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Everything posted by LarryGL

  1. Pezband fans rejoice! It's official--Pezband is reuniting! Perhaps the best "power-pop" band EVER is reuniting! Original late-'70s members Mimi Betinis and Mick Rain--along with founding member John Pazdan--are currently rehearsing for some upcoming dates. Pezband's first gig will be closing the show at the International Pop Overthrow in Chicago on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 11PM. The show will be at "The Abbey" at 3420 West Grace in Chicago. Tickets are $10--and the phone number to call is: (773) 478-4408. For more information, see the Pezband site and the International Pop Overthrow (Chicago) page. If you haven't already--check out my in-depth essay about the history and legacy of Pezband: The Best Band You Never Heard Of . Footnote: I don't consider Raspberries "power-pop"--and neither would I call Pezband "power-pop"--to me, both groups transcend that limiting tag. I only use it here as a point of reference! Light, --Larry
  2. Hi all. Yeah, I've been away from posting to EC.com board as of late, but it doesn't mean I'm not reading the posts! Anyway, thanks to blackhawkpat for remembering my Pezband article. I had some strong interest from Goldmine for the piece--but I have a feeling my idea to do a full-length piece about Pezband for them was um, "appropriated"--by a person who shall go unnamed. I'll be curious to see if Goldmine does run a Pezband piece over the next few months--and to see who the writer is... Having said that, I further pitched my article to a number of music magazines--and even the major Chicago newspapers. But alas, there were no takers. Most of the editors I spoke with had never even heard of Pezband--which was a huge surprise to me. In any event, if anyone does want to read my in-depth Pezband article, which is called The Best Band You Never Heard Of--and which features quotes from my recent interviews with Mike and Mimi (Pezband's founders), as well as quotes from several pop-rock experts (such as one Mr. Bernie Hogya)--head over to my website --it's linked there . Long live Pezband! --Larry
  3. This Thanksgiving week marks the one-year anniversary of the first Raspberries reunion concert in Cleveland, Ohio. For those of us blessed enough to attend, I'm certain you recall the show and the events surrounding it--as one of your life's highlights. It certainly was in mine. I'll never forget the dizzying thrill of seeing the screen rise up after Bernie's amazing video montage—and hearing the opening chords of "I Wanna Be With You.' And there they were! The Raspberries in concert! They looked and sounded amazing! What a joy! I'd like to give my wholehearted thanks to the Raspberries for even agreeing to do that show (and all 10 shows) in the first place—they didn't have to do all the grueling work they did on those shows--after all, their lives are established now, they all have families and careers. I mean, at a certain point in life, who would want to rehearse for hours on end, go back on the road, travel thousands of miles, and be away from home and family—sleeping in hotel rooms and living out of suitcases? But they did it. And they did it for us, the fans. Thank you Eric. Thank you Wally. Thank you Dave. Thank you Jim. And thanks of course, to the Overdubs, Jennifer, Paul and Billy, and the great road crew and the sound and light people who made the Raspberries shows over-the-top professional. Sure the band was rehearsed to the quality of a burnished diamond—but so much else goes into it—we shouldn't forget that. Of course, thanks to Bernie and Ken, for the Marathon Man book. I'm certain that labor-of-love book—not to mention the years of selfless work Bernie put into the Eric Carmen.com site (and don't forget Ken's original Overnight Sensation book from a decade ago)—were critical to us fans in developing a belief consciousness that a reunion could and should happen. Which perhaps was the tipping-point for the band to finally begin to wonder the all-important question "why not?" Speaking of thanksgiving, I'm grateful for my new message board friends—Bernie and Kathy, Ken, Marv, Ted, Darlene, Annie and all the rest of you loving and caring people: it's been a delight to share the shows with all of you—as well as the daily posts documenting our love of our precious Raspberries. So, Happy Thanksgiving to all. And here's to even more Raspberries thrills, surprises and joy next year! Light, --Larry
  4. This is great news! With Ted here to pitch in with Bernie and Kathy--I'm sure the board will be a much more enjoyable read-through--free of the extraneous weirdness that's popped-up in recent months. Terrific news--congrats and thanks, Ted! --Larry
  5. Indeed--first, THANKS so much to Bernie for informing the band of our latest ticket plight--and then a BIG HUGE THANKS to all the Raspberries for looking out for us--and strong-arming TicketMaster into doing the right thing! AWESOME! Light again! --Larry (Bal C-Row I).
