Jump to content
plainjane

What Was It Like?

Recommended Posts

Hi eric.

I wonder what it was like for you in the beginning.

Back when you knew you wanted to be in a rock band, and you spent every moment working toward that end.

What did that feel like?

Did you have any enjoyment during that time, or was it all about working on the next project?

I saw a video where all the guys were playing ball, laughing, and enjoying themselves.

It struck me that you were not in any of them.

I pictured you hold up in some dark hotel room, writing another song.

At what point did you relax and start to enjoy yourself?

Pj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I NEVER started to relax.

Wally, Dave and Jim had all been in The Mods and The Choir together. I was the youngest guy in the band, the "new" guy, and I had tried to get The Choir to let me audition to be in their band.

The other guys were much less focused on being successful than I was. I don't mean that in a bad way, they were just normal twenty-year olds. I had a sense, from the very beginning, that if I didn't make it as a songwriter, I might end up selling shoes. Fear is a great motivator. I couldn't count on anyone else to write a great song. My own success was my sole responsibility, and I took it very seriously.

You are right about me not being in those videos. I've always thought, if I ever decide to write a biography, the title might be "Odd Man Out." I fit in, but never completely.

Even though I became the de facto leader of the band, I could always sense a sort of resentment, from some of the other band members. I was much more disciplined than they were, and I think they thought I was a tyrant. It also didn't help that my all songs became the singles. All bands are formed on the foolish notion that there is an equal distribution of talent and drive, and, therefore, there will be an equal distribution of money and fame.

That isn't how things work out in "real life." In "The Eagles", It was always Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Everyone else was good, but not essential. In "The Beatles", it was John and Paul. Could they have become successful with another guitarist and drummer? Probably. Did George and Ringo add to the mix? Absolutely, but they weren't the critical elements. Mick and Keith ARE "The Rolling Stones" ( with a huge nod to Charlie Watts ). Page and Plant were "Led Zep". Without Pete Townsend, there was no "Who."

That's how it works in bands. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven. There's always that magical balance of charisma that compliments each of the members. There are no "democratic" bands, in reality.

The smartest thing that Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones ever did, was to realize that it was Mick and Keith, and support the daylights out of them. That's probably why Brian ended up out of the band and dead. He was one of the founders of the Stones, and he became irrelevant, at a certain point. He couldn't handle being one of the "less important guys." The only reason I ever became a "solo" artist, was because I didn't have the support of my bandmates, and it just became too difficult to  deal with the resentment, and bitterness and downright hostility. After the "Starting Over" album, there was just no reason to go on as a "band." We weren't accepted by the mass audience, and there was so much friction within the band it was impossible for me to continue. I knew, during the recording of that album, it was time for me to leave. My one regret was that Scott McCarl came into the band at the wrong time, and got caught in the maelstrom. He was, and is, a sweet and talented guy, and it broke my heart to see him caught in the crossfire. Life is not fair, and neither is rock and roll and the music business. I loved working with Scott, and was incredibly sad to see that new relationship come to an end.

I've learned, over these many years, that people often end up where they are comfortable. I loved Wally's talent and charisma, from the first time I saw him in The Choir, but he was always his own worst enemy. I desperately wanted him to be my John Lennon, and challenge me for the next single by writing a great song, but it just didn't happen. At a certain point, I realized there was nothing I could do to salvage things, and I knew, if I wanted to succeed, I had to move on.

It was a sad, sad decision, but it was about "survival." The music business is not very forgiving. You don't normally get three or four  chances to "make it." If you're REALLY, REALLY lucky, you get one chance, and you'd best make the most of it.

The Raspberries had that chance, and couldn't sort out their individual egos, for the good of the band. At some point, in 1974, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was never going to work. A sad day, for sure, but without that decision I might have spent another two years watching the band self-destruct, and watching my own career die with it. I HAD to leave, when I did. I had done everything humanly possible to make the band work, and I finally realized nothing I could do was ever going to make that happen. As it turned out, it was the right decision. I will always regret that The Raspberries didn't really "make it", in the sense that "The Beatles" or "The Rolling Stones" or " The Who" did. That was my dream, being part of a band , but it just wasn't meant to be. I look back at what we accomplished, and the records we made, with great pride. I choose to remember the happiest times, rather than the disappointments, but I guess things worked out the way the cosmos intended.

