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Brian Mac

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  1. Marv, amazing that you should mention that, because that's the version we did. Bands all over the world breathed a sigh of relief when that version came out. We could finally play that song and let the chick singer handle it!
  2. Recently, I read in Sound and Vision that Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and the first five Elton albums were going to be released in 5.1 DVD Audio, along with Pet Sounds. Well that was it for me, I ran to Circuit City and bought a universal DVD player that could play these discs. For those of you who are unacquainted, to make a 5.1 disc, they go back to the original multitrack master tapes, and remix the songs so that the different instruments and voices are spread between 5 speakers and a subwoofer. When done right, you find yourself completely surrounded and enveloped in the music in a way you could never experience in stereo. You hear things you never knew were there in recordings you know like that back of your hand. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard “Brain Salad Surgery†in 5.1 surround. The thing that struck me about the Elton John recordings were how great they still sound after all these years, and how well they were produced. I’m always amazed that Eric and Gus Dungeon did not get along. It seemed like a match made in heaven at the time, and there is no denying his talent as a producer when listening to this stuff… As far as Led Zep. I was in a band at the time and we had to try to play this stuff. Say what you will about Robert Plant, but nobody could hit the notes he did in “Rock and Roll†and the end of “Stairway.†Eric could have done it, but nobody mortal that I knew. Even Robert Plant hasn’t been able to do it for the last 15 years or so. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t sing those songs anymore?
  3. Marvin, I too was a huge Raspberries fan before Eric went solo. But I saw the EC album totally differently. To me, it was the maturing of a gifted artist. It is the great solo album Brian Wilson never made. I love it more than “Boats.†Eric had it all going on. One of the greatest voices in pop history in it’s finest form. He could croon like a choirboy on one cut and scream like Daltry on the next. His songwriting was so strong, he could almost hurt you with it. Fantastic production from The Tooth. It was a solo album, not a group album and that’s the way it sounded to me. But it also showed great growth. All by Myself was much more than an “Adult Contemporary Ballad.†It is a Pop Standard. Big difference. It is Eric’s “Yesterday†and it was groundbreaking on several levels. When did you ever hear drums like that on a AOR hit before? Not to mention the piano concerto in the middle. It was “I Can Remember†on steroids. And it had never been done before. Not by the Beatles or the Beach Boys or ANYONE. The cool intro to Sunrise, the ironic lyrics about rebirth, his best middle eight yet, and then that Elton John fadeout with the horns and the false ending. I got chills the first time I heard it. The last song on the last Raspberries album was “Starting Over.†I think “Sunrise†follows that sentiment wonderfully. Listen to them back to back and you’ll see what I mean. It was such passionate music. The longing in “Everything.†The brilliant complexity of “My Girl.†It wasn’t lost on me that Arista Records was located “On Broadway†at the time. Listen to the words. He was gonna make it in the music business if it killed him. And it almost did. And then he finishes the whole thing off with “No Hard Feelings.†A blistering rocker in the great Raspberries tradition. The screaming of “Let me out†was classic. A great ending, a great tribute to the boys, and one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard.
  4. Jeez, you step away from the board for a few days and all Hell breaks loose. I’d just like to say that I was not trying to denigrate Eric’s talent or songwriting skills in any way. I’m a huge fan. Flew to Cleveland on New Year’s Eve and just sat there in the balcony for two hours mesmerized. “Ecstasy†almost knocked me off the balcony they played it so good. I always thought “Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye†was a bad song. That night I realized it was a bad recording of a GREAT song. I just thought it would be nice to “discover†some of his influences, because all the great ones have them. And I thought it would be fun. I would also like to point out that two of Eric’s greatest songwriting achievements “borrowed†nothing from no-one. Overnight Sensation and Let’s Pretend, are just works of genius from a musical Giant. While “Let’s Pretend†may capture the sentiment of “Wouldn’t it be Nice†it stands on it’s own as one of the most beautiful original melodies that my ears have ever heard. There are many others. And by the way, the guy that said that Brian Wilson didn’t write good middle eights is looney. So is the guy who said “Sleep with Me†is a lousy song. And I’m really angry that an honest post turned into people taking shots at Eric’s amazing skills. And finally I’d like to agree that “The High Cost of Loving†is a perfect piece of pop confection that could be a number one hit tomorrow if it was released or even covered. I hope it sees the light of day someday.
  5. James pointed out that "Haven't We Come A Long Way" somewhat resembles James Taylor's "Your Smiling Face." I thought it might be fun to uncover some of Eric's other "influences." Here's mine. There's a Beach Boy song called "She knows me too well" which sounds very much like the chorus to "I can Remember." "I can hear Music" makes me think of "Sunrise," and of course there's the "Close you eyes and be still" line from both "Don't talk put your head on my shoulders by the BB's and Eric's "I Wanna Be With You." The chorus to "Foolin Myself" is a dead ringer for "The Long and Winding Road." On the other hand, there's a Barry Manilow song called "Please Don't Be Sad" that borrows heavily from "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again." Can you guys think of any others?
  6. Writing this from my laptop Sunday morning 7.30AM from the Hyatt in Cleveland. Everything that needs to be said about the concert has already been lovingly posted here by others. The boys were tremendous. Just wanted to make mention of something Eric said during the show. He announced from the stage (sweating, cigarette in hand) that "Without the efforts of Rasbernie and Ken Sharp, we wouldn't be standing on this stage tonight." Something I always suspected is now confirmed. Bernie, did you ever imagine in your wildest dreams, when you started working on this Website all those years ago... that it could possibly lead to this? You made a childhood dream come true for a kid in Jersey who thought he'd never get a chance to see his favorite band play together again. I think you did the same thing for four guys from Cleveland who obviously love each other a great deal. Your efforts made all the difference in the world. Like a Magic Genie, you have granted the impossible wish of so many of us. You should be proud. MAC
  7. Thanks for sending me the song. You people are incredible. Look forward to meeting some of you this week. I especially want to meet June's husband to ask him how he deals with this "Eric Obsession" of hers:) And of course the fabulous Raspbernie himself! Still have two GA tickets for New Years. Free to a good home. Thanks again! MAC
  8. I thought you were supposed to leave the Christmas Tree up through New Years! Who ever heard of taking it down after just one day. Apparently I got Grinched and missed hearing a very cool, unreleased Eric tune. Any chance someone will understand my pain, and e-mail it to me at brian-mac@msn.com Also, I have an extra set of GA tickets for New Years (I bought them before I got balcony seats) If anybody needs them, I would be willing to give them away to an ericcarmen.com member for free. Just e-mail me and please no scalpers.
  9. I made dinner reservations with the HOB on Monday and was told there was an opening act at 8PM and that Raspberries would be performing at 10.
  10. Is to hear a new Carmen/Bryson song on New Years Eve!
  11. Bernie, I canít help thinking that your book was in some way partly responsible for this reunion becoming possible. I can remember being very touched reading Ericís description of playing out the Raspberries last dates, trying different guitars to fill the sound void, and how distraught he was that Wally wasnít there with him. And even when Wally is blasting Eric for this or that, you can always feel his respect. He always recognized and acknowledged Ericís talent. I always wondered if Eric realized what an amazing guitar play Wally was. Your book made it crystal clear that he always knew. Maybe your labor of love shattered a 30 year impasse? In any case, thank you for putting in all down on paper so brilliantly for all of us. MAC.
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