  6. I love that corporate crapola from that HoB ticket rep: "Keep checking to see when reserved seats will be sold." HEY--BITE ME! You think we've got nothing BETTER TO DO than slave over a hot PC for the next few weeks WAIITNG for reserved tickets to magically appear?!? I'm with Bernie--sure I'll stand--and I'll love the show--but it just IRKS and IRRITATES me that HoB and TicketMaster DON"T stick to what they promise! As Eric said so pointedly: "It's time to leave--this party's booooring..." --Larry
  7. I'm getting the same thing--nothing but GA tix on HoB.com and worse--TicketMaster doesn't have ANY tix available--stating they're on sale 9/13--which, as mentioned previously in this thread--is FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW! What a MESS! I GIVE UP!!! Thanks for nothing "House of Blahs" and "DribbleMaster"! --Larry
  8. Out of all the ridiculous DRAMAS in geting tickets for our boys (and that includes working with the assinine House of Blues online system)--this latest Ticketmaster fiasco HAS to be the most annoying and FRUSTRATING situation yet. Darkness, --Larry
  9. I'm so PISSED OFF I CANNOT TELL YOU! I could NOT get even ONE TICKET for a BALCONY SEAT! This is INSANITY! Light fading fast, --Larry
  10. Right with you Smittie (Julie R.)! Good ol' House of Blues and their ridiculous ticketing system. Same sh#@--different day... I'll be taking my chances with Ticketmaster tommorrow as well--or--if I have too, at this point, I'd rather buy from a scalper--rather than dealing with these HoB freaks. No light, --Larry
  11. Just came across this young new band called "The Click Five." Billed as "new school power pop" (ugh--there's that word again!)--the group is making a splash on MTV with a semi-snappy tune called "Just The Girl" That song has a decidedly 'Cars meets Hanson' vibe (and also sounds just like "Stacey's Mom")--all which belie the Beatle haircuts and matching suits image they're trying to push out there. Note also the black and white album cover--(hey, at least it wasn't called "Meet The Click Five"--ha!). The group's home page is OK--you can hear the full "Just The Girl" song--but their bio page at Atlantic Records is better for bio info and stuff. They have some fans from the big-time--Adam Schlessinger (Fountains of Wayne and "That Thing You Do!" writer) wrote some of the songs; Paul Stanley contributed a song; and Elliot Easton plays lead on one of the tunes; and no surprise--they're produced by Mike Denneen (Fountains of Wayne producer). Having said that--they sure could've used some help from 'our kid' Eric. Light, --Larry
  12. "There are no second acts in American lives." --F. Scott Fitzgerald Well, Eric, you certainly proved your old literary hero absolutely wrong. Because your second act began post-Raspberries with your magnificent solo work--and after that, you somehow called up the energy to re-invent yourself in the '80s, and once more in the '90s. And now, all of us are in awe by how you've done it again--this time rocking like a 20-year old in the new millennium. Thank you Eric Carmen, for being in this world. You're a national treasure, and we take such joy in your artistry. Happy birthday. Love and light, --Larry Lange
  13. Hi everyone! I just logged on as a "member" on the House of Blues website--and got this: House of Blues Atlantic City 801 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ 08401 box office: 609.236.BLUE date: Sat, September 17 door: 8:00pm ET / show: 9:00pm ET genre: Classic Rock ages: 21 and over Member Onsale Begins: Tue, Aug 9 @ 10:00am ET Member Onsale Ends: Wed, Sep 14 @ 12:00am ET Public Onsale Begins: Sat, Aug 13 @ 10:00am ET You DO NOT get this information if you go to the HoB website withoug logging on as a "member." Additionally--absolutely NOTHING comes up for a search of "Raspberries" on Ticketmaster.com (as of now). Light, --Larry