And, yeah, I was the one holed up in the dark hotel room, or my apartment, writing the best songs I could, day after day, night after night, while the other guys had FUN! But, I wouldn't change anything about it.

I will always love Jim, Dave, Wally, Scott and Michael, but I HAD to go out on my own. I had to be solely responsible for my success or failure. If I failed, because of me, I could handle it, and take the blame. But I could never handle failing because of someone else.

And so it goes.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kirk   

I have often wondered if the Starting Over album had produced a top 10 hit, or even a couple of top 20 hits, if that would have been impetus enough to keep band friction in check.  The follow up album to Starting Over, you co-writing with Scott...<<<sigh>>>  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a tough situation in many ways...I just wish our musical genius could have found a way to be more diplomatic and convinced with win/win proposition styles to the egos of bandmates, Brothers Ierner, Supreme Leader Davis...and the rest that clashed with his mind's eye visions of perfection. Seems like he did some with Clive, but to no avail...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sid   

There's a saying in the British Army "there's a Sargeant Major's baton in everyone's bag".  So true, so true in Rock 'n 'roll as well. Not everyone can be a star, but important for everyone to be a good soldier.

 

Rich Dix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drupelet   

Eric, I don't visit this site very often, so I just read this thread for the first time. I think it's one of my top-ten favorite posts of yours!

All bands are eventually killed by conflicts of commitment and priorities. It's one of the most frustrating things to be on a team, to be putting in the most effort, to be generating a significant aspect of the success and being resented for it. Been there. The phony PR image of happy, democratic bands, along with my own tendency towards generosity definitely cost me big-time in group-based creative endeavors. Seems like you chose the right time to get out.

I'm not trying to besmirch the other Raspberries, but I honestly can't imagine them ever making it out of Ohio without you. I guess that has been proven by their collective post-berries anonymity.

In assessing any situation, reality always wins.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/15/2013 at 0:56 AM, Eric Carmen said:

I NEVER started to relax.

Wally, Dave and Jim had all been in The Mods and The Choir together. I was the youngest guy in the band, the "new" guy, and I had tried to get The Choir to let me audition to be in their band.

The other guys were much less focused on being successful than I was. I don't mean that in a bad way, they were just normal twenty-year olds. I had a sense, from the very beginning, that if I didn't make it as a songwriter, I might end up selling shoes. Fear is a great motivator. I couldn't count on anyone else to write a great song. My own success was my sole responsibility, and I took it very seriously.

You are right about me not being in those videos. I've always thought, if I ever decide to write a biography, the title might be "Odd Man Out." I fit in, but never completely.

Even though I became the de facto leader of the band, I could always sense a sort of resentment, from some of the other band members. I was much more disciplined than they were, and I think they thought I was a tyrant. It also didn't help that my all songs became the singles. All bands are formed on the foolish notion that there is an equal distribution of talent and drive, and, therefore, there will be an equal distribution of money and fame.

That isn't how things work out in "real life." In "The Eagles", It was always Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Everyone else was good, but not essential. In "The Beatles", it was John and Paul. Could they have become successful with another guitarist and drummer? Probably. Did George and Ringo add to the mix? Absolutely, but they weren't the critical elements. Mick and Keith ARE "The Rolling Stones" ( with a huge nod to Charlie Watts ). Page and Plant were "Led Zep". Without Pete Townsend, there was no "Who."

That's how it works in bands. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven. There's always that magical balance of charisma that compliments each of the members. There are no "democratic" bands, in reality.

The smartest thing that Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones ever did, was to realize that it was Mick and Keith, and support the daylights out of them. That's probably why Brian ended up out of the band and dead. He was one of the founders of the Stones, and he became irrelevant, at a certain point. He couldn't handle being one of the "less important guys." The only reason I ever became a "solo" artist, was because I didn't have the support of my bandmates, and it just became too difficult to  deal with the resentment, and bitterness and downright hostility. After the "Starting Over" album, there was just no reason to go on as a "band." We weren't accepted by the mass audience, and there was so much friction within the band it was impossible for me to continue. I knew, during the recording of that album, it was time for me to leave. My one regret was that Scott McCarl came into the band at the wrong time, and got caught in the maelstrom. He was, and is, a sweet and talented guy, and it broke my heart to see him caught in the crossfire. Life is not fair, and neither is rock and roll and the music business. I loved working with Scott, and was incredibly sad to see that new relationship come to an end.

