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Eric Carmen

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Everything posted by Eric Carmen

  1. Marvin, I saw your "like" regarding Kay's post. I get it, and you. I'm going to stop right here, but don't think I'm stupid. You want to drink the Bryson Kool-Aid?, be my guest, but don't pretend to be something you're not. I've gone out of my way to be respectful to you, and to your opinions, even if I don't agree with them, but don't think I don't understand where your "loyalties" are. Sadly, I think you're mostly a troublemaker, and I have no more time for that.
  2. There were no "games," ever. Wally was an immensely talented guy who just couldn't understand "context." When Jim called me, after he had just been contacted by the HOB in Cleveland, asking if we would consider getting back together for one night, he asked me "What should I say to Wally" and I said "Just tell him to play his guitar and have fun." Unfortunately, that, apparently, was just not possible, and I could post testimonials from EVERYONE who was there, during rehearsals, and during the "live'" performances. And here is the saddest truth, to this day, I love the guy. He was one of my heroes. My fondest wish was that we could have become a team like Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, or Mick and Keith, but that requires that Joe Perry recognizes his role, and is willing to play that role. If Joe Perry wants to be Steven Tyler, Steven ends up a solo artist. And so it goes.
  3. BTW, Marvin, you can go post this on the Bryson website whenever you want.
  4. Kay Bryson March 19 A message for Raspberries fans from Wally: Yesterday it came to Wally's attention that Eric Carmen and some of the fans on his website have mistakenly commented that the recent Shindig article was somehow an attempt to taint Eric's upcoming CD release. Here are the facts: 1. The interview with Wally was done over a year ago (way before Eric's release was announced) 2. The magazine editors pushed the issue back all this time which neither Wally nor the writer had any control. 3. Wally found out that only he and Scott were interviewed when our copy came in the mail a few weeks ago. We assumed all members of the band were being interviewed for the cover story. 4. We've been told since that Eric was invited on two occasions to interview for this but declined. We do not visit Eric's website precisely because of what Eric says and how his fanatic fans opine on things they know nothing about. Once in a while someone tells us things that are being said there and 99% of the time Wally ignores Eric's disrespect towards him and his family, or how he rewrites band history in his favor. He didn't want to do this interview because he is sick of talking about Raspberries, and knows that any fan, writer, or publication will endure Eric's wrath if the truth is told from Wally's perspective or if they say something not to his liking. But Wally will not apologize for giving honest answers to questions asked. In fact, I recently thought Eric may have been holding up the article to coincide with his release for the publicity. Instead, as he's done in the past whenever Wally receives good press or tells a truth contradictory to his, Eric will browbeat a writer or publication to feature an article on his solo efforts; it wouldn't be a surprise if he tried to do this with Shindig. Wally is as honest as the day is long and a straight shooter. He tells it like it is and doesn't play games. He's a musician, not a promoter, politician, or marketer. No matter what's been told in the past, Raspberries broke up the first time around because of the incessant game-playing. In his youth it angered him. For decades later it frustrated and saddened him. The same game-playing doomed the reunion when Wally put the final nail in the coffin psychologically after having enough of it. As a mature adult, he is disgusted that despite the great music created, the band's legacy has become an embarrassment. Friends, family, fans, co-workers, and worst of all professional associates become caught up in a web of weird wackiness that he wants no part of. He said last year that this would be his last interview regarding Raspberries and apologizes to his loyal fans that things couldn't be different. People wonder why he never wants to talk about the band, or even play the songs. Well this is why. As for Eric's upcoming CD: Unless Eric re-recorded all the Raspberries and Cyrus Erie songs, Wally is featured on this CD. If that is true, Wally will receive performance royalties through sound exchange, so therefore, has a vested interest in its success. Professional courtesy dictates that someone releasing songs an artist appears on informs them of such. We only heard of this in the last few months from a random FaceBook post. In my opinion, the travesty is not that Eric's one song he's written in years is somehow in his mind being sabotaged, it is that the songs Wally has written over the years (at least 3 or 4 albums worth in my estimation) may never see the light of day because he is so tired and disillusioned by his experiences in this band and the music business in general. But I will keep pushing and hopefully when he retires soon, things will change. Wally has no time or energy to Give Eric or Raspberries much thought in his demanding day to day work with the developmentally disabled population and the two or three gigs he plays a year. So Eric and his die-hards need to get over it. We do not like using a public forum to air this, but Eric's website is a bully pulpit for his vitriol. A professional person sincerely interested in writing a story about a band should not be called a hater or be subjected to personal barbs on a public forum. A few years ago we were told that Eric spoke of Wally's fans drinking the "Bryson Kool-aid". The only haters and Kool-aid drinkers we see are at ec.com. My response: 1) I was never contacted by anyone re/ the Shindig article. 