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jnedley

The Raspberries Overrated?

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A sad fact boys and girls, Cleveland just doesn't support its own very well. Unless of course you are Micheal Stanley. If the Raspberries were from any other part of the country and blew into town for a show at the Agora, this town would have gone bonkers for them. We broke many national acts that were nobody till they hit here. We know it, the bands know it, the record executives know it, even Alice and kids know it.

While the suits did lock them into the image that they were looking for it also locked them out of some peoples version of cool. But hey, that was/is part of the mystique of Raspberries.

It wasn't easy being a Raspberry fan in Cleveland. When I bought one of their albums at a record store one day my friend who was with me said that I should be careful as that will go on my permanent record and could easily be traced back to me. I even went so far as to make a tape of Side Three and put Tonight towards the end of selections and when Tonight came on would get the comment,"Wow,that was the Raspberries?"

So take heart as this is just another shot at one of our own from someone who just isn't confident enough in his manhood to admit that he really likes the boys. I bet that he locked the door to his room, put in that free promotional copy of new the cd, slapped on a set of headphones and is rockin the night away!

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It's OK to not like the Raspberries, but to sit in a cubicle and comment on the state of the industry, influences, discount the factual influences, discount the sophistication of the song structure and arrangement, etc. It's uniformed, poorly written, illogical, and inaccurate. This is probably the most response this hack has ever had for a $50 article.

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Trindy   

Michael Stanley's comment really tickled me.

And who gives a crap if they decided to get back at him by pointing out that Last Call Cleveland did make fun of him...yeah, they did...because it's very easy to poke a little fun at Stanley's God-like status in the local rock world, the same way it's easy to poke fun at Springsteen's in the larger world. So what? No crime to have a sense of humor about it. For all I know, Michael Stanley is amused by the hype that's risen up around him.

All I can say here is "Welcome to another episode of 'Clevelanders Eating Their Own!' Bring a box of popcorn and prepare to be entertained! Unless you're actually FROM Cleveland...then prepare to be annoyed to death, because when everyone else in the country is already ridiculing you, the last thing you need to do is give them help!"

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Trindy said:

who gives a crap if they decided to get back at him by pointing out that Last Call Cleveland did make fun of him...yeah, they did...because it's very easy to poke a little fun at Stanley's God-like status in the local rock world, the same way it's easy to poke fun at Springsteen's in the larger world. So what? No crime to have a sense of humor about it. For all I know, Michael Stanley is amused by the hype that's risen up around him.

Hi trindy,

That a comedy group made the skit doesn't bother me at all. That Cleveland Scene chose to post it as a reminder of who Michael Stanley is, without mentioning that the video was done by a comedy group, struck me as a below the belt shot --- they could have posted a video of Michael performing one of his songs, in my opinion, which really would have shown people who don't know who Michael is.

Just my opinion.

Don :)

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Crg2   

The only thing that I don't like about the responses is what seems to be an overweening need to dis Big Star in the process of defending the Raspberries.

I'm a zealous Big Star fan. I don't consider them to even play the same kind of music that the Raspberries did. Because Big Star were so difficult to label, they get lumped in with the Power Pop guys. As a little kid, I heard both bands on the radio, and never even considered them to be playing the same kind of music. Big Star plays some sort of sublime existensial weep-and-be-rich-young-and-bored music; the Raspberries sing about "Gettin' it On," just like Ferrar states, but they do it better than anyone else. Eric was feeling obviously frustrated back then; now, unlike the rest of us, he takes his horniness TO THE BANK!!

Still, while it is interesting that someone has a contrary opinion to the hometown pride, the Raspberries RULE CLEVELAND-even more so than Dennis Kucinch ever did!!

I'll write a reply. Meanwhile, attack Ferrar, not Big Star.

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Crg2 said:

The only thing that I don't like about the responses is what seems to be an overweening need to dis Big Star in the process of defending the Raspberries.

I'm a zealous Big Star fan. I don't consider them to even play the same kind of music that the Raspberries did. Because Big Star were so difficult to label, they get lumped in with the Power Pop guys. As a little kid, I heard both bands on the radio, and never even considered them to be playing the same kind of music. Big Star plays some sort of sublime existensial weep-and-be-rich-young-and-bored music; the Raspberries sing about "Gettin' it On," just like Ferrar states, but they do it better than anyone else. Eric was feeling obviously frustrated back then; now, unlike the rest of us, he takes his horniness TO THE BANK!!

Still, while it is interesting that someone has a contrary opinion to the hometown pride, the Raspberries RULE CLEVELAND-even more so than Dennis Kucinch ever did!!

I'll write a reply, menawhile, attack Ferrar, not Big Star.

Count me as a fan of both Alex Chilton bands, Big Star and The Box Tops. My post was meant to show that Farrar appears to not know that the guys in Big Star are fans of Raspberries; that the members of Big Star "get" Raspberries while Farrar writes them off.

Don :)

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I think the Big Star comments are mostly a result of the critic's comments that Big Star were as good as the Beatles. Heck, most folks here would attack a similar comment suggesting Raspberries were as good as the Beatles. Most regular posters here respect Big Star as a band, just not in that context.

