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Roadie #3

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  1. It is about a ten minute drive from the Beachland to downtown where the R & R HOF is located. I would suggest stayong at a hotel on the Eastside of Cleveland (Euclid, Willoughby, Mentor, Etc) which should give you great access. The airport is located on the West side of town and about a 35 minute drive from the Beachland.
  2. And wait until you get the box that I finally sent. There are some really great items that NEVER before and most likely never again be available.
  3. Just Announced - The Choir will reunite for one show by popular request at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on March 4th. Ticket Information and further details will follow soon. The Line-up: Jim Bonfanti Wally Bryson Dave Smalley Dave Burke Dan Klawon Ken Margolis As I understand ONLY 550 tickets will be sold and they go on sale this Friday
  4. The drive to Bernie and Kathy's house would be really nice, so much better than the 40 hours to the West coast. I think it should include a couple of stops in NYC, Philly, Boston and other East coast locations. To all the fans, Have a great holiday season and like all of you one of the gifts I want to see is a multi-city tour (I need the work) and a DVD/CD. Hope to see all of you in 2006
  5. Also missing Dave Booth the new monitor/drum tech whos started working with us in Atlantic City, Al Kaston AKA Merch and his ever so lovely wife Denise who alays mans (womans??) the merchandise table.
  6. My baby sister left BB Kings to go back to the hotel and take a shower. . . something about being a little smelly after loading in,setting up and then working with the lighting at sound check. We took the group picture about 1/2 hour after the sound check and she missed it.
  7. I'm not on page 88 because Gene was standing next to me to take that picture and besides he usually only gets my backside. However, I am on page 93
  8. Mine was just delivered (already read 40 pages) and although I was able to see a pre-printed version in Atlantic City this is the real deal. Bernie, Ken and Gene thanks so much for taking the time to put this together. This will help to keep the memories alive. To all the fans that have ordered books, you won't be disappointed for those that haven't ordered them "DO IT NOW" I hope to see all of you at shows in 2006!! No, I do not know anything new I just hope that there will be more great music in 2006.
  9. No, we really have not had any problems other than learning how to utilize all of the settings. If you purchase the Vox or any other modeling amp (line 6) I would make sure there is someone that is very knowledgeable about the way the amps work and how to properly set them up. The only issue that I have with our Vox Valvetronix amp is that they discontinued the 412 bottom and I have been waiting since August for parts for the speaker cabinet that was damaged in Denver (although we fixed it without the parts). Let me know if you have any other questions. Ernie
  10. Last Friday I was laid off from my job which was quite a surprise. Since this is a great network of people I am looking for any help trying to find something new. I have been in sales for the past 30 years mainly selling industrial laundry equipment. However, I am up for a change, anybody out ther have any ideas or leads please pm me Thanks Ernie
  11. Here ya go http://www.classicrockrevisited.com/concerts/raspberries.htm The Raspberries October 21, 2005 House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA By Dan Wall Set List: I Wanna Be With You, I Can’t Explain, Play On, Tonight, Should I Wait, Nobody Knows, Making It Easy, Come Around and See Me, If You Change Your Mind, It Seemed So Easy, Let’s Pretend, Last Dance, Needles and Pins, I Can Remember, The Party’s Over, Don’t Want to Say Goodbye, Overnight Sensation, Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak, I Don’t Know What I Want, Ecstasy. Encore: I Saw the Light, Starting Over, I’m a Rocker, Go All the Way. 2 hours. It was another magical night of music for classic rock fans in Los Angeles as America’s greatest power pop band, the Raspberries, returned to California for the first time in 32 years last Friday at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Of all of the bands that I never thought would get back together, the Raspberries were right at the top of the list (gosh, last year the New York Dolls, this year the Raspberries). For years, there were rumors that the band would reunite, but the dream that the band’s fans held onto didn’t materialize until the new House of Blues in Cleveland (the group’s hometown) damn near demanded an appearance when it opened last November. That show went down so well that the group made the reformation permanent and added more dates, including this historic return to the Left Coast. This is the real thing, folks. The classic line-up of Eric Carmen (guitar, piano, vocals), Wally Bryson (guitar, vocals), Dave Smalley (bass, vocals) and Jim Bonfanti (drums) is back together for the first time since 1973, when Smalley and Bonfanti left the group after the making of the band’s third record, Side 3. Never a huge draw on the West Coast, the group was still able to sell-out this beautiful nightclub, with a collection of friends, longtime fans (like me, who never saw the band in its heyday and traveled down Friday morning from Northern California to see the show) and industry