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Denver…calling Denver…Are you there, Denver?

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"It's going to feel strange not having many of you there...but I'll be in my seat (in the 2nd row ), singing and cheering loud enough for all of us, and I'll report in ASAP. Which brings me to another thing...we're planning to leave Denver early on Sunday to head up into the mountains for a couple of days of whitewater rafting. SO, I won't be anywhere near my computer all weekend.

I'll have to figure out some way to get word/pictures back to everyone ... I know Denver is going to LOVE Raspberries !!

3 MORE DAYS !!! " From one of Marlene's posts!

That is why we haven't heard from her!!


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Howdy from Colorado. I just registered for the express purpose of letting people know about last nights fantastic Raspberries show. Having seen Eric Carmen with Ringo in more of a ballad mode, it was a real pleasant shock to see the dude is a MAJOR rock and roller. Holy cow, he and Jim on drums attacked the music and made it hotter than the records starting with "I Wanna Be With You" through to "Go All The Way." The only charter they didn't do was their first (no Carmen solo tracks either). Wally and Dave each took turns on the mike and did well, but stuff like "Tonight," "Ecstasy" and "I'm A Rocker" simply blew up the place before the fireworks even began. The highlight for me was "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" on which Jim beat the heck out of his Ludwigs. Just seeing the Vox/Ludwig combo on stage was amazing as well plus hearing the Rick 12 strings. On KOOL 105 after the show, they did an unplugged "Nobody Knows" which they had to omit due to time and the Beatles' "I'll Be Back" to let you know their roots. The sad part it very few of the thousands in the crowd were there for anything more than cheap copies of oldies ("Woolly Bully" done by Gary Lewis' bassist anyone?) so didn't go as crazy as I did until the last hit. These guys deserve to play to a true audience of fans who love them. One of the hottest shows I've seen in a long time

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Shut UP! Did stick around for Richard who was as politically incorrect as a human could be (but pretty!). Dude spent more time talking than playing (plus played stuff like "Old Time Rock And Roll"), but it was fun and entertaining.

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When I read these postings I feel "unworthy" in the Wayne's World sense of being a more casual fan than many of you.Until recently,I only knew the Big 5 Raspberry hits. I always loved Eric's songs,but with the exception of Boats Against The Current- the first album I ever owned was The Definitive Collection.I fell in love with this record and especially The Way We Used To Be.Enter Bernie's Website and his wonderful book and I fly to Chicago meet my friend from L.A. and we lived a Rock and Roll Fantasy at The House Of Blues.Well I now own many Raspberries songs.I check the web all the time for any Raspberries tidbit and wait breathlessly for 7/23 at B.B. Kings.Even today I came here to read about Denver and you guys came through.It's a pleasure to be a junior member of this wonderful club.Hope to meet some of you in Rock and Roll Heaven at B.B. King's.

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I don't know if this has been posted before, but I found it online and thought I'd take a chance that it's a new item here --- it's an interview with Eric and Jim (pre-concert) in a long story from Denver's The Rocky Mountain News, June 30, 2005, at (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/music/article/0,1299,DRMN_54_3892245,00.html):

'Starting Over'After three decades apart, rock legends give fans a Raspberries revivalBy Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News

June 30, 2005

Usually the KOOL Koncert is a perfectly fine trip through nostalgia. The oldies station at 105-FM books acts that are often decades past any relevance. No offense intended; it's an afternoon of nice tunes and musical history, but it stays very firmly in its oldies niche. That's what it's all about.

But when word got out about this year's lineup, hard-core music fans gasped. Not only would the show feature a re-formed Box Tops (with the brilliant but reclusive Alex Chilton fronting the band that changed rock history), but power-pop fans around the nation were thrilled to see the name the Raspberries on the bill.

Yes, it's really them, in the original lineup. After more than three decades, the Raspberries - Eric Carmen, Jim Bonfanti, Wally Bryson and Dave Smalley - are back together, and Saturday's show is by far their highest-profile date after a test-run through a smattering of small-club shows near their Cleveland home.

