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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):

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.


Tip Toe Through the Tulips With Me

Old photo of me, with Tiny Tim, circa late 1980s

This photo was taken of me with Tiny Tim after one of his shows in NYC in the late 1980s. (I don’t remember which night club it was, I’d have to dig out the information from my old paper diaries!)

The legend was phenomenal, playing his ukelele while laying on his back, kicking his legs in the air like a child. It was hilarious!

I had a fabulous time and was honored to see him perform and meet him.

1998 Radio City Music Hall: Pretenders and B52s Double Bill

Photo by James Yeramian, found on Flickr

Late June, 1998, I had the pleasure to see a double bill with The Pretenders and B52s at Radio City Music Hall, NYC.

I was a fan of both bands and saw them both much earlier (on separate occasions) at the Capital Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey — all the back in 1980.

With an 18 year time difference between the times I saw both acts, I can’t honestly say which shows were better because both of these bands were always a class act.

Aside from all the great songs, dancing, people not being in their seats during almost the entire show, high energy, etc., there were three outstanding moments from this particular gig.

1. Shaking hands with Gene Simmons. The B52s were up first. Now, from day one, whenever I went to a concert my eyes are always pretty much glued to the stage. But when my friend Janet pointed out that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were sitting right behind us, so I had to look.

She was right. It was Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley at a B52s/Pretenders concert! How surreal.

I said hello to Gene Simmons and he shook my hand. He seemed very nice. Paul was sitting a bit further down, so I didn’t get to meet him that night, although I met him over 10 years earlier at a club in Brooklyn called L’Amour’s.

It was so surreal seeing two members of KISS with their girlfriends. (I’m not sure if it was Shannon who was with Gene, as this concert was way before the “KISS Family Jewels” show was on the air, so I didn’t really know who Shannon Tweed was). Both women were blonde and beautiful.

And it just goes to show that musicians love all kinds of music — not just the kind of music they perform. This is why music fans should stop referring to anything they think is “uncool” as a “guilty pleasure” because it’s all cool!

Gene and Paul left in the middle of the B52s set. I guess too many fans were staring at them.

2. Chrissie Hynde acknowledging the death of Wendy O. Williams. Two months prior to this show, Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics killed herself. This was a shocker to me. I heard the news via email from an editor I worked with briefly. The news broke my heart. I was a huge Plasmatics fan and saw their show pretty close to 10 times. I met Wendy once and she was nice to me. I always admired her strength and viewed her as a woman way ahead of her time. I took her death very hard.

I don’t know if Chrissie Hynde and Wendy O. Williams knew each other personally, but I do know they had a major common ground as they were both vegetarians. Wendy O. Williams was even on the cover of Vegetarian Times.

It was very sweet of Chrissie to acknowledge Wendy. That was so nice and unexpected. Kudos to Chrissie for doing that.

3. Chrissie Hynde dedicating “I’ll Stand By You” to “the animals.” Being an animal lover myself, this was a very poignant moment for me. I love that Chrissie Hynde does so much for the animals. Whenever that song comes on the radio, I remember this concert that I went to so very long ago and ever since hearing Chrissie’s dedication, I love that song even more.

“He’s Good Bad, But He Ain’t Evil”


One of my favorite outdoor summer concerts was seeing the Shangri-Las at City Hall in NYC, June, 19, 2004.

There was only one remaining member, Mary Weiss, and her daughter and it was still a dynamic show.

Even though the Shangri-Las were before my time, I was no stranger to their music because every band I loved covered their hits. Aerosmith recorded “(Remember) Walking in the Sand” for their “Night in the Ruts” album; I had a bootleg Blondie album of them doing “Out in the Streets”; and Johnny Thunders not only performed their hit “Great Big Kiss” every time I saw him live, he sometimes wore a Shangri-Las t-shirt. “Great Big Kiss” is featured on Thunders’s best solo album, “So Alone” and the lyrics are slightly changed to suit his bad boy image, as opposed to the Shangri-Las bad girl image.

Johnny Thunders also covered their hit “He Cried” w/Patti Palladin.

But I think the Shangri-Las are most known for their hit, “Leader of the Pack.”

The girls formed their group while still in high school in the 1960s.

On that hot summer day when I saw them at City Hall, they did all their hits, plus some Ronettes songs, “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Be My Baby.” They also did “Locomotion” and other oldies.

The short set was only 40 minutes, but then they went over to J&R Music to sign autographs. The line was pretty short, so I bought a CD and met Mary Weiss and the other ladies for the fun of it.

Shangri-La member Mary Ann Ganser died on March 14, 1970. Reports of cause of death varied: encephalitis, a seizure disorder or barbituartes.

Shangri-La member Marge Ganser died of breast cancer July 28, 1996.

Many artists continue to pay tribute to the Shangri-Las covering their songs.

Long Live the Shangri-Las!

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