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Tim From Wisconsin

HOB: My 2 Cents

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I had a lot of time on Saturday to think back on what I experienced on Friday night since my flight back to Milwaukee was cancelled. I kept coming to the same conclusion...It was a fantastic night!

Maybe it was the adrenaline, the anxiety, the anger over the monitor problems, or a combination of them all, but the Raspberries kicked or asses on Friday night! Once they got into a groove when the curtain opened for the second time, it was amazing. The ballads sounded great, and they REALLY attacked the rockers - especially Ecstasy, Go All The Way, Substitute, and I Don't Know What I Want! I bet it felt good for the band to be able to release some energy during these songs, and the crowd really got into it! All in all, a fun show and worth the effort to be there - Thank you to Eric, Wally, Jim, Dave, Billy, Paul, Jennifer, Ernie, Adrianne, et al for a fantastic evening. :)

It was great meeting lots of fellow Board members, and if I start to mention people, I know I will forget one or two. So suffice it to say that I enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone and you made my trip more enjoyable! :)

I can't wait for Cleveland!

Tim

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i gotta toss in $.02 here too: the band was great, they're real pros & it's one of rock's/power pop's greatest reunions (& original bands, of course); the in-ears/monitors situation was obviously not

however, i gotta say, they should do without the cover tunes for the fans. it was disappointing to listen thru a couple of them, & i felt left hanging when original tunes could have been played in their place, & then on top of that have more original tunes cut out b/c of the technical problems. i came all the way from Texas for the show & hearing cover tunes for me was a matter of waiting it out for the next original tune. & to really put it into it's proper perpective, the Raspberries are a very influential band that are themselves *covered by other artists* - they are, & should be, above covering others' tunes themselves!

i honestly feel the same about 'All By Myself' - the Raspberries song catalog is plenty deep enough w/out them dipping into this song, & Eric will be able to play this tune at any performance he does for the rest of his life - great song, but *not* a 'berries song - again, they've got too many great songs to default back to this one

what else can one say? they are prob still groaning about the "LA HOB curse", but i got to meet 3 or 4 EC.com board folks, brought along a couple of new converts who were very impressed, & got to see one of my favorite all time bands lay down the law & own it w/ a vengeance after all these years, a true harmonic convergence, pun intended! damn, they sounded good...

i still hope they get down to Austin (everyone's invited) where we'll promise to provide a glitch-free show; but be forewarned 'berries, musically astute Austin crowds don't take too kindly to cover bands ;^)

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marvin   

It's all a matter of opinion, I guess. Since I don't consider "It's Cold Outside" to be a 'cover song', the only covers were "Ticket to Ride" and "Substitute", and these songs put into perspective the Raspberries influences / background.

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Yeah, I'm 50/50 on the covers... Fact is, they do them very well (talking TTR and S, I don't consider ICO a cover really) but when you tackle such "classic" material, it does come off a bit like a wedding band. The Raspberries do have such a wealth of material that it's not necessary for them to entertain us with outside material like that, but... on the other hand... I was with someone who ONLY knew Go All The Way (and All By Myself) so for him, it was two more songs that he got to sing along to :)

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JohnO   

I've basically always thought that the covers aren't really done for the long-time fans....they're done to kinda (1) give a point of reference for the newbies ("....so this is where the band's coming from!"), who may not be all that familiar with any originals except the hits, and (2) pay tribute to their roots. And it's not as if they're doing covers of tunes that are easy to nail (Beatles, Who, Searchers, Byrds). Yeah, any wedding band can do "Substitute" or "Ticket To Ride" or "No Reply"...but they can't usually nail the sound and spirit of the originals like these guys can!

(NOTE: My very first posting on this subject was shortly after the Oct. 05 LA HOB show, where 2 good friends of mine who aren't that familiar with the 'Berries' LP cuts both stated that a well-placed, spot-on Beatles cover or two would have been very welcome that night....(they only covered "I Can't Explain" and "Needles & Pins" that night)).

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The Raspberries have ALWAYS included covers in their sets. It's part of who they are...It's like when I saw Tommy Keene and he played 'Shake Some Action'...He has a ton of great original material, but it was a power pop master paying homage to his power pop roots and influences. I love well chosen,well played covers.

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Didn't Eric say that they do the covers to keep it interesting for them as well as paying tribute to those bands that were an influence for them?

I think it's cool that they do. Otherwise - in reference to the live cd - would have never heard "I Can't Explain" and "Needles and Pins" - which I really dig!!!

But to each his/her own opinion.

I am looking forward to the Cleveland show and seeing the guys in action for the first time! :wub:

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HT from Mo said:

Didn't Eric say that they do the covers to keep it interesting for them as well as paying tribute to those bands that were an influence for them?

yes, but interesting for them is not necessarily interesting for fans. i mean, there are TONS of bands who nail the heck out of Beatles, the Who, etc covers. fans are there to see & hear the Raspberries & their tunes - in spite of the fact that they come from an age back when it was cool to do covers, that is not the case now. this once-in-a-lifetime harmonic convergence shouldn't be frittered away on cover tunes; give me an Eric Carmen-penned Raspberries tune over a cover ANYDAY!

