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The Next Raspberries Album Should Be About...


LC

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Cleveland!

Yep, everybody needs a little inspiration now and then. Sometimes, it's right in front of you.

I was writing in another thread about Brian Wilson's new album, Lucky Old Sun. It's not Pet Sounds, but it's very listenable, and intriguing, and imaginative -- and very welcome! I love the way Brian built it around a theme -- a celebration of southern California -- and captured "the mood of L.A. in the 1950s and 1960s," as he said in an interview. So, BRAVO to Brian. (If you haven't heard it yet, you can get a nice taste of what went into this album right here: Lucky Old Sun )

Anyway, Lucky Old Sun makes you realize that yes, Raspberries needs to hunker down and get back to their roots and capture Cleveland in an album of new songs. They could describe the city's rock'n'roll scene of the 1960s, and the joys and struggles of growing up in that region in that era, and the big dreaming that young singer/songwriter/musician types did. They could capture the attractions of Cleveland, and how that underrated city has changed over four decades, as seen through the eyes of Eric, Wally, Jim, and "Arizona" Dave.

Couldn't such a recording potentially be a masterpiece? So what if they would need only a couple thousand copies pressed to service EC.com and Raspberries Online members and Cleveland-area baby boomers? Wouldn't we all pay extra for such an album?

Think of all the angles:

* Battle of the Bands: How about a song that captures the competitive nature of all those regional bands of the 1960s? Heck, the Raspberries played in most of 'em.

* Songs: How about a song describing what it was like to write music during the era of Lennon & McCartney, and Brian Wilson, and Jagger & Richard, and Bob Dylan?

* And... The Mistake on the Lake: My closest connection to Cleveland was through Municipal Stadium, that cavernous, well-worn structure where I saw a bunch of Yankees/Indians games in the 1970s. I was one of those little ballpark rats, hanging over the railings with my pen and notebook: "Mr. Munson, would you sign this for me?!? Please?!? Mr. Murcer? Mr. Lyle?" It was a great atmosphere during a long-lost but golden era of baseball. The world needs another great baseball song --- a nostalgic one. And don't tell me that Eric and the boys didn't take in a few Indians games themselves!

Who else has some Cleveland "roots" that would translate into songs? Heck, Trindy lives in an apartment that used to be Eric's, if I recall correctly; there are probably 100 song ideas still floating around in there....

PS: Sure, this is total pie-in-the-sky daydreaming, but where better to do it than here?

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It should be about dealing with life as it has unfolded...as opposed to what life was expected to be in the innocent age of youth.

It should be an album full of songs that deal with life and love in the middle years.

You can't go back and be what you were then...when you were glowing with the flower of youth...Just be what you are...what you've become...and tell the truth...

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Thanks for this idea LC, I think this is the kind of thing Bernie had in mind for this message board!

I'm from Cleveland, and have fond memories of the Agora (though I never saw the 'berries there), hanging out in the flats, The Coral (I think it burned down), Mr. Jingaling, Captain Penney, Goulardi, Big Chuck and Hoolihan, then Little John, and of course the fantastic Michael Stanley Band. Don't know if there's a song in there, but it's fun to remember!!

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Wow, I started something! I used to have all the MSB albums, grew up with them as well as the Raspberries. I was just checking out some MSB videos on Utube, the words and music came right back to me! I like many of their songs, "Let's Get the Show On the Road", "He Can't Love You", "I Never Need Anyone More Than I Need You Tonight...to name a few!

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  • 2 weeks later...
danmichel said:

It should be about dealing with life as it has unfolded...as opposed to what life was expected to be in the innocent age of youth.

It should be an album full of songs that deal with life and love in the middle years.

You can't go back and be what you were then...when you were glowing with the flower of youth...Just be what you are...what you've become...and tell the truth...

Dan, I think it should be about all of that... everything you mention would be intriguing stepping-off points for Eric and the band. BUT... I'd also love to see them "time-travel" back to 1968 or 1969 or 1970 and capture their mindset.... How they looked ahead, and how they wanted things to turn out. This album should have 12 or 14 songs on it! So hey, there will be plenty of space to write about life then, how life unfolded, and how it is now.

Also, how about a song about Lake Erie? Come ON! Nobody has ever written a Lake Erie song! (Insert your own joke here.) Unless, maybe, Eric was talking about Lake Erie in "On the Beach." And even if he was, what's wrong with revisiting the pure, unadulterated fun of "wooing" all night on a beach?

I'm tellin' ya.... I hope Eric and the boys have picked up Lucky Old Sun and soaked it in.... Heck, it inspired ME to write a song, and I'm not even a songwriter. It could be a very poignant album --- a Raspberries record of rockers and ballads all connected by the theme of CLEVELAND.

Or, maybe I'm just being greedy, or naive, or Pollyanna-ish (or all of the above) in hoping for a new 'berries record. Or, maybe I'm tired of writing pithy things about Sarah Palin on other threads.... ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm on board with the idea, even though I just recently moved from Eric's old apartment building...I don't know, I think he may have wrung every good tune out of it that he could have.

I too have fond memories of Mr. Jingaling, Captain Penny, Ghoulardi, Big Chuck and Hoolihan-then-Little John. And just reading this thread caused me to remember lyrics to Michael Stanley Band songs that I thought I had forgotten.

A song about Lake Erie? Actually, Eric has "been there, done that," as in, what do you think "There's No Surf in Cleveland" was about anyway? And of course "On the Beach" was about Lake Erie--Eric wasn't Brian Wilson, he didn't grow up in the Endless Summer of California, he grew up where you take advantage of the brief months of sunshine and warmth while they last. Too precious, not a one can be wasted...that's why, back in his early 20s, you could have found him on a summer day after he moved to my old building in '72 (then, as when I moved into it in '04, known as the Watergate...yes, Eric moved into a building called the Watergate in '72), driving west down Lakeshore Boulevard to the Americana (now known as Harbor Crest or Harbor Town or Harbor Something) to pick up Dave Smalley so they could backtrack east to Mentor Headlands Beach and go looking for girls...

...which, of course, is what inspired Eric every morning to do things like get in the car, drive to the Mickey D's on Vine Street in Willoughby (which I think is the closest one), order five gigantic Cokes, take them back to his tiny apartment, put them in his fridge, sit down at the piano that occupied the whole of his tiny living room (if he had a "junior" apartment like me, his living room was shaped a lot like a piano!) and write "Drivin' Around"!

Thanks to having lived in the building four years, I can easily picture it all...

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Raspbernie changed the title to The Next Raspberries Album Should Be About...

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