bigwigs who have a history with the band. As a matter of fact, like all of the gigs that have been reported on the band’s website, the group was treated like conquering heroes on its return to L.A. Must have something to do with Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and members of Motley Crue and Guns N Roses all talking up the band during recent interviews. (Kiss frontman Paul Stanley and Rick Springfield were seen in attendance at the show). The quartet didn’t disappoint, performing a lengthy set of 22 Raspberry favorites and a couple of well-placed covers. The group sounded magnificent, with able support from three backing musicians known to the group as the Overdubs, who helped re-create the studio magic that made the Raspberries a cult favorite back in the day. For those of you who only know Raspberries from the jam you spread on your toast every morning, the band combined the jangly guitars and songwriting sensibilities of The Beatles, the breezy melodic tendencies of the Beach Boys, the power chords and drum rolls of the Who and virtually every riff the Small Faces ever wrote (according to Carmen) into a sound that sold millions but never broke the group nationwide. That might be due to the fact that the record company didn’t support the band, that the group was mis-managed or that the rock star egos got into the way. Whatever the reason, it all came crashing down in 1975, as Carmen explained recently: “the first single from our fourth album, “Overnight Sensation†was picked as the best single of the year by Rolling Stone and the album Starting Over was picked as one of the top seven records of the year, and subsequently we sold fewer records than we had before. We were playing toilets all over the East Coast for no money and beating our brains out every night while driving in a car 500 miles to get to the next show.†It’s hard to believe that a band that had written two of the best singles ever released (Go All the Way†and “Overnight Sensation,â€), had a sting of great records and a potent live act would be treated like this, but there are many stories like this all over the industry, many starting (and ending) just blocks from where this show took place. Carmen was always the Raspberry, a great singer and musician who simply had a knack for writing catchy tunes. It’s no secret that the band’s absolute classic tunes (“Go All the Way,†“I Wanna Be With You,†“Let’s Pretend,†“Tonight,†“Ecstasy,†“Overnight Sensationâ€) were written and sung by Carmen. The 56-year old is a great singer (although he does struggle at times now to reach the high notes), band leader and musician, and it’s not hard to figure out why he had the most successful career once the band broke up (he had big solo hits with “All By Myself†and tunes such as “Hungry Eyes†from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack). Bryson, his partner in crime back in the day, is a solid player who adds harmony vocals to most songs and can play a mean guitar solo when he wants to. He brought out a number of vintage guitars, including the double-neck he played back in the 70’s, to help re-create the guitar sound that sounded so good on the radio back then. Bryson is the one Raspberry who has really changed over the years, trading in his shaggy locks for long, gray hair, all the while retaining his legendary sense of humor. Smalley and Bonfanti are an excellent rhythm section, with Smalley driving each and every song on bass and Bonfanti adding the trademark rolls the band was so well known for (think Keith Moon without the manic behavior). Smalley can also sing a bit, as he and Bryson gave Carmen a break from the marathon set with a couple of well-received vocals. The set played here was similar to those performed over the past year on the road, with a couple of exceptions. This time out, the band added two gems, “I Saw the Light†and “Starting Over,†to the encore, much to the chagrin of the band’s fans who have seen the show previously (on message boards, these were often the most requested songs that the band didn’t play, so maybe all those posts are good for something). “I Can Remember,†the band’s only eight-minute song ever, was included, and the lengthy tune was a highlight. The band did mix up the set list from previous shows, but rocked hard towards the end of the show with “I Don’t Know What I Want,†“Ecstasy†and “I’m a Rocker†rattling the cavernous club with heavy guitar, big drums and the bands’ trademark vocals. The real highlights for me were those six classics listed above, all sung by Carmen, that brought goosebumps and perhaps a few tears to those in attendance. The band sounded absolutely fantastic throughout, with the seven musicians onstage effortlessly re-creating the band’s three-and-a-half minute power pop masterpieces. There were often times six vocalists, four guitarists and even a few songs with three keyboards, as the band took meticulous care to make sure it sounded as good as it could on its return to Southern California. I’d have to say this just might have been the highlight of my year-there were times when I caught myself smiling in wonderment at a site I never though I’d see, at an event I never thought I would attend. Having this band back probably doesn’t mean much to a lot of you, but I was always a big fan and couldn’t believe what I was seeing in good old L.A. Let’s hope the group stays together for a few years, makes one more record, and gets its due as one of the 70’s greatest unfound treasures.
