At a time when Presidents traditionally make their "State of the Union" address, I thought now would be an appropriate time to issue my address. So here goes...
When I started this website in 1997, gas was $1.22 a gallon, "Titanic" was playing to packed movie theaters and the top song of the year was a special version of "Candle in the Wind" that Elton John performed at Lady Di's funeral.
Oh, and it was the year I got my first home computer. It was one of those candy-colored iMacs. If I knew then what I know now! Apple stock was trading at $4.67 a share. Oofah! Can you say, "set for life?" Oh well, my kingdom for a time machine.
Anyway, back to 1997. Eric hadn't released any new music since "Make Me Lose Control" in 1988. "My Heart Stops" doesn't count since it was written by Diane Warren. And I don't even think I knew it existed! Back then, information wasn't at our fingertips quite like it is now. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I started this website.
One of the first things I did when I fired up my iMac was search (on Yahoo, natch, since Google hadn't been invented yet) was "ERIC CARMEN." Imagine my surprise when NOTHING came up. The closest match I got was the opera ("Carmen") and the 1940's jazz singer ("Carmen McRae").
So, I started this here website. Everything I wrote about. Everything I covered. Everything I did was 100% me. There was no news, no new music, nothing at all to report. But I had passion. And I had enthusiasm. And I guess I had a certain talent to make such things come alive and shared my enthusiasm and passion with anyone with a computer and dial-up.
Needless to say, we went from 1 hit to the current 2,602,934 hits over the next 15 years. Along the way, I built and rebuilt the website, grew Eric's fan base, wrote some books, inspired a Raspberries reunion tour and helped fans all aver the world connect with others who shared their love for Eric and his music.
But in all honesty, I really did it for myself. Yes, that's right. For me. Because even though you all got to go along for the ride, I got to meet and become friends with Eric; I got to write books about him and why his music meant so much to me; and I got to see Raspberries play live. In other words, I got the rare opportunity to make my dreams come true.
It required lots of hard work. Plenty of diligence. And a good measure of sheer luck. But I did it. And to my previous point, WE did it.
Now, it's like 1997 all over again. There are no new recordings. There is no impending tour. There is no new news. But there IS a big difference between 1997 and 2013. Because right now, unlike 1997, it's not just me alone. It's you. And you. And yes, even YOU (who hides their online status and lurks.) It's all of us. All 1,366 Registered Members plus anyone and everyone who visits but doesn't sign up.
And I need you now more than ever.
Together we can take this thing forward. Let's MAKE history again. You want new music? Hell, shout about it! You want a new tour? Make your voice heard! You want to inspire a new generation of fans and keep Eric's fan base alive and growing? Talk about why you love his music so much. Tell everyone why you're here. Inspire your fellow fans to join in. make some NOISE!
Now, this is the part of the speech where the President usually mentions some returning veteran by name, makes him stand up and take a bow to congratulate him for his service. The soft, fuzzy part of the speech that leaves everyone with a knot in their throats. So, I'd like to single out one of our veterans. None other than LC. Larry single handedly lifted this website up from its collective sorry bored-with-life asses and got everyone talking about music again with his series of "In Hindsight" posts last month. I'd like Larry to stand up now and take a bow. That's what I'm talking about!
Ask not what this website can do for you...ask what YOU can do for this WEBSITE!
In conclusion, I'd like to say, the state of the website is good, but it can be better. And I'm still willing to give it all I've got. I will add more videos to the ERIC CARMEN ARCHIVE, I will put more new photos online in the RARE PHOTO OF THE WEEK, I will compose more posts that get Eric so excited that he won't want—he'll NEED—to start posting again!
But I need your help. You need to do your part. And together, we can make EricCarmen.com even better next year than it was in its previous 15!
PS: The EC.com Garage Sale will be coming in just a few short weeks featuring dozens of rare autographed photos, memorabilia and collectibles, get ready to start your engines!