Bernie

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I really don't see any Big Star Bashing....Big Star is also one of my favorite bands['Thirteen 'is in my personal top 100 song ever list] and yep..they are great...as I stated in my comments...they just are not as good as the Beatles...they had 3 albums for cryin out loud.

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Crg2   
Don_Krider said:

Count me as a fan of both Alex Chilton bands, Big Star and The Box Tops. My post was meant to show that Farrar appears to not know that the guys in Big Star are fans of Raspberries; that the members of Big Star "get" Raspberries while Farrar writes them off.

No-not you, man. Yours was fine-the only one that didn't resort to comparing them. I was referring to the people on the newspaper page who took Ferrar's statement about Big Star being as good as the Beatles, and made a pi$$ing contest out of it.

Since you are from my hood, Don, I must say that you should have seen the original Box Tops play Owensboro three years ago-really good. Alex was his aloof, surly self.

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Crg2   
hollies65 said:

I really don't see any Big Star Bashing....Big Star is also one of my favorite bands['Thirteen 'is in my personal top 100 song ever list] and yep..they are great...as I stated in my comments...they just are not as good as the Beatles...they had 3 albums for cryin out loud.

Subjective-they are as good as the Beatles TO ME-just as they seem to be to Ferrar. That's why getting into an argument about personal taste can only reach diminishing proportions, and derails the focus on the responses, which should pretty much be something like: "Eric Carmen OWNED the ariwaves in the '70's, and somehow, still isn't as respected as he should be"-notice no taking of Ferrar's bait, and mention of Big Star, in that statement?

As for Big Star: three albums has nothing to do with it. I've never heard such a detailed articulation of how a young person feels depression and can't figure out whether or not they want to have another drug, suffer a diffcult romance, or find salvation in the southern, snake-handling version of Jesus.

I'm just amazed at how well Chris Bell, and, to an extent, Alex Chilton, were able to convey those complex emotions at such a young age.

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Crg2....let me state once more...I'm a Big Star fan...as Bernie stated It was Farrar making the statement that Big Star were as good as the Beatles....well I think you know what we're saying.

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Trindy is correct about "eating their own."

The irony, here, is that I had just finished downloading and listening to the VH1 Bonus Interview (that ends with Dave commenting on the previous lack of local support for the band) when I flipped over here and read the Cleveland Scene article.

I then saw Michael Stanley's letter and the Scene's complementary video.

This whole thing is really sad. The Scene has sunk (if you believe they're not low enough, already) below the depths of the Weekly World News (which at least had a sense of humor). I expect the next Scene headline to be, "Musician Shoots Siamese Twin Brother for Bad Breath."

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Well yeah...I could say the Hollies were better than The Beatles...I enjoy their music more....But the sheer# of mind boggling great songs ...two of the greatest singers AND writers of all time in same the band...What are we arguing about anyway...I've had Big Star records in my house for thirty years plus...I've posted videos for 'Thirteen' AND Neon Rainbow here.I'm a fan...I never slammed BS..I said they were great!

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Gene   

I'm a little bit surprised at the Scene's shenanigans. It is a bit immature for people at a publication in a major city. Or, for that matter, any city.

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Reid C.   

Careful, Baby sister. Our feathered friends are sensitive creatures and should not be exposed to such tripe. It's bad enough that I line mine with the LA Times, let alone Farrar's ranting! :blink:

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mellie   

What was the point of spewing that rubbish? I was expecting a review of the CD/DVD, but he doesn't even mention the songs. How can anyone take Cleveland Scene seriously and why would any journalist worth their salt want to be associated with such a rag? Farrar, a self-proclaimed "music critic", obviously took his Creative Writing class to heart and missed the Journalism 101 class about credibility.

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Trindy   

Back when Jim Girard was still alive and was editor of Scene, it was a decent entertainment paper and it had a lot of true Cleveland character. Now it's part of a chain of "alternative newsweeklies" across the country, and a lot of the pizzazz has gone out of it. There's some good investigative reporting, and a lot of criticism about the city and its politics and players (some of it deserved, some of it not), and some interesting restaurant reviews, but the rest of it I can take or leave. And at least a good third of the back of it is ads for escort services, sex phone lines and other sorts of shady enterprises.

Oh, the other good thing is Derf's comics. If you're a right-winger, you'll hate them, but if you're not, chances are you'll laugh your head off. He too has a pessimistic view about a lot that goes on around here, but at least he makes you laugh.

Dare I confess that I've never actually heard anything by Big Star? I only know them by their reputation as being constantly named in the same breath with our boys as power-pop gods. And heard some people flog them to death as THE best power-pop band ever, which I find difficult to believe.

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Don_Krider said:

It's a real shame the editorial board of Cleveland Scene decided to grab a skit video off TouTube of a guy in a Michael Stanley beard pretending to be Michael Stanley which was conceived on YouTube by a Cleveland act called Last Call Cleveland, and that Cleveland Scene then posted the video with Michael's letter online "to remind" people of who Michael Stanley is. What a jerk thing to do to yet another hometown hero.

That's just wrong :angry: So very petty and so sad! :(

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