I've learned, over these many years, that people often end up where they are comfortable. I loved Wally's talent and charisma, from the first time I saw him in The Choir, but he was always his own worst enemy. I desperately wanted him to be my John Lennon, and challenge me for the next single by writing a great song, but it just didn't happen. At a certain point, I realized there was nothing I could do to salvage things, and I knew, if I wanted to succeed, I had to move on.

It was a sad, sad decision, but it was about "survival." The music business is not very forgiving. You don't normally get three or four  chances to "make it." If you're REALLY, REALLY lucky, you get one chance, and you'd best make the most of it.

The Raspberries had that chance, and couldn't sort out their individual egos, for the good of the band. At some point, in 1974, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was never going to work. A sad day, for sure, but without that decision I might have spent another two years watching the band self-destruct, and watching my own career die with it. I HAD to leave, when I did. I had done everything humanly possible to make the band work, and I finally realized nothing I could do was ever going to make that happen. As it turned out, it was the right decision. I will always regret that The Raspberries didn't really "make it", in the sense that "The Beatles" or "The Rolling Stones" or " The Who" did. That was my dream, being part of a band , but it just wasn't meant to be. I look back at what we accomplished, and the records we made, with great pride. I choose to remember the happiest times, rather than the disappointments, but I guess things worked out the way the cosmos intended.

And, yeah, I was the one holed up in the dark hotel room, or my apartment, writing the best songs I could, day after day, night after night, while the other guys had FUN! But, I wouldn't change anything about it.

I will always love Jim, Dave, Wally, Scott and Michael, but I HAD to go out on my own. I had to be solely responsible for my success or failure. If I failed, because of me, I could handle it, and take the blame. But I could never handle failing because of someone else.

And so it goes.

E, I just re-read this brilliant and honest assessment of your journey with the Rs.  It has to be my favorite post so far, but I really can't stand to think of you in a dark place anywhere dear...xo...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a good friend, who I've known since fourth grade, who now works for Irving Azoff, who, for those of you who might not know the name, is probably the biggest (figuratively, he's actually about 4' 11" tall) and most successful manager in the history of rock. His company manages hundreds of artists, including the Eagles. My friend, Tom, came to NY to see one of the BB Kings shows. We had been talking about how it would be fun for the two of us to do something together, after all these years. After the show, Tom had some very interesting insights to share with me about "bands."

In a nutshell, here is what he said:

"There is NEVER an equal distribution of talent, drive and charisma, in any band.

Eventually, one or two guys emerge from the pack and become the ones that the press and the audience key in on, for one reason or another. It may be because they write the hits, or it may be because they have a boatload of charisma, or some combination of all the attributes that make performers "stars."

Think Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. John and Paul. Mick and Keith.

In any case, at the moment when that happens, the other members of the band have to make one of two choices. In successful bands, the "less interesting band members" ( as the bass player of Aerosmith refers to himself, the drummer and the rhythm guitar player ) make a conscious choice to step back and support the guys that have emerged as the "frontmen".  That's what happened in Aerosmith. That's what happened in the Rolling Stones. That's what happened in Led Zeppelin.

Or, the other band members choose to see themselves as being "shortchanged", and refuse to accept what simply "is" , and they bitch and moan and complain about the situation, until the band implodes."

Can you imagine the Stones going into the studio, and suddenly Bill Wyman wants to have a couple songs on the new album, and Brian Jones decides he should get to sing lead on a few numbers, and Charlie Watts decides he doesn't like the band's "direction" and wants Mick and Keith to start working some "jazz" elements into their music??? How long do you think the Stones would have lasted if that had happened???

Answer: Not long.

What Bill and Charlie and a reluctant Brian did, is to realize that Mick and Keith were the show, and turned the spotlight over to them. They made their peace with simply being part of a GREAT, GREAT rock and roll band, and they understood that by supporting Mick and Keith, and letting them lead the way, they would ALL prosper. And that's why the Stones are still here, fifty years later.

My friend, Tom, said that's how it works in ALL SUCCESSFUL BANDS, and that in bands where the Bills, Charlies and Brians challenge Mick and Keith, the bands fall apart, and the front guys go on to solo careers.

That's just the way it is.

