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Renaming Raspberries


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On 2/20/2014 at 7:23 PM, Craig Benfer said:

James, I DO think that it's possible to overcome a "bad" name, but why make it tougher than it already is to become successful? I don't necessarily think the Beatles was a good name, but they overcame it. Raspberries not only had a bad name, but they were also marketed poorly.

Duane,  you have a very interesting take on Raspberries. Though using his own name might have brought greater acceptance, I don't think Eric was interested in that at all. At that time, I think he was still much more interested in being in a real group...a four or five member group like the Beatles or the Byrds, By the end of their run, he was ready to go solo, but not before then.

Were the other members truly replaceable? I don't think ANY member of a group is irreplaceable but some members are much  easier to replace than others. My take of it is that Eric is as close to being irreplaceable as you can get, but as a guitarist in the band I don't think Wally is far behind. How easy is it to find talent like that? Not easy!  I love Jim's drumming and think that Eric hit the lottery twice when he had to replace Jim with Mike McBride. Now I hate saying this because I truly love Dave and his contributions to the band, but I think he was the easiest to replace and I believe the Raspberries improved with the addition of Scott McCarl.

Your most intriguing thought is that even with with great success, they would not have stayed together any longer than they did. Hmmmmm. I hope Eric weighs in on that. I'm very anxious to hear what he has to say on that. 

Craig...I wonder if Capitol thought at the time that the name was part (most) of the problem? If they did then I think they missed an opportunity after the Side 3 album. After Jim and Dave left the group, half the band was gone anyway. Eric and Wally weren't seeing eye to eye either so it looks like the writing was on the wall for the demise of the Raspberries. If Capitol knew the end was near AND the name was a problem...looks like it would have been a perfect time for THEM to disband the Raspberries. Starting Over could have been Eric's first solo album (if they had any intention of keeping him on the label). Wally could have been given the choice to stay as EC's lead guitarist or move on...Mike McBride and Scott McCarl could have been brought in like they were. They could have kept EC's talent and rid themselves of the name all in one move. Eric was probably ready to go solo by then and if Starting Over was successful, he might have cut the ABM album with Capitol and avoided the Clive Davis experience. They could have re-released the first three albums and/or a greatest hits album as "Eric Carmen and the Raspberries" to connect the names for people. Of course, if they didn't think the name was any part of the problem, they were probably just trying to hold the band together long enough to squeeze one more album out of them while they still had name recognition.

I also wonder if the group would have lasted longer and/or ran smoother if Eric was clearly put in charge from the start. Whether it was as Raspberries, Eric Carmen or Eric Carmen and the Raspberries would things been different if Capitol had designated Eric as "the man" from the start. I think a lot of their turmoil and in-fighting was because Jim, Wally and Dave thought they were equal partners with Eric and that the band should be ran like a democracy. That doesn't really work when one man is clearly more talented/gifted. Eric Carmen was clearly the quarterback of this team and the Raspberries were going to go as far as he carried them. Things might have went smoother and/or lasted longer if Capitol had said from the start, "You three are very important parts of this band, but Eric Carmen calls the shots"...if they could have accepted their roles, this group might have made great music together for a long time. Of course, it could've also blown up before it ever started...guess we'll never know...

As you can see...I spend too much time thinking "what if" about too many things... :o

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Duane, I don't want to quote your whole post and I appreciate the fact that you gave a detailed explanation as to why you feel the way that you do, some are very valid points. Doesn't change my preference of the Raspberries music over the solo music (which I also love, just not as much) and that is okay. We all have those things that just tickle our fancies. I also like movie soundtracks, not the "Dirty Dancing" type but the Jurassic Park and Star Trek type, nothing better than driving down the road and people thinking the Enterprise is about to pass them by. I play my truck stereo LOUD.

