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AnniekNY

Eric: If You Had One Question To Ask US...

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AnniekNY   

Hey Mr. C -

After meeting and greeting many of us over the past year (and I think it was so cool how warmly we were greeted time after time)...you might have wondered/been curious about something after you met us.

Now that you've had a little downtime (by that I mean not touring)here's a thought:

If you had the time to ask any of the boarders any thing on your mind, what do you want to know about us?

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That's a terrific question, Annie and I do have one, although it's not for one particular member, it's for all of you. If you had to come up with one reason why you think people still respond so strongly to the Raspberries and their music after all these years, what would it be? I've been pondering this for a while, and I'll share my thoughts with you after I've heard yours. ec

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Kirk   

That's an easy one for me. Summer of '72 I was falling in love, and you guys had "GATW" blasting out of the radio, and we just adopted the Raspberries as "our band". Would the Raspberries, or any other band, have made such an impression had I not been falling in love? I ask myself that question from time to time, but I can't separate the memories from the music, so it's a moot point for me. And here we are, 30+ years later, and I have seen the 'berries live, again; now, we're chatting with you- and you know it couldn't have happened any other way. It's always been about the magic of the Raspberries music and the vision that you have had for the band, and that extends to your solo work, also. I guess the answer lies in the 3 minute masterpieces that made the Raspberries so obscure to most, but so treasured to the few. Lucky us! Kirk.

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I respond so strongly because the Raspberries were "my band" as I suspect many of us feel the same way. Let's face it everybody loved Zeppelen,The Doors, Beatles, Stones, Elton John,The Who. But only I loved the Raspberries. I can't prove that the Raspberries are better than all of those bands and many others for that matter but damn it they were great and nobody knew it but me. After a while it gets personal.

On another thread we were asked to list our favorite bands. Well my other 2 favorites are The Sex Pistols and The Dictators. More or less the same can be said for them too.But The Raspberries wrote the book on underappreciated bands. I suspect many on this board could have written the same reply ( probably without the Sex Pistols and Dictators references).

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darlene   

Initially, it was the "magic" vocal blend that just knocked me for a loop the very first time I heard it. I turned WNEW on the car radio one Friday night and in a bit I was hearing music that knocked my socks off. The announcer didn't say who they were, but I was sure they were English! What I had heard was all I could think about that night. I was lucky enough to hear "that sound" on the jukebox at the club I had been driving to. I went scudding across the dance floor to find out what was playing and that was that. I was hooked and bought the album the next day.

That magic vocal blend and the fact that the music was world class did it for me. The music was superb! The melodies, chords and musicianship blew me away! The range of vocal colors of Raspberries and the timbre of your voice, Eric, absolutely mesmerized me, and still does. And the longer I listened, the more albums I bought, the more I loved the music. A world of emotions, so perfectly expressed, never overdone, that gives the music its universal appeal.

:) --Darlene

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I'll start out with this quote that came from Paul Stanley of KISS.

"As a band that was clearly influenced by some of my favorites, The Beatles, The Who, and The Small Faces, I always felt a kinship to the Raspberries from the first time I heard them."

For me personally, I didn't discover the band until I was in my early 20's but yet the thing that is consistent with longevity of artists' catalogs are the works themselves. The proof is in the writing, the arrangements, and execution of each contributing member of the band. Raspberries wouldn't be who they are without Eric, Wally, Dave, and Jim. Period. It was the original fours' love of those bands listed above that created their own sound. As you mentioned Eric on the Mike Douglas Show, great songs will stand the test of time. You were all fortunate to grow up in the blossoming era of music when there were NO boundaries, no playlists, no catagories to compete with and certainly none of the major corporate payola that exists today. You created music you loved. It spoke to people. You didn't write to fit your material in a catagory. Your goal.. to write great songs. What a concept, to strive for that and not take the easier, coat-tailing road that so many else have done.

I grew up in the 80's, an era where many of my favorite artists were heavily influenced by your music and all the bands before. Because of that cascading effect, Raspberries influenced my writing and tastes before I even knew who they were. Hence the six degrees of separation leading back to one remarkable band, not to mention some of my dearest friends. Thanks guys...

Paul

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Muzza   

Eric, I am a new Raspberries/Eric Carmen fan. I had not heard any of the music until Kiwi (that's my wonderful wife) introduced me to it about 15years ago. Not being a technically astute music person I found that here was a group that had a chemistry that for me surpassed even the Beatles. The sound, the lyrics, the arrangements all have something that for me at least can't really be described in words.