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marvin   

While I agree with the concept, the truth of the matter is that most of these shows have been attended by only a handful who know EVERY SINGLE 'berries song. I'd say that the majority of attendees are those who have read the press clippings, know a couple of songs, and recognize Eric's name. For these people, hearing the odd cover song keeps them attentive.

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Oh Marvin, that Canadian cold front is freezing your thought process again...

I think most of those 500 or so in all of SoCal were die-hard EC/Raspberries fans.

But, of course, you were there and I wasn't.

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Jay52   

Not being there either, its kind of hard to say.

I do think though that if the 500 or so who were there are real hard-core die-hard fans, I'm sure hoping that every single one of them bought "Sunset Strip".

I hope that the hard core fan base won't ever take this reunion for granted. If they want to do cover songs to please themselves, its okay with me. I'm just so happy to have them back.

Hopefully with a little luck, maybe something new will come our way one day.

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I've always liked the covers. You realize what a great stand-alone band they are. Also, it gives you a glimpse of the early years when covers were their forte.

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Jay52   

I'm sure the majority were one's who heard about the show, heard their songs on the radio and wanted to have a good time. Nothing wrong with that either. I don't think a working band who hasn't recorded since the 70's and hasn't toured in the same amount of years can live off the die-hard fan base.

If they played and chose their setlist for only the die-hards, we would be hearing songs that maybe they have no desire to play anymore and that can turn this whole reunion into a negative.

Besides, their choice of covers are totally in-sync with the band. (IMHO)

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marlene   
austinberries said:

yes, but interesting for them is not necessarily interesting for fans.

I think your statement should read: "yes, but interesting for them is not necessarily interesting for SOME fans."

I personally have LOVED every cover I've heard them play during this tour. :lol:

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marvin   

Before the show, I talked to about 4 people who were from the area, knew of "Go All the Way" and Eric's solo ("All By Myself") career. Nothing else. After the show I ran into two of the four people and they said that although "did not like all the songs", they were generally "quite surprised at the level of quality."

In my 35 years of promoting this band, I have yet to come across anybody who after listening to their songs, giving the songs a chance, have not been impressed.

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marvin   

It really irks me when people classify the Raspberries as an 'oldies' act alongside (with all due respect) acts such as the Grass Roots, the Turtles, and other acts currenly playing caravan type shows. Yes those other bands had more hits than the 'berries, have greater name-recognization, but as much as I love those other bands, they can't hold a candle to the 'berries when it comes to overall quality of songs, musicianship etc. All it takes is for the word to be spread to more people. They need to 'see the light.'

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MJ   

I personally really enjoy a good cover song - especially when the Berries play them - they kick the shit outta the original versions with their spin on them.

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sterling   

Marv,

I would agree with most of what you have stated. The musicianship, competency and showmanship are all there. It is a very tight band. All the guys are very accomplished singers and musicians. They have paid their dues and have rocked for decades. I listen to the live DVD in my cars all the time and I never tire of them. I can see where they just keep growing on you the more they are played. I do enjoy the cover versions as they play them so well and are a part of their fabric. Rock on Guys!

Phil

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marvin   

As I mentioned, I mean no disrespect to the Grass Roots, Turtles and others. I love the music that 'oldies' acts have released over the course of their respective careers. It is my personal feeling that Raspberries are head and shoulders over these bands, and their songs are on another level. Again in my opinion, doing a cover here and there doesn't put them into the 'wedding band' or 'oldies' category for me.

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darlene   

Well, it's great to see the controversy heating up again. It reflects everyone's passion. As Marvin, said (and I agree with just about everything you've said too) Raspberries is not an "oldies" band. Their songs are some of the most complex in the business, and because of that, are very difficult to cover. Their choice of covers only honors the bands who influenced them, and I think their choice of covers has been exemplary and varied. They always put in a sparkler. I adore the covers they've done.

They're not going to play their entire catalogue at a concert--they've varied the set lists since they've reunited and every performance, electronic/sound glitches notwithstanding, has been a jewel in the crown.

Again, everyone has a different opinion--that's what makes a horse race--but Raspberries owe no apologies because they're world class and every performance they've given is world class.

That said, they're definitely listening to all the opinions here and they stay very close to what their fans want. Remember the songs done by only the four guys? Look at that and how many other things they've adapted to stay close to what their fans have wanted?

I'm just thrilled that they're back, better than ever!!! And there's much more to come!

:) --Darlene

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I love the Raspberries. I love the Turtles. The Raspberries have brilliant songs. The Turtles have brilliant songs[i will debate and win anyone who would like to argue that point with me].The Turtles..as a band no longer exist...the two vocalists, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman tour with whatever band is available. They are now and have been for decades "an oldies act". When they were a proper band,they were a great band...Al Nichols was a fine guitarist and I don't think anyone here would say that Johnny Barbata was not one of the greatest drummers ever. My only point is ...yep the Turtles now are a pleasant oldies act...but once upon a time.....

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I should add that many of the Turtles best songs were not written by the band...They did write a bunch of great ones..but plenty came from the likes of PF Sloan...Roger McGuinn...Gordon/Bonner,etc.

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