"It's the original four, not some guy who was the drummer who put three new guys in the band," Carmen says.

"It has to be the original four or it can never be. It can't be any one of us or any three of us. I think that's paid off now," Bonfanti says. Despite an attempted album that Bryson and Smalley put out under the Raspberries name a few years back (which sunk like a stone), "we protected the name and that's really a cool thing. Very few groups get together today that have the original members."

We're getting Saturday's show only because House of Blues has developed a relationship with the band (whose first reunion show was at a HOB club) and Denver vice-president Jason Miller talked them into it. "We initially shied away from doing any concerts like this. . . . we'd rather play for 700 manic fans who know our stuff than 7,000 that don't. House of Blues prevailed upon us and we said. 'OK,' " Carmen explains.

To fans, the Raspberries are the greatest missed opportunity in music. After four brilliant and solid albums from 1972 to 1974 - with huge pop radio hits such as Go All the Way, Let's Pretend, Overnight Sensation and I Wanna Be With You - the band split because of internal tensions after the release of its most critically acclaimed album, 1974's Starting Over. After making the album that should have launched a stunning career into orbit, the Raspberries instead broke up.

"We've had 31 years now to sit back and look at it . . . and also learn about the business. What really happened was the people who controlled the band at that time were a bit greedy," Carmen says. "We never had a good manager. The people who controlled us didn't want a good manager who would question their contracts. They liked the status quo and didn't want us to ever get smart."

The Raspberries were marketed as a teen act, even as Rolling Stone and other publications were declaring their albums works of art.

"Rolling Stone in 1974 picked Overnight Sensation as best single of the year and the Starting Over album as one of the seven best of the year. It sold the least of all four albums. The frustration level was unbelievable," Carmen recalls. "We weren't making any money. We were on the road constantly. Management would put us anywhere there was a microphone."

So who did the band members blame for their plight? Each other.

"Of course!" Bonfanti says with a laugh. "At the time we didn't know any better. Now we know these things. That's what helps us get past that ugly stuff - we realized it really wasn't us. It was the frustration that broke us apart."

You have to understand the time. In the early '70s, the Beatles had broken up. FM radio was rising, and tight, bright singles gave way to free-form programming.

"We were the antithesis - on purpose - of everything else that was going on," Carmen says. "When 1970 hit and FM became the format of choice, it became about albums. It was suddenly Traffic and Yes and Jethro Tull. Extended guitar solos and extended drum solos. Personally, I found that stuff pretty boring. If you've heard Jeff Beck play a solo and if you've heard Jimi Hendrix play a solo, if you've heard Jimmy Page play a solo, how many guys lesser than that do you really need to hear play an eight-minute solo?"

Songs such as Go All the Way and I Wanna Be With You are propelled by jangling, ringing guitars as well as Bonfanti's explosive drumming.

"It seemed to me the thing you need to do as an act in any day is try to figure out what you do that's different and better than the other people out there. I thought what we should do was make great 3 1/2-minute pop songs, because nobody was doing it."

The Raspberries did just that, fusing hard-rock guitar with pop-perfect vocals and harmonies, but few could see the band beyond the hits - even the record companies. "There was definitely a backlash. There were certain people in the beginning who did not get it at all," Carmen says.

Bonfanti predicted that "there'll be no middle ground with us. They'll love us or hate us. And that was pretty much the way it played out."

The band found itself with radio airplay, chart position, critical acclaim and album sales that most acts would kill for today. The Go All the Way single itself sold more than a million copies. But it all went sour.

In the early days, "we were put on tour by managers who would have us play at a barn dance. We'd walk into situations where there's a lousy PA system or the stage was terrible. No one in the audience cares about the technical stuff. They just walk out and say 'Aw, the Raspberries were awful,' " Carmen says. They don't want that to happen again.

"When the Raspberries broke up in the '70s, I felt it was just another band. I'd been in bands. Bands broke up. Yet we're mentioned over and over. I started to realize many years later that, wow, we actually kinda had something - which then would frustrate me," Bonfanti says.