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Duane, something to consider when talking about the dynamic of Raspberries- Jim, Wally, and Dave were already performing together when Eric wanted to join them.  I imagine it would be a delicate transition from 'new guy' in the band to leader of the Raspberries- even if you had the most talent within the group.  That would seem to be a recipe for trouble right from the start.

Eric has always said he preferred to play in a band...I can only imagine what the next album of Raspberries music would have sounded like after 'Starting Over'.  We know it would have had ABM on it!

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On 2/21/2014 at 0:18 AM, adelia215 said:

Duane, I don't want to quote your whole post and I appreciate the fact that you gave a detailed explanation as to why you feel the way that you do, some are very valid points. Doesn't change my preference of the Raspberries music over the solo music (which I also love, just not as much) and that is okay. We all have those things that just tickle our fancies. I also like movie soundtracks, not the "Dirty Dancing" type but the Jurassic Park and Star Trek type, nothing better than driving down the road and people thinking the Enterprise is about to pass them by. I play my truck stereo LOUD.

adelia...that is definitely OK...I wouldn't dream of trying to change your Raspberries preference (as if I could)...I was just worried about offending anybody by saying anything negative about the Raspberries (the group, not the music). I love having these kinds of conversations, the give and take, the agreeing to disagree, etc...I love the music that I love and respect the music you love...I love what music means to each of us, even if it's different music for each of us. I also find it fascinating how we differ and I like talking about it. For example, James has always been one of my favorites here (don't get the big head, James...I have a lot of favorites)...anyway, James and I agree on a lot of things and on a lot of songs. We even agree that Boats Against The Current is our favorite EC song...we see eye to eye...we're in sync...we think alike...or so it seems. I once posted the video for Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight, which I love...James commented that he never liked that song...I was floored...how could we think alike and he not like that song??!! Well, he's posted (many, many times!...well, maybe twice) one of his favorite songs of all time...maybe even his favorite song...Natalie Merchant (Beloved Wife)...I've tried (many, many times...more than twice) to listen to it. I rarely can make it through the entire song. I'm sure the lyrics are touching but her voice really annoys me...not my cup of tea. But it doesn't bother James and me...I just find it fascinating that we can agree on so many things and hear them the same and then be complete opposites on other things. I also like a lot of Country Music and some people here hate Country. That blows my mind because most of us here like 70's Pop and a lot of today's Country sounds like 70's Pop (to me). But that's OK with me. As long as we're respectful to each other, that's all that matters. It hasn't always been like that here. I like it better now...and I like you...you sound fun with your Enterprise truck...

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Don't like "Beloved Wife"???????.......we're friends NO MORE Big D.
:)

P.S.   Kirk, I love talking Eric Carmen music, and it's obviously the heart and soul of this website.  I'm as big a fan as anybody.  But to me this website became more than just people gathering around to discuss Eric Carmen music. 

EC.Com became a group of friends, a community .  There is only so much we can write and discuss about Eric Carmen music.  Therefore, IMHO, for this community to stay tight we NEED to talk about other stuff...and talk about other stuff a lot.  Otherwise it dies here.

IMHO of course, and of course I know I'm not in sync with the heavy weights here on this one. 

P.P.S. The name Raspberries is better than say.... "The Apples", no?

:)
 

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I kinda like The Apples. Raspberries could have named an album "Jam". Truthfully, what's in a name? If it's great music, I'd buy it regardless of the band name. Recently read a great quote from a producer who stated, "The remedy for a poor production is a great song."

