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marvin

John Soeder of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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guys..what th f--k?..the raspberries are getting some momentum going after 30 plus years..look around at the youth starting to "get it",every performance getting better,seriously read about the cleveland show and attendance and feedback on this site..there is something brewing,or why would they be testing the waters?? be happy for gods sake this is happening!! lol,chris

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marvin   

Chris I certainly am happy that "this is happening."

Luvthemraspberries I also know about 4 or 5 people who are familiar with Raspberries, but that's ONLY 4 or 5 people. With all due respect, having "quite a few friends that totally know who the Raspberries are" means little when you're trying to sell concert tickets and cd's to a mass populace that easily recognizes people like Barry Manilow etc.

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MJ   

Now boys....boys..... lol.....

If the band were to put out brand new music and had some good p.r. then the papers would probably print a story and a review....

Remember what kind of world we are living in now - where Britney and her white trash living makes headlines, where Paris & Nicole are role models.... no one wants to read about a great band with enormous talent who have been fortunate enough to play again together after all these years, and have loving fans who will support them out on a tour.

I agree with Marvin - we are living in a bubble right now - granted it's a Raspberries Bubble - I find it nice and warm and comforting...

The rest of the world is too busy reading and listening to trash - don't expect too much from the general public on this - or the critics.

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marvin   

I mean no disrespect to anyone. The point I'm trying to make is, there is a small minority who are willing to buy anything Raspberries-related, or go to every show, etc. There weren't enough other people out there who felt the same in 1972 or for that matter in 2007. If there were, the band would be playing in arenas and selling many more cd's, and getting write-up's on every show.

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JohnO   

Agree with Marv....I'm a member of a bunch of other music-related lists/boards, and the only thing in common is that the object of our affections (be it Raspberries, Moby Grape, the Flamin' Groovies, Wildhearts, Roky Erickson, etc.) are believed, on those boards, to be the most underrated, underappreciated musical artistes in the history of the world! In an ideal world, under the right circumstances, one of these other bands would have been The Beatles!We're all in our own little insulated bubbles.....and we should face the facts! Not to say that we shouldn't be rabid in our devotion, though....just realistic!

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well i for one DO know who the raspberries are....of course i have to thank Marvin for introducing me to them back in the late 70's...he payed me Side3...

Do I count as one of the masses?

bahoo

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I'll say this about Marvin and LC's points...While most people might not remember the Raspberries...they DO remember 'Go All The Way' when they hear it,so both are right. The PD should have covered that concert...of that I'm sure.

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LC   

Hollies, that's all I'm saying. The PD should have reviewed the concert. They did run a nice pre-show feature -- a nicely done piece -- but I thought a concert follow-up was in order. That's all....

I certainly didn't mean to get the likes of Marvin and JohnO reminding us that Raspberries aren't a household word. I don't get that -- it's sort of a constant here... those little "living in a bubble" comments (which come off as condescending, if you ask me), and the reminders that Raspberries aren't the Beatles. I know they're not a household name, but I don't care, and I certainly don't need to be reminded of it so often....

(Even so, I'll stand by my statement that they have a national following, as opposed to regional or local. And they're certainly a more widely known and influential band than the Wildhearts or Flamin' Groovies.)

Yep, the past couple years have been pretty awesome for Raspberries fans, compared to the years 1975-2004. So don't let anyone beat you down about how obscure or unknown Raspberries may be.

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JohnO   

LC - If my "living in a bubble" comments came across as condescending, I apologize....but I do include myself as one of the more extreme bubble-dwellers - as you yourself just pointed out how unknown and uninfluential the Flamin' Groovies and Wildhearts are, relatively speaking....(to which I say - so what??? Frankly, I dig those two bands as much as I do Raspberries....to the extent that I flew to SF in May '07 to see ex-Groovie Roy Loney's first show there in years, and drove back to NYC the week after the 'Berries' Highline shows, to see the Wildhearts play there twice...)

I truly do appreciate how wonderful the past 3 years have been for 'Berries fans! And yeah, I agree, the local paper in Cleveland should have covered Friday's show....but I personally don't want to trash a reporter or his employer (or a reviewer, for that matter) if their opinion differs from mine......

