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Everything posted by Don_Krider

  1. Terrific comment, Eric! You and Wally are musical brothers. Don Krider
  2. There was a thread years ago on another message board where someone suggested "All By My Elf"...
  3. From The Solon Herald Sun (Sun Newspapers, Cleveland), December 6, 2007: Carmen loving second wind By Jeff Piorkowski Eric Carmen seems to be having a good time fronting the Raspberries these days, as the Cleveland-bred band, formed in the early 1970s, plays select dates around the country to much adulation. "When we start a show and I sing, 'If we were older, we wouldn't have to be worried tonight . . .' in 'I Wanna Be With You,' I think, 'If we were any older, we'd be in wheelchairs,' " Carmen said with a laugh. In other words, things seem to be going a little lighter than in the Raspberries' past. In its 1972-74 heyday, the band didn't always get along. That fact, along with reviews that chastised the group for its pop sound and hit-making ways during an era of album-oriented rock, led to the group's early and rancorous demise. After decades, however, fans were rewarded with a reunion most thought would never happen. It was on Thanksgiving weekend, 2004, that the original foursome including guitarist Wally Bryson, drummer Jim Bonfanti and bassist David Smalley finally regrouped before two sellout crowds. Next came a mini-tour to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and rave reviews and star-studded audiences. "It's nice to see in the audience Paul Stanley of Kiss and to hear that he was a Rasperries fan and saw us perform in New York at Carnegie Hall in 1973," Carmen said. The two-CD set "The Raspberries on Sunset Strip," a live set recorded at the West Hollywood House of Blues and released this summer, features in its liner notes an appreciation from Bruce Springsteen, who tells of listening to a cassette of "The Raspberries Greatest Hits" to fire him up in the late 1970s while driving every Sunday night to play in Asbury Park, N.J., with Southside Johnny, and a picture of John Lennon wearing his Raspberries sweatshirt while in San Francisco. "We've had a lot of people in their 20s at our shows, so that's been nice to see, and fans our age," Carmen said. "When we played our first show at the (Cleveland) House of Blues, it sold out immediately. We had people from England, Japan and the Netherlands who flew in for that show. It's amazing." The Raspberries, world-renowned as power-pop originators, used the crunch of The Who with harmonies and pop melodies inspired by The Beatles and Beach Boys in songs such as "Go All the Way" and "I Wanna Be With You." Bryson's guitar drove the band's tough-but-sweet sound. "Wally is a terrific musician," said Carmen, the lead vocalist who also supplied an added dimension to the group with his classically trained piano playing, used to good effect on songs such as "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" and "Don't Want to Say Goodbye." Carmen, who plays guitar on many Raspberries' songs, was known in the late '70s for such piano-based middle-of-the-road songs such as "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" and "All By Myself." Three years ago, when the Raspberries performed again for the first time, he said, "I probably hadn't played guitar in 10 years. But, luckily, playing a guitar is like riding a bike." When asked if he missed being a rocker during his solo period, he said, "Sure. Every time I'd see Billy Joel on TV, I'd say, 'I want to be doing that.' But I'm a band guy and I didn't want to put together another band." As for the future and the possibility of new Raspberries' songs, Carmen said, "It's a strange time in the music business. There's been a paradigm shift. I think CD sales are a thing of the past. You don't just look for a song to be a radio hit anymore." In other words, Carmen is not quite sure what form a Raspberries song would take in 2007, and how that music would be sold to its audience. For now, though, the band is enjoying playing its handful of dates for appreciative fans. And, as for the band rows of the past, Carmen said, "It's still not perfect when you have four individuals working together. It's like a marriage. But we're all a little less hot-headed now." The Raspberries perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the State Theater at Playhouse Square. Tickets are $10-$45. Go to playhousesquare.org, or call (216) 241-6000. —Solon Herald Sun, Thursday, December 06, 2007 __________ Don Krider
  4. There's a small but important mention of the New York Raspberries gig in Modern Drummer (December 1, 2007, "Headlines From The Drumming World" page). It's written by Billy Amendola, an associate editor of Modern Drummer magazine, as part of his "Calling All Pop-Heads!" report. He notes the "fantastic wave of pop lately" and shares "some of what I've been digging on my iPod" with his readers. He writes (next to a photo of the "Live On Sunset Strip" CD cover about a fourth of the way down the page): "...Finally, a couple of weeks ago I caught a fabulous concert by one of the first and best power pop bands, The Raspberries. Drummer Jim Bonfanti and the rest of the band recently reunited, and earlier this year released a brand new CD/DVD package, Live On Sunset Strip. Jim sounded awesome on his vintage Ludwig kit." Don Krider
