJ Health & Fitness, The Aquarian Arts Weekly (which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 2012), The West Sider, The Chelsea Clinton News, music.com, Tattoo Review, Punk Magazine, and Exit, to name a few.

Her first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon.

Maryanne lives in Union County, New Jersey, with her husband and cat, Derick. Other interests include: music, health/fitness and public speaking.

Her website is: http://www.peartreeenterprises.com

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”
http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

Pear Tree Enterprises

http://www.peartreeenterprises.com/

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.)

908-276-1514
cover-proof-4



{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…



{April 24, 2014}   MonkeeMania

monkees
My entire body trembled, my heart pounding as Gail Jeanne and I made our way down the aisle to our center stage seats.
We weren’t teenagers anymore, but we’d been too young the first time around, back when The Monkees were in our living rooms once a week, and there was no way my Father was going to let single-digit me go to a concert no matter how many tears I shed.
My Parents indulged me enough when it came to my Monkee Mania. The Monkees lunchbox, a Monkees hardcover binder for my schoolwork, every Tiger Beat and Sixteen magazine with every important update about Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike I could find. I even had a groovy little white and red plastic record player that only played records when you closed it (because the needle was in the lid) and every single album and 45 the Monkees put out. If it said “The Monkees” on whatever it was, I wanted it. Although I never did get that 4 headed Monkees talking hand puppet.
And yes, I even wore a Monkees costume one Halloween, Micky Dolenz because he was my favorite Monkee.
But I digress.
I don’t even know how it happened, it’s all a blur when I look back on it. I was heading into my late 20’s and I turned into a giddy teenage girl finally getting to see her teen idols when Gail and I somehow became cohorts in that Immortal Summer Of Monkee Mania.
Atlantic City was the first show in New Jersey, a two hour drive give or take, and don’t hold me to it but I’m pretty sure we listened to Monkees music the whole ride. All I can remember is giddy girlie giggling.
I mean, we were about to see our Teen Idols, we were excited!!!
They were doing two shows that night and we had tickets for the second show so we wandered a little bit around the casino. There may have been cocktails, after all, we were seeing our Teen Idols but we weren’t teenagers anymore.
Standing outside the theater was driving us crazy, knowing they were right there on the other side of the annoyingly soundproof wall and I just kept checking my watch trying to make time move faster.
Gail had a better idea.
Like opening the doors and walking right in.
It was the encore as I recall, so security was lax.
When we walked into Daydream Believer I was 8 years old again and I couldn’t help it. I immediately cried.
Shut up you.
They weren’t heaving sobs, just the kind of tears you get when you’re so happy your eyes get watery because you’re smiling so hard you hit your tear ducts.
It’s a thing.
Then came our turn, our show, time for us to finally see our Teen Idols.
Ok so money was exchanged so we could bribe our way were shown to front row seats, it was The Monkees! We had to be up front!
Remember how I said it was a blur? It really was because I have no linear timeline in my head for that whole crazy Monkees Summer, all I remember is the feeling of pure happiness, right there, just a few feet away, close enough to touch and, one minute we’re singing and screaming and then Gail goes for it and jumps up onstage and throws her arms around Micky. At that moment in time, Gail became my hero. It was awesome! Micky was having fun with it and then the security guys came onstage and gave her a talking to and uninvited her from future visits to their fine establishment which was actually pretty cool of them to not call the police.
I felt so bad she couldn’t see the rest of the show that night. After we got her out of the security office Gail and I knew we had no choice, we had to see them again. As many times as humanly possible.
Talk about a blur, I just have flashes of show after show in NJ and NY, always up front. Gail talking our way backstage and getting their autographs and photographs taken with each of them which they later autographed at another show.
The night we saw them at the pier in NYC Gail and I took the train in. We decided we needed a “We love you Monkees” banner because, um, because, just because we wanted to.
Hell, we missed it the first time around because we were too young, The Monkees have a lot of awesome songs and it was like we stole the TARDIS and went back in time, those shows were just like the footage we’d seen of their concerts in their heyday. Females and males alike of every age were screaming and singing along, crying and hysterics, it truly felt like Gail and I had gone back in time and damn, they really sounded good. They also played their own instruments for any naysayers out there.
The day before that show I got a white sheet and some red and black magic markers and made the banner we’re holding in the above picture (I’m in the middle above the heart), what you can’t see is what the magazine cropped out of the picture; since Mike Nesmith decided not to do the tour it didn’t seem right to put his name there. Ok so I, as a fan, was pissed he wasn’t joining the tour so instead of writing his name I drew a bottle of Liquid Paper because Mike Nesmith’s Mom invented Liquid Paper.
Well the Monkee-boys seemed amused when they saw it.
Actually they all signed it and Gail and I share joint custody of it. It’s almost my turn with our autographed baby.
That entire summer was based around The Monkees but alas, I wasn’t able to go to Las Vegas with Gail to see them, where she not only spent time with them but also, if I’m not mistaken, did some babysitting for Davy and his wife. During the summer we’d become such familiar faces and eventually met them and most of their spouses and some of their children. One of my favorite memories is sitting with Davy Jones’s youngest daughter, I think she was around 4 or 5 years old; anyway she was fascinated by my armful of dangly glittery bracelets so I gave her one and I can still remember the smile on her face. In some strange way it was almost as if I had come full circle, as if me giving something of mine to a Monkees’ daughter was a way for me to give them back something for all the joy and happiness they gave me over the years when I was a child.
And yes I do realize you might have to bend your vision around a few corners to see my point, it makes more sense in my head.
They usually say never meet your idols because you’ll probably be disappointed.
I’m happy to say in this case, they are wrong.
~
monkees2
AUTHORS NOTE: While there are still a lot of fun little details to be told about the Summer of Monkee Mania, I have to hold something
back for my WIP…I will give you this though, I will be producing photograph proof of Gail Jeanne onstage with Micky Dolenz. Because it’s kinda cool…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/teen-age-idol/