2) I never, for one minute, thought that Wally, or the Shindig article were an attempt to "rain on my parade." I doubt that Wally had any idea that "The Essential..." was even being released. Having said that, I don't think Wally would have done it, purposely, in any case. 3) I have never "disrespected" Wally Bryson's family. I actually really like Jessie! 4) I have yet to meet a writer that could be "intimidated" into skewing an interview or an article, one way or the other. To suggest I have that kind of power is flattering, but completely untrue. I'm not exactly Mick Jagger to the rock writers of the world. 5) it is absolutely ludicrous ( and paranoid ) to suggest that I had any control over when the Shindig piece ( which I knew nothing about ) would be published. If I had, or cared, I could have or would have had my "rebuttal" in the same issue. You'll note that didn't happen. 6) I have never "browbeaten" a writer in my life. 7) The Raspberries didn't work the first time, or during the reunion tour, because, contrary to what Kay would have you believe, Wally is a very angry and bitter man. Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate my point. During the last "reunion" shows, we had a terrific and talented sax player, named Paul Christianson with us. We had never had the benefit of a sax player onstage, since the earliest days of Raspberries, so it was a treat to have Paul onboard. In the absence of a sax player, Wally played the "sax solo" that Michael Brecker played on "Overnight Sensation" on guitar, but since we now actually HAD a sax player, during rehearsals, I suggested that Wally should let Paul take the sax solo, and then come in on top of it, the way he did on the record. Wally's reaction to that suggestion was one of "You're taking something away from me!", rather than "OK, we've got a sax player, let's make use of him, and make it sound "just like the record." During rehearsals, Wally "layed out" of the sax solo, but when we played our last show, a private party at the Rock Hall, the night before the induction ceremony, in 2009, he played right over Paul. I had my "earbuds" in and couldn't believe what I was hearing, at the time. When I got home that night, it just so happened that someone with a camera phone, standing just to the side of Wally's side of the stage had recorded it, AND put the recording on YouTube! I don't know if the video is still there, but in it, you can hear Wally blasting his guitar over the sax solo, and you can also see me, at the keyboard, on the opposite side of the stage, whipping my head around in disbelief! That is precisely why Raspberries failed, and why there will never be another reunion. Because Wally never was, and cannot be, a "team player." It didn't matter what was right for the song. It only mattered that the spotlight would have been on Paul for the 15 seconds that the solo took, and not Wally. Being in a band is about recognizing your "role" in the band, and doing that, to the best of your ability, not about who is the center of attention for 15 seconds. 8) I do not currently believe, nor have I ever believed, that my "one song I've written in many years" was being "sabotaged" by Wally Bryson. Such thinking would be delusional. 9) To the best of my knowledge, no one has called the writer of the Shindig article a "hater." 10) If Wally "truly didn't want to do the interview", why did he do it? 11) I honestly don't need to "get over" anything. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding, and no amount of lame excuses will change that fact. Had Wally Bryson dedicated himself to writing great songs ( which I personally would have been THANKFUL FOR, because it would have taken some of the pressure off of me to keep coming up with "hits", every time we went into the studio ) there would be an "Essential... Wally Bryson" CD, with 30 great songs on it. Sadly, there is not, and I, for one am truly saddened by the fact that Wally was the one person I wanted to play in a band with the most, and who had a boatload of charisma, and was a fantastic guitarist, and, unfortunately, shot himself in the foot every time he got close to success. It pains me to think that Kay and Wally blame me ( or Jim ) for ruining Wally's chances, when, indeed, it is exactly the other way around. Raspberries might have succeeded, but for Wally's inability to simply be the "tremendously charismatic guitarist with the great voice."
  5. Honestly, it's a very subtle difference when it comes to my voice. I still sound like an eighteen-year-old, singing into an inferior microphone, with two producers who admittedly wanted the track to "suck." The best things we could do in remastering were to bring up Mike's drum fills, make his kick drum punchier, add some warmer low end to the bass, and make Wally's guitar sound better. It was mostly making up for good engineering and producing, after the fact.