"We could have been a contender!" Carmen jokes.

"The artists that have mentioned us, I'm still amazed," Bonfanti says.

The Raspberries' former roadie, Kevin Dugan, went to work for Van Halen and other bands two decades ago. He'd call Carmen and say "These metal guys I'm working with, they're just saying 'Tell me Raspberries stories!' " Carmen says. "Poison, Van Halen. Axl Rose is a huge fan."

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"On KOOL 105 after the show, they did an unplugged "Nobody Knows" which they had to omit due to time and the Beatles' "I'll Be Back" to let you know their roots."

Anyway, anyone could have recorded this? I would love to hear this plus them doing "I'll Be Back".

I hope they do that cover at the Cleveland show.

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Greetings from Denver! I was at the KOOL 105 Concert this past Saturday and I saw the Raspberries. They sounded great! They looked great and it was wonderful to see them back on stage again. After their show, unfortunately, they could not do autographs, much to my great disappointment. HOWEVER!!!!! I was sitting very close to the stage and one of the local DJs was talking to someone at the edge of the stage. I went up and asked if it was true the guys wouldn't be able to sign autographs. He wasn't sure but he could find out. I told him that I am from Cleveland and saw the guys first concerts after they made it big and that I was looking forward to getting an autograph from Eric. I could tell the DJ was thinking and I asked him if he could take my CD to Eric and have him autograph it. He said he would see what he could do. A few minutes later, he came back and shook his head and said "I did what I could." He handed me back my CD and there was Eric's autograph!!! Needless to say I was in "Ecstasy"!!!! So Eric, thank you so much for making a former Clevelander happy!!! God Bless you and the rest of the guys!!! Sincerely, Christine S. C. Lok P.S. Eric I was the one who waved at you and took your pictures up on stage.

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P.S.S. By the way Eric, I forgot to tell you, sitting 2 rows in front of me was a very familiar face. I thought I was dreaming or seeing things. At this age, need I say more...... Anyway, I finally got up the nerve to go and ask. Lo and behold, I wasn't seeing things after all. I asked the gentleman if he was one of the DJs from Magic 105 from back home in Cleveland, Ohio? He said yes and introduced himself. It was John Lanigan and he told me that when he found out the Raspberries were playing in Denver, he said he had to come out and see this. In my moment of excitement of getting Eric's autograph, I forgot to tell the Denver DJ to tell Eric that John Lanigan was there too. So Eric, I truly apologize for forgetting to have the DJ tell you that John Lanigan was there in the audience. John said that he would call Eric next week and talk to him. Senior Momemts - UGH!!!!!!!!! Christine S. C. Lok

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Hi everyone ! wink

I'm sorry for the delay...I just got home this evening. (And I'm STILL smiling!!) laugh I agree with everything doc k said. The band was amazing !!

It wasn't, in my opinion, a very well organized concert..several of the bands performing early in the show played longer than they were supposed to, and due to the strict time constraints (because of fireworks and curfews, etc.), the Berries were very pressed for time. I've never seen anyone move as fast as Ernie & co. did setting everything up... Great job !

Once they did get started, though, they were wonderful ! Eric's vocals on "I'm a Rocker" proved JUST THAT ! I couldn't sit still...(well, I don't have to explain that to all of you, though, do I ?)

The crowd loved them !! I was in the 2nd row along with several relatives (12), most of who are from out of the country and have never heard Raspberries..I now no longer own Power Pop 1 OR 2. They are as I type this, on a plane towards eastern Europe with some brand new Raspberries fans !!

And, it was so much fun to evesdrop on people sitting around me who up until Sat. night had no idea the band was performing again..and were thrilled to hear (from ME)all about the shows planned for Cleveland and NY.

The crowd was pretty large. I asked one of the security guys how many people were there...he thought conservatively, around 9,000, but probably more.

