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Tony Cartmill

Bi Bi Clive, Bye Bye Happiness?

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Now, that Clive the Hitmaker has revealed that he has been bi-sexual for the past 30+ years in his new book, Does it make anyone else wonder?... aroud the time "Boats..." was wrapping up:

1. Did Eric reject a pass from Clive in a way that Clive wanted to punish Eric's career?

2. Did Eric and Clive have a brief experimental fling and Clive couldn't handle the break-up?

It would be one way to explain Clive's mind-boggling indifference to the high quality of songs that Eric was creating from 1977-1980...Just throwing a theory out there...(Also based on the outfits and makeup Eric was wearing during that era) wink

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Holy smokes!!! :yikes:

Well Tony, anything is possible, but I think Eric would have punched his lights out if he tried anything like that!!

Clive may have had some penis envy regarding Eric.

Let's face it, Eric was smoking hot!...Clive not so much.

Also, I wasn't there, but I read something about a " Tony choking" so you might wanna get ready for another. LOL

pj

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Also, I wasn't there, but I read something about a " Tony choking" so you might wanna get ready for another. LOL

pj

You're a quick learner, PJ...

I know Tony likes to "stir the pot" but I thought this comment sort of crosses a line...I believe Eric would never comment on anything like this even if he hated Clive (not saying he did; don't know and frankly don't care)...Eric is too much of a class act.

But I get your point Tony...why Clive didn't thoroughly market such talent is beyond explanation.

Jean

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Not sure anyone can say what happened behind closed doors, but I think when it came to music, Clive was all business. And as much as we all love "Boats," it just wasn't "Son of All By Myself," which what Clive was looking for from Eric. Also, I can say from personal experience that Clive still has tons of respect for Eric. When I interviewed him for "Marathon Man," he had plenty of nice things to say, and even chose "All By Myself" for the Bonus "12 Smash Hits" CD that accompanies his just published autobiography, "The Soundtrack of My Life."

- - - -

4. All By Myself by Eric Carmen

I flew to Cleveland back in the day to meet Eric Carmen and hear the songs he wanted to launch his solo career after leaving the Raspberries. The first song he played for me was “All By Myself”. I was knocked out by the song and the performance. This was a potential classic if I ever heard one and so I signed Eric right away.

- - - -

Bernie

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darlene   

I'm sure Clive personally had his own fish to fry and wouldn't jeopardize his dealings in the music industry with personal complications. I'm sure he wanted his peccadillos under wraps.

I think he was just pigheaded and stubbornly onesided as to his own opinions and thought he was always right. He obviously was also clueless when it came to Eric's absolutely perfect instincts, OR he was in denial that Eric's instincts were far better than his own. That's my take on it, and whether he realizes it yet, it's obvious he totally lost out by not seeing the obvious. Sometimes I think he really didn't KNOW.

:)--D

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Clive has always seen making records as a "collaborative" process. He likes to be involved. He wants to give you his "input."

For some artists, particularly those who aren't writers, this might be a positive thing. However, for those of us who ARE writers, the goal is to get OUR vision onto the record, not someone else's.

"All By Myself" was very strong melodically, and surprisingly simple. "Boats Against the Current", not so much.

The whole "Boats" album was less obvious than my first solo album. I wasn't trying to make every song on "Boats" sound like a top forty hit. My arrangements were often very spare ( Nowhere To Hide, Run Away, Boats ).

"Subtle" is not a word in Clive's vocabulary. He wanted every chorus to smash you in the face and scream "HIT"!!!!!

So, I think he was disappointed by the less obvious songwriting, the subtler arrangements and by his lack of input.

I think Clive gave it a listen, didn't hear an "All By Myself" jump out at him, and simply lost interest.

We had also had our difference of opinions about whether "Boats" should have background vocals. Clive wanted them. I didn't. Clive's way of showing you who's boss is to put your record out, and then simply let it languish for a few weeks on the charts, and then fall into oblivion.

He had just taught me a lesson. Let Clive have his way....or else.

He who controls the purse strings decides which records will become hits, and which records will not.

As to a "fling"..........you must be joking.

e

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I never quite understood why he didn't raise a finger to promote the "Tonight You're Mine" album. For years I had no clue, and then, little by little, the truth began to slowly come out.

First, I had just signed with a former Arista attorney named Michael Lippman for management. He had left the label, signed me and Melissa Manchester ( along with Bernie Taupin ) and I think Clive was not very happy about it. It was pretty simple for Clive to sabotage Michael's new management company. He'd just stop promoting me and Melissa, making Michael look impotent in the process.

Second, and probably even more important, was that Jimmy Ienner's younger brother, Don, had taken over the reigns of Arista's promotion department.

I had heard that, when Jimmy and I decided to go our separate ways, Don had said to my manager "You know, he'll never have another hit."