  6. When an artist from Germany or Brazil wants to "cover" a song like "All By Myself" in their native tongue, the lyrics I wrote don't necessarily translate well into that language. A literal translation into Spanish might have far too many syllables to sing and would no longer fit the melody, so occasionally the artist or the label may request a lyric that would fit the melody, but in Spanish, for instance. Luis Miguel, a huge star in Latin America had a hit with a translation called "Perdoname," which, if I'm not mistaken means "Pardon Me." "All By Myself" didn't translate well into German, so the Germans got "Ich Bin Allein", which translates to "I Am Alone." The one with Wally Bryson is a translation of "Don't Wanna Say Goodbye." And the remaining songs are things I made quick demos of for Universal Publishing, some newer, some very old.
  7. Merry is a doll, AND quite a character! We played about 90 shows together during the Dirty Dancing Tour, and Merry sang a duet of "Almost Paradise" with me each night. She's a terrific lady!
  8. I hope this post will help clear up some of the "mystery" as to why "Let's Pretend" didn't chart higher. The reason is really much more mundane, than you would imagine. Capitol Records signs Raspberries and ( strangely ) decides to release "Don't Wanna Say Goodbye" as the first single. Why? I couldn't tell you. It made no sense to me. It was a five-and-a-half minute ballad, at a time when "hits" should have been about two minutes shorter. "DWSG" stiffs at about #90 on Billboard, and Capitol "discovers" "Go All The Way." They pull out all the stops because it's important that the NEW single becomes a hit. If it doesn't, the album stiffs and that's the end of that. So, they take out their wallet, and promote the daylights out of "GATW," and, lo and behold, it cracks the top five on Billboard, and sells 1.2 million copies. "GATW" is now a bonafide hit. Now, the thinking at record labels is that the next single, following a monster hit, is pretty much a given at radio. The success of "GATW" paved the way for the success of "I Wanna Be With You," and, true to form, "IWBWY" goes right up the charts. But, because the label thinks it's a "given", they don't spend as much on promotion and they don't work "IWBWY" as hard as they worked "GATW". And the result is that "IWBWY" while still considered a "hit" is less of a hit than "GATW" was. Here is where the thinking becomes very flawed. They decide "Let's Pretend" is the next single, but now the bean counters are a little worried because "IWBWY" didn't do as well as "GATW." You would think that, in order to protect their investment, they would open up their wallet again, and promote "LP" the way they promoted "GATW." But that's not the way they think. They reason that "IWBWY" didn't do as well as "GATW" so, maybe, we should hold back some of the promotion dollars, until we see if "LP" is going to "catch on" at radio. Any idiot could tell you that radio was controlled by "independent promotion," which at that time was a network of guys across the country who the labels would hire to make sure that their record gets played. The labels would funnel this "network" a hundred thousand dollars, which, in turn, would end up, somehow, in the hands of key program directors. "Independent promotion" was like buying insurance that your record would get played. Every label used the "network" because, basically, they controlled radio. If you didn't, you could be assured that your record would never make the charts. How much you were willing to spend determined how many key stations would add the record, and how many times a day they would play it, and a what time. That's called "rotation." A radio station can add your record, but if the "rotation" is that they play it twice, between midnight and 5:00 A.M., not many people are going to hear it, and if they don't hear it, they won't buy it. The optimum rotation is four or five times a day during "drive time" ( 7:00 -9:00 AM, 4:00-7:00 PM ). That's when people are in their cars going to work or coming home from work. So, by pulling back the promotional dollars, and taking the "wait and see" approach, "Let's Pretend" was doomed. It wasn't following a monster hit, it was following the follow-up to a monster hit, that didn't do quite as well. And so, "LP" barely cracked the top 20, and in so, doing set the stage for the failure of "Tonight." Every week, all the major labels released new albums by Elton John, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, James Taylor and many, many more. In any given week, three songs drop out of the top ten, opening up three slots for three new records to enter the top ten. Whose records get those three slots is determined by how much their label is willing to spend to INSURE their artist "makes it." Some labels are just better at this than others, and the labels that are most successful have the most money to spend. And so it goes.