{April 16, 2014}   Becoming Me ~ Only Sixteen

1moreofme
Confession: when I was sixteen years old I started to become me.
Becoming me didn’t come without a price, I was pretty much a pariah once my Faerie Godmothers got their hands on me and transformed me into a swan.
You know, if swans wore red lipstick and hung out at gay bars and underground dance clubs in NYC on a regular basis.
While the other girls in school were buying prom dresses and doing whatever other normal girlie things they did, I was being plucked and primped and made-over by my gay best friends. Transformed.
I was a quiet book-nerd with not a lot of girl friends, but for some reason I had a handful of really close boy friends who just happened to be gay. I may have been 16 but they were 17 and 18, not much of a difference really but in the later ’70’s, 17 and 18 came with drivers licenses and an entrance to brand new world, where I didn’t have to have fluffy hair and bouncy boobs but instead was embraced for me, all 100 pounds of me. And at five feet nine and a half inches there wasn’t much surplus weight for bouncy boobs. But I digress.
Sixteen years old. How can it seem so long ago yet just like yesterday?
I was so lucky.
Timing isn’t my strong suit but this was one time my timing was timely.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was just beginning it’s weekend midnight ritual, I wish I kept count of how many times I saw it but I know it was move than 50. It showed every weekend half a block from Manny’s Den, a low key gay bar in New Brunswick, and if we weren’t there, we were at The Gallery in NYC, where the weird and wonderful went to dance.
The beauty of it all was I could tell my Parents where I was going, as long as I was with my gay friends I could go out at 10pm and come home at 9 the next morning (on weekends only, I may have forgotten to mention the times I ditched school to hang out in the city for a few hours).
I can’t do The Gallery justice. A members-only club, hidden amongst dismal surroundings by the Bowery, but inside was Heaven. Nicky Siano was a friend of my GBFF Steven and it was Nicky’s club. New York Magazine called The Gallery, “one of the five most visually breathtaking nightspots of our time” for a reason; it was amazing. Balloons everywhere, mannequins, artwork of all kinds, indescribable light shows and huge gigantic puffy pillows strewn everywhere. Oh yeah, all kinds of celebrities hung there too but that wasn’t a big deal to me.
It was the music.
It’s no secret I’m a Punk Rocker at heart but a good beat is a good beat and when I can feel the bass pumping through my veins and hundreds of people are dancing while the lights go wild, well, how can you not move?
And I gotta tell you, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen Grace Jones carried onto a stage like Cleopatra by all these muscle men before she belts out a song.
When we were at The Gallery, me just 16 years old, we were invincible. Monday mornings always brought reality check time with it and I was (usually) back in school, another ignored teenage misfit but inside? Inside I was smiling. I was engraving those memories onto my sixteen year old brain looking forward to making more. It was good armor for the desolation of being 16 and all the emotions that come with it.
~
Because I’m feeling nostalgic already on this very subject, I’m including 2 links for anyone who wants to bother, you can click and see some pictures of The Gallery. It just so happens that Nicky’s movie about The Gallery is coming out this week. It’s extra sad for me that I have to add that Frankie Knuckles narrates the movie and he passed away a few weeks ago. Frankie Knuckles is a legend himself, when I went to his birthday party a few years ago he let me touch his Grammy, which is supposed to be good luck, and when we went back to his living room Chaka Khan came in and sang Happy Birthday to him. RIP Frankie, a huge loss to the music world.
Also, the illustrations were drawn by one of my GBFF’s Robert Ambrose. We’d sit around his room and he’d sketch me and some of our adventures. He would have been a famous fashion designer but he died when he was 22 from brain cancer. I’ll never forget him and always love him. This was sketched after a night out. Yeah, I wore harem pants and platform shoes.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/only-sixteen/
1ofme
http://www.nickysiano.com/Bio.htm

http://www.groovescooter.com/catalogue/nickysianogallery.html



{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



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/



“>
So I just heard this song and thought this might be the best song ever…at least in my world…give it a listen, look at some art by Mr. Wood and listen to a song that can make a grown man cry, also know as one of my very favorite songs… please to enjoy, as well as the lyrics below, words I wish I had written.

Breathe On Me Song Lyrics ~ Ronnie Wood

I been known to say the wrong things in my time,
Stumbled when I was in my prime
We cannot have it our way all the time,
And you cannot have it your way all the time

Does it have to happen like this?
Does it have to be this way?

Open your mouth and breathe on me
I need your sensitivity
Through the desert and ravine
I see you in places you ain’t been
Pass me up and stall me one more time
Distant arrangements in your mind

Still another reason to live
Still another reason to die

Open your mouth and breathe on me
I need your sensitivity

Open your mouth and breathe on me
Sting the very core of me. . .sting it now

Won’t you come and see me some time?
Now that we’ve laid it on the line
Linger a while on the truth
Linger a while on the lies
Won’t you come and see me in my dreams?
The only way we meet it seems
Oh why do you lead me on?
Oh why do you lead me on?
Open up your mouth and breathe on me
Open up your mouth and breath on me

today was Dad-filled, tomorrow I write! Or maybe sooner…



et cetera