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Al K

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Posts posted by Al K

  1. New merchandise now available in the online shop at www.raspberriesonline.com :

    • The "LIVE 2007" t-shirts (both mens and ladies), sold at the NYC shows and featuring the Bernie Hogya designed "Live 2007" logo on the front and the full color image of the "Live On Sunset Strip" CD cover, also designed by Bernie, on the back.

    • The limited edition NYC concert poster, designed by Jim Bullotta and celebrating the band's two night stint at The Highline Ballroom October 13-14, 2007. Check out the NYC "skyline" for a very cool addition!

    These items are limited editions, and once sold out will NOT be available again! Get 'em now!!

  2. When the last 3 Cleveland shows were played in 2004-2005, many people associated with the band would often (and still do) hear from fans that they had no idea the band reunited, played three shows, released a new CD, etc.

    Well, that problem should be solved beginning today. The Playhouse Square Foundation, which is promoting the Cleveland show, has committed major dollars to advertising this show. We've put together a marketing campaign with dedicated ads in both today's Cleveland Plain Dealer Friday magazine and the Lake County News Herald's TGIF magazine, plus 30 and 60 second radio spots on WNCX 98.5 FM, WMJI 105.7 FM, and WTAM 1100 AM. Listen to those stations also for ticket and deluxe CD giveaways!!

    Spread the word!!

  3. Cleveland's The Raspberries are as fresh as ever
    By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY

    The Raspberries, who made a bigger ripple than a splash, "were definitely out of step," says Eric Carmen, recalling his band's under-recognized but influential run in the '70s. "It's nice to come back 30 years later and be appreciated."

    The Cleveland foursome, an architect of the power-pop sound that inspired bands from The Knack to Fountains of Wayne, is enjoying a comeback that has gained momentum since a hometown reunion concert in 2004.

    The group will perform Saturday and Sunday in New York and Dec. 14 in Cleveland. More dates are expected this fall in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Recently released Live on Sunset Strip, The Raspberries' only live album and first new release in 33 years, is now available in an expanded edition at raspberriesonline.com.

    A parfait in the era of meatloaf, The Raspberries fostered the classic pop melodicism of The Beatles in the early '70s just as the masses were flocking to the album rock of Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Aerosmith. During its brief heyday, the band released four albums (Raspberries and Fresh in 1972, Side 3 in 1973 and Starting Over in 1974) and then split. Though Carmen found solo success with such hits as All by Myself and Hungry Eyes, he often eyed Raspberries progeny with envy and regret.

    "Had we come along seven years later, we might have owned the world," says the 58-year-old singer/songwriter from his home in Gates Mills, Ohio, an upscale Cleveland suburb where he retired a decade ago to raise his family. "We were perceived as guys making pop singles in an album world."

    Critics praised the band, which reached chart heights with candy-coated gems Go All the Way, I Wanna Be With You and Overnight Sensation (Hit Record). But mainstream fame eluded the neatly coiffed quartet in matching suits.

    "It was my fault," Carmen says. "I didn't want us to be like everyone else with beards, torn jeans and hair to the waist. Back then, the rock intelligentsia got us, and the 16-year-old-girls got us, but their 18-year-old brothers buying Jethro Tull albums didn't."

    In 2004, House of Blues approached the group to open its Cleveland club. Carmen huddled with drummer Jim Bonfanti, guitarist Wally Bryson and bassist Dave Smalley and agreed to play one concert. It sold out in four minutes.

    The band played 10 shows over the next several months. New York attendees included E Street Band members Steven Van Zandt and Max Weinberg, Jon Bon Jovi, Rick Springfield and Paul Stanley. May Pang, John Lennon's former girlfriend, arrived to present a photo of the ex-Beatle in a Raspberries T-shirt. The string of dates ended with a 2005 show in West Hollywood, recorded by Beach Boys producer/engineer Mark Linett. His tapes became Strip.

    Now Rykodisc is offering "the option of a record, and there's talk of that," says Raspberries manager Al Kaston. "The reunion isn't a fluke. The guys enjoy playing with each other."

    Though Carmen is happy with the band vibe, he's uncertain about resuming a career in a rocky industry. "We're going with the flow, but we're realistic," he says. "Do we put new songs on a MySpace page and give it away? That seems to be the new paradigm."

    He also wonders how today's audience will receive Raspberries' confections.

    "In our records, there was a sense of joy and hope and optimism that had disappeared from music and has not been prevalent since," he says. "I spent my youth between two stereo speakers trying to learn how to arrange harmonies. I must have listened to The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man 10,000 times, asking, 'What is it that's making the hair on my arms stand up?'

    "We were about something other than getting on Star Search or American Idol and becoming a product. When MTV came into play, that was the beginning of the end. Music took a back seat to what people looked like and how they danced."

    —USAToday, October 11, 2007

  4. Radio spots are scheduled on WNCX, WMJI, WTAM, and print ads will run in the Plain Dealer Friday magazine and the lake county News Herald TGIF magazine next Friday, October 19 when tickets go on sale to the general public.

    WNCX will be giving away tickets and deluxe CD's as well.

  5. As I communicated on an earlier post, Ryko told me that Best Buy bought 500 pieces in mid August to be stocked in their top 350 stores.

    When you break this down, it probably sorts out to JUST 2 pieces each in their top 150 stores, and 1 piece each in the remaining 200 stores.

    If you can't find the CD - let best Buy know about it, just as Don and Phil (hey, you guys should get together and make some music - I like the sound of your names together - it has potential!), Darlene and many others have.

    As we've discussed here many times, there's strength in numbers, and as you know we've spent many posts asking for the fans' grass roots efforts to get the word out. KEEP IT UP!!!

    Your continued, consistent and diligent communications with Best Buy to stock the CD, Rykodisc to better promote it, with Rolling Stone and your daily newspapers to write about it, with your local concert clubs to book the band for a show, etc. CAN ONLY HELP THE CAUSE!


  6. Thanks, JohnO.

    While I'm all about the grass roots efforts we're putting forth to help the new release along, we all need to be as careful as we can when throwing this stuff out here on the message boards. Make sure you confirm the info you're putting out here, and that the info is updated.

    I'm not shy at all about contacting Ryko to let them know of our concerns - I tore them up and down the other day after reading these posts about Richard Cromelin, Mike Marrone and The Brutarian only to find that two of those three posts that I reacted to were inaccurate.

    This is not a "beat down" at all - I totally applaud your passion and dedication to the cause, and by all means keep it up!

    I have no problem continuing to push Ryko, but I need to be sure I'm being accurate with them when I do. Otherwise I just turn into the boy who cried "wolf" one too many times.


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