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mellie   

I don't think it should matter how world-reknowned or even nationlly reknowned anyone is. If anyone can fill approx. 2,500 seats for a single performance at Cleveland's State Theatre, that's entertainment news for Cleveland. I don't know what standards have to be met to pass muster at The Plain Dealer, but Laura DeMarco should feel remiss about not getting review coverage of the show. Maybe if she receives enough complaints, it will not happen again. I'm glad John Soeder wrote such a nice preview. He got answers to some questions a lot of us have had and hopefully helped sell a few more of those seats. It was also a banner night for the merchandise table.

We were all blown away by the greatest performance many of us have ever seen or heard. If you need a review for a momento, print off all the heartfelt memories posted on here. The music, emotions, the love, and the thrill of that night is far more exciting than anything a reviewer could have penned.

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The Flamin Groovies are just as influential of a band as the Raspberries, possibly more. The Punk movement grew out of bands like the Groovies. As some others have said, go to any board for a dinosaur era band, you'll get these same arguments as to why their band is ignored. Here's why: The media makes most of it's money on youth oriented acts. Barry Manilow at a 20,000 seat arena is a bigger story than a band playing to 2,500 people, sorry to say. Even a hometown band in a reunion date. It's not their first Cleveland show in 30 years either, it's the third in 3 years. And maybe a freelancer did try to cover the show, but couldn't get in.Just be happy a band with one gold 45 record 35 years ago got ANY press. Consider this, bands like Evanescence have sold 8 million copies of one record, but they are far from a household name. Their appearance here netted 2 magazine covers, 1 interview and no post show reviews or press. Pre show press is the most important anyway, that's what sells the seats.

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MJ   

Let's just count ourselves lucky that we know who they are and that they are playing for US - not the reviewers or the critics......

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I love the Flamin Groovies as much as anyone here...but they're not as influential as The Raspberries...I know...when 'Shake Some Action' came out I remember thinking "Great...These guys have been listening to The Raspberries" I mean the Berries predated that style of the Groovies by 4 years.

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The Groovies were a big influence to the original NY punk rock bands, hollies65. I've got Groovies covers by many of the famous NY punk acts, which influenced some of the biggest punk bands currently in the world. The Shake Some Action period you refer to is not even their best stuff, the most influential and groundbreaking Groovies would be the first 2 LPS, with Teenage Head and Texas Border. That's their punk sound, after Cyril took over they sounded like the Byrds or Beatles, and covered both in abundance. By contrast, the only NY punk act that I ever heard refer to or cover the Raspberries was the Dead Boys, and they were from Cleveland. Anyway, it's apples and oranges, both bands drew water from the same well. To get back to the main point, the editor of the Plain Dealer is trying to appeal to the broadest audience, and a multi platinum artist playing an arena is more news worthy then a band playing a theater. I know everyone here loves the band, but the media is looking to move papers, and to them, Barry>Berries.

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Yeah...I know of the Groovies early history...I didn't mean the Raspberries influenced punks bands...they would be more on the 2nd wave of Power pop/ "new wave".. The Sonics-MC5 and Stooges were in the same camp as Loney era 'Supersnazz and Flamingo records...and of course we'll never agree on the Groovies as I am firmly in the Jordan-Shake camp over the earlier era.

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Art   

I love the Raspberries and I very much dislike Barry Manilow music. So, I am just a very happy camper after the Cleveland State Theatre show, and I look forward to more Raspberries shows whether the newspaper writes about them or not. Merry Christmas to everyone.

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Don't get me wrong Hollies65, Shake Some Action is a great song, maybe the finest of the Cyril era, the early UK sessions with Slow Death too, but Cyril led the band into a world of covers which I hated. They stopped moving forward with songwriting, and relied on poorly executed covers. UNlike the Raspberries, the Groovies sucked as a cover band:) I would recommend one CD to you,good sir, Slow Death on Norton, you will love it, it covers the later period and collects rare & demos versions of stuff, like a version of Shake Some Action recorded at Capitol records studio! I myself prefer the guts out Buddah LP, but then again, I'm a Monster, got a revved up Teenage Head! Later, taters, Happy Holidaze to all, Raspberries tour in 2008 dammit!