  12. To My Baby Sister May you have the Happiest of Birthdays knowing that you are the youngest of the family and remember you will alway be MY BABY SISTER Much love Ernie
  13. Yes, my baby sister is going to be 46 and I remember the night she was born. It was cold and wet and we were out collecting that candy when my grandparents came out and said you have a new little sister. I really wanted a brother . . . but Adrienne turned out OK so I keep her. Happy B-day Baby Sister!!!!
  14. The actual link is http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=2789&IssueNum=125. A Hard-and-Sweet Repeat The Raspberries adeptly revisit their quintessential ’70s power-pop hits ~ By BILL HOLDSHIP ~ Photo by Kevin Scanlon Ecstasy: Eric Carmen goes all the way at HOB In 1972, nothing sounded quite like the Raspberries’ “Go All the Way†and “I Wanna Be With You†when they came roaring out of mono car radios. Of course, it’s now obvious that the Cleveland quartet sounded like a lot of things that came before it, merging the Who’s power chords with the Beach Boys’ sweet melodies and vocal harmonies and delivering it all with a decidedly Beatlesque rhythm and feel. Lead singer Eric Carmen even sounded uncannily like Paul McCartney on those two biggest hits. These days, if you listen closely enough, you might distinguish that the band’s “Let’s Pretend†is a close relative of Brian Wilson’s “Don’t Worry, Baby.†Or that Wally Bryson’s opening guitar riff on the aforementioned “I Wanna Be With You†is Carole King’s piano riff from “One Fine Day†if it had been played by Pete Townshend. Like all the greatest rock, the Raspberries transformed what already existed into something new and sometimes even better. At the time, none of that mattered to typical Midwestern teens hearing those songs on 8-track. What mattered was the sound, which was as big and dynamic as some of those early Phil Spector records – orgasmic and full of possibilities, offering up that feeling that life and love and sex were so good that, hell, you could live forever. With time, the Raspberries would become regarded as the quintessential power-pop band – but back then it all posed a dilemma for the group. Too hard for bubblegum but too sweet for hard rock, their music was such that no one (including their own label) was certain whether they belonged in 16 magazine or Rolling Stone. Three decades after the band’s bitter demise, the original Raspberries have reunited for a handful of shows, finally arriving in L.A. for a much-anticipated House of Blues performance last Friday (October 21). Things got off to a rocky start, due to a career-retrospective film that malfunctioned about halfway through. But the Raspberries grabbed the bull by the horns and delivered two solid hours of delicious sound and fun. Part of the appeal was certainly the element of surprise. More than 30 years later, these guys haven’t lost a thing in the way of musical chops. Yes, they were augmented by three additional musicians – cleverly named the Overdubs – which meant there were sometimes three, and even four, guitars playing behind those six-part vocal harmonies. (Uncle Phil would’ve approved.) Nevertheless, the core of the sound came from the four original members. Bryson was incredible on his solos. Bassist Dave Smalley offered up several of the band’s more obscure tunes, featuring a country-rock vibe that might make the Eagles green. Drummer Jim Bonfanti demonstrated that he should’ve been Keith Moon’s replacement in the Who – he’s that good. And Carmen could still hit most of those high, extremely difficult notes. I generally hate when critics review what a band didn’t do, but the absence of “It’s Cold Outside†(a classic track by the Choir, a Cleveland band featuring Bryson, Smalley, and Bonfanti) was extremely disappointing, especially since it’s been performed during most of the other stops. It was also a letdown that, unlike other nights, the band played only two covers – the Who’s “I Can’t Explain†(the song Townshend was addressing when he coined the term “power-popâ€) and a brilliantly dramatic version of the Searchers’ “Needles and Pins.