LC Posted February 24, 2011 Share Posted February 24, 2011 With even the most [expletive] optimistic among us resigned to the idea that Raspberries is permanently disbanded, and with the benefit of multiple years' hindsight, what do y'all think of the great Raspberries Reunion of 2004-2009? Here are my own thoughts (all IMHO, of course). 1] It really was a "dream come true" that it happened at all. Raspberries were together a relatively short time in their first incarnation â€” so short that they were already "history" by the time I glommed onto their music. I mean, I loved "Go All the Way" and "I Wanna Be With You" upon their releases, but it wasn't until "All By Myself" and especially the cleverly titled Raspberries Best Featuring Eric Carmen that I started totally immersing myself in those four original albums. I didn't so much listen to them as study them, searching out and finding them in vinyl record stores while I was in college and then absorbing them one at a time. (I think the order of my discoveries was: Raspberries, Starting Over, Side 3, and Fresh.) But as Eric's solo career moved ahead, and as I read more about the band's breakup, and as more years (decades!) went by, I figured that chances for a reunion were slim to none. Glad I was wrong. 2] The reunion spanned several years, yet it was all too brief, too. There was less "action" (in terms of tour dates/recordings) during the reunion years than we greedy fans would have liked. 3] What action there was, though, was top-notch. I saw only one show, but it was well worth the 30-year wait. What a night it was.... Hearing those songs in concert for the first time ever was almost a religious experience â€” very moving and very powerful. Really great music can do that to ya. (And by all accounts, the band was tight and "in sync" on pretty much every date.) 4] The Overdubs were an awesome augmentation to the original lineup. And adding to the fun has been Billy Sullivan's and Paul Sidoti's participation here at EC.com. (What ever happened to Jennifer Lee, though?) 5] The Raspberries' live Sunset Strip CD became a more-than-welcome addition to the archive. Wow! Again, who'd have thought we'd be able to complement our four original CDs and various compilation packages with such a nice record of a great date... engineered by the estimable Mark Linnett, too. Sunset Strip is a real treasure. 6] Kudos to Bernie for this site's role in the reunion. It's pretty clear that the fan support shown here in the early and mid-2000s created a real buzz around the 'berries, as did the books Bernie has authored.... We have RaspberriesOnline.com, too, which kept the news coming during the reunion years and is still worth visiting. And it's nice to see that Al K. has some new mementos on the way for 'berries fans and collectors. 7) If you were to read through Eric's posts here, you'd find all kinds of neat tales from the road. For example, where he talks about the famous exploding shakers in L.A. There are more, too, if you're inclined to dig in and search. 8] One disappointment about the reunion, for me, is the fact that no new material came out of it. A few years ago, I thought, "No doubt those guys will be so inspired by their rehearsals and performances that they'll write some new songs and record them." I figured we'd get at least one new release of fresh material ("Raspberries Revived"?) out of the reunion. But it was not to be. Yet in hindsight, I actually understand why it was not to be: It would have been almost impossible for an album of all-new songs to match up to the material on the original four albums. It would be like Sandy Koufax coming out of retirement to pitch for the Dodgers for a season. How could he live up to those pitching stats of the 1960s? 9] One particularly rewarding result of the reunion: the chance to meet and discuss Raspberries music with other real fans. A lot of that has happened here, but I also got a kick out of meeting Bernie, Marlene, Diane, Tunesy, Lew Bundles, Don H., Harry, Darlene, and many others "live and in person" in NYC and at Weekend at Bernies in 2007. Here's hoping we can meet again (an EC solo show?). And it goes without saying that it was a major thrill to talk to Eric in person again for the first time in more than 15 years, and to meet Wally and Jim and Dave (and the Overdubs) for the first time. 10] The Raspberries' legacy is likely as "complete" as it'll ever be. Before the reunion, there was something missing, don't you think? Their short run in the 1970s was too open-ended, for lack of a better phrase. The reunion may have left us wanting more, but... it also tied up some loose ends. In the perfect world, the 'berries would all be best friends today, and they'd agree to play a couple of concerts every year in Cleveland, and they'd lay down a few Carmen/Bryson and Carmen/Smalley songs here and there. But... the (creative) tension that led to both break-ups is part of what made 'em so great. That's all I've got on a night where Sunset Strip made a reappearance on my CD player.... 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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