I know she loves your voice and I have to agree with her there. There are many singers whose voice seems to be able to be replicated by many artists yet yours holds a uniqueness that makes your solo work and the Raspberries work stand out amongst the crowd.

Having grown up in my formative years with artists like Buddy Holly and the Crikets, Bill Haley and the Comets, Bobby Darrin, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis to name a few, Raspberries music stands tall with them and just makes you want to go back for more. Why? I Just love it!!!

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marlene   

For me, I think it's because many of your songs reflect so beautifully our human emotions and feelings.

As Kirk said so perfectly, it's difficult to separate your music from personal memories. No matter where life's journey leads, what heartbreaks or new adventures we encounter....there's always an Eric or Raspberries song that just "fits", that puts into words what our hearts feel..and it's as true now that I'm 46 as it was when I was 14.

Thanks, Eric ! :)

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JohnO   

Eric - I think I respond to your music for the same reasons you started making it. I was 12-13 years old when the British invasion first hit these shores, and The Beatles, Stones, Who, Small Faces, etc., totally blew me away. You took those influences and added the very best from the States (Beach Boys, Left Banke, etc.) to create a heavily influenced, yet totally unique musical vision that combined the very best features of all of the above....and no one's done it better since...period.

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It's great to have a wonderful Raspberries memory from that time period (70s),which really stuck with me and made me a lifelong fan of the music and the musicians. I think those four l.p.'s easily match up with the best that's ever been done in American pop music. Raspberries were the first "real" rock band I ever saw. I still debate with myself if it was the Summer of 72 or 73, but it occurred at a large ice arena outside Detroit. The band was an incredible eye opener. It was that time in your life when you're really first getting into music and rock n roll in a serious way. We would go to these little dances held at the junior high and you'd see these bands

playing covers of "Smoke on the Water" and "All Right Now," but ofcourse without the correct lead guitar solos! But still, you thought those little garage bands playing at these dances were great. Then I saw Raspberries, the first professional band with a reputation that I ever saw who ofcourse had lit up the radio with "Go all the Way," Everyone I knew was into that song, even the guys older than me who normally smoked loads of weed while listening to "Iron Man." I remember distinctly how much rockier Raspberries sound was live than the first two albums would have led you to believe. These guys really had an edge and were extremely visual with the colorful clothes, Eric's hair everywhere. I was just learning to play guitar myself ,on some piece of warped cardboard and string, and I came away from that gig thinking that this is what real talent and ability is about; both in terms of songwriting and performance. In some ways Raspberries became my own measuring rod, as the years passed ,for what makes for really great pop music, a really great band. Last year's reunion gig ofcourse confirmed that the original assessments of a 12 year old kid can be completely accurate and on the mark.

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Eric,I spent my formulative years growing up in the 70's when all the prog bands were at their height. It was really a choice between that or glam rock. However, all that time I was pining for the clean more straightforward sounds of the sixties - "proper" songs with great chord progressions, harmonies and a logical structure - because I thought it was all over by then and I had missed the boat. I didn't get into The Beatles until after they had split, having been too young to realise how important that kind of music was to me at the time.

That's why the Starting Over album was such a revelation to me. The music I loved made by a band that was still together and current. And then what happens - you go and split up on me!

Raspberries music unlocks the doors for me that so many other bands just fail to do. It's all there - the melodies, the power, the strucure of the songs, the writing, the various moods (ballads and rockers)and above all your peerless vocal style. None of these vocal gymnastics which so many artists seem to think is obligatory these days and which drives me mad.

To know that you guys are still out there and doing it is a precious thing.

Gary

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It's timeless. It sounds as fresh today as it did back then. The NYC show was absolutely electric, I had goosebumps from the first note. Sharing the experience with the man I love made for a magical weekend. BTW, he's the one who "reintroduced" me to the Raspberries.

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MAM   

Eric - I was 17 and the Beatles had just broken up. That was the music I was hooked on (along with a few other bands). Everything else that was out there that was popular at that time bored me to death. I actually felt musically abandoned. You guys arrived at the local Hullabaloo one night and it all changed for me. Everything you played, I liked. Then you started introducing originals and I got hooked on those. Just as RBWine mentioned, Raspberries became my measuring rod also for what was good/bad music for my tastes. And, it never ended. Though I switched heavily to Country music for about 10 years, Raspberrie influences were always evident in my guitar playing/singing. To sum it all up in one reason is hard, there's just so many. If I had to list one and one only, I'd have to say it's the songs. Tony & I have debated this before as I have stated numerous times that I liked EVERY song on EVERY album but one. No, I'm not being a suckup, I really did like 'em all. So that's it. It's the songs. But wait, I really loved the live sound too! Damn, this is too hard!

