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Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Happy Birthday Johnny Lydon (aka Rotten)

Johnny RottenJohnny Rotten (photo swiped from Google)

Happy Birthday to Johnny Lydon!

I never saw the Sex Pistols, but I did see his other band, Public Image Limited.

And I was lucky enough to meet Johnny Lydon, back in the day.

I told this story many times and it’s a very cool story because it was so unexpected.

Christmas Day Night (always something magical about that time, so a few years ago I started hosting parties on that night), 1981, I went with a few friends to see Johnny Thunders perform at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC.

After the show, one of our friends was missing — the guy who drove us in, Steve Miller (from punk band Electric Frankenstein).

Not knowing where to look, we decided it was best to just go back to the car and wait for him.

As we were walking back to the car, we noticed Steve was there and talking to someone. “Who’s that dude?” We all wondered.

As we got closer, one of the guys said, “Holy shit, it’s Lydon!”

I was so young, just turned 18, so I was a nervous teenager about to meet an icon. When we got to the car, I nearly froze.

Johnny Lydon said hello to me first. I just so happened to be wearing a button with his picture on it on my jacket with his famous saying, “Lydon Not Rotten.” I showed him the button.

“God, I’m ugly!” he said.

“No you’re not, you’re cute.”

My friend gave him a lift. And he was so great, talking to a car full of teenagers, answering questions about the Sex Pistols and being so respectful to all of us. I asked him for his autograph but he didn’t feel worthy of giving one. He said, “Here, have a beer instead” and handed me a beer.

When he got out, he wished everyone “Peace and good will.”

What a great person to be so nice to all us youngsters who admired him!

Here is Johnny Lydon’s famous “American Bandstand” appearance where he purposely stopped lip synching and just let the record play. Gotta love the dude! The two songs, “Poptones” and “Careering” are my favorite songs from his band Public Image Limited:

Public Image Limited was so avant garde, nothing like The Sex Pistols punk songs. So buying a Public Image album was a shock, but I loved them just as much, if not more than The Sex Pistols

In addition to the “American Bandstand” stunt, when Public Image Limited performed at the Ritz in NYC, they played behind a screen, causing an uproar with the fans.

And here is the famous “Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” album in its entirety with Johnny Rotten on vocals (I record I got in the $3.99 bin when I was a teen).


Kill City

I’m such a fan of all Iggy Pop’s solo work and this album has always been my favorite of everything Iggy’s ever done. I had this on green vinyl.

Here it is, KILL CITY, in it’s entirety (because that’s how it SHOULD be listened to — in order!)

And here is a track from the album, “I Got Nothing” covered by D-Generation, who did an amazing job!



Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Angelina billboardSunset Boulevard billboard

Yesterday I was in one of those “Whatever Happened To?” modes and was thinking about Angelyne, the billboard queen of the 1980s who became a Hollywood icon by having a billboard of herself.

Her life was pretty mysterious and you can’t find too much information via Google.

She came from out of nowhere but did a few music videos (really good, like a cross between Blondie and Missing Persons and Berlin) and cameo appearances in movies, most famous, “Earth Girls are Easy.” But then she also did some low budget films in the 1970s. She also sang in a band called Baby Blue.

Angelyne didn’t have a rich husband who paid for these billboards, she was single and said the money came from investors. She was also a candidate in a 2003 California recall election.

No one knows the  real age of this eccentric lady. In some…

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Happy Birthday to Tom Keifer!

Tom KeiferTom Keifer (Photo swiped from Google search)

Happy Birthday to Tom Keifer of Cinderella.

I had the pleasure of seeing them perform a couple summers ago when my husband’s (Dennis Lords/bass) band, Pharoah, warmed up for them at Starland Ballroom, New Jersey.

Here’s a great song by Cinderella, “Nobody’s Fool.” Tom’s voice is so gorgeous!

And since I mentioned Pharoah, here’s a video of them (not from the Cinderella show, but around the same time):

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

The other F WordStill from “The Other F Word”

As I said a few days ago, winter is the best time for discovering great movies.

This morning I watched “The Other F Word” which was a spectacular documentary about punk rock dads and their families. (So the other F word was “Fatherhood.”)

I’m a big fan of punk rock, but this movie was aimed at the generation after mine. While I loved The Clash, Sex Pistols, Chelsea, the Dickies, etc., this movie was geared at the next generation: Pennywise, Blink 182 and NOFX (but had some old school bands I loved like Black Flag — in the very beginning pre-Henry Rollins, which I preferred — and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers).

The movie was unbelievably touching and in a way heart-breaking. These bad ass punks totally turned to mush when they spoke about their families and hating being on the road because…

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Happy Birthday David Johansen!

David JohansenDavid Johansen (photo swiped from Google search)

Happy Birthday David Johansen! From the New York Dolls to the Harry Smiths, David Jo is another artist that can do no wrong musically. He is a chameleon and a genius who never skips a beat in changing with the times.

I have a very funny David Johansen story.

Almost 10 years ago I interviewed him for The Montclair Times entertainment section. His publicity person was dead set on having a particular time to interview because David Jo didn’t want to talk on his cell phone. (Hey, that was A-OK in my book — I hate cell phones too!)

Then, the publicity person sent a B&W photo, which in this day and age didn’t make sense, but hey that’s what we had to work with, so UNFORTUNATELY, because the photo was B&W, not color, we couldn’t put him on the cover of the entertainment section. Instead, a local artist named Cate was put on the cover.