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adelia...that is definitely OK...I wouldn't dream of trying to change your Raspberries preference (as if I could)...I was just worried about offending anybody by saying anything negative about the Raspberries (the group, not the music). I love having these kinds of conversations, the give and take, the agreeing to disagree, etc...I love the music that I love and respect the music you love...I love what music means to each of us, even if it's different music for each of us. I also find it fascinating how we differ and I like talking about it. For example, James has always been one of my favorites here (don't get the big head, James...I have a lot of favorites)...anyway, James and I agree on a lot of things and on a lot of songs. We even agree that Boats Against The Current is our favorite EC song...we see eye to eye...we're in sync...we think alike...or so it seems. I once posted the video for Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight, which I love...James commented that he never liked that song...I was floored...how could we think alike and he not like that song??!! Well, he's posted (many, many times!...well, maybe twice) one of his favorite songs of all time...maybe even his favorite song...Natalie Merchant (Beloved Wife)...I've tried (many, many times...more than twice) to listen to it. I rarely can make it through the entire song. I'm sure the lyrics are touching but her voice really annoys me...not my cup of tea. But it doesn't bother James and me...I just find it fascinating that we can agree on so many things and hear them the same and then be complete opposites on other things. I also like a lot of Country Music and some people here hate Country. That blows my mind because most of us here like 70's Pop and a lot of today's Country sounds like 70's Pop (to me). But that's OK with me. As long as we're respectful to each other, that's all that matters. It hasn't always been like that here. I like it better now...and I like you...you sound fun with your Enterprise truck...

I learned a long long time ago that the best way to get along with people is to accept the fact that people all have their own ideas, opinions, taste etc. and those things should be accepted and respected. It is what makes us the individuals that we are. I have many tastes in music that I listen to (including country) and there are some that I'd rather have my teeth pulled without novocaine than have to listen to.

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On 2/21/2014 at 7:09 AM, James said:

P.P.S. The name Raspberries is better than say.... "The Apples", no?

No...I say "Apples" for marketing purposes. The band's slogan could be "How Do You Like Them Apples" and they could put that on t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.

They could also use "An Apple A Day"..."Apple of My Eye"..."The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree"..."One Bad Apple"...etc., for album names, promotions, etc.

Just think of all the possibilities if they had hooked up with Steve Jobs and Apple Computers...

After Apple's success, maybe a rival band would have used the name Oranges and we'd write posts comparing Apples to Oranges... ;)

OK...I'll quit now...

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On 2/21/2014 at 1:09 AM, Kirk said:
Duane, something to consider when talking about the dynamic of Raspberries- Jim, Wally, and Dave were already performing together when Eric wanted to join them.  I imagine it would be a delicate transition from 'new guy' in the band to leader of the Raspberries- even if you had the most talent within the group.  That would seem to be a recipe for trouble right from the start.

Eric has always said he preferred to play in a band...I can only imagine what the next album of Raspberries music would have sounded like after 'Starting Over'.  We know it would have had ABM on it!

People,

Eric saw something in Wally, Jim and Dave which drew him in.  The other three guys recognized something - looks (that's me talking but that guy had such style and presence), talent, drive - which made the guys want him to be in the band. 

I was under the impression Eric became the leader as a natural progression of his personality and he thought of the name "Raspberries."  Not the fruit, but as a "forget you" to the music business trend at the time.  

Would like to know about how much approximate time it took for the new guy to become leader.

Cayenne

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  • 8 years later...
On 9/6/2013 at 9:09 PM, Eric Carmen said:

Capitol Records didn't "get" that "Rasberries" is another word for the "Bronx Cheer." The logo should have been vibrating lips with a tongue sticking out, because the whole concept of the band, from it's inception was to "blow raspberries in the face of Prog Rock, which was all the rage at FM radio in 1970. I HATED what was happening to music at that time. I remember being bored out of my freakin/ mind by supposedly "heavy" groups like Jethro Tull and Traffic. The GREAT, three minute songs of The Beatles, The Who, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and all the Motown artists were suddenly replaced with long, tedious flute solos and self-indulgent noodling around by every guitarist, no matter whether they sucked or not ( and many of them DID suck ) and organ solos and all manner of horrible, pointless nonsense. 