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JohnO   

Guys - As one who has spent hours talking with several of the Groovies (and has had published interviews with both Roy and Cyril), and loves both incarnations of the band.....The original band, fronted by Roy L., was far ahead of its time - much more so than the later, Chris Wilson-fronted version. While everyone in SF was busy playing 10 minute jams, and trying to emulate the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, Roy & crowd were doing Eddie Cochrane and Little Richard covers, and patterning their style after, first, the Lovin' Spoonful (for their Sneakers/Supernazz period), then, after their initial '68 trips to Detroit, the Stones, MC5, and Stooges (for Flamingo, Teenage Head). To me, those two albums are 2 of the band's 3 desert island disks.

Roy quit the band in '71, getting married, settling down, and intending to walk away completely from the music biz (although that, thankfully, didn't work out!), leaving Cyril in charge. Roy's post-Groovies music career has, to me, pretty much been a continuation of the Flamingo/TH era Groovies.

Cyril, with new singer Chris Wilson, initially went down a Stonesier path, cutting "Slow Death" and several other hard rockers. Eventually, though, his Beatles infatuation won out in the mid-70s....

Cyril's always had a huge, huge thing for The Beatles, and he's also always felt that they quit touring way too soon (agreed), and he always wanted to hear what the Fab Four would have sounded like using live 70's technology - the huge amps, guitars that stay in tune, etc. He & Chris W. basically wanted to be The Beatles for the 70's.....now, whether one likes their covers or not, is a matter of personal taste. I always thought they did killer Byrds, Who & Stones covers, while their Beatles covers were hit & miss, especially live. Why the Wilson-fronted Groovies never made it is very, very much like the Raspberries' story, IMO. Too much like The Beatles, Who, Byrds, etc., too soon after their heyday for anyone to really care.

NOTE: However, I really don't detect much of a 'Berries influence in the Groovies' sound....to me, it's two bands sharing common influences....although I do know that Cyril loves the 'Berries, and he thinks Wally was/is an absolute guitar God.

While "Shake Some Action" is, to me, their 3rd must-have disk, it's due to their killer originals on it (SSA, I Can't Hide, You Tore Me Down, etc.), not the 4-5 covers....although I think they did great jobs on them. After SSA, like Frankenberrie says above, Cyril's songwriting slowed down/slacked off, and they started relying way too much on covers......(and various other members of the 70's Groovies agreed). Ironically, I think he regained his touch in the late 80's, with "Step Up", "Way Over My Head", "Shakin'", "I'm Only What You Want Me To Be", "Can't Stay Away From You", etc. - by which time, the Groovies were just Cyril, bassist George Alexander, and whoever they could coax into the recording studio. Their last effort, "Rock Juice" was pretty much a Cyril solo album.....and a damn good one, even if marred somewhat by CJ's limitations as a lead singer. His new band Magic Christian has the ingredients to be huge....but now simply ain't the time for this kind of music, unfortunately....

Regarding the Groovies' influence as a band - Joel Selvin summed it up best in 1999, in his list of the 100 Best Bay Area bands, naming them #4 (behind only Sly & The Family Stone, CCR, and the Dead), and talking about their perseverance. Also, the fact that there have been literally dozens and dozens of Bay Area bands since the 70's who have cited the Groovies (both incarnations) as among their primary inspirations and influences.

One thing, IMO, that tends to make me think that they were more influential than Raspberries - they were the type of band that, like the Stooges or Ramones or Pistols, if you saw them live, you might think - "Hell, I could do that with a couple of my friends!" If, on the other hand, you saw the 'Berries - there's a lot more musical talent on display there....it might, instead, want to make you quit your garage band and give up!

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Newspapers are cutting staff like never before, it's a dying industry, there just aren't as many reporters.

It really comes down to when was the last time Manilow played Cleveland? He probably drew at least 10,000 that night. It was just a little more newsworthy than the Berries for the fourth time in three years.

You have to admit that the press they gave the band in 2004, was phenomenal!

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JohnO, great summation, anywhere your articles can be read online? And You Tore Me Down has always been one of my favorite Groovie Grooves. The Beatles covers are their weakest point, but the Byrds & Stones were sometimes better then the originals, as Cyril said in the liner notes on Slow Death, Keith Richards said he loved their version of Jumpin Jack Flash and thought they captured the spirit of what he wanted the song to sound like better than the Stones. Another late era classic is Jumpin In The Night. I've got a number of Groovies live tapes, but man when they are playing Beatles, they are bad. Also, are you aware of any Groovies on DVD? A longtime want, to see them perform live!!!Thanks bud.

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