  14. Sounds GREAT Bernie--we're all looking forward to your updates. And just to say it--thanks for all your hard work. Your labors of love have paid off for every one of us Eric Carmen and Raspberries fans--beyond our wildest imaginings! Bernie Hogya: you ROCK and you RULE! And a special thanks and a shout-out to Ken Sharp as well! Light, --Larry
  15. Hi all--I know we're all still in the throes of Rab4 heaven from this past weekend--but if you can't get enough--VH1.com has posted the full-length video for Eric's 1988 "Make Me Lose Control." Forgive me if you already know this--but since I never noticed it before on VH1.com--I thought I'd give everyone a heads-up. Bernie can probably tell us all about it (who are all the people featured--the musicians, the model, the DJ (Kid Leo), etc.). It's a very slick video--quite cinematic in fact--and the story follows the song lyric. Plus--Eric's hair is in all its '80s lion-mane glory! Go to VH1.com's Eric Carmen page and scroll down for the video. Enjoy! Light, --Larry
  16. If only the writer KNEW that Bernie Hogya and Ken Sharp were in attendance last night--'cos they could have told him that Cameron Crowe wrote the forward for their great "Marathon Man" book!--Larry
  17. AWESOME! A couple of inaccuracies, but still--ENJOY!--Larry ---------------------- Monday, July 25, 2005 Raspberries Still In Season 30 Years Later By Roger Friedman on FOXNews.com I only wish Cameron Crowe had been at B.B. King's last night to see the reunion, after 30 years, of the Raspberries. The cult rock power-pop group had a short run at stardom from 1973-76, and left behind four influential albums and a bunch of memorable singles still played on radio today. Their leader, Eric Carmen, went on to have a pretty nice solo career with songs like "All By Myself" and "Hungry Eyes." But the Raspberries, whose hits included "Go All the Way," "Let's Pretend" and "Overnight Sensation," became a footnote in rock history. With Beatle-esque bass lines, Beach Boys-type harmonies and witty lyrics, the Raspberries turned out to be several years ahead of their time. If only they had appeared around 1978, the group would have fit in with the brisk, punchy pop of the New Wave movement. Unfortunately, it was not to be. But you would never have known it last night. B.B. King's was sold out to the rafters. I'm told the same was true on Saturday night as well. Last night, no less than Jon Bon Jovi and legendary songwriter and producer Desmond Child occupied a center booth — and were largely ignored. "I never got to see them perform the first time around. But I think I wore out their greatest-hits album," Bon Jovi told me. Bruce Springsteen was the first to turn him on to Raspberries' records. I think Cameron Crowe would have especially loved this show. The Raspberries are a lot like Stillwater, the fictional group from his movie "Almost Famous." Crowe no doubt covered them for Rolling Stone as a teenage journalist. The Raspberries, who hailed from Cleveland, were always on the verge of being huge. But they were always also a little off. You couldn't tell if they were being edgy or nostalgic — big idea or big hair. Last night they rocked the roof off of B.B. King's with their original lineup: a blond and gray Eric Carmen, plus original guitarists Wally Bryson and Dave Smalley. The center of their power, which is still impressive, comes from drummer Jim Bonfanti. He told me he dropped out of music completely from 1978 to 1992 and didn't even touch the drums. At 56, he should be playing with the Who or the Rolling Stones on tour. He's phenomenal. The audience, which covered a wide age range, sang along with a lot of the songs. People are so starved at this point for melodies and musicianship that the Raspberries, having avoided the "oldies" circuit all these years, could easily stage a comeback. A new album is being talked about. So is a small tour. When the group hits Los Angeles, I expect Cameron Crowe to be front and center. He had good taste three decades ago, and he will be happy to hear that nothing's changed. Scroll down for Raspberries section in story.
