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Billy K.

A Collaboration With Dick Wagner?

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Billy K.   

This idea just struck me...wouldn't it be cool for Eric to collaborate with Dick Wagner?

"Who?" you are probably asking? Wagner is one of rock's unsung heroes...he was guitarist/musical director for Alice Cooper a number of years back. But has also written songs for Air Supply.

Wagner does have some similiarities with Eric Carmen...the two strong creative areas are in totally opposite poles -- hard rocking pop and piano-ey ballads. Judging by what I have seen of his work, he seems to be a "team player", as well as being very knowledgable in pop and rock.

Maybe a collaboration with Wagner may be what is needed to get Eric "jump-started" back onto the charts.

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darlene   

My only thought is: if nobody knows who Dick Wagner is, how could he jumpstart ANYBODY back onto the charts?! Eric doesn't need anyone else to write for him, has the perfect voice, and has been at the top of the charts, so he knows what to do to get there. It's just a question of when and how to do a marketing campaign and who to find to really make it go. Eric will do that when he chooses to. --Darlene

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Billy K.   

Darlene, we all know that Eric can sing, write, play piano, play bass, and a number of other things...but sometimes there is an "intangible" thing that can get things going...there are no "absolutes" in rock music or any kind of art. Sometimes a collaboration can serve a purpose of getting things going creatively. But can also start some publicity up as well.

Having Neil Young play with Pearl Jam made the alternative crowd warm up to Young's music, while getting older people to understand grunge. The Beach Boys/Chicago tour in the mid-1970s was a major help to both bands. Tori Amos could carry a show by herself, as can Alanis Morrisette. They did not actually NEED (by conventional wisdom) to tour together, but they did. And it was successful. Aerosmith can certainly stand on its own two feet. But they did do a Diane Warren song, and had some collaboration with a writer named Desmond Child, which was also successful. Charlie Crowe is not a household name. But without his guitar work, Brooks and Dunn would certainly be a different sounding group.

There are a lot of people out there that are good to have around -- be it studio musicians, producers, engineers, etc .-- that can make a difference for an artist. I still do believe that Eric needs to try having such a person -- and see what happens. It may make a difference.

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Billy   

I'd like to see Eric collaborate with Mutt Lange.

Mutt jump started Bryan Adams back on to the radio in 92, and Adams did all the writing and music like Eric does. Just a thought -- any opinions?

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I think Eric doesn't need anyone to help with his music, he just needs someone to promote it better. It took me an extra week to get my "I Was Born To Love You" CD here in Santa Fe because people didn't know who EC was and the store managers had not ordered any copies. I think EC's music is perfection, why mess with it. This is only my opinion though.

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darlene   

Billy K, You have some great ideas about collaborations, and you're right. There are a lot of intangibles to the music business, and show business in general. I know if any or all of us at this website could figure out what intangible or tangible thing would set the whole world onto what we know is the best music in the world, every home in America would be blasting EC music 24 hours a day.

I also believe that Foolin' Myself really has something there as well. I think Eric needs a lot more promotion, and someone who is as much a genius in promotion as EC is in music. I just know it will all happen... --Darlene

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Kirk   

What's Jimmy Ienner doing these days? He commented in an interview that every big hit Eric has had he's been involved with. Time to rub the bottle one more time and see if the Genie pops out! Kirk.

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Billy K.   

Billy, Mutt Lange would also be an excellent choice. Besides producing his wife Shania Twain, as well as Bryan Adams, he also produced Def Leppard and AC-DC...and one obscure fact about Lange...he also wrote the song "Do You Believe in Love" that Huey Lewis had a major hit with.

Don Was might also be a good choice for producer. Or maybe have Joey Molland (Badfinger) do lead guitar/vocal harmonies on a couple of songs.

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What about Jeff Lynne? Like Eric, has an appreciation and connections with the Beatles, jump started George Harrison and Roy Orbisons career, Tom Petty, etc.

The downside though is Jeff Lynne productions are immediately recognizeable as Jeff Lynne productions and would certainly have an affect on Erics sound. Right or wrong, he gets you on the radio though.. Mutt has an incredible ear for radio hits, but I would be most intrigued by Ienner.

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Dick Wagner was a member of the group called "The Bossmen" in 1966, then he formed "The Frost" in 1967 who put out "Frost Music" in 1969, "Rock And Roll Music" in early 1970 & "Through The Eyes Of Love" in 1970. The song "Rock And Roll Music" Bubbled Under The Singles Chart at #105 for 1 week on February 21, 1970. The Frost broke up in 1971 & Dick founded "Ursa Major" in 1972. I haven't heard of The Frost until a friend of mine told me about the Michigan group back in May of 1988. The Frost toured briefly back in August of 1994 in Bay City, Michigan & made an 4 song EP of brand new material but i'm not sure what year. Dick also made a solo CD called "Rock Hitsory" back in 1995 including songs that he wrote with Alice Cooper "I Never Cry", "Only Women Bleed", "You And Me" & "How Ya Gonna See Me Now". He also wrote Air Supply "Just As I Am" back in 1985 & worked with Lou Reed's "Rock N Roll Animal". Believe it or Not, Former WNEM TV member Dick Fabian I think is still friends with Dick Wagner. Matt

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Billy K.   

Matt...thanks for the more definitive info on Dick Wagner...strange coincidence that I used to be in a band called Ursa MINOR...

Whoever said Jeff Lynne, that is another good choice.

And I forgot about Al Kooper (not to be confused with Alice Cooper)...very talented guy...wrote the song "This Diamond Ring" for Gary Lewis...played organ for Dylan on "Like A Rolling Stone"....was the founder and original lead singer for Blood Sweat and Tears...Produced some of Lynyrd Skynrd's tracks, including "Free Bird"...also produced a diverse group of artists, including the Tubes, country singer Trisha Yearwood, and rapper Jay-Z...

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Hey Billy K., Dick Wagner is coming to Freeland, Michigan not far from Midland, Michigan for a "FREE" concert at Tittabawassee Park. The show is called Dick Wagner & Friends & the show is this Wednesday night, June 19 at 6:30 or 7:00. I can't wait to see him perform!!! Matt

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Billy K., Bernie & others: I just saw singer/songwriter Dick Wagner this evening at Freeland, MI & I shook his hand. I said Hi, my name is Matthew Clark from Sanford, Michigan. For the collaboration, he has heard of Eric Carmen & The Raspberries but has never met him. I also asked about Ides Of March lead singer Jim Peterik. He has heard The Ides Of March but has never met Jim. I also asked him about Air Supply song "Just As I Am" which was their last big hit in 1985. He told me that Clive Davis the former Arista president said that Clive was pleased about the song & he gave it to Air Supply to record. Finally I asked him about singer Christopher Cross. He has met him a long time ago but not sure what year. The show started at 6:55 & it was great & included members of The Bossmen & The Frost. The Jim Cummings Band also performed. There was a Saginaw, MI group who haven't performed in 32 years (1970). The group was called "Cherry Slush". The encore was a jam session with all of the groups that performed & did The Animals "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place". The show ended at 10:00. I sure had a great time down there! Time to go to bed because I have to work tomorrow morning. Matt

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