Often, the two "front guys" don't even get along that well, and don't even like each other ( think Henley and Frey ) but they understand that it's the magic combination of the two of them that makes it all happen, and they deal with their issues because they know, in the long run (no pun intended) that's the only way for the band to continue to be successful. They put their personal grievances aside, and they work together, for the greater good. Not only that, but they're making TONS OF MONEY, and they don't want that to stop!!!!

I've seen The Eagles live, a couple times, and I know it must really piss Glenn Frey off when they start playing one of his solo songs (which are only on the set list because some of Henley's far superior solo songs are) and he stands there singing while he watches everyone get up to go to the bathroom. But Don and Glenn make whatever compromises they have to to keep the band together.

And, by the way, anyone who thinks Joe Walsh and Timothy B Shmit are getting paid the same amount of money that Henley and Frey are has REALLY got their head in the clouds.

The Eagles are a business, and Don and Glenn are the CEO and President. The compensation for the "junior partners" is not the same.

In any case, Tom saw, immediately, the inherent problems within the Raspberries. He could "feel" the hostility swirling around that stage, and he knew, from experience, that that never bodes well for success.

Where, in the original band, I might have tried to "force" my will regarding our music, our hair, what we wore on stage etc. on the other band members, I really had no desire to do that when we put the band back together.

And, frankly, I knew that no one would listen to me anyway. What I hoped, was that, thirty years on, everyone would have had time to grow up, and put past bitterness in the past.

Unfortunately, that isn't what happened. If anything, the bitterness and anger were even worse, after having thirty years to fester. Where I had hoped that age and wisdom would prevail, I instead found a new level of contempt. At least as great as it was the first time around, perhaps greater.

The only thing I was willing to go to battle over was the music. 

And so, when we played our final song, at a private VIP party at the Rock Hall, the night before the Induction Ceremony a few years ago, I looked at Jim, and he looked at me, and sadly, we both knew that would be the last song the band would probably play together.

I got a call from Paul Stanley a few days after we played the HOB in L.A. in 2005. He had come to the show, as had Rick Springfield and Blondie's drummer, Clem Burke, and a bunch of other notables, and Paul saw and "felt" the same things my friend, Tom, had experienced. We talked for a while and, finally, he said, "It's a funny thing about reunions. For about ten days, when you first get back together, you wonder why you ever broke up. And then, after a month or so, all the old crap comes to the surface again, and you remember, very clearly, why you broke up."

Sadly, his observation was right on the money.

ec

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

I don't want to "like" your post because it makes me feel so sad.  In 2005 I was hiding from the troubles of hurricane Katrina.  However, I know I can speak for anyone who attended the reunion and say they went to see the Rs again for the joy the music and performances brought to them.   I know what you say is the norm in bands which don't survive, but I HATE to think of your bandmates feeling any kind of contempt toward you.  Contempt? Again, this makes me very sad, darling.

Yes, of course music is a business and that is probably a big shock to most people too who would think it's all fun and games, and performers are just getting together and playing so we all can have the maximum amount of fun together.  I would think the illusion for the crowd would have been even stronger for a band which began and performed out of Ohio for so long.  I'm going to quote Jay Z (I apologize in advance to some folks), as he makes his thoughts perfectly clear to everyone who listens to him that he isn't a businessman - he's "a business, man."

That being said, I know we are all here at the EC Community to give you some love (some more than most!), and we can't wait for your new CDs to come out so we can experience maximum joy!!! 

Many many hugs and kisses,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beachbum   

Eric,

So sorry to hear that all the old crap resurfaced with the Raspberries reunion, what an unhappy ending. With the amazing combined talent of the original band, considering the passage of time etc. it's a cryin' shame old friends couldn't allow the water to flow under the bridge. At least it seemed musically the magic was still there.

I feel that none of the bandmembers realized how much the band was truly loved & how great the music dynamic was.

I understand everyone just wants to move forward & not look back. I think the sky is the limit as to what you can accomplish yet in your lifetime. You have been and will always be a genius composer, singer and producer.

Best of luck and God bless

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric must have seemed like a tyrant to those 3 other boys from Ohio.  However, "contempt" isn't easy to get past, around and/or over.  Even the strongest person on the receivinig end of such intensely negative emotions probably wouldn't want to continue in such a situation.

In retrospect, I believe the bandmembers did know exactly how much they were loved and that's why they attempted to reunite.  Part of being a performer is working hard to make the audience love you and the music no matter what kind of day you are having.  (Imagine how Lindsey and Stevie felt when their personal relationship ended.  Stevie told Lindsey FM and the music would continue on no matter what their feelings toward each other were on any given day...talk about struggling with complicated emotions...but they agreed to work together, in spite of the chaos).    