  9. Many rears ago, I got a "tip-off" from a certain employee at CAM. We were riding in a cab and he turned around from the front seat and said "You should really ask to see 'the books'". He was telling me that there were things going on "accounting-wise" that I should look into. I immediately told Vittorio that I wanted to see the books. His response was "Why do you want to do that? Heric, ( he spoke with a Roman accent ) do you need-a some-a money? How much? $75,000? Heric, you know I only want-a for you to be sussess-a-full." Shortly thereafter, I asked my agent to find me an attorney so I could sue CAM. He said "What kind of an attorney do you want?" I told him I wanted "Wyatt Earp in a business suit." He gave me the name of an attorney, Elliot Hoffman, who had a waxed handlebar mustache, and rode to work on a motorcycle. I immediately liked him. One day he told me a story that had been told to him by one of his clients, Livingston Taylor, James's brother. He said, over the years, Livingston had come up with a "theory" about how to read and negotiate a contract. He called it "The Mad Dog Theory Of Contract Reading." It went something like this: "When a label wants to sign you, ( or a manager, publisher etc ) they sit across the table from you and smile, and tell you everything you want to hear. They're going to make you successful, and they're going to "protect" you, and they're going to get your songs into movies, and on and on, and, all the while they are smiling at you, and nodding, and agreeing with you, and doing everything to allay all of your concerns. And because you're an artist, you WANT to believe them! Livingston said, "When you find yourself in that situation, you should look across the table at the smiling man, and picture a "mad dog, frothing at the mouth". And when you read that contract you need to keep the "mad dog" in your mind, and understand that the "smiling man" across the table will do everything he can to steal your money and ruin your life and career IF YOU LET HIM. And THAT is how you must look at every contract. The "mad, frothing dog" who would leap across the table and devour you, not the smiling man saying nice things, is who you are REALLY negotiating with. And if you are silly enough to believe that the "mad dog" will NOT devour you, and you miss something in the contract that gives the dog that opportunity, he most certainly will." And THAT'S the truth. Shortly after we filed our lawsuit against CAM and Vittorio, and served them a subpoena requesting the books, CAM's offices had a very convenient fire, and the books were burned beyond recognition. And then, their accountant had a stroke, before we could depose her. She couldn't talk or answer questions. It took eight long years of fighting, and a hundred thousand dollars or more, before we could get them to court. My younger brother, Fred, ended up representing me, because, eventually Elliot Hoffman determined that, even if we won, he suspected that Vittorio would be "uncollectable." He was sure that Vittorio had probably put all the money in his wife's name, and transferred it overseas. I was in New York for depositions just days before we were to go to court, and, at lunchtime, Fred and I went downstairs to a restaurant that was in the office building where the depositions were taking place. We were sitting at our table when in walked Vittorio, who smiled and nodded "Hello" as he passed us. I just glared at him. He had residences in New York and Rome, and his son was going to private school. and I was living an a small apartment in a Cleveland suburb because he had stolen all my royalties for years. At some point, my brother got up and walked across the room to where Vittorio was standing, waiting to pay his bill. Vittorio looked at Fred and said "What does-a your brother want-a from me?" And Fred replied "He wants your blood." Vittorio looked shocked, but I'm quite sure that he had also been informed by his attorney that, if he lost in court, he could go to jail. The next day, Vittorio and his attorneys called and asked us what we wanted. I said I want 100% of all the publishing rights for all of my songs back. He could keep whatever he had stolen, up to then. He settled that day, avoiding court, and I got all my copyrights back.
  10. As a songwriter, all that I ever wish for is to achieve what "Boats" did for you. You made my night. e
  11. All I can say is "WOW"! I am so glad I chose to do what I do, tonight.
  12. There is no question that in order to succeed, you need the manager, the agent, the label and everyone else to be doing their job. The compensation is pretty much standard, except for the label. 15% goes to the manager. 10% goes to the agent. In some cases, when you have a super, high powered attorney, even they can work on a percentage ( 10% ). Record labels all have three sets of contracts for artists. If you're a "rookie act," and don't have an entertainment lawyer representing you, you get "Contract #1". That's the one that's 400 pages long, and contains hundreds of ways for the label to screw you, and take all your money. If you've had some success, and you have an entertainment lawyer, you get "Contract #2." That one is 350 pages, because the label assumes your lawyer understands SOME of industry "standards," and he would probably not agree to "Contract #1, and would cross out things he knew were just plain ridiculous. And finally, if you've become successful enough to afford to have the "high powered, entertainment lawyer" representing you, you get "Contract #3". That one is only 250 pages. That's because the label knows YOUR attorney knows darn near all the ways the label has built into the other two contracts to screw you, and they know, if they sent him either of the first two contracts, he'd simply cross out the 150 pages that were completely absurd, and that allowed the label to screw you 200- different ways. However, even with the high-powered entertainment lawyer representing you, labels STILL have a myriad of ways to get you. I've heard stories about a certain major label, printing up hundreds of thousands of albums, by major artists, making them exactly the same, in every way, right down to the same packaging as the REAL album, but leaving off their logo, or any mention of the label, and dumping them as "bootlegs" all over Asia. The artist has no way of tracking that kind of thing, the label sells the albums, and simply keeps ALL the money, since, technically, those albums don't exist. The artist gets paid nothing for a "bootleg." There are, unfortunately, a hundred more ways for labels to screw you, beyond this one. And, if you ever suspected that they weren't playing straight with you, and sued them, their in-house lawyers will make sure to drag the case out for five or six years, at which point your career is over ( See: George Michael ). I've also heard that some labels keep three sets of "books" for "accounting purposes." One set is for the artists, in case they ever tried to do an audit, the second set is for the label, and the third set is for the stockholders. It's a very tangled web.
