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Carmen Smalley

Jim Bonfanti or Michael McBride?

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marvin   

Well that's like asking me which flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream I like: I LOVE 'EM ALL!

Since I can only give an opinion on Mike's work baseed on one album ("Starting Over"), and Jim's from 3 albums, I'll take Jim. I loved his style of playing and even today I'll play some tracks like "I Wanna Be With You" and "Ecstacy" for my drummer friends.

Marvin

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mikes "refrigerator falling down a flight of stairs" style is the style for me. when i think of raspberrie "drum moments" the "overnight sensation" drum return after erics quiet singing interlude is the one i always think of. spin

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I have to go with Jim 'Thunder Boy 'Bonfanti. The end to Tonight always reminded me of some thing...another song by another group... some past life expierience...another song by The Berries ? I just didn't know. Then one day I heard it again and knew. It was a hot summer night.A huge storm was heading in off of Lake Erie. You could see the lightning miles away but moving in rapidly.Then a huge crack of lightning and thunder hit. With out a doubt the loudest I've ever heard. It sent an explosive vibration through out my house. Then just as fast as the storm moved in it passed by. But just as I thought it was over there was one last rumble of thunder... almost sounded musical in a sence,it was then I realized it was

almost beat for beat Bonfantis ending to Tonight !

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Kirk   

This conversation was popular on the Raspberries web site before but got rather ugly. Hopefully everyone here will realize the greatness of both and appreciate their different styles. Kirk.

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darlene   

Yep, Kirk, you hit the nail on the head. Like someone else said, the initial impact Raspberries had on me was "flabbergasting," so I always think of Jim first. My first thought when I think "Raspberries" is the first group. It just is that way. However, I loved the second "batch o' berries" just as much in a different way (like loving two men at the same time--both great, both different?!), and Michael's work was more than just respectable. But that bloodrushing, exciting, wild feeling I get when I think Raspberries usually makes me think of Jim's drumming. Both were obviously recognized by Eric or he wouldn't have had Michael in the second group. Yeah, I like the refrigerator-falling-down-the-stairs too!

smile --Darlene

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Kirk   

I believe Mike was having some vision problems. Don't know how much it has affected his musical abilities, though. Kirk.

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KevG   

I always thought the early Raspberries stuff was more challenging from a drumming aspect, therefore Jim gets my vote.

Carmen Apice gets second in my book, even though limited appearances.

Kevin

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I though I likey Mikey better. Then I realized that Bonfantastic also had killer rolls that were often lost in those early weak no-bottom-end mixes. Are there any re-mastered "Best of 'Berries" CDs out there that have any real bass and bottom end drum improvement over the original wimpy mixes?

I also wish Jim had used a heavier snare sound.

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I'm a little biased since I play in a band with him but Jim Bonfanti, to me, exemplifies what every great drummer should be. Impeccable meter (#1 priority), hits 'em hard, incredible chops and drum fills, and knowing what TO play and what NOT to play. He understands the structure of a song and that when playing in a band, it's comprised of individual parts. So many drummers overplay and tend to rush tempos near the ends of songs but in the 5 years we've been together, he is without a doubt the greatest drummer I've played with. And one of the nicest people I've ever known, practically family.doter Oh, and did I mention he once was a member of that great power pop band, The Raspberries?! Love ya buddy.. Oh, by the way, our new band Boxer has finished our debut CD and it's being printed as I type. It's available online at www.boxerrocks.com. We're currently writing for our second album which should be ready by May 2010... just kidding! See you all soon! Paul Sidoti

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marvin   

Paul great news about the cd. You don't need to convince me or others about Jim's talent. I was in awe of his ability 30 years ago, and I'm not surprised that today he's still got the chops. Way to go Jim!

Marvin

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darlene   

Paul, It was really exciting to read your post--what a great tribute to Jim! Congratulations on your new CD! That's one to buy for sure! It's fantastic that you keep us all up to date about what's going on. All the best wishes for Boxer's success!

smile --Darlene

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Donmand   

I prefer Michael McBride and the Starting Over band; "hands down".

After seeing the reformed Raspberies "Live"; with Michael McBride and Scott McCarl back in the Summer of 1974! I became a huge fan of the band. I liked the "Hits" the Raspberries had on the radio back in '72 and '73. Didn't own any albums until seeing the Starting Over tour. The new rhythm section with Michael's powerful drums and McCarl's thumping bass added the foundation for a more dynamic band. Now they had some serious "rock power" rather than just "pop fluff" of their earlier days. I've heard plenty of Live Concert CD's from both Raspberries bands to confirm my preference.

I also saw Bonfani play with the qwasi-Raspberries (Bryson, Bonfanti, Smalley and McCarl) in Cleveland 1998. Jim's a good drummer. He has more of a polished touch. McBride had more of a "slam the skins" sound. But before you write him off? Take a listen to his elegant touch on such ballads like: "I can Hardly Believe you're Mine", "Rose Coloured Glasses" and "Starting Over". You want to hear thunder, McBride on "Overnight Sensation" is the one!

My votes with McBride. Let the debate continue.

Don

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