  5. Interesting homemade video. I wish they mentioned Eric Carmen as the singer of it.
  6. I haven't seen this posted before, but a book about Elton John by David Buckley, "Elton: The Biography," was released earlier this year. Apparently the book's author had so much material that not all of it into made the book, including a story about Eric Carmen meeting Elton John. Eltonfan.net webmaster Stephan Heimbecher interviewed the book's author in March and the comments about the Eric-Elton meeting appear in that interview: ------------------- Heimbecher question: You must have ended up with a lot of material from the interviews alone. Plus the material you got from other parts of your research. How difficult was it to fit all that into the 400 pages you were given for this project? Buckley: Very difficult, but that’s part of the challenge of writing. An author has to make a decision about what’s really relevant and be brutal about leaving stuff out. The book is already 10,000 longer than it should have been! That said, there was material which was edited out at the last minute which I would have loved to have remained in. There’s some really interesting stuff from Paul Buckmaster about the making of the Elton John album for example which sadly didn’t make the final version. Another of my favourite anecdotes was also edited out too. Chris Charlesworth was a journalist working for Melody Maker at the time, and he recalled one example of Elton’s wit which I thought was really funny but which my editor obviously didn’t! Chris said, “Do you remember the song ‘All By Myself’, a big hit in 1976 for Eric Carmen? Well, Eric Carmen came to an Elton gig, on that tour, I think it was in Cleveland. He came in to the dressing room and was introduced to Elton, who said, ‘On your own are you?’ It was just at the time he had had the hit and we creased up laughing.”... ----------------- The whole interview is here (dated March 13, 2007), a little over midway down the page, under the heading "Interview With David Buckley" at http://www.eltonfan.net/news/archive/news-archive-3-2007.html Reminds me of reading a 1974 article on Elton John in Rolling Stone which noted that Elton toured with a personally stocked jukebox that included singles he liked by artists that included Raspberries. 🙂 Don Krider http://www.epinions.com/content_393207123588
  7. There is a problem with the BMG Music Club's online listing - they list the 13-track (single CD, no DVD) Standard Edition but have a review of the Deluxe Edition (2 CDs, 1 DVD), which could cause some ill feelings among people who order the album based on the All Music Guide review posted with the listing. They apparently don't sell the Deluxe Edition (at least, it's not listed online).