  13. CAM.USA was the American branch of (what they said) the 16th largest publishing company in the world, with offices in every country. The head guy was one Vittorio Bennedetto, a charming rogue if ever there was one. Jimmy and Donny Ienner were, as far we knew, employees. The company was based in Italy, and run by a "Mr Campi", hence the CAM. bit.
  14. The common denominator of this topic is "business." Raspberries signed something called a "Production Contract", with CAM. USA ( who immediately became our publisher, as well as making Jimmy Ienner our producer ) that essentially said CAM would pay the costs of recording ( as opposed to the record label ) and we would then essentially be "partners", splitting all royalties from recording 50/50 with them. Then CAM got the money from Capitol, but we were not signed DIRECTLY to Capitol. We were signed to CAM Productions, who would then supply "our services" to Capitol Records. That type of deal is known to be the most horrible, immoral deal, ever, in the history of the music business. We were young, and we just didn't know any better, and we didn't have a savvy entertainment lawyer to negotiate on our behalf. We paid dearly for our naivety. I've come to understand that business people sleep like babies at night, while knowing they are screwing artists. Their thinking is "If you were dumb enough to sign it, it's YOUR fault." Nice.
  15. Yeah, well Marvin, you're right about THAT! They are ALL businessmen. ( What was it Jay-Z said....? "I'm not a businessman, I'm a BUSINESS man! ). In truth, we all start out just wanting to write songs and make records, but you learn very quickly, that the managers, agents, lawyers, record company execs and publishers will EAT YOU ALIVE unless you come to understand that the music business IS a BUSINESS. And most of the time, it's the business of separating you from as much of your cash as they can get. Managers take 15% of your gross income. Agents take 10% of the gross for every show you play. That means that if you play a 20,000 seat hockey arena and walk away with $1,000,000, $250,000 is gone before you're out the door. Add to that the fact that the artist pays all the expenses ( band, singers, road manager, crew, tour bus, equipment truck(s), plane tickets, hotel accommodations, per diem for band and crew, FOH sound man, monitor mixer, lighting tech etc. ) and you can easily knock another $100,000 to $150,000 off the top. Now you've gone from a million to six hundred thousand, and the promoter takes a cut as well. And, after all that, you're going to owe 50% of whatever you take home in federal, state and county taxes. Your million dollar gross has now become $250,000 net. And this scenario only applies to groups like Kiss and The Eagles and artists like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry who can sell out that hockey arena in the first place. Most artists are playing much smaller venues, so their gross is nowhere near a million dollars. It might be more like $30,000 or $40,000, in which case they still have all the same expenses, but might end up with $5000 net. The more money you make, the bigger a business it becomes, which is precisely why Henley and Frey, and Paul and Gene ARE businessmen! They have to be. I read an article recently about how Sting gets all the royalties from that hip-hop remake of "Every Breath You Take." At the end of the article, there were all kinds of comments from the readers, most of them admonishing Sting for not "sharing" all that money with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. The funniest commenter said Sting had "ridden Andy and Stewarts coattails to success." The public seems to always side with the underdog(s), and disparage the guy who "made it." That's just the way it is sometimes, but the truth is WE'RE ALL BUSINESS MEN! We have to be, or all of the parasites would have stolen us blind. Managers can have a hundred acts. Agents can have fifty clients. Record companies can have hundreds of artists. All any artist has is his own career. When that comes to an end, the managers, agents, labels and everyone else simply move on. That's why you have to protect your career, and understand the business, because, in the end, nobody cares about you but yourself. The minute you can't make money for the managers, agents, lawyers and record labels, they will drop you like a hot potato and move on to another artist. That's why so many artists end up broke, after having generated millions of dollars during their careers. Is it a business? You bet'cha!
