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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Peter Lemongello – Love ’76

PETER LEMONGELLO.

I vaguely remember him and the 1976 commercial that took this former cabaret singer to new heights in his career. The kitschy commercial helped him become the first person to sell over a million records via television marketing.

Peter Lemongello went on to perform at Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.

I found his website: http://www.plemongello.com/ and see that time was very good to this man, he looks great! He is still performing in Florida, where he resides.

I also found his Twitter account, but see that he hasn’t updated since 2009. Shame I didn’t realize he performed at Trumpets, in Montclair, New Jersey in 2009. I would have went. As a reporter I covered quite a few acts that performed at Trumpets.

According to Wikipedia, what Lemongello accomplished is still being studied at college marketing courses and in advertising agencies.

Genius!

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Happy Birthday Diamanda Galas!

Rare smiling photo I found surfing the web

How thrilled am I with the work of Diamanda Galas? Let me count the ways … I think going to see someone perform at least five times over the years, owning several CDs, and interviewing them for your gothic column definitely says you’re beyond thrilled.

Some of the venues I’ve seen her perform at include Carnegie Hall and Joe’s Pub. And each performance was not only extraordinary but very different from the last — from her hair and clothing to her demeanor.

Diamanda is definitely a woman of substance on many levels. As dynamic, mesmerizing, powerful and intimidating as she is onstage, she’s as equally down to earth backstage. She’s very nice, girly and full of smiles.

I am so honored to have met her after interviewing her for my goth column. And even more honored that she complimented me on this lovely pair of burgundy platform pumps that I wore a lot back in the early ’00s.

If you can find the out of print Research: Angry Women magazine/book, I highly recommend it for the best in-depth interview with Diamanda.

I think the Diamanda song that speaks to me the most is Iron Lady, a tribute to the late serial murderer Aileen Wurornos who claims she killed in self defense.

Here is the chilling song:

IRON LADY

Another one that will send chills up your spine is her version of “My World Is Empty Without You.”

To me, this is how the song should be done, illustrating the true meaning of a world being empty and lonely after losing love. This song can bring tears to the eyes.

My World Is Empty Without You

Extraordinary, soulful beauty … we are so blessed to have Diamanda Galas in our musical world.

Thank you, Diamanda, for all your exquisite talent you’ve shared with us throughout the decades!

Happy Birthday to Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield was a rock ‘n’ roll heartthrob in the 1970s and had a hit called “Speak to the Sky.”

And he dated Linda Blair.

I wasn’t aware of him until the 1980s. And don’t remember what came first, his hit “Jessie’s Girl” or his role as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Like a million other girls, I thought he was a real cutie.

Of course he was considered a joke to all the “cool” kids. Regardless, I brought his records and watched General Hospital. His music was catchy and he was a great actor.

Then came the day I had the opportunity to see him perform live. The punch line was that this amazing band, Sparks, was his warm-up act! That was probably the most bizarre contrast in musical history since Jimi Hendrix warmed up for The Monkees!

Sparks was the band I really wanted to see, but how could I resist staying to see Rick?!

When I got to the show, it was obvious who the Rick fans were and who the Sparks fans were.

No stranger to going from one extreme to another, I was a fan of both acts — and stayed for both shows, unlike the Sparks fans who fled out of the arena faster than a greased rat’s ass. God forbid anyone should see them sticking around for ‘ole Rick!

And it was a great show.

Now, like 30 years later, every time I hear “Jessie’s Girl” on the radio, I still think: this man was on the same bill as Sparks! and shake my head, laughing.

Rick was recently on an episode of “Hot in Cleveland” playing a Rick Springfield impersonator who got hot women “of a certain age” by telling them he was Rick Springfield. Classic! If you get a chance to catch the episode, I highly recommend it. You’ll laugh your ass off.

Now enjoy a video of Rick in all his glory:

I’ve Done Everything For You

And, for good measure, his “warm-up” act, Sparks (featuring Ron and Russell Mael, the anti-Ricks!)

Sparks on Saturday Night Live doing Mickey Mouse

 

 

 

The Nuns

The Nuns

I once had the honor of being a part of  The Nuns theatrical gothic stage show when they performed in NYC, Halloween 2002.

The way I got the gig was because I interviewed original Nuns member Mistress Jennifer (Jennifer Anderson) for my goth column that ran in the Aquarian Arts Weekly back in 2002.

Mistress Jennifer invited me to perform onstage with her band for their big Halloween show.

“If you dare,” she said.

I was no stranger to the stage, as I did theatrical work for Pharoah back in the 1980s. I’ve also done spoken word art throughout NYC and NJ. And I was in an off Broadway production of a play I co-wrote with a few other writers. So of course I said, “Yes!”

I didn’t get paid for my performance with The Nuns, I just did it for the experience. The Nuns dated back to the 1970s, and the original line-up, which included Jennifer, warmed up for The Sex Pistols. So it was a thrill to share the stage with them. I danced on stage with legends!

Mistress Jennifer and Mistress Kris were the show stoppers of the group, the S&M Queens of the Night. And they were wonderful to work with. I enjoyed their music and thanks to them, had one of the best Halloween’s in my life.