In addition to interviewing him, I met him so many times over the years, by chance, and he was always a great guy, funny and a real gentleman. I was too young to see the original New York Dolls, but I’ve seen their reunion, as well as David Jo doing solo stuff (circa 1982), Buster Poindexter, and The Harry Smiths — all these versions of his talent many times, in NYC, in New Jersey, and even in Long Island.

Whenever I saw him as Buster Poindexter, I always made sure to hop on the conga line for “Hot Hot Hot.” One time I was right behind him, so I grabbed his butt just for the fun of it.

Out of everything David Johansen ever did, I have to admit his solo stuff is what touched my heart the most.

Here are some of my favorite David Johansen songs:





Bohemian Love Pad



David Johansen and THE HARRY SMITHS

On The Wall

DOUBLE BIRTHDAY: Happy Birthday to Elvis and Bowie!

ElvisElvis Presley

Today we celebrate the birth dates of two legends, Elvis Presley and David Bowie. And I have a story to share about both!

In 1979, two years after the death of Elvis Presley, my Mother took me, my Grandmother and sister Kim to Graceland. At the time fans weren’t permitted to go into the house, but we all stood at the gates and even got to meet Elvis’s uncle, Vester Presley and have our photos taken with him.  I was 15 at the time and it was a gorgeous day outside. In the area we ate at a place that had a jukebox with nothing but Elvis music.

Elvis was always a bit hit in every home I lived in; first with my family; then living on my own I always threw on an Elvis record; and now with my husband, we love Elvis so much we often go see Elvis impersonators. Of all we’ve ever seen, I’d have to say my favorites were: Shawn Kush, Tony Grova and Mike Moat. And there are yet so many more to see!

I know a lot of people think the early Elvis is cooler, but I prefer the Las Vegas Elvis 🙂

Here are some of my favorite songs by the King:


True Love Travels on a Gravel Road

Early Morning Rain

My Boy

I’ll Remember You

The Wonder of You

Let it Be Me

Elvis 2

Elvis Presley

THANK YOU, Elvis, for all the beautiful music

and the sweet memories you made in my life,

and the life of my loved ones!


And now, David Bowie!

David BowieDavid Bowie

The first time I heard of David Bowie I was probably 12 years old. I always saw his pictures in rock magazines and thought he was strange with the bizarre bright red mullet he had. Then he grew on me and I started to love his music.

I had the honor of seeing David Bowie, 10th row at Madison Square Garden in 1984 for his Serious Moonlight Tour. I was one of the lucky fans who got a moon balloon. I still have the balloon in a suitcase filled of rock memorabilia, which includes set lists and guitar picks from musicians I saw over the years.

One night I went to see Iggy Pop at the Ritz. I was going upstairs and all of a sudden a bouncer screamed out, “EVERYONE MOVE TO THE LEFT!!!!!!!” I moved to the left and thought someone was hurt. But no, the bouncer was just making way for the legendary David Bowie to pass. I was close enough to see his two different colored eyes.

Like Elvis, I have so many favorite Bowie songs that it’s hard to choose just one, but let’s just say Starman is pretty “up there!”



Little Drummer Boy, with Bing Crosby



Ashes to Ashes

And when he still went under the name, Davie Jones (but later changed it not to be confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees)

Liza Jane

Thank you, David Bowie for adding a sublime soundtrack to my late teens and early 20s!

Happy Birthday Marilyn Manson

marilyn_manson-singerMarilyn Manson (photo swiped from Google)

Marilyn Manson turns 44 today.

I have no personal Marilyn Manson stories to share. I have a couple CDs but am not so much a fan that I ever went to a concert (and I probably am missing out, I know!)

Of all the things Marilyn Mason has done in his musical career, in my opinion, the most genius thing was his version of “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.”

By slowing the song down in a haunting manner, it really makes you dig deep into what the lyrics are trying to say.

Here it is, Manson’s best song:

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Happy Birthday to Chris Stein!

Chris Stein and Debbie HarryChris Stein and Debbie Harry (photo swiped from Google search)

Guitarist and co-founder of Blondie, Chris Stein, turns 63 today.

I’ve been a fan of Blondie since their first record came out and I was only 12 or 13 in 1976. I’ve seen Blondie perform live quite a few times over the years and even had a backstage pass once.

One time I met Chris Stein by chance. It was in a NYC night club in the 1990s when he and Debbie Harry had another musical project called “The Jazz Passengers.”

I was hanging out in the back, by the bar, with a friend and there was Chris Stein at the bar. My friend bought him a beer and he chatted with us a long time and even hugged me and gave me a big kiss. Debbie was more in the background. She seemed shy and gave me a shy smile and said, “I had too much wine with dinner.” But when she got onstage she was energetic and very entertaining.

Happy birthday to a great talent and very down to earth person!

Here’s a video of Chris and Debbie performing “Heart of Glass” which they co-wrote together years before it became a hit. This version is very different — enjoy!

Heart of Glass

Hey, Do the Mouse, yeah!

The MouseThe late, great Soupy Sales!

Now this is TWICE in my lifetime that I heard “The Mouse” in a dream!

The first time was about seven years ago. I was taking a nap in the afternoon and I heard the entire record in my sleep, including the scratches.

Now last night I had a dream that I was helping host a radio show and this was the song I played!

Now I KNOW I’m going to have a great day!

You just can’t go wrong with this one!

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