  18. Agree with you again, Bernie! Dennis and the sound team gave it their all--the sound was perfect. Perfect. And yes B--it's quite miraculous--that instead of the thrill wearing off--this ride does keep getting better. I would have said they couldn't be any better than the previous shows we've experienced--but then, like a dream, there was last night. Awe-inspiring.--Larry
  19. I totally agree with you, Bernie! Not only was the show the best of the new Raspberries shows--it was the best concert I've ever had the privilege to attend. Magnificent. I'm still stunned.--Larry
  20. Indeed Jack--everything is philosophy until it is accepted by a person and deemed a "truth" to him/her. So I'll agree with you--let's agree to disagree! To wit--I'll agree with you that The Replacements (and REM was mentioned as well)--weren't *obviously* cited as "power-pop" by the Wiki guy in the article. However, these two bands--and you could throw Badfinger into the mix here--are often times (yes, wrongly so) labeled as "power-pop" groups just as the Raspberries are--and it's usually always by ill-informed music writers--yes, of which the Wiki guy is one. I went over-the-top perhaps about the Raspberries being labeled such--because to my *truth*--the Rab4 are one of the most consistently satisfying on record and I go mental when I see some jagash lableing them "power-pop." 'Nuff said! Moving on a bit--I would argue that even Badfinger's catalog only boasts two albums that reached the consistency level the Rab4 displayed ("No Dice" and "Wish You Were Here")--so for me at least, Raspberries will always remain my number two band after the Beatles--or are at least tied for second with Beach Boys. Jack, you can pump-up The Replacements all you want to me--and I respect that you love them and Westerberg--but I just don't *get* it--though I've really tried to many many times. Ditto Big Star. But everybody's got an opinion, right? We could get deep into this discussion of 'woulda shoulda coulda' on the Raspberries musical direction--but IF the Raspberries had continued on--I feel they WOULD have gone a bit further lyrically/thematically. If you think about Eric's first solo album--he was still deep into "Pet Sounds"--so besides mixing it up with hard rock on "Starting Over"--he was finishing out his Brian early '66 period--directly after the Raspberries disbanded. I think what threw a curve to Eric's direction and artistic momentum--was the fact that "All By Myself" and "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" hit so big--that he succumbed to label pressure to produce more hit (love-themed) ballads. I can safely assume Clive Davis was pressuring Eric at the time to be his next Manilow. But I still think the first Eric solo album featured several songs that lyrically went outside the realm of "romantic love." What I'm getting at is--had the Rab4 stayed together for a fifth, sixth and seventh album (and perhaps beyond)--I feel Eric (and to some-degree Wally and Dave)--would've progressed to the Brian and Beatles stuff of '66 and '67. Here, we're looking at "Good Vibrations," "Smile"-stuff, "Strawberry Fields" "Pepper" etc. I think Wally may have moved into writing the harder Bad Company material he was introducing in "Starting Over"--and perhaps dabbled in working in the mode of The Band and The Grateful Dead-type material. For Dave--the obvious influence of the Eagles may have continued to seep in--but in a very artisic way--moving past the "Already Gone"-type stuff--and into "Long Run" harder-edged personally revealing songs. It would've made for a grand mix and perhaps reaching those "lofty heights" Rolling Stone magazine (and all of us) believed the group would ultimately reach. But then again--perhaps not--they MAY have made more of a move (because of Eric's classical influences)--toward prog-rock--which they actually did a bit of in "I Can Remember." So... At the end of the day--who knows? It's all speculation central. Fun to discuss--but just a notion really... Thanks for sharing, Jack. Light, --Larry
  21. It's not MY list, Jack. The bands I cite are described as "power-pop bands" in the Wikidpedia article on the subject which I linked into my post. Also, see the end of that Wiki article for an additional list of so-called "power-pop" bands. As far as "trashing" goes--when you stack up that list of bands against the Rab4--well, I stick to my truth and proudly so. Further, I do agree with you Jack, that the Raspberries were a bit stuck in a mere few lyrical themes. Having said that--if the original Raspberries had gone past a third album--the boys certainly would have visited the rockier territories explored in "Starting Over"--and then perhaps would have moved into the experimental themes chartered by the '66/'67-era Brian Wilson, and by the Beatles in "Revolver," "Strawberry Fields," "Pepper" and beyond. Certainly with Eric's classical masterhood, Wally's rockmanship and Dave's knowledge of sweet country--Raspberries just might have wound up being one of the most influential American rock groups of the past century. I mean, look how influential they are with just the few albums they released--lineup change nonwithstanding. Light, --Larry
