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6 Years Ago Today...


Al K

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That night will live with me forever! All the rehearsals,,, to the very first one right up to the last {which you see on the DVD},, the anticipation of that day,,, soundcheck and behind the curtain right before we hit it {which you also see on the dvd} and then,, curtain opens and there they are,, for the first time in over 30 years,, THE RASPBERRIES!!! Right at that moment,, for some strange reason,,, my guitar amp decides to crap out!!!! You see that on that video as well,, me turning around,, wondering,, WHAT THE F%$K IS HAPPENING TO MY AMP???? Thankfully,, just a cord that was partially unplugged. From our perspective,, it was wonderful!! the smiles and sheer joy of the audience was breathtaking!! That whole experience was very exciting,, but at the same time, bittersweet and scary!! Just a week prior to the concert,, I was wrapping up my then 18 year tenure with Gary Lewis and the Playboys {little did I know at the time that Gary would be calling me to do another 5 years!}. I knew going into this project that it was a "one time gig" but very thankful that we continued from 2005 & 2007. I've said it many times here before,, working with Eric, Wally, Dave & Jim,, and Paul & Jennifer is definately the career highlight for me!! Not to forget Ernie, Kevin and the rest of the crew!!

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Thanks for sharing your memories, Billy. I would have never known you were having "amp" issues. Everything sounded just PERFECT to me !! :)

I remember how the excitement began building right here on the message board weeks before the show. Everyone planning their trips...trying to decide what to wear, pre concert get togethers, Annie making Raspberry ribbons for everyone so we'd be able to recognize each other ! OMGosh, it was really happening ! I was going to see my FAVORITE band ever... for the very first time.... and I was going to meet many of my friends from EC.COM, too !!

Fast forward to the House of Blues: Immediately after I walked in the door, I started seeing little raspberry ribbons everywhere. Marvin, Pat, Darlene, Gene, Gina, Jennifer, Bernie, Harry, Art, Barb, Ted, Razzy, June, Kazumi, JuliaD, Annie, Dave, Smittie, Craig, Mike M, Danny ... and many more. Everyone was so nice, we were all instant friends !! :) Chatting about how excited we were to be there...and where we'd flown in from. Looking for everyone we knew was coming, so we could meet them in person.

And then, before we knew it, it was time: I found my seat (coincidentally, next to Marvin, and right behind Darlene! ). The lights dimmed, and then the amazing video montage (a la Bernie :cool: ) began...everyone was cheering and watching video clips of each of the band members.... then, in big purple letters "RASPBERRIES" .... "TONIGHT" started flashing on and off, the curtain was raised....and along with deafening (!!) screams from the fans, the band launched into their amazing performance. (I had to remind myself to breathe) They were perfect ! They sounded better than EVER, and Eric's vocals were just incredible.

You know, I've been to a number of concerts, but I have to tell you, the excitement in that room was indescribable, something I'd never experienced before...I felt 16 again, singing along with my favorite songs...the entire evening was like a dream.

The after show meet and greet was just as amazing. There were many smiles, hugs, and "I know you" s....I think it was Eric who said afterwards it was a "Lovefest"....and he was absolutely right ! Terrific vibes everywhere....

I was fortunate enough to make it to several of the following concerts, and enjoyed each one of them beyond what I can tell you, but something about that very first Reunion show in Cleveland was, well, more than special, it was magic....and I think everyone who was there would agree with me.

My only wish is that we could do it all over AGAIN for some of those who didn't get to come the first time.

My sincere THANKS again to Eric, Jim, Wally, Dave, Jennifer, Billy, Pauly, "the crew", Al, Bernie, and my friends here at EC.COM, for that VERY special memory.

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Marlene did such a great job summarizing the feelings of that day, that there is not much I can add.

I was simply a wonderful event....something nobody ever expected.....a night full of old and new friends and great music.

I just cannot describe the feeling sitting there seeing the band play again.

The concerts that followed probably topped this one musically a little, but for me, nothing could beat it emotionally!!!

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Marlene,

Thank you. You fueled my imagination and I almost felt I was there at that wonderful event.

Sometimes I wonder if Eric and Wally got some counseling they could get along well enough to play together again with Jim and Dave of course; but sometimes the best of people rub each other the wrong way. (Tony, try to resist the obvious.)

Wouldn't that be fabulous!

Belle

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Outside of a single early rehearsal we were both invited to where the reunited band ran through one or two of their signature tunes, Kenn Sharp and I had never seen the band play live.

We always imagined what it would be like. How a rocker like "Tonight" would sound from a stage instead of from the scratchy, pitted grooves of a worn out piece of vinyl. How Jim would pound the living crap out of his Ludwigs. How Dave would effortlessly slide between backing vocals, tasty bass licks and lead vocals on songs we were were still humming after 30 years. How Wally would move his fingers across his vintage Flying V or Gibson double-neck like an artist putting the finishing touches on his canvas. How Eric's voice would catapult everyone in the packed-to-the-rafters audience into power pop heaven on a rock and roll roller coaster that would never end.