People enjoy positive nostalgia and it can make them feel very good in so many ways, which is why I think we all still love the Rs, the music and the magic it can still make us feel when we hear it.  

I expect when E's new CDs come out there will be a treasured new kind of magic in the musical heavens!!

p.s.  I wonder how other people here in the Community feel about this topic?  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kirk   

Cgirl, you might try searching the message board for an answer, although I don't know how far back you can go with the new forum...Raspberries band chemistry has been discussed in the past, although Eric really puts an exclamation point on it lately!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kirk,

I am well aware of the many issues within the Rs from the past.  E certainly has painted a more vivid picture of his own feelings on the topic for us more recently, and that's a good "refresh" for those of us who may be a little too nostalgic about the Rs.  Still, it's a bit difficult to completely dismiss that phase of E's history.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This comment is for Tony. In regards to your post about wishing I could have somehow been more diplomatic in my dealings with my bandmates, Clive, Jimmy Ienner etc.

The truth is, I probably was way TOO DIPLOMATIC, all the way around! This is partly a problem of hearing my songs, fully arranged, guitar parts, drum fills, harmonies and back-ground vocal lines, in my head before ever bringing them to the band or the producer, right down to the transistor radio break in "Overnight Sensation." It really wasn't much of a problem with Jimmy Ienner. He knew I'd have the arrangements done before we walked into the studio, and, frankly, our budgets for the Raspberries albums wouldn't have allowed us to start working up arrangements in the studio. That's why we were all rehearsed before we got there. In the studio, time is money. We didn't have the kind of success that gave bands like The Beatles the opportunity to go to the studio and spend weeks or months "experimenting." That would have been wonderful, but I think the budget for the first Raspberries album was $30,000. That had to pay for tape, the engineers, the producer's fee the studio time, union scale for band members, a string arranger and, perhaps a twenty-five piece string and horn section and, usually, we had to get the orchestral tracks done in one, three hour session. No time for mistakes or chart re-writes. I think that first album was recorded. start to finish in three weeks. A week or so to cut all the instrumental tracks, a week for all the vocals, lead and background, and a week to mix. That's it.

It was more of a problem for some of the band members, who resented being told what to play on any given song. Jim and I laugh now about the day I asked him to do the "My Generation" drum ending on "I Can Remember." He HATED it, didn't want to play it, and, at one point even said "I don't even LIKE Keith Moon!" He finally gave up and said "OK, If you want to ruin your own song!" After a while, he grew to love that drum rave up, but he sure didn't like it when I asked him to play it in rehearsals. Similar problems ensued with guitar parts. Wally basically wanted to play solos through EVERYTHING, and I needed power chords and very melodic lead lines like the ones in "If You Change Your Mind."

I've always been able to "think" great guitar parts, but I usually needed someone a lot better than me to play them. I remember sitting in my hotel room, in New York, the night before we had to record the guitar overdubs for that song, and for some reason we hadn't come up with them during rehearsals. I was up until three in the morning dreaming up those lines, every note of them, and the harmony lines, as well, and then Wally had to learn them and play them the next day. Not an easy thing to do.

In retrospect, if I could have been more of an asshole, and LESS diplomatic, things might have worked better. I always tried to kind of "sugar coat" my requests, and dance around the issues politely, when, it might have been better if I just demanded what I wanted, with no apologies. The first time I attempted to compromise with Clive was on the background vocals on "Boats Against The Current." He wanted them. I didn't. To appease him, I went back into the studio and recorded the girl singers version. I HATED IT, and I was sure that, when Clive heard it, he would hate it, as well. Not. We then began a battle that sent me back in to record male background vocals that I hoped I could bury under the strings, but make Clive feel like he had won.

He didn't buy that version either. He wanted the girls and I didn't. It probably killed the chances for "Boats" to be a hit. My mistake was ever agreeing to record the girls in the first place. Too diplomatic.

Some artists are lucky enough to have powerful managers that can intervene in these matters. Or, they are simply so confident that they refuse to EVER compromise their vision EVER, FOR ANYONE, IN ANY WAY, ON ANYTHING.