I DID take some pictures...I hope Bernie will post them for me.. (please) They're not the quality we're all used to from Gene, but I was SO busy singing..and it's hard to do both. wink

I'm kinda wondering if Al was there.....on my way out, after listening to Little Richard (who is EXTREMELY funny and talented), at least 6 people asked me where I got my Raspberries shirt...in fact one man practically pulled it off my shoulder, saying his girlfriend "would really like that shirt"...I mean, COME ON !!! Scary..

I know this is a bit disconnected, I'm still pretty wiped out from all the singing, screaming, and then a long day on the river..but, it was another awesome performance by our Berries..and I can't wait for the NEXT show...

Eric, Wally, Jim, Dave, the Overdubs, and the road crew...THANKS FROM DENVER ! Your talent is incredible and you made the night so much fun ! happy

When I'm rested, I'll read this and remember something else...but I wanted to at least check in as soon as I could. Marlene

Art...I'm sorry you couldn't come !!

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Christine, it sounds as though you aren't having very many SENIOR moments--you covered everything VERY well, in my opinion! You even recognized the DJ from home! Sounds like the security guard was having some fun before he gave you your CD back! The happy look on your face must have said it all to him!

Marlene, some new Eastern European RAZZ FANS???!!!

Greater still, that they're YOUR relatives! Now, you have to replace your Power Pop CDs! That's a GREAT problem to have! I hope your relatives from Europe enjoyed the concert as much as you did, and it sounds like they did!

"A crowd of 9,000...."?!!!! I don't care HOW it was organized, it must have been TERRIFIC! Also, hearing people amazed that Raspberries are together again must have been a gas! I envy you having been there, but I am *so* thrilled for you, Christine, your relatives AND the Berries and Overdubs!!! Denver was a complete success!

smile --Darlene

PS I don't think you'll have to worry much about another guy almost ripping your Raspberries shirt off your shoulder. Soon, there'll be so many concerts, he'll be able to get his girlfriend her own shirt!

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Hi gang...and Hi Marlene. I'm just getting caught up myself after the trip. Yes, I was there, but doing lots of running around between my merch and publicity duties. Regretfully I just missed meeting you when you spent some time talking with Wally. Here's my recap - It was quite hectic and definitely could have been better organized but with these festival type shows things usually get backed up pretty quickly. The good news is that even after a sound check that was much more abbreviated than promised the band sounded fantastic - the actual attendance was just a little shy of 11,000. The set list was pretty much the same as in Waukesha except for the omission of "I Don't Know What I Want" due to time constraints placed on the band by the promoter. The best way to describe the sound of their set was "BIG" - big vocals, guitars, drums (Jim's drum fills were literally jumping out of the speakers and into the audience's faces - WOW!!). All of the bands were given the option of signing autographs of their merch items after their sets - EXCEPT Raspberries. Seems the area where the merch is sold and where the autographs were being signed had to be closed up shortly after Raspberries' set to get ready for the fireworks display that happened right after Little Richard's set...a major bummer to be sure since the band was definitely into signing for the fans. The consolation prize (which ended up being the brass ring for those lucky enough to have seen and heard it)was that we were able to set up an after show interview with the band that was broadcast live on Kool 105. The band was quite relaxed and very into the moment when DJ "Randy J" took a shot and asked them if they'd be up for an acoustic number. Much to many of those in the room's surprize the band agreed and the result was quite amazing. The totally impromptu performances of The Beatles "I'll Be Back" and the band's own "Nobody Knows" sounded great, with the spectacular harmonies (Go overdubs!!)and the "unplugged" format really showcasing just how much talent and "chops" this band has - especially considering this was done with no advance notice and after quite a long, hot, stressful day and evening. There is definitely a pattern forming here - every show has something special that makes that individual show a once in a lifetime experience. So with that in mind...I Hope to see you all in Cleveland and NYC!!


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Thanks for the recap everyone! I'm getting excited just reading your posts and counting the days until I'll be singing along at the Cleve. show! Marlene, that was very kind of you to part with your Raspberries CDs! And how exciting that everyone wants a Raspberries t-shirt!! Lookout Cleveland and New York City! The 'berries will be jammin' and rockin' your city too, very soon, but not soon enough!!

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