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Eric....

It's so MANY things, GATW the start, a song that you will never forget, Berries being the soundtrack of my younger years, graduating in 1975, and growing up in a Cleveland suburb,wanting to be you and the Berries,then your solo material, being in and out of love, relationships etc.

The list "why",is long, including seeing the Berries live many times and you solo also, meeting all four of you over the years and being treated with warmth and kindeness. I could go on, but I think all of us out here, indeed understand "why" we love your talents and the place in our lives it has played. To the boys in the band..THANK YOU.....

Dean Tyler

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great music lives on no matter what..thats what the berries music does..stands the test of time..it also makes me feel better after a crappy day..and oh yeah,goota admit being out of ohio helps!!! plain and simple,it's good stuff!!!lol,chris

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oldblue   

Responding to your question, Eric, Raspberries mean a helluva lot to me for the following reasons:

For sentimental reasons: '72 was one of the more turbulent years of my life. I was in college, and going through the extreme ups and downs associated with being in love with a wonderful/terrible girl who loved/ignored me. Needless to say, Raspberries music spoke to me more directly than, say, Jethro Tull's "Aqualung". Plus, I was 20 and horny as all get out most of the time - so the first time I heard GATW I sensed a kindred spirit. :)

For musical reasons: Speaking of GATW, the first time I heard it I simultaneously heard reflections of Beatles, Beach Boys, the Who, and Small Faces - and as Paul Stanley also indicated - since I loved those bands, "it seemed so easy" to be attracted to the 'Berries. As I later checked out more of the Raspberries music, I found no droning endless jams, no pretentions of offering "instant enlightenment", just excellent lyrics and melodies that a guy who cut his teeth on music in the 50's and 60's could relate to. How could I NOT love this band?

And also, for feeling as though I stumbled onto something "special" that in turn made me feel special: Throughout the time the 'Berries toured in the 70's, I never got to see them live. Yet as Tommy Tunes said above, they were "my band" - I guess the phrase is "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". Back then, none of my friends understood why I was a fan of a group they thought was "lightweight". To this day, they seem somewhat incredulous of my enthusiasm, but they also have had to contend with my raving about the concerts last year in Chicago and NY and are grudgingly admitting that there just might be "something there" in those old recordings. (One buddy that used to be particularly critical has now expressed interest in possibly joining me on the next "pilgrimage".) Strange how what was once scorned is acknowledged as great once age and wisdom is acquired. ;)

Thanks once again, Eric (and Wally, Dave, and Jim, for that matter), for contributing to the "soundtrack" of my life. JR

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AnniekNY   

This is what I love about this group of people: so expressive and honest and unafraid to be open.

OK - simply: the Raspberries make my heart sing. I feel a swelling, a joy, a sadness, a yearning when I hear the music. I have no choice but follow my heart where it is lead - and i think it's no coincidence that you guys feel this wave of love from us when you play for us.

And, lordy, when you play for us, all our hopes and dreams, great loves, heartbreaks, and rock and roll aspirations rise to meet the music.

"GATW" was the first Raspberries song I ever heard and the only song for a long time. I didn't go out and seek more - I guess I was just young and unmotivated. But that was/is my favorite song of all time.

When I met my first real love (at 17), he introduced me again to the Raspberries catalogue and I was hooked. Raspberries was the soundtrack to our relationship - "Boats" was the soundtrack to our breakup. Like everyone else here, the connection may become bittersweet but it never fades away. I got the albums in the "divorce."

Raspberries were mine!

I was definitely more consistently an Eric fan (meaning I bought your albums and then the CD's)because, as I've said before in "Reflections"

it is as if you wrote the notes and the words because you knew me.

Now, Raspberries is a part of my life. Raspberries is all encompassing - it's my music, I wear the shirt and the hat to soccer games and get "do you like the Raspberries?" with deadpan expression. I sang "GATW" in class at SUNY New Paltz a capella after the AC show because no one knew the tune (except for Martha Quinn's daughter - the original MTV VEE JAY...)