Frankly, that's why Madonna became a star. She NEVER compromised. It was HER VISION and if you didn't like it, you could just "fuck-off." Bruce Springsteen was very fortunate to have Jon Landau to help him, and a record label (again, Columbia) who let him record a third album, after his first two flopped. Most labels would have just dropped him after the first one. Columbia gave him a chance to find himself, and by the way, Bruce recorded the entire "Born To Run" album once, didn't like how it turned out, and somehow got Columbia to let him go back into the studio and re-cut THE ENTIRE ALBUM FROM SCRATCH! Now THAT takes some serious moxie.

When I hired Gus Dudgeon to produce the "Boats" album, he neglected to tell me that, on the 14 albums he had done with Elton, all Elton did was come in, play the piano and sing, and go home. Apparently Gus did the rest. When I first heard that story, I found it INCONCEIVABLE that Elton would just turn it over to Gus, but that's because I hear finished records in my head, and I guess Elton doesn't or didn't. This is what caused all the friction between Gus and I in the studio.

I conceived the guitar solo on "Run Away" (the one in the middle of the song, where each guitar line is answered by the string section) and I heard George Harrison's guitar sound on "Something" or Andrew Gold's guitar sound on "You're No Good."

Gus originally recorded it with a very distorted Gibson Les Paul sound through a Marshall amp. When I attempted to explain that that wasn't the sound I wanted, and that it was probably a Fender Stratocaster, triple tracked, recorded directly into the board with no amp, through a compressor, he became infuriated and told me he "wouldn't know the difference between a Fender and a Gibson if it bit him"! At first, I thought he was joking, but I very quickly realized he was not. Gus was an engineer, before he was a producer, and he simply thought of the guitar, ANY guitar, as fitting between certain frequencies. It didn't matter WHAT guitar Davey Johnstone picked up, it was going to fit "right there." Davey could have decided to play a banjo instead of a Les Paul, and it really didn't matter to Gus. It fit into a certain place on his parametric equalizer, and that was that. Simply amazing, and completely contrary to the way I wrote and recorded. He had a fit in the studio that day, when I asked one of my roadies to purchase Linda Ronstadt's album, so I could show him what sound I was looking for. He ended up storming out of the studio after saying, "That's it! You fucking do it!" I asked him to "please not "teach me a lesson," but he was done. I had accidentally usurped his producer's throne, and he had had enough of it. A short time later, he quit the project and left me with eight piano, bass and drum tracks on forty-six reels of tape, with no track sheets to sort out which take was the good one. Dudgeon's revenge!

"Find it yourself you little twit!" I spent my first week as a producer listening to  all forty six reels of tape, each one containing three or four takes, all recorded at different times, over a period of six months, with no notes, trying to find the "right take."

He had also spent $300,000, all recoupable against my royalties, and I probably spent another $100,000 completing the recording and mixing it, making "Boats" one of the most expensive albums ever recorded, at that time. I think Fleetwood Mac might have spent more on Tusk, but I got the "bad boy reputation" for spending that much money on the album. It also elicited the comment from Clive, when someone asked him if he was concerned about how much money the album was costing, to say

"I don't care. It's HIS money, not mine."

So, you see, being "diplomatic" doesn't necessarily get you a better result, and sometimes, it's the very worst thing you can do.

e

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
James   

For what it's worth, from reading all takes on this stuff...especially yours Eric...it always seemed to me that you met the band much more than half-way,  given what you brought  to the table.  

This is not pandering (you guys know I don't do that)...it's just the truth.

People will get mad at me for saying this, but the proof is also in the pudding.  Look at some of the non-Carmen songs on some of the Raspberry albums and it becomes clear that other band members were given more due (their songs hit the albums) than they deserved (their songs were not anywhere near as strong as the Eric Carmen songs).

I don't say this to knock any of the other Raspberries.   I love all 4.  But truth is truth.  

Sometimes Eric Carmen gets a bad wrap for being a "dictator" etc, but it's clear to me that (as Eric said)  he was likely too compromising.  It's clear from what has been written on the subject, it's clear from the songs picked to be on the albums, and it's clear from the songs played at the Reunion Shows.

Thanks for these posts Eric..they are interesting as heck.

James

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh James,

You know how I just LOVE to pander, AND so,

On this topic, I have to agree with your statements.  

(Why are people going to get mad at you?  Redd and I will protect you, so not to worry...).