As the lights dimmed, I turned to Ken and said, "We're going to see Raspberries perform LIVE!"

And we did.

Bernie

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Raspbernie said:

How Eric's voice would catapult everyone in the packed-to-the-rafters audience into power pop heaven on a rock and roll roller coaster that would never end.

YES ! Perfectly stated, Bernie ! :)

Belle,

You're welcome !! And YES, that WOULD be pretty fabulous !! :)

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I am (for better or worse) not easily impressed, but man - I sure was that night. When I think back about it -- seeing this band reunite after three decades -- it almost didn't seem real, or possible. But there they were. There we were. I think I pinched myself several dozen times that evening (and in several different places). It was a very special night.

Bob Allen

Syracuse NY

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It is almost kind of sad that this thread got so little feedback. But 6 years WAS a long time ago and many of our lives have changed drastically since then. Many of the "old time" board members have taken their ball and gone home for some reason or another...and others are just occasional visitors....which is why we need to organize another Weekend at Bernies for old times sake!!!!

Anyway.....that particular night was the absolute hightlight of my music loving life. I traveled to Cleveland alone, knowing no one and actually kind of afraid (Cleveland's reputation was not one of "Brotherly Love").

I had the time of my life and to this day I can still feel the shivers that went up and down my body as the curtain opened and there I was, front row and center, eyeball to eyeball, with my musical idol...Eric Carmen.

Best memory of the show: at some point during the show, I was able to ask Eric for a guitar pic and he flipped one to me that landed right in my hand!

If I never saw a concert again in my life after that show...I'd have died happy!

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I didn't jump in because I wasn't in Cleveland for that first reunion show.

If you want to include the L.A. show(s), I couldn't have been more excited...the anticipation...the sound checks...the meet and greets...the dinners with E.C.com members...the after party...THE CONCERT(s)! :):):)

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I was at the very first show in Cleveland, and then one of the night at BB Kings in NY...when the "They said it would never happen"....sign came up and then the curtain went up....OMG!

My favorite moment next to seeing and hearing the show in Cleveland was when I met Dave at sound check... ...when I walked in they had just finished a tune...Dave saw me and yelled, "ANDY"!!!...proceeded to jump off the stage, ran toward me and hugged me liked he had known me all my life....he was like a little kid....his excitement was obvious...he told me about his new Rickenbacker...and during the show, when he switched from one bass (Fender I think) to the blue Rick, he actually said over the mic..."whadda you think Andy?"

For one of my musical idols to acknowledge me like that made me feel like the most special person in world that day...to have seen the show was like a dream,....they were sooooo good...During sound check Dave invited me to the after-party...I sat around with the guys and took it all in....I didn't talk to Eric really....he is very intimidating really...very in control...but I sure listened to a lot words that were spoken....gave me an insight to his persona...

Wally is MUCH taller than I thought BTW,...

Bahoo

I was at the BB King show the night Little Stevie was there.

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Raspberries have to be the most accommodating band, ever. By the time of the last L.A. meet and greet, I was pretty much talked out, and just wanted a picture with the guys to commemorate that show. As I walked in, Eric says "Kirk"!

I know, you're probably thinking "big deal".

This, some 35 years after falling in love with the music of Raspberries. This, decades after seeing the band, then Eric, solo, all those years ago. This, 30 plus years removed from my first time meeting Eric. Yes, this is a big deal.

Years after letters and visits to the record companies. Years after letters and calls to the radio stations. Years after acquiring every possible recorded item. Yes, it's a really big deal.

I'm on a first name basis with my musical hero and idol!

Somebody pinch me. It's a dream I hope I never wake up from!

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I know the feeling, guys....another highlight of the whole Reunion experience was me having a one on one conversation with Eric Carmen in Bernie's backyard during the suprise birthday visit at Weekend at Bernies....

It is kind of sad that the prospects of another show are extremely remote....but most of us had the opportunity to live the dream.... See the Raspberries, talk to them one on one, have a drink with them and be acknowledged by our "musical hero's" in some form or another. I remember that Mr M Matthews actually had Thanksgiving dinner with Wally's family the day before the show.

THEY DELIVERED! DREAM REALIZED!! THANK YOU, ERIC, WALLY, DAVE and JIM !!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Do not think I have posted on this board in over 3 years...not since after what may have been the 'best ever' show in Cleveland (December 14, 2007) at the State Theater.

Anticipation for the the Nov. 26th 2004 show may have been the most surreal experience ever. Time flies too fast, y'all...too fast. I cherish all the reunion concerts I was able to attend...and made lasting friendships.

Thanks always to Bernie for keeping this site (and us) together and Ken Sharp for becoming a true friend after exchanging tapes with me and starting all this again for me back in '95 with his Goldmine article.

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