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Raspbernie

State of the Website

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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!

Bernie

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!

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Bernie,

What you have done here is truly incredible and you should be proud of this website. The board seems to come alive when Eric stops by...so any sway you may have to get him interested in interacting with us here again would really bring on the fun again.

This is from a newer member who wasn't around when Eric "came out to play" ... but really enjoyed reading the back threads when Eric participated. Eric caring enough to participate (even occasionally) made this site a real standout...and what brought me in. I have never participated in anything like this before, I would like to see this site liven up again.

Thanks to LC, Kirk, Marvin and others who bring fun new discussion...and to you, Bernie for your labor of love.

smile Jean

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Bernie,

You did and continue to do a great job. There are some people who can't hear Eric. They just don't get it. Even though and because I am from Cleveland I know first hand. I actually was giving rebates to my friends if they would buy a Berries album. I would tape "B" side and album cuts without the hits to play to the "hip" open minded friends who would rag on our heroes. They would actually love the music. Well, until I told them who it was. It wasn't easy being a Raspberry fan in Cleveland. But Bernie came to the rescue and we together under your leadership became Eric's army! I know I can't thank you enough. If they ever do get back together I mentioned to Jim that you belong on stage with them for at least one song. He agreed. I hope that day comes for you!

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Dear Bernie...you rock!

I love the site very much!

The detail you put into it is amazing!

You only have to spend five minutes here, to see it's a labor of love.

I have read hours of conversations, on every topic.

Looked at every photo with wild eyed wonderment.

Listened to songs that I never would have heard without your generosity.

I also enjoyed seeing what Eric had to say, about everything.

His was not the only opinion I valued. I read yours, along with countless others.

I had not heard about the kindle version of "Marathon Man" till I came here.

On Xmas day I got it, and couldn't put it down.

Wonderful book, great writing, was sad it was over, when I reached the last page I wished for more!!

Looking at your "Got milk" photo's and reading about your ad campaignes...what fun!

You giving us an early look at your Super bowl commercial...wow!!!

I felt like I knew something that most of the world didn't...a secret!!! LOL

Eric is not the only Celebrity here!!! As I said...You rock!

I hope that Eric remembers he has friends here...that care!!

Most of all...you!

Pj

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LC   

Thanks, Bernie! I appreciate the acknowledgment in your post.... DIdn't expect that! And in response, I'll finally post my "Hindsight" bits on the Raspberries' five albums (I'm including "Best, Featuring Eric Carmen).

Even more so, thanks for that post in general. It's great to hear that you're still "into it".... And I hope our many members stop by more often. It's no secret that Facebook is drawing people away from here and everything else in life. It's nice to have that network buzzing, especially for family photos and keeping up with friends, but there are still lots of things that play better here... because of one thing we have in common (and with some of us, it's the only thing!).

Best,

Larry

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Kirk   

Bernie, I hope people respond to your prompting. This is still my homepage when I fire up IE. :)

My enthusiasm for Raspberries, Eric and this website have not waned at all. My passion for all of the above is still strong.

Throughout the 15 years of this website I have shared many memories, experiences and stories. To share this with other people who "get it" has been very rewarding.

I am aware that many of these encounters have been shared more than once. Even though it brings a smile to my face every time I recall them, I'm running out of ammo! That has a lot to do with a reduction in posts on my part.

Some topics have been discussed several times. If they have anything to do with Raspberries or Eric, I'm there. Other subjects, not so much.

Anytime Eric is on board, it's a given.

Keep the faith, Bernie! You rock!!

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KButch   

"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."

Well, Bernie, I've known you since the start of this site, though I never post. I actually did the following little project for my fifth graders, but anybody interested in checking it out is welcome to do so.

http://prezi.com/t_fhpqoi0udo/mr-bs-tribute-to-the-raspberries/

Just for you, bud.

Kevin

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I'm just popping on for a second and will read all of Bernie's post, and I'm sure I'll reply, later...but first...KButch---Mr. B! I LOVED your presentation. OMGOSH! It sooooooooooooooooo brought a smile to me face and joy in my heart. What a superb "video"---FANtastic!It's a MUST SEE! :)

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Excellent! Again thanks to Bernie as we were all in a minority at the time it seems. Sooner or later the rest of the world will catch up to us. Raspberries rock!

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K Butch,

WOW!!! I loved your tribute to the Raspberries!! You have shared it in just the right place; I hope Eric pops in to have a look at this.

How did your class like it?

Well Done and THANKS for sharing it here!

Jean

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marlene   

I concur...VERY well done, MrB !! What a terrific gift to share with your students !

(and with us!! :) ) Thank you!

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KButch that was amazing!!

I would love to know what your students thought about the band.

The moral of the story is...dreams DO come true. :)

Thank you for posting this wonderful tribute!

Pj

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James   

I´m as big a fan of Eric Carmen as anybody. And I probably join in on the EC/Raspberries threads as much as anybody. I owned all the albums back in the day, and still own and listen to them. Etc.

This website is important as heck as it accomplished all the things Bernie mentioned above. It´s somewhat miraculous. We forget how obscure Eric, and we his fans, were back in 1997. This website brought Eric Carmen fandom back to life.

I didn´t even know about "Winter Dreams" until I signed up here in 2004. I never knew I was not the only one who thought "Boats..." was the greatest, prior to joining up here. Prior to this website I knew NOT ONE other Eric Carmen fan who really knew his music who I could converse about EC music with.

How great this site is!

This sight is also a monument to (who I consider) the best pop/rock dude of them all. EC.com is recorded history re: Eric Carmen and his music. This site is the place where his fans can coalesce and keep the fire burning.