Of course we all have our favorite Rs, but E's songs were always the strongest and made up the essential "sound" of the band.  Most successful bands won't try to go in various directions musically and they do try to develop and maintain a cohesive, unique style.  Asserting these necessary ideals on the other band members doesn't seem too harsh.

It definitely doesn't sound like trying to get along with Clive Davis worked out for the best either for E, musically or financially.  Eric was and still is the artist afterall. 

Ditto on the interesting posts today. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing. I didn't pick the songs that went on the album. Jimmy Ienner did, and then Capitol Records picked the singles. I always felt tremendous pressure to come up with songs that sounded like hits, because the other guys weren't writing them. When you consider that all four Raspberries albums were released between 1972 and 1974, that's an album every six months for two years, and we were touring after each album. By the time I went solo, artists were making one album every two years, and even with that amount of time, it was tough producing enough quality songs, with no filler, while touring.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

I know you worked so hard to make the band a huge success (here I am pandering again...), but I know it's true.  Guess that's one reason why we all still love the Rs' music so much and we are still curious and still trying to get questions answered by you.  Some people will always want to discuss and/or argue about what went wrong or what might have been for the Rs.

Don't think these questions are going away for you here on the board any time soon...

(So where is Tony?!)

xo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cayennegirl asked how people here in Community feel about Eric's topic. 
 
To be honest, I'm little bit shocked with his frankness, but all that he said was absolutely right. The fear is the best teacher and motivator. "Selling shoes", it's too cruel. If only we could be so wise in  20 years old long ago as Eric was! But nobody taught us. We were Soviet young people looking forward to the future without doubts and fears. But life has changed for us.
 
Thinking that Eric could ever be the "tyrant" is making me LOL.
 
As it is clear from Eric's songs , he's an airy and light creation with the fragile soul as the wings of a butterfly. Wish I have such a "tyrant" boss ever)))
 
Example of the real tyrant is Alec Baldwin in his genial scene of Glengarry Glen Ross speech from "Americans" film ))).
 
As for me, I'm a new member here. Instead of nostalgic flashback I've got the feeling as if the lightning strike my head "just yesterday" when I heard and saw Eric
s songs for the first time. 
 
And it feels like I choke in the lack of oxygen if I can't find in network something new — video, photo. But last video dated 2007. It's too sad to read that we won't see the reunion anymore. 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Larisa,

I'm so glad you posted.  Fear can be cruel and it can also be a very great motivator.  I am sorry to hear about any difficulties you've had growing up as a Soviet, and I've known a few people from Poland and life can be difficult at best there sometimes too. 

In Glengarry Glen Ross I remember the speech you reference where Alec Baldwin announces "Coffee's for closers!" meaning you will only get coffee if you can close the deal.  EC had some big dreams in his head for the band and great success was one of those dreams and in that regard, he was no doubt much harder on himself than he ever was on anyone else in pursuing those dreams.  And, you are so right that EC is in his own way a fragile soul, and his voice is certainly sometimes the voice of an angel.  There's much more to add, but as another with that moon in Pisces, I'll just attribute it all to a fanciful concept here on the board this early morning.

I also appreciate what you mean about the lightning strike to your head when hearing the music and the feeling of lack of oxygen (without more EC to look forward to). So although there may never be another Rs' reunion, I'm so glad you are here now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redd   

Hello Larisa,

What a beautiful & heartfelt post! Also a great reply from cayennegirl as well.

So nice to hear from you. Am sure Eric is feelin' the love all the way from Ukraine to the USA (by way of New Orleans of course) :heartpump:

Gina

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2013 at 6:54 PM, redd said:

Hello Larisa,

What a beautiful & heartfelt post! Also a great reply from cayennegirl as well.

So nice to hear from you. Am sure Eric is feelin' the love all the way from Ukraine to the USA (by way of New Orleans of course) :heartpump:

Hey G,

Thanks and I'll post a few more EC pictures in my gallery soon too.  :)  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cayennegirl and Redd, thank you for adding me as a friend and for your kind and warm words about my post. 

It's true about love all the way.

Voice and face of angel, but the lyrics are so serious. Music... the secret and irresistable power over us...I tried so hard to escape. Who ever tried... 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Larisa,

You're so welcome.

Did you check out the members' gallery today?  I have uploaded a picture of the Rs you will certainly want to see. 

(And, just between you and me, Eric looks especially delicious in the photo ;).)

I haven't really been able to escape in all this time either!!

Hugs,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×