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  2. I'm always intrigued by twists of fate and how an act or a decision or happening will send life down one path instead of another.... So back in 2011, I put up a thread that didn't go on for very long, but is nonetheless one that I think about every now and then. I called it "Boats Against the Stranger," and in it, I went back in time, to fall 1977, when I was just starting college. Eric and Raspberries were my favorite non-Beatles artists; my friend Dave, a freshman from Long Island, loved Billy Joel, who I didn't know much about—I thought he was one-hit wonder ("Piano Man"). In 1977, Eric was the far bigger name in the music world, having just released the follow-up to his Top-40-single-packed first solo album. When I went off to start college, Boats Against the Current was the first record I plopped onto my cheap turntable on my first night, even while so many disco sounds were blaring in the dorm hallways. So... I told the story of a fall 1977 day when Dave begged me for a ride to inner-city Rochester to the only area record store he could find that had a copy (a single copy!) of Billy Joel's brand new release, The Stranger. It just wasn't an album that every record store had to stock by the box-full. That's where a twist of fate came in, dictating the direction of these similarly talented singer/songwriters: Boats got lost at sea, commercially speaking, and The Stranger became Billy's breakout album. Again, it's not a long thread—only two pages. But there are some neat stories by Bernie, Kirk, James, and others about the "LP days" (which have returned, for many). And there are some old friends who show up with comments, from Elle4c to Raspberrybelle to MissM to Naeko (Aventurine) to Wendy-Ann to Marathon Mama and others. And there's this insightful analysis of "Boats" against "The Stranger" from John Booyah Graham (who used Angelina as his board name—never knew why!): To me, "Stranger" is an album which expresses outward emotion, while "Boats" (for the most part) is an insular, isolated, self-analytical album (especially if "Temporary Hero" had been included). Whereas Billy's celebrates heart...Eric's explores one's own soul. Anyway, what a great couple of albums, twist of fate aside, that landed within a couple months of each other: BOATS AGAINST ... THE STRANGER 1. "Boats Against the Current" ... "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" 2. "Marathon Man" ... "The Stranger" 3. "Nowhere to Hide" ... "Just the Way You Are" 4. "Take It or Leave It" ... "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" 5. "Love Is All That Matters" ... "Vienna" 6. "She Did It" ... "Only the Good Die Young" 7. "I Think I Found Myself" ... "She's Always a Woman" 8. "Run Away" ... "Get It Right the First Time" 9. [none] ... "Everybody Has a Dream/The Stranger (reprise)"
  3. Today
  4. I had forgotten about LobsterLvrs "Rename the Raspberries" thread until Eric's reference to same in his "Hindsight..." thread (see Great Moments #4). And, as an aside, isn't that the great thing about a bulletin board like this? It's a long and winding road that takes unexpected twists and turns, and you end up finding yourself in different avenues and alleys, wondering how you got there but enjoying it. Actually, that very experience describes the "Rename the Raspberries" thread. It starts out with the concept that this great band simply had the wrong name. And then it morphs into a dozen different directions, and they're all interesting (especially the Hot Tuna bit, with full lyrics to "Keep on Trucking'."). And there's a really personal post from Duane, one of my favorite posters here. He went out on a limb and suggested that the Raspberries' orginal name should have been. simply... "Eric Carmen." He got a little pushback, but it was all very civil and respectful. Ultimately, the thread got back on track, with some interesting and funny suggestions. Like, The Apples. (Coming up next is the new hit single from the Apples, "Go All the Way"! — Imagine that!) Anyway, since I didn't contribute to the thread, I'll finally give my opinion here. Would a different name have meant a different fate? I would say... probably not. It's never one thing. It was the times and the music trends and twists of fate and radio favors and record company politics. And, yes, maybe it was partly the misperception of what the band was—and a misconception of what it was doing. Maybe, just maybe, a "cool rawk band name" would have sent the Capital marketing people out with a less teen-focused campaign at the beginning. And maybe the proper promotion would have put those great songs in front of way more people and resulted in three or four hit singles per album and consistent FM radio play and platinum-selling albums and sold-out arena shows. Sadly, we'll never know. As it is, we're all used to "Raspberries." And the fact that the "Bronx cheer" intention was lost on, like, everybody kind of adds to the charm. Short of using as the first album cover a close-up shot of Alfalfa sticking out his tongue and splattering all over one of his Little Rascals friends, that lesser-known use of the word "raspberries" was never going to overshadow the actual fruit when it came to promotion. Well, as fruits go, don't we all think Raspberries is better than, say, "Bananas" or "Melons" or "Starfruit" or "the Pomegranates"? Actually, wait: The Pomegranates! That's it!
  5. Great Moments in EC.com History #4

    Another classic, for sure. Eric is such a great storyteller. And, just in case something ever happened to the website, I saved all of Eric's posts. You never know when somebody might want to write a (another?) book...
  6. Yesterday
  7. Helloooooo... Is Anybody Out There?