  8. I stopped at Best Buy next to I-264 again in Louisville and they still had no copies. However, they have sold all three copies of Capitol's 2005 "Greatest" CD they had in stock before "Live On Sunset Strip" came out. Strange. Don
  9. 53 copies sold in my hometown of Louisville --- cool! I got the manager of the music department of Barnes & Noble on Hurstbourne Lane in Louisville to agree to carry the album (he placed orders yesterday). I asked him if he was going to carry it, and he started asking me questions, and when I mentioned "Bruce Springtseen wrote the liner notes and the band has reunited...", that's all it took. He asked what label, looked up the info, said, "That's an album I want to carry in my store. I didn't know they had anything available. It's been a long time since Raspberries had something new out." And he ordered both editions. I found that pretty exciting. He was very excited about Springsteen writing the liner notes, and was genuinely knowlegeable about the band's past, too. It'll be in that store soon (probably next week). Now, to learn it's been selling where I live, that's pretty exciting, too (since the only place I've seen it in bins is Ear-X-Tacy, Louisville's independent record store, which carries several Raspberries titles). Thanks for posting those numbers, Marc. Makes running around Louisville pushing places to carry the album worthwhile. Don Krider
  10. I've dropped them a couple of lines since July, but heard zilch in reply. David Wild, who wrote the liner notes to "Best Of Eric Carmen" (Arista, 1988) and who did a great interview with Eric in Rolling Stone in 1988 also, is still listed as a contributing editor of Rolling Stone. I have been amazed at the magazine's lack of interest in a band they once awarded an Album Of The Year Award to ("Starting Over," 1974). Don Krider
  11. Darlene, they're apparently the children of the person who posted the video, a piano player who lives in Italy. I love the way the little girl keeps looking at the TV to see what Eric is doing... Don Krider
  12. I agree with MAM, that is a cool story. There's more than a thousand members of this site, so being a Cleveland Berry Tours guide might actually have some income potential. To walk the same path where a song was written, to see and feel the environment that inspired the songwriter, as you have done, that is very cool... Don Krider
  13. ...and, for your listening enjoyment while reading, Shaun Cassidy singing Eric Carmen's "That's Rock 'n' Roll": Don Krider
  14. Another glowing review of Raspberries "Live On Sunset Strip" by Jim Musser in The Iowa City (Iowa) Press-Citizen, Sept. 6, 2007: The Raspberries "Live on Sunset Strip" Rykodisc The Raspberries formed near Cleveland in 1970 as British Invasion-inspired, power-pop throwbacks, charting tracks from 1972 until primary singer/songwriter Eric Carmen embarked on a solo career in 1975. Their four albums subsequently have generated more than a dozen "best of" or hits packages, attesting to the durability of the material -- the finest of which (notably "I Wanna Be With You," "Go All the Way," "Tonight," "Let's Pretend" and "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)") defined the confluence of The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison and The Who. Despite numerous partial and rumored reunions, the four essential Raspberries did not regroup until Oct. 21, 2005 -- a full three decades after their breakup -- at a Los Angeles House of Blues. That stunning night is chronicled on "Live on Sunset Strip," which exists in two versions: a 21-cut, two-CD/one-DVD package and a 13-track, one-CD distillation of same. The musicianship, commitment to the material and overall group enthusiasm is off the charts for such a project; rather than sleepwalking through an automatic payday, the band sounds like it's bucking for chart domination all over again, and if Carmen's Wilson-esque falsetto shows understandable tapering at its uppermost end, the singing by all hands is uniformly top-drawer. All in all, an exquisite argument for deathless teen dreams. --Jim Musser __________ I like that line "the band sounds like it's bucking for chart domination all over again" --- very cool comment! This paper is part of the Gannett Newspaper chain (which owns USA Today (which has previously reviewed the album) and numerous daily local newspapers nationwide), which means the review could be syndicated by Gannett to its various local newspaper outlets. Don Krider