  16. Good Lord, Marvin!!!! Don Henley and Glenn Frey are one of the greatest writing partnerships in history! Paul and Gene understood how to take advantage of the enormously successful "concept" that was Kiss, and, along the way, they wrote and recorded some TERRIFIC rock 'n roll anthems. They are two of the smartest guys I've ever met in the music biz. One thing I've learned, during my forty-five years as a recording artist, is that, whether I happen to like a particular act or not, you don't get to the top if you're stupid. Guys like Springsteen and Billy Joel made it, not only because they were brilliant writers and performers, but because, at some point, early on, they understood the music business, which is about as "cut-throat" a business as there has ever been, and learned how to navigate the landscape. I've never been a huge Michael Jackson fan, but I can guarantee you, he was nobody's fool. You don't get to be successful, and STAY successful , unless you understand the game, and learn how to play it. Paul and Gene have done that brilliantly for forty years, and, along the way, they just happened to become, arguably, the most successful band of the late seventies and eighties. That's not an accident. It requires brains, savvy, the ability to withstand the harshest criticism by people who don't know what they're talking about, dedication to what you believe in, and TALENT!!! And Don Henley and Glenn Frey wrote some of the best songs EVER!!! Like "Desperado." No matter what you think of Don or Glenn, that song is a freakin' masterpiece, and if they had never written anything else, that song would have been enough to put them in The Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. It's one of the few songs ( actually, Henley has written a number of them ) that I heard and thought, "Damn, I wish I had written that!" "Out on the road today, I saw a 'Deadhead' sticker on a Cadillac....." Pure brilliance. As a guy who played in a band that was disparaged for years, I can tell you that continuing to "soldier on", in the face of that lack of acceptance is an ENORMOUS undertaking. One of the funniest comments Wally ever made about me happened during the initial rehearsals for the "Reunion Tour." I can't remember what the context was, exactly, but at some point he said "One thing I've learned about you, is you're TENACIOUS AS A MOTHERFUCKER!!!" ( Excuse my language. That's an exact quote ). And, ya' know, I had never really thought of myself that way before, but he was right. I had been dealt some of the most difficult cards in the deck, and, somehow managed to keep going, when a lot of other people might have quit. The stars and planets didn't line up for me like they did for some other artists, but I played the hand I was dealt and tried to keep moving forward. Failure was not an option. I have never met a single successful artist that didn't have the same drive to succeed. Not once. If you know their name, not only were they good, they were quick studies, learned the "business" and determined not to get screwed ever again. I began my career with the thinnest skin an artist could have. I was insecure to the point that I let myself be manipulated by people, simply because I "perceived" that they had more power than I did. That was always the biggest mistake I could have ever made. Eventually, I learned that you have to fight for what you want, and that has served me very well over the past 20 years. If you give them the chance, they will eat you alive. You have to be willing to stand your ground and say "No." That's the best advice I could ever give to any new artist. Stand your ground, and say "NO," when you know it's not right. See "Madonna" and "Bruce Springsteen." No compromise. Ever.
  17. "Foolin' Myself" is definitely one of the bonus tracks.
  18. "Oh Woman Oh Why" and "Helter Skelter" just popped into my head.
  19. I honestly don't know where my "bridges' all come from. They seem to fall from the sky most of the time, and looking back, I usually can't remember any thought process. The bridge of "Great Expectations" is one of those divinely inspired moments. "Life....is just a game of chance" I think somebody said so Sometimes you get a hula hoop Sometimes you get an Edsel..... I'd LOVE to know where that last line came from! Hula hoop? Edsel? How did I ever think of that???? I remember it all began with the line: "Seems everyday I'm getting' harder pressed to find a reason to shave...." After that, it's all a blur, but the line about "Sorry to say, we're changing your song" was referring to Capitol Records' insistence about changing "Hit Record"( What the song was all about ) to "Overnight Sensation" ( not what the song was all about ). Grrrrr. Still pisses me off.