†Thus the show was not, as Rodney Bingenheimer might say, total godhead. But when it was good (which was most of the time), it was damn terrific. And during tunes like the opening “I Wanna Be With You,†“Overnight Sensation (Hit Record),†“Ecstasy,†“Tonight,†and the closing “Go All the Way,†I was suddenly a 16-year-old high school junior in love with Pam Bucholz all over again. When Carmen sat down behind the piano to deliver a transplendid “Do You Remember,†with all its musical and emotional movements and variations intact, it not only transported many of us back to the summer of ’76 – when The Best of the Raspberries was essential listening – but also affirmed that this band could deliver material as sophisticated, ambitious, and “progressive†as Brian Wilson or Ray Davies at their best. 10-27-05
  15. Sorry that I did not mention my baby sister who started out as a RIT-WBT and now has taken on the challenge of lighting. She directed the lighting in AC and in LA worked with a local lighting specialist. It was her idea to light up the radio in Overnight Sensation and even found the transistor radio. Although in LA, I did the positioning and placement of Ken and Barbie who by the way got a cheer during the song. In all seriousness she has done a great job with everything attempted and even helps in the loading and unloading of all the gear. With out her our load in, set up, tear down and load out would take even longer. Thanks Adrienne and I am sorry omitted you above. Will you ever forgive me? And don’t let me forget Kevin who is our support staff in Cleveland without his help loading out at the rehearsal hall, wiring the truck for power and loading back in we would still be there pushing cases. I know the second floor studio sucks. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
  16. So far they haven't thrown anything at us. But it could happen
  17. Tony, I am the short haired roadie on Wally's side. I have been working with Wally since before the Raspberries in a band called Target that played a lot of Stones and Who material among other heavy rock and roll music. When Target broke up I work with another local Cleveland band and then when Raspberries finished the 1st album one of the roadies left (Kent Demshar) left I joined to tech for Wally and Jim. I left the band right before Staring Over. Since that time I have been with Wally in other bands such as the Keys, The News and The Secret. When the band decided to do the reunion Wally called and said he needed his tech and I was there. It has been a great experience once again and makes me feel younger than my 53 years. In fact my wife constantly tries to remind me that I am not 21 and I need to slow down a little. The long haired guy on Dave's side of the stage is none other than Kevin Dugan aka "Dugie" who joined the band after I left and worked throughout Starting Over and until the band disbanded. Dugie and I have been friends forever. For the past 25 years Dugie has been the bass tech for Michael Anthony of Van Halen as well as working on many national tours when VH is not on the road. The third person on the crew is Rusty Pitrone who like Dugie joined after I left and handled the FOH and later Tour Manager. Rusty is the Tour Manager for the reunion tour and helps the crew as much as possible. Lastly we ahve recently added Dave Booth to replace Derek who is a student at Berklee in Boston. Although Dave does not fill in playing congas and other percussion he is an excellent monitor mix engineer and take care of Jim's drums. Dave has worked the Atlantic City and LA shows and the guys have commented that the monitors have never been so good. Yes we are the first to arrive and the last to leave (sounds like a song from JB) but we all enjoy what we do to make the band sound great. Our crew is the best bunch of old guys around and I really enjoy working with everyone. The fans constantly have our backs and we do appreciate it.