  15. I've been checking Best Buy for four weeks in Louisville. I've been told a number of things, depending on the clerk (everything from it probably hasn't been put out yet to it doesn't exist to its been deleted). For four weeks I've checked the Louisville Best Buy stores and they have not had "Live On Sunset Strip" (in either Standard or Deluxe versions) - though they do stock Raspberries "Greatest" on Capitol Records. I was told the album doesn't exist by a clerk that looked up "The Raspberries" on the Best Buy in-store computer two weeks ago (I check each Friday). I went home after that encounter, checked their web site, and a search of "The Raspberries" did not turn up "Live On Sunset Strip" (though it did list five other Raspberries' CDs). I then again searched at Best Buy's website, again on my home computer, for "Raspberries" (without "The" in front of the name) and the album came up as available online (only the "Live On Sunset Strip" albums came up, not the other Raspberries' CDs listed under "The Raspberries"). I considered this to be a problem and emailed Al K via this website, but did not post about the incident and did not get a response from Al (not sure if the email made it through, though the following week those entries online were corrected and featured the album cover). This past Friday I went into Best Buy again. The clerk found the title easily, but told me the title had been "deleted." I said, "That's not possible. It was just released July 31st." When I informed the clerk that it had been posted at EricCarmen.Com that all 350 Best Buy stores were supposed to have received at least one copy of "Live On Sunset Strip" (the Deluxe Edition), he was very helpful. The clerk looked into the Best Buy orders database for this district --- all Best Buy stores as of last Friday that came up on his screen, maybe a dozen or more stores, all had "0" stock. The clerk said the computer was showing further that stores are unable to order because the warehouse they order from has "0" stock as well. That "0" stock in stores and in the warehouse was true of both commercial versions of "Live On Sunset Strip." The very helpful clerk (he really was) checked that for me. I was told I could order it online from Best Buy, though. This past weekend, I wrote Best Buy corporate explaining the situation as stated above. Their email response time is supposed to be three days. My response, five days later, was received yesterday: __________ Re: Product Assistance (KMM5091787I85L0KM) Date: 9/6/2007 8:03:21 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time From: cr@bestbuy.com Don, Thank you for contacting Best Buy with your product inquiry. I'm Rich with Customer Care. We appreciate your interest in getting the CD, Live on Sunset Strip from Best Buy. We are unable to say whether or not we will carry this item in the near future. Often, you can even pre-order upcoming items from BestBuy.com--a great way to make sure you're the first one on your block to get that home or entertainment product you're looking for. Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy. Please do not hesitate to contact us with additional questions or concerns. Best Wishes from Best Buy, Rich and the Customer Care Team __________ I spend thousands of dollars per year with Best Buy (bought my latest computer from them, too). I told them I am not happy. I doubt I'll get any further response out of them, though, since their stupid response email answered none of my questions or concerns (I had asked them "why" they weren't carrying an album with liner notes by Bruce Springtseen, which features five Cashbox Top 40 hits on it, which had gotten rave reviews in USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, and which hit most retailers July 31st?). I wasn't going to post this - I was going to see what developed behind the scenes. But since Darlene is having problems with the retailer on this title, too, I thought I'd tell my story. One of these days, I'm writing a review on Best Buy's handling of this release unless things change. Perhaps if enough people ask them why they aren't carrying the title, they might see that there is interest, or at least we'll see if they send the same generic email out that they sent me. Don Krider
  16. Eric has talked about his voice many times. Check these comments from an interview from 1977: ...Most noticeable is the change in Carmen's voice. Whereas he used to come off as a sweet-toothed Carl Wilson, constant smoking and a deliberate drastic reduction in sleeping time have resulted in a gravely, tough-edged tone, not unlike Rod Stewart's. The lack of sleep also worked to combat the detrimental preciseness that comes with spending so much time in the studio. Carmen calls what he's done to his body adrenalin-fatigue: "I know that if I go in to sing real rested that: 1 ... I won't like the sound of my voice (cause it's too smooth), and 2 ... I'll have too much presence of mind…I can think it to death. "I'm really analytical. It's my best and worst characteristic. So I have to get beyond the point where I'll zoom in and try to change a little vocal curl, and instead just sing and feel the song. It's a matter of getting myself back to 10 months ago when I wrote the damn things."... Don Krider