Mistress Kris was so cool from the get-go. She told me right away, “You’re gorgeous” and kinda took me under her wing, giving me cues as to when to walk on and off stage. I adored her and I’m so glad I have the experience video taped, as well as a ton of pictures of us together!

After the show Mistress Jennifer thanked me for being part of the act and said I did great.

Then, shockingly, just a few years later, both women I shared the stage with died tragically.

In 2007 Mistress Kris was murdered in a Times Square Hotel. She was only in her late 20s.

After Kris’s death, I was emailing Jennifer quite a bit. She shared a lot about Kris and her life. Jennifer was living in Hollywood at this time. She had a very romantic soul and it was wonderful to talk to her so much via emails. She was very positive.

Then, another shocker came.

Mistress Jennifer died of complications from cancer complications in 2011.

The news of both deaths really shook me up. It’s just awful how life takes you by surprise like that. You just never know.

Here is a link to a photo from the night of the performance (Mistress Kris (left) and me (right): http://www.flickr.com/photos/88177256@N00/2790098563/lightbox/

Note: Photo was taken by Ed O’Brien

And here is a song by The Nuns:

White Slave

RIP, Mistress Jennifer and Mistress Kris; may their beautiful souls rest in peace.

My Favorite Elvis Story

Elvis and Hank Snow

Once again, it’s that time of year when millions of Elvis fans celebrate the death of the legendary artist.

Anyone who was alive on August 16, 1977, remembers where they were.

I was 13 and in Florida with my beloved Grandmother. It was a shock to hear that Elvis Presley died at the age of 42.

Two years later I took the trip with my Grandmother and other family members, to Graceland. (This was before they allowed people into the house, but I got to meet Elvis’s uncle Vester Presley!)

Almost everyone you meet has an Elvis story. And here is my favorite:

Back in 1995, I was 31-years-old and working as assistant to Ken Knabb, vice president of Outlaw Biker Enterprises, in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Ken was probably in his late 60s or early 70s at the time. And he was the only person I ever met who saw both Elvis AND Marilyn Monroe.

His Elvis story was legendary.

Ken was a huge Hank Snow fan. One time he went to see Hank Snow and heard dozens of girls screaming. He didn’t know what the screaming was all about until Elvis Presley hit the stage.

Ken actually got to see Elvis as a warm-up act to Hank Snow! Imagine that?

So, today, I want to pay a little tribute to both artists.

Here’s the King doing “A Fool Such as I”:

A Fool Such as I

And here is Hank Snow’s version:

A Fool Such as I

Both versions give me goosebumps. What do you think?

I love you Grandma! Grandma, August 14, 1918 to January 28, 1995

A Tribute to My Late Grandmother, Mary

Above, as a young girl;

Below, as the Grandma I knew and loved dearly

She loved me …

And she loved Elvis …

And here’s a little Elvis song that always makes me think of her:

I’ll Remember You ❤

I love you, Grandma 🙂

Freddie Mercury – Retro play review I wrote in 1997

Freddie Mercury

The following excerpts are from a review I did on a play about Freddie Mercury called, “Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God” published in New York’s Westsider, Dec. 4-10, 1997. First rights, under my real name: Mary Anne Christiano.

Such an eerie concurrence that back in 1972, Freddie Mercury wrote a song, for his band Queen, entitled “Great King Rat,” about a fictitious character who, “died of syphilis, 44,” then almost 20 years later Mercury himself dies — also from a degenerating sexual malady called AIDS, at age 45. The night before his death, Mercury revealed his illness to the world — after keeping his sexuality a secret from his parents and fans.

“I have no regrets,” finalizes Mercury. “If you could leave the world with no regrets — you lived happily.”

Mercury was a “true” rock star — a charming entertainer who loved every minute of his fame and fortune. It was a sad day on earth when the world lost this man to the terrifying illness, AIDS.

And here is the song I mentioned in the article, “Great King Rat” that was recorded on the first Queen album:

Great King Rat

Queen was one of my favorite bands since I was 13. At this time they only had five albums. I worked my way backwards getting all their work, then moved forward — with them — buying their albums as they made them, until Freddie passed away. Luckily I saw them with Freddie in 1982. Dynamic show!

Jukebox Songs

Antique Auto Museum, Hershey, Pennsylvania, June 2012

Everyone loves a jukebox!

Here’s some of my favorite songs that mention a jukebox in them:

I LOVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

JUKEBOX (DON’T PUT ANOTHER DIME)

PLEASE MISTER PLEASE

What songs are worth a few quarters to you?

RIP Marvin Hamlisch – June 2, 1944 to August 6, 2012

Now I Wanna Be Your Dog

Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and furry friend 

You gotta love Joan Jett.

She can do both cute (see above) and sexy (click below)!

I Wanna Be Your Dog

How cliche, but I bet a lot of people wanna be Joan’s dog!

And special thanks to my very good friend Todd Gordon, who found the cute picture

Follow Todd on Twitter, he’s a hoot:  https://twitter.com/moviequill

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