At the time, I thought it was just "sour grapes." The younger brother defending his big brother. But as time went on, Donald became arguably, the most powerful promotion man in the music industry. He was probably the greatest promotion man that ever lived.

I realized that if Donald decided you "weren't going to have a another hit", that he was in a unique position to make sure you didn't. All he had to do was make a couple calls to the "independent" promotion guys that controlled radio in every city, and tell them he wanted my record to stop at number thirty. Done.

And last, but not least, many years after the fact, Clive once said to me: "Once you go pop, you can never go back."

Translation: My first album was a "pop" album, and henceforth my credibility as a "rock" artist was shot....forever.

Ahhh........politics.

e

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Kirk   

At the time, who knew "Boats" would be the tipping point of your career!?! There were great albums- some of my favorites- released after "Boats". Even a couple of mega-hits followed, but, the momentum and meteoric rise that was evident from the success of your first album stalled when Clive bailed on "Boats". What a shame that an industry mogul like Clive would throw a wet blanket over your record to prove a point. A 'what if' moment if ever there was one. We want a redo!

About Tony...well, he's Tony blush

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Oh, and Donald made good on his "promise." I never had another bonafide "hit" again, until Jimmy asked me to sing and produce "Hungry Eyes", a film that he was the executive producer on.

Lo and behold, "Hungry Eyes" flew up then Billboard charts into the top twenty, and then took months to slowly make it's way into the top ten, and then the top five, and took almost as long to drop out of the top five and ten and twenty. Each week that you have a song in the top ten, ( back in the old days ) that meant you would probably sell 75,000 records. When it reaches the top five you sell 100,000 records. So the longer you stay in the top ten, making your way up the charts to top five status, and back down again, you are literally selling hundreds and hundreds of thousands of records and getting played 5 or 6 times a day on every station in the country.

Donald promoted that record. Success for me meant success for his brother.

After "Hungry Eyes", Arista was putting together another greatest hits package.

Putting a brand new song on the album would give fans their money's worth, and since Donald was on a roll, I suggested to Jimmy we should do something "new" and that he should produce it.

I played him "Long Live Rock 'n Roll" and he liked it, but thought, and this is a quote...."Who wants to hear a song called Long Live Rock 'n Roll from Eric Carmen"? I've got to admit, that comment stung a bit.

I came up with "Make Me Lose Control", sent it to Dean Pitchford who then re-wrote the chorus lyric and I went into the studio with Jimmy in LA.

Donald was still at the helm of the promotion department when the single came out.

The record went to #3 on Billboard.

The mysteries are revealed.

( On a side note ) when Celine Dion's version of ABM rocketed up the charts, it finally peacked at # 4.

I would personally bet that Donald ( who, by that time, was President of Sony, I think ) pulled the plug on promotion because he didn't want Celine's version to eclipse my version, which Jimmy produced.

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Kirk   

Ah, "Tonight You're Mine"...one of my favorite albums of all time! That album had 4 or 5 huge hits on it. I hadn't heard (or remembered) about the Michael Lippman/Donnie Ienner part of the story that effectively torpedoed your career. I couldn't understand why those songs never saw the light of day confused Now I know. Another 'what if' moment...

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Kirk   

...and then Clive wants you to make an album singing other people's songs!

You must have been thinking, "Damned if I do, Damned if I don't!"

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M454K0   

"Who wants to hear a song called Long Live Rock 'n Roll from Eric Carmen"?

I'd like to have heard it more than Hungry Eyes and Make Me Lose Control back then. When I heard Billy Joel playing Highway To Hell on stage, all the audience enjoyed it extraordinary.

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Eric I'm sure you can more than sympathize with poor Kelly and her dealings with Clive.

The music Buissness is nothing like I thought it was.

So much politics involved...yikes!

Pj

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Until I came here and started reading Eric's posts, I had no idea the "artist" was tasked with paying for "everything!!"

I had the impression that the record company paid for it, and the "artist" was paid according to sales.

Wow! Was I ever wrong!

I told everyone that would listen about the true state of the recording biz.

No matter who I spoke to, they were shocked!

I'm so greatful for the insite into the industry.

Thank you Eric.

Pj

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So Eric, I have to ask, once you were in the good graces of the Ienner brothers again, why weren't "Hungry Eyes" and "Make Me Lose Control" the center pieces of a completely new album, rather than a greatest hits package? A new album might have generated another single or two and really put you back on the map to the masses, no?

Did you have other songs written and ready to go or was that not an option?

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MikeC   

Thankfully, Eric, YouTube has given people more play and views.

It is known, now, that record produces in the music industry look for talent on Youtube. Even atheletes use YouTube to show scouts their abilities.

A friend of mine once told me that artists know what they do best- Writing, singing, arranging, and re-aranging.

And the record people are only interested in hit records.

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marlene   

Incredible !

Dar, you're so right, it's really terrible that one person has THAT much power !

Thanks for sharing some your experiences, Eric. smile

And great questions, Pat !

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