  17. Nice article about Michael Stanley in The Cleveland Free Times, August 29, 2007. Mentions Michael's Line Level label and that Stanley/Raspberries sidekick (The Overdubs) Jennifer Lee has an album release in the planning stages. Don Krider
  18. Jimmy Ienner, Sr., in case anyone doesn't know it, produced four Raspberries albums, the first Eric Carmen album, Sha Na Na, The Bay City Rollers, Grand Funk, Blood Sweat & Tears, Lighthourse and Janey Street (Janey can be seen in a 1984 VH-1 video, "Under The Clock, at http://youtube.com/watch?v=m7OptZX6RfE ), and executive produced "Dirty Dancing," and others. Anyway, Phonograph Recpord Magazine had a "Blind Date" column in every issue. For the column, they would play various artists for a musician and see if they could identify the artist. In their February, 1975, issue, the "Blind Date" subject was Eric Carmen in an article written by Alan Betrock. Eric was asked to identify the singers and one of the songs grabbed his attention: ------------------- ------------------- The Barons --- "Since You're Gone" (RCA). Written and produced by Jimmy Ienner, 1967. Eric: "I think I know who that is. It's Jimmy Ienner. I just heard this one about one month ago when Don (Jimmy's brother) played it for me. Anyone who wants to slam me for copying things, I'll point them to my producer from now on!" -------------------- -------------------- The full story is at: http://www.ericcarmen.com/press/750200a.htm I have searched for that record many times at record shows, but never found it. Since Jimmy sang the bass vocal on Gene Chandler's "Duke Of Earl" and Raspberries "Drivin' Around," I've always wondered what that Barons recording sounded like. Don Krider http://www.epinions.com/content_393207123588
  19. Tommy, I hope that Wally does do that. He and Jesse were terrific on The Bryson Group's "Dry" album --- http://www.thebrysongroup.com/ (if anyone hasn't watched the video there, check it out --- it's a lovely performance filmed in Cleveland). Former Raspberries producer Jimmy Ienner said of the "Dry" album, "The harmonies are so good, they're absurd. The world needs to hear this music." I agree. Speaking of Jimmy, his son, Jimmy Ienner, Jr., is a pretty impressive music-connected guy, too: http://web.mac.com/jiennerjr/United_Productions_Company/Home.html Like MJ asked, did anyone go to CleveFest? Don Krider http://www.epinions.com/content_177981263492
  20. Opie was amazing on the "Side 3" tour when I saw him play in 1973 (mellotron and sax, as I recall). Opie and Wally Bryson recorded the original version (different from The Raspberries "Refreshed" mix) of Wally's "When Is Your Dream" in 1993 on the CD "Yellow Pills, Volume 1" --- they recorded as "Wallop" on that album. It remains one of my all-time favorite tracks because Wally sounds so much like a "#9 Dream" John Lennon on the lead vocals. Don Krider
  21. I agree with you, Steve. A few minutes on a New York-based talk show like Letterman or Conan would reach millions of people --- plus, New York is in driving distance of New Jersey, so Bruce Springtseen could introduce the guys... Scenario: Bubba: "Mr. Carmen wants youse to introduce Raspberries on television..." Bruce: "But, but, I wrote the liner notes..." Bubba: "Bruce, youse still have ta pay off your debt to the Godfathers of Power Pop. Get in da car..." Eric: (singing a little number in the car as Bruce sits in the car beside him) "...so bring the group down to the station, you're gonna be an overnight sensation..." A few hours later in New York: Conan: "I've got this band on the show tonight, but Bruce Springtseen is really eager to introduce them, so..." Don Krider
  22. "Music Mike" on YouTube has yet another documentary video --- this time, "I Need You" by The Euclid Beach Band (written and produced by Eric Carmen back in 1979): I NEED YOU Don Krider http://www.epinions.com/content_110009618052
  23. I think Eric said in another post that Mike's original working title for "All Through The Night" was "Thank You For Services Rendered" (or something like that) which I think is a pretty cool rock 'n' roll title (immediately reminds me of The Who and The Stones), so I wonder why the title was changed? Does the acoustic guitar demo for "All Through The Night" that Eric mentions in Bernie and Ken's book "Eric Carmen: Marathon Man" still exist? Eric says in the book: "We did a great demo of the song in Wally's living room with just a couple of acoustic guitars. It had a cool vibe." Don Krider
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