  20. When I became the "default producer" of the "Boats" album, I had never really produced an album before. I didn't know a lot about microphones, except that I never liked the way my voice sounded through the mics that were set up for me by the various engineers I had worked with. I suspect most, or all, of "Raspberries'" stuff was sung through a Neumann U87, which, circa 1972, was the transistor version that replaced the U47 and U67, which were "tube" mics. The U87 wasn't a bad mic, but it didn't have the smooth warm low end of a U47 or a U67. The U87 seemed to accentuate the high-mid frequencies, so I never much liked it for my voice. During the recording of "Boats" the engineer set up a mic ( it might have been an AKG ) that seemed to REALLY accentuate the high frequencies, and seemed devoid of any warmth, so, rookie that I was, I repositioned the mic so it was much lower, and I sang over the top of it, attempting to get more low end. Unfortunately, it made the vocals sound kind of dull, and sometimes even a bit "muddy." I'm sure Mark Wilder did everything he could to try to find the right frequency to add back in to bring out some clarity, but if the frequency just wasn't there, that would simply be adding it to something else that WAS ( like the strings, perhaps ). It wasn't until my first session with Val Garay, that I got to experience my voice through an old Neumann tube U67. That was the mic Val used to record Linda Ronstadt. The only vocal I hadn't sung was "Run Away", so, before we started mixing, we decided to get a good vocal track for that song. Val set up the mic, gave me Linda's headphones ( those headphones subsequently were labeled "Ronstadt/ Carmen" because Linda and I were apparently the only singers who didn't throw them on the floor when we were done singing. No one else was allowed to use them. ) and he ran the track. Val was out in the control room and I was in the vocal booth, and I thought he was just running the track to get levels and eq's set. When I started to sing my voice sounded so good through that mic that I sang the track all the way through. There was all the warmth I had been missing from all the transistor mics. When the vocal was done, Val stopped the tape and I asked him if he wanted to try "taking one." He looked over his shoulder at me, in the vocal booth, and said " Come on in. That was the take!" Val had put the tape machine into "record" unbeknownst to me. I went in and listened, and that was it. One take, start to finish. Done. That is the difference the right mic can make. So, any "muddiness" on the "Boats" vocals is purely my fault. But listen to "Run Away" and you will hear the difference.
  21. Ira, I think "Great Expectations" fits your description better than "Someday," which was, in partly inspired by the lyrics of "It's My Party" and "Maybe I Know" and "Judy's Turn To Cry" by Lesley Gore. She sang "frustrated teen anthems" written from a female point of view. I wrote "Someday" to reflect my own frustration, in my early teens, at not being the "popular guy" in school. I never thought of "Someday" as a "throwaway" song, it just didn't fit on the "Boats" album, so I held it back and put it on "Change Of Heart." My title for that album, btw, was "Desperate Fools," but Clive thought that was "too negative."
  22. Review of The Essential Eric Carmen Released March 25, 2014 Arista/Legacy/Sony Records Review By Don Hurley On March 25, 2014 Arista/Legacy/Sony Records released the two CD package entitled “The Essential Eric Carmen.” It is a set that encompasses all of the facets of Carmen’s career from his first garage band in Ohio named “Cyrus Erie”, through many of his greatest hits with his power pop band of the 1970’s Raspberries, many of his solo masterpieces, his work on the film “Dirty Dancing” and others that perhaps have been under-appreciated until now. This is not just one of your run of the mill recapitulation of material or greatest hits collections. In the case of this treatment each track has been painstakingly re-mastered from the original masters to produce the purest presentation of Carmen’s music ever obtained. The CD set concludes on disc two with a brand new Eric Carmen composition, appropriately entitled “Brand New Year.” It is a beautifully written piece that is certain to become a January 1st favorite…but it is more than just that. It is a song of hope reinforcing the idea that it’s never too late to start anew at any time of the year. The chorus of this song will be in your head for days once you’ve listened to it. Eric is accompanied by Jeffrey Foskett and many others from Brian Wilson’s own band on this great new tune, the first new song that Carmen has written in 18 years. Ed Hurst, the legendary broadcaster of The Steel Pier Radio Show (who is broadcasting in his 70th year on the air) played “Brand New Year” on this weeks program and said that the reaction to the new song has been sensational. “It’s a great record that Eric Carmen has created. It might initially seem like a holiday cut…but it’s a tremendous recording that will play just fine at any time of the year,” concluded Hurst. Eric Carmen released a statement on EricCarmen.com with regard to the release of the new album wherein he gave much credit to the genius of mixing and engineering by Producer/Engineer Mark Wilder. “Every record I’ve ever made, prior to “Brand New Year” was recorded on tape, and mixed down to 1/4 inch tape. That is called “analogue.” In order to enhance “The Essential…”, all of the original analogue two track mixes had to be carefully transferred to the digital format. That was Mark Wilder’s first job. After that we had some control of the original stereo mixes. Nothing was remixed from the original 24 track master tapes. We never had them. What we DID have is the original two track- quarter inch stereo masters. That’s what we worked from. Mark Wilder deserves fan letters from everyone. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me since Tim Smith. Mark is without a doubt the most brilliant engineer I have ever worked with. He is the sole reason why “The Essential…” is incomparable to any other compilation. I would compare Mark’s “golden ears” to Sir George Martin’s. That is the highest praise I could ever attribute to anyone. He and Tim Smith are the reason that this collection sound nothing like any other compilation of my music before. In the recording studio, you must rely on the ears of your producer and engineer. If they hear the same things you do, all is well. If they don’t, the results of your efforts are disappointing. It is the difference between a great song becoming “the first single” or simply an album track that has little impact. Such is life. When I walked into the studio to record my first solo album, I would have bet you that “My Girl” was the first single. It didn’t work out that way. It ended up sounding small and thin, and not at all the way I imagined. Until now. Mark Wilder’s ears have made the newly re-mastered “My Girl” sound the way I imagined it in 1975. God bless him. There is not a single song on this 30 song, double CD, that has not benefitted GREATLY from Mark Wilder’s involvement,” said Carmen. The packaging of this new collection is well assembled, with extensive liner notes from Eric Carmen himself commenting on each and every song in the set. They have also supplied a reproduction of Eric’s own original handwritten music and lyric sheet to “I Wanna Be With You” in the bottom of the CD tray, a nice collector piece in it’s own right. By virtue of this superior marvel of engineering Eric Carmen’s voice, accompanying band members, vocalists and musicians have never sounded more clearly and crisp. No matter how many times you have heard these songs it is truly like hearing them for the first time when you listen to The Essential Eric Carmen. Eric Carmen seems to write best from a position of original sadness…while always leading to a point of optimism and a hope for the future in his carefully constructed words and music, i.e “All By Myself,” Never Gonna’ Fall in Love Again” to name a few. These hauntingly beautiful messages come through loud and clear with this well produced new set in their fully and originally intended long versions. In “Let’s Pretend” the gorgeous ballad from his Raspberries days you will hear notes that Eric hits that I’m not quite sure have never been heard before this new collection had been remastered with such tender loving care. There are also some live gems to enjoy from the new set including the popular Raspberries tune “Starting Over”, his solo hit from 1976 “That’s Rock & Roll” and a rocking version of “Ecstasy” from the 2005 Reunion tour of Raspberries. It has to be an agonizing task when artists and record companies seek to put out a proper and complete retrospective of an entire career. While I am sure that Carmen fans everywhere will be missing one of their favorites, (in my case the masterpiece “I Can Remember”), but this is just about as fine a cross section as any fan or musical aficionado could hope for to expose yourself to the genius of Eric Carmen and his craft. This collection illustrates that Eric Carmen can write, sing and perform across the musical spectrum with the best of them. His material is truly that good. Eric Carmen remarked on EricCarmen.com that with “thanks to Tim Smith and Mark Wilder, you are going to get to hear what I imagined when I wrote these songs. I cannot begin to express how happy I am about this release. Honestly, if it sounded anything like any other compilation, I would never encourage anyone to buy it. I never have in the past. This is the ONE and ONLY version you’ll ever need to hear. It is as close to what I imagined as it could possibly be, without re-mixing the 24 track master tapes,” Carmen concluded. With the quality of the new song in this set and the reaction that the release as a whole is already receiving in less than one week, it is hoped that Arista will see fit to reach even more deeply into Carmen’s impressive catalog and treat the music world to more nuggets of gold from this prolific artist. Be on the look out later this year when Arista will be releasing a volume of Carmen’s earliest works that will include never before heard tracks, demos and other hidden treasures for not only Raspberries fans, but for all true music fans every where too. Eric Carmen has been creating beautiful music and lyrics for more than 45 years. With the proper attention “The Essential Eric Carmen” could point Carmen well into creating more new music for the 21st century. Let’s hope that it comes to pass. Eric Carmen has proven once again that he still has something to say…and a “Brand New Year” to say it in. Credit: EricCarmen.com for quotes from Eric Carmen. —The Steel Pier Show Blog, March 17, 2014
  23. http://theseconddisc.com/2014/03/25/review-eric-carmen-the-essential-eric-carmen/#more-24718
  24. It's posts like this one that make up for all the crap I've had to endure to stay true to myself, and my music, in the God-awful "music business." Thanks, Cheryl You made my day. e
  25. Oops, I didn't see Bernie had already posted it.
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