  22. Yes Darlene--I will be in attendance for both shows at BBKings: Saturday with my two kids Josh and Naomi, and on Sunday with a great ladyfriend of mine, Dale. It's breaking my heart that I won't be able to go to Bernie and Kathy's on Saturday--but getting the kids from Long Island into NYC--and back home again so late at night--will be task enough for me--I'm sure you understand. In any event--I do look forward to seeing all my wonderful EC.com friends at both shows. And YES Darlene--as you--I plan to go to heaven the second the lights go down. Light, --Larry
  23. I may get lambasted for saying it--but it's my post--so here goes. I DESPISE the term "Power Pop." And I DOUBLY DESPISE critics calling our Raspberries "the forerunners of power pop," the "godfathers of power pop," or any other such dribbley tripe to try and put a label on our boys. First, let me say--that I do agree with the so-called definition of power pop. And I even agree that power pop bands do exist--even today. But therein lies the problem. Do the Raspberries really deserve to be categorized "power pop"--and consequently thrust into that dubious bag along with such groups as Big Star, Artful Dodger, Blue Ash, Dwight Twilley, Shoes, the Replacements, the Knack, Fountains of Wayne or even Cheap Trick? I mean COME ON! If anyone has bothered to actually LISTEN to the full catalog of any of the above groups--they would HAVE to agree that besides a mere handful of songs each--most of the above's recordings are spotty, scattershot and disposable at best. Obviously--this is NOT the case for Raspberries. Out of the full 39 songs the group released (all originals by the way)--one could argue the group never recorded even ONE true clunker. That's my first argument for banning the term "power pop" when describing our heroes. My second argument is a bit more straightforward. Do we call the Beatles "power pop"? The Beach Boys? The Small Faces? The Kinks? Have we ever once said "Hey, the Rolling Stones are a great 'power-pop' band"--OF COURSE NOT! OK, I can hear one push-back on my argument here--as legend says it was Pete Townshend who actually coined the term in describing the Who to the press. HOWEVER--that was back in 1967--and I HIGHLY doubt that Townshend would feel that term applicable in describing his group's legacy as we know it today. Futher, if you think about it--tagging Raspberries "power pop" is actually a slap-in-the-face to the boys. It insidiously implies the group is not deserving enough to be included when discussing the great rock groups of music history. In fact, the very term gives off the impression the group in question is sort-of a "bastard child" of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Byrds--and not worthy of thoughtful consideration when discussing great rock. OK, sure--we all know Raspberries didn't fly in the lofty realms of success as the Beatles, the Beach Boys or the Who (not that they didn't deserve it)--but if we're discussing this in terms of sheer musical merit--Raspberries definitely and definitively deserve to be categorized alongside those very groups indeed. So what DO we call Raspberries then? How do we label them? Well, ask yourself: How do we label the Beatles? The Beach Boys? The Stones? Answer: We DON'T label them ANYTHING. Certainly not the belittling and debilitating classification of "power pop." And furthermore, when that tag is slapped on our Raspberries like some cheap stick-on tattoo--the term itself becomes in-effect--a contemptuous epithet instead of a resounding hallmark. EricH mentioned the other day on the board that Eric Carmen himself was explaining to the Cleveland Scene Pavillion crowd that Raspberries were the "first alternative band"--and the recent Daily News article suggests that as well. Perhaps that's a good place to start in figuring out a way to label the Rab4--if label them we must. But for me--I say we should ditch the term "power-pop" when describing Raspberries--and just go with the one single term they so obviously are entitled to: "Great." Light, --Larry
  24. Hi all--I just picked up my copy of this week's New Yorker--and the Raspberries are listed in the "night-life" directory. Unfortunately, as many do--they use the dreaded term "power-pop" to describe the boys. I hate that term--our boys so transcend that. The New Yorker July 25th, 2005 GOINGS ON ABOUT TOWN NIGHT LIFE: ROCK AND POP B.B. King Blues Club & Grill July 23-24: The Raspberries, arguably the preeminent American power-pop quartet, emerged from Cleveland, Ohio, in 1970, providing a bit of straight-ahead-pop relief in a decade otherwise ruled by glittery disco and bloated prog rock. Despite the band's classic hooks and celestial harmonies, huge success did not come calling, and they splintered. After years of rumor, speculation, and false starts, the original lineup of the Raspberries reconvened last year.
  25. Hi Bob--I'm bringing my two kids (ages 16 and 12) to the BBKings show on Saturday (July 23rd). Before I bought the tickets, I spoke personally with a rep there, and she told me that kids were allowed in. The BBKings FAQ says the same "B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill is open to all ages." Let's hope they stick to what they say!--Larry
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