Having said all that, the site can´t hop unless we take it to the next step (as we already have). By the next step I mean we members become friends and talk passionately about other stuff outside of Eric Carmen´s music..ALONG with talk of EC music.

To only talk EC music and keep this place hopping is impossible, IMHO. It would be forcing it, IMHO.

We need to utilize all the forums and passionately post about other music, other subjects,other interests etc. It´s how we will keep this place hopping.

An example is Bernie´s latest Got Milk with The Rock. What a great commercial!!...and what a great thread.

I think many don´t post here so much because they persistently were told that their posts on subject matter outside EC music was really not wanted. This message has been sent many times by many people.

I disagree with the message. Again to keep this place hopping we need to discuss all types of subjects. It will keep this community alive.

Because this has become more than just an EC fan site. It´s become a playground where people who respect each other and like each other come to play, come to learn from one another, come to teach one another etc.

IMHO..

James

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I agree with you James.

That is why I try to add little anectodes about myself, my feelings, and experiences when posting.

Most have gone unanswered.

Each time I think to myself...hmmm ok, I'm not talking anymore.

Then I read something that draws me back into it.

I must say that Bernie is amazing!

He has answered every single question I asked him.

My last question was this...what can we do, as fans, to get the Berries into the R&R Hall of fame?

I'm sure as a collective voice we can make it happen somehow.

I was not here when you guys made all the other magic happen.

I would like to be a small part of this venture.

What do you guys think?

Pj

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As I've said before, we also need to get the great songs from Eric's catalogue and place them with new and old artists who still record, as they need another great song or 2 to fill their new release...AND FINALLY GET SOMEONE TO RECORD "DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA"

Thanks again to Bernie for letting us take all of of his passionate hard work for granted...It's like...we are his wives! Indifferent

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James...always and forever, you say what you mean and you mean what you say! I agree with what you posted!

I have loved this community for 5 years now. I do so miss the "playfulness" that many of us "rolled" around in every day. I miss coming on here and saying "Hello" or "That's great!" or..."I am so sorry this happened to you." (I shared the pain of losing my sister, right here. And many...many of you were there for me.) But most of all, I miss the debates. I never knew I liked to write as much as I did until I entered the realm of "Carmen-dom." Oh...those discussions made me "light up" and shiver with antici...pation! I never knew what I was going to have to try and argue next. Sweat would drip from my brow!

I know I'm not a "stupid chick." It's what got me through most of my life. I never depended on my female "je ne sais quoi," per say. At no time did I see myself as more than what I was...a smart gal, who learned how to apply makeup properly to get the attention of the opposite sex, and who, if need be, could think rationally and hopefully get a point of view across, without looking like a dumb blonde in the process. UGH! It's a journey in itself.

Much to my surprise (and my ego)...I found that I may not have been the "Queen of the Hill" here, when it came to debating a subject or two. Many, many of the board members could hold their own, and more! (Darlene was not given the nick-name Darli-lama for nothing, ya know.) But I tried to give it my all.

Now, there is no way on God's green earth, that the night I met Eric Carmen, that I took him for anything more than a gorgeous, sweet, funny, "manly man." Much to my surprise...he had brains...like "break the proverbial glass ceiling" intelligence, and common sense to boot, which came along with that talented package. Oh. A bit exciting and titillating, if I do say so myself. It's not often when a girl has met her match in wits, and I excitedly waited to see if his next post could send me reeling and wondering...however will I match what he said? Ooooh...it made me tingly! "Debate-gasms"---almost as good as the real "gasm."

But most of all, most of the posters, including Eric, would try their best to be as respectful as possible to each other, as one would a friend or family member. That respect tied us together like a big pink bow on the package of admiration.

I'd love to read debatable subjects again. They made me want to strive for better or question what I hold true to my heart, or just think about. I'd love to see a lot of posting going on. I'd like to see Eric here once again...but that is his choice. And I respect him enough to let that decision be his and his alone, no matter what he chooses.

Bernie...what a fantastic post!

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Bernie.. what can I say, living in New Zealand I always thought I was "All By Myself", when it came to liking and hearing anything related to Eric Carmen and the Raspberries.

So when we got the Internet connected Muzza googled "Eric Carmen", and we found EC.com. The rest as they say is history!

From that point on our lives changed forever.

We got to know some of the most amazing people on the planet.

Then there was "Weekend at Bernie's 2007".

For the 1st time in my life not only I could listen to and sing along with the music I'd loved since I was 12 years old and not get teased mercilessly for it, but have people singing right along with me!!

And then to have Eric and Jim walk in, there are no words to describe that moment in my life.

Since then we have had 2 more trips "State side" and had the most amazing holidays ever.(I suspect there will probably be more to come in the future!)

"Thank you Bernie" doesn't even come close to the gratitude that I feel for what you've done in creating this amazing website.

All I can say is "Here's to the next 15 years"!!!

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ECatw   

Great post Bernie!

I wandered onto this site quite by accident. One day I was thinking about Eric and Raspberries, did a websearch and I found your amazing site! It had everything and anything related to Raspberries. Many days were spent reading all the old posts and articles.

Luck was with me when I joined the board at the time when I did. I got to finally see that wonderful concert in Cleveland. Timing could not have been better. That concert was one of the best experiences in my life. The warmth and excitement at the State Theater was really special that evening.

Along the way, I was fortunate enough to meet several board members who I can now call friends. Where else can such magic happen?

If fate is good to us once again, maybe one day we can all meet up one day for another appearance with Eric. I certainly will always have hope.

Thanks Bernie for all you do and the magic of this board!

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Shelley   

I joined in 2008, but I have been absent for most of the past year and a half...I still Love EC and am glad we have this message board to come to..(Thanks Bernie)now that my life has calmed down a bit, I hope to post more.

PS..just sent my donation to help keep this site going :D

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