I fondly reminisce about meeting (and hugging and kissing - all PG but nice just the same!!) you and Dave, Wally and Jim, the Overdubs and the crew. Meeting your families - who EVER gets to do any of this??? Not many - but at the end of the day, it's all because 33+ years ago, Raspberries wrote music and words that drew us in as intimately then as it does now.

Thanks for asking and caring about the answer.

love you guys - annie

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Gene   

It was the "sound" that first got me. The songs came out of my am radio sounding good. I could sing along.

When I ran into the band shooting them in 1972 or so, they were nice to me. The road crew was nice. Had the whole bunch been jerks, I might have have lost some interest. I was just a high school kid with a camera. They didn't have to be decent to me. The next year, with the new incarnation of the band, Eric still took time out after a show and went back out on stage and played part of "I Can Remember" for me.

I can't quite put my finger on why I'd still feel good about a band after 30 some odd years, but I do.

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Hi Eric, I was about seventeen when Raspberries hit. I loved Raspberries from the moment I first heard them. I can't help getting a bit analytical about my answer because there are many contributing factors why I continue to love your music so much. First, it's your voice. I love that singing voice. I know you don't like singing, but that's too bad, I love that voice! It’s also that your music grew with me, my first girlfriend, my first car and you were singing, “you know my tape deck is blastin†and “My car’s fast†and then, “Let’s Pretend†and “If you Change Your Mind†every phase of those years for me were written about and put to rock music. Moreover, everything is just catchy.

It continued with your solo music. There you moved to rock/ballad music and again, that voice. Then to learn that you were a classical musician as well and that I was getting an education on classical music and didn’t even know it. Therefore, it’s not only the impact of a teen liking a certain band……which does fade over time. I’m talking about why I still love the music and why it’s still Fresh. The voice, the writing, the quality and the great instrumentation are all important contributing factors.

I wish I could write this in a more eloquent way, but for me, and I'm sure many others, this music that I love has built strong, powerful, long-lasting memories. Scott

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Eric,

The first time I heard the band was at a high school dance in Cleveland. I just thought that you, Wally, John, and Jim had the best sound out there. The music captured all my interests, all my emotions, whether it was your original material or your covers of the Beatles, Left Banke, Badfinger (No Matter What today is still one of my all-time favorites because of the many great times I had hearing it), Who. I am sure you can appreciate my dancing with the young ladies back then listening to that music. For the first generation of post-greaser hippies, you guys were our Temptations/Four Tops. As I graduated from high school and the band started their recording career, the new music which embodied everthing from Beach Boys/Beatles to Jay and the Americans/Buckinghams to Steve Mariot/Small Faces/Faces, the Berries music was the signature of my approaching adulthood whilst still keeping the innocence of my youth. I imagine I will still be listening to GATW, Ecstacy, Play On, IWBWY, along with HTGOAH and Should I Wait in my 80's the Good Lord willing!

Music For My Lifetime!

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Eric,

The first time I heard the band was at a high school dance in Cleveland. I just thought that you, Wally, John, and Jim had the best sound out there. The music captured all my interests, all my emotions, whether it was your original material or your covers of the Beatles, Left Banke, Badfinger (No Matter What today is still one of my all-time favorites because of the many great times I had hearing it), Who. I am sure you can appreciate my dancing with the young ladies back then listening to that music. For the first generation of post-greaser hippies, you guys were our Temptations/Four Tops. As I graduated from high school and the band started their recording career, the new music which embodied everthing from Beach Boys/Beatles to Jay and the Americans/Buckinghams to Steve Mariot/Small Faces/Faces, the Berries music was the signature of my approaching adulthood whilst still keeping the innocence of my youth. I imagine I will still be listening to GATW, Ecstacy, Play On, IWBWY, along with HTGOAH and Should I Wait in my 80's the Good Lord willing!

Music For My Lifetime!

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Peachie   

Hi Eric! Having been born in 1969 I obviously didn't know about this music at all, except for GATW later on. I LOVE your solo music. Anyway, having lost interest in the radio since the early 90's I have been listening to CD's ever since. Except for the country music channel's, I just didn't like most of what was on the top 40. Around the middle of last year I found a Raspberries Greatest CD in a used bin, remembered GATW and saw you on the cover and thought I would give it a try. I was hooked and got ahold of some live stuff too. The music is refreshing, different, descriptive, emotional, addictive, impecable, vivacious, and awesome live! Says so much about the work that went into it and the talent that had to exist to create such great songs.

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