    Still a big thing or two brewing...maybe Santa will offer up a clue. Bernie
  8. Change Of Heart Promo Poster

    Yep. Love seeing photo outtakes. And this poster is the only place to see this one. Bernie
  9. The End Of An Era

    When I joined this forum in 2006 little did I (and Muzza) realise just what it would lead to. Through the interactions of the people here we got to know (and meet) many great people and even attend the last WAB which turned out to also be Eric's birthday party. Muzza and I will be forever grateful for this forum and the people who made it what it became. Because of the generosity of so many people here we have been able to make 5 trips to the USA, stay with many and experience their generosity, families and day to day life which is very different to ours. Some of the lasting memories are the Soda shoppe (and Sugar), the Hayride and Hoedown, and the Prom! Other moments were Kholvn telling his stories and the many competitions. Of course attending WAB, Lew and Tunesy in their grass skirts, Jim, Barb, Eric, Suzy and Al arriving while many were watching the Sunset Strip DVD and us receiving our copy personally from Eric and Jim. What more could a gal from New Zealand wish for than to meet her teenage idol in person! SO..... thank you Bernie for all you did to bring very diverse people together in a way which brought so much satisfaction and enabled us all to feel like one big family! We will never forget the joy and opportunities that came because of EC.Com. Kiwi and Muzza
  10. Merry Christmas

  11. Merry Christmas

  12. Merry Christmas

  13. Merry Christmas

  14. Merry Christmas

  15. LobsterLvr Dave started a thread in 2013 called "Renaming the Raspberries." It obviously got Eric thinking, because he decided to start an all-time great threat that he called "Hindsight, Band Names, Labels, Success, Failure, Democracy, and Entitlement." The title is a bit of a mouthful, but as you can tell, it leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the history of Raspberries, which is what Eric gave us in a series of posts within the thread. It's especially cool for anyone who has bemoaned the Carmen-vs.-Bryson "friendly fire" that we all know about. Why? Because Eric gives us this visual snapshot of maybe the following key moment leading up to Raspberries. It's from a night when he was watching The Choir (a hot act because of the success of the single "It's Cold Outside") and dreaming about getting his foot into that door: "...[w]hen I saw Wally playing that Rickenbacker 12 string, while chewing a big wad of gum, and just generally being a complete "badass," I recognized that he and I could be that perfect "Yin and Yang" combination, if only I could get into the band." We also get Eric reminiscing about he and Jim Bonfanti would spend hours plotting out the course of this new band in development, Raspberries. The thread is only six pages, but as you go through it, you'll see lots of Eric recollections from Raspberries' early days and later days (it was such a short span of time, really) and into his early solo work. He points out how the dissolution of Raspberries allowed him to record songs that reflected influences that might have been more repressed if the band had stayed together. The Beach Boys-inspired "My Girl" is one example.... He later gets into his Geffen record. "You Took Me All the Way" came up—Geffen's request for a "Go All the Way" rewrite. I really found the talk about the 'berries' steamy "All Through the Night" to be interesting. I don't remember being put off by the song. Well, I listened to it a lot in college and dug it—not as a way to live or to treat women, but as a sort of teenagers' primal scream, a fantasy that's nothing more than a story in a song (albeit a story we don't condone). Then I read a post in this thread written by a member named KkH, and it's one to remember. KkH was mental health counselor and told a story of a groupie in the 1970s who had a life-changing encounter with an unnamed mega-popular band of the era. Sad story... Anyway, lots of Raspberries nuggets in this thread.
  16. Marty Balin dies at 76

    Got the "Balin" (1981) & "Lucky" (1983) (2 albums on 1 CD) from Beat Goes On website: www.bgo-records.com England import.
  17. LC- thanks...

    PS: I'm also planning to revise my whole "In Hindsight" series. In fact, I swear there was one album I ended up missing—so I'll fill in that gap. I hate to leave things undone....
  18. LC- thanks...

    Like John Lennon said, You don't know what you got... until you lose it. Do you guys know that song from Walls & Bridges?
  19. LC- thanks...

    Sometimes I would go literally 2-3 weeks between checking in on my OWN website and still not see a single post! So, yeah...thanks, LC! Bernie
  20. LC- thanks...

    This is the first morning in a long time where it has taken me more than 30 seconds to catch up on EC.com forum posts. Since Bernie made me a moderator, it's felt a little like the party police in a morgue. Thanks for bringing some life back to the joint!
  21. Foolin' Myself

    I think it that comment was probably similar to his comment about "You Too Me All The Way". He said if he'd never written GATW it would have been a fine song, but, it was too much of a rip-off for him to get excited about after doing GATW. I'm betting his comment about "Foolin' Myself" is in a similar vein because of ABM...JMHO.
  22. Helloooooo... Is Anybody Out There?

    Susie B, one of my all-time favorites here.... I love this post! And... I do notice my own backing away from FB. It's nicer here. :-) Trifecta!
  23. Change Of Heart Promo Poster

    I've got an in-store Boats promo that I have to get Eric to sign... But I've still never seen one of these... except here. (Trifecta!)
  24. President Trump...All By Himself

    Bernie, this was classic. I never saw it until now! The song that lives on....
  25. Raspberries in Rock Hall

    Given the acts that the Rock HOF has brought in, and given the way Raspberries' impact has become more and more obvious as "architects of power pop," it's criminal that they're on the outside looking in. The display is great, but they merit a full induction!
  26. I Found You, Eric!

    One of my favorite "new member" posts—our great friend Aventurine, a.k.a. Naeko. :-) I'm going for a Trifecta!
  27. Marty Balin dies at 76

    Not only did I not see this thread, but I hadn't even heard the news. Shocking... Loved Marty Balin. I got to meet him and interview him for a magazine I once edited; we went to lunch in Antrim, NH, where he was in town recording a solo album—a hard-to-find record—for a fledgling record label my publisher launched. (It was GWE Records, and the disc was called Better Generation, and while it didn't have any big hits, it did have a cover of "Volunteers" and some other nice Jefferson Airplane/Starship-influenced tracks. One of my favorite songs of all time is "Miracles," from Jefferson Starship—what a hot record. And I like his lesser-known solo hit "Hearts"—a moody, sort of erotic song of love lost—just as much:
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