  18. Believe me at LA there was enough smoke in that hallway from the stage smoke generators that even I got lost headed to the tech case. So being a little bit older and wiser (and wider) I brought one of the tuners up to the keyboard riser (Paul & Jen's)for quick checks on the guitars. I'll tell you that riser has never been so crowded; 2 keyboards, 1 monitor, 2 mike stands. Wally’s Flying V, Doubleneck, and caddy with the Parker, Rick, and two back ups. Barely room for Paul and Jen to play with all that going on. I guess you could say smoke, but no mirrors.
  19. Equipment is safely stored in the rehearsal hall that the band rents. Some of the equipment is taken home by the musicians until rehearsals pick up again to get ready for the next show. Any repairs or adjustments to equipment will be made in the next couple of weeks in anticipation of more rehearsals. Generally, I will spend some time taking an inventory to make sure that we have everything we need for future shows and that will happen on my next trip to Cleveland sometime before Thanksgiving.
  20. In a few of the shows the band puts some songs in as "audibles". If the crowd and tempo of the show is at a point where the band feels that they want to put these songs into the set Eric calls out the audible (as the stage quarterback) and the band plays them. In the LA show, when the band finished the main set and came backstage prior to the encore everyone said play the two audibles and it was a done deal. They are added to the set list to allow Dugie and I to know what guitar changes are necessary for the songs. If they just decided to throw in a song at the last minute who knows what guitar Wally or Eric would end up with. The band spends a lot time making sure the set list flows smoothly. As they came back to the stage I knew that Wally was going to play the Martin acoustic and gave him that guitar. It would have been tough for him to play "I Saw the Light" on the Flying V which he uses for "I'm a Rocker". In the picture that Gene posted Wally and I made 11 guitar changes and Eric had 9 changes between guitars and piano throughout the night in LA. Making changes and retuning the guitars after they are played keeps us pretty busy and at the same time we have to pay attention to the stage to watch for potential problems and keep cold water/soda and dry towels available. It keeps us running throughout the show. The good news is that we have not had to use any of Wally's back up guitars due to malfunctions or broken strings in any of the shows over the past year (please, everyone knock on some wood quick). Every part of the show is rehearsed including guitar changes. I think that after 30+ years Wally and I almost have it down.
  21. To those of you that saw the picture that Gene posted. YES that is the offical set list that I print for Wally's guitar changes. For those of you that have not seen Gene's pictures here you go. The offical stage set list I Wanna Be with You I Can’t Explain Play On Tonight Should I Wait Nobody Knows Makin It Easy Come Around and See Me If you Change Your Mind It Seemed So Easy Let’s Pretend Last Dance Needles & Pins I Can Remember Party’s Over Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye Overnight Sensation Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak I Don’t Know What I Want Ecstasy ENCORE I Saw the Light (Audible) Starting Over (Audible) I’m a Rocker Go All the Way And they did play the two audibles
  22. I think in that hallway picture of Rusty I might be standing next to him since that way my vantage point for the whole show. I had placed all of Wally's guitars on the Jenn & Paul keyboard riser and my teck case with the tuners etc at the other end of the hall. Couple of issues with the stage; first VERY SMALL, second NO PLACE TO PUT THE TECH CASE; third THE HALL WAS CONSTANTLY FILLED WITH SMOKE from the smoke machines on stage so I could hardly see the tech case. All I can say is very, very, very small stage but Gene took some great pic's fro behind me and around me but as usual not of me.
  23. Final Post since I have recovered from the trip. Arrive back at the practice hall at 9 pm on Monday night and unloaded the gear. Everthing in its place by 10:30. Arriving back in Cincinnati with the rental truck at 3:00 am. Thanks to the new crew member, Dave Booth for his partnership in this 80 hour driving experience. And lastly thanks to everyone for following our progress. Hopefully, there will be some more trips in the future.
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