Personally, no one thinks Keith Richards is that great a guitarist, or Pete Townsend, but Keith has managed to come up with more brilliant guitar intros than anyone in history, and Pete was a WONDER to see live! He was so riveting when Cyrus Erie opened for The Who, July 14, 1968, a date I will never forget, that, even with Roger Daltrey swinging his mic on a twenty foot cable and catching it just in time to sing, and Keith Moon playing drums like an absolute mad man, I realized I hadn't even glanced at either one of them for at least 15 minutes. He was just incredible.

I was in the studio once and Little Feat (blech) were winding up their session and my session was about to begin, and I asked Lowell George who his favorite guitarist was. He said "Keith Richards" and broke out laughing. I wanted to clock him.

I would take The Who or The Rolling Stones over ANY bunch of supposedly "heavy" prog rock goons ANYDAY!

And that's what the name REALLY meant, but Capitol got it wrong, like everything else, and put those four little fuzzy berries on the back of the album, and the sticker on the front, and our fate was sealed.

It was the BRONX CHEER DUMMIES!!!!!

Oh, and, by the way, we never got to see ANY of the artwork for the first three albums until they were in the record stores. I think we finally made such a stink about it, we got to see the "Starting Over" album cover before it was released.

We thought it looked like a "bootleg," but at least we got to choose the photographer, for once. 

We actually learned about the sticker after some girl called Dave, and told him she'd just purchased the eight track. Dave, incredulous that someone actually bought it, and we didn't even know it had been released, asked her to tell him the song titles, and she did. And finally she told him that she had heard, at the record store, that the album was going to come out a little later because, when you squeezed it, raspberry jam was going to ooze out.

He called me in a panic, and then we called Jimmy Ienner and he told us about the sticker.

e

 

On another slow news day here... a bump for a great old thread started by Dave the Lobster Lover. Analyzing the choice of "Raspberries" as a name is a favorite activity of fans. 🙂

Eric himself described the name choice, and who better to explain? 

But... if you put yourself in the shoes of (probably younger) marketing people at Capitol, it's understandable that "Raspberries" would bring fruit to mind first. Hence the consistent use of photos, stickers, smells, and marketing copy that referred to raspberry fruit. See next photo for just one memorable example....

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On 2/21/2014 at 7:09 AM, James said:

P.P.S. The name Raspberries is better than say.... "The Apples", no?

was a band called Road Apples back in the 70's  <BOSTON> actually opened for them before BOSTON became more well known

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Here is an older post that I just updated...It’s been 25 years, this past June, since Sugarbabi7 passed on and we dedicate this post to her memory and the others that were pivotal in making EC.com the pantheon of musical website forums...And now , we place a permanent seat at the Roundtable to Lisa(Beatle Jay’s wife) who was a vibrant member of our community, who passed away a few months ago...

 

I PRESENT TO YOU....................A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION IN HEAVEN...................

 

 

Recently, there was a round table discussion in heaven, orchestrated/moderated by four of our dearly departed posters...Sugarbabi7, Don Krider, wickedgail and Lisa...They gathered some of the top minds in the afterlife to give their reasons why Raspberries were not bigger than they actually  were...

 

Here is a transcript of the proceedings:

 

 

 

SUGARBABI7-First, I would like to thank you all for coming...Albert Einstein(genius),  Johnny Cochran(lawyer), Ludwig Von Beethoven(musician),  Isaac Newton(scientist) and Robert Merton(sociologist)

..I am seated with three of my fellow esteemed posters, critic Don Krider, Raspberries/John Waite fan wickedgail and our newest member, Lisa....I have asked you all to prepare your reasons as to one of earth's greatest mysteries...Why were Raspberries not bigger than they actually were...

Albert...you are up first...

 

AE-Thank you SB7...I have given the matter some serious thought and it just re-inforces my theory of   E=MC2...Eric = mis-calculations( twice.)..It seems, that Eric cultivated a wonderful combination of musical ideology with his unique combination of British Invasion and Beach Boy stylings but it was a gross miscalculation...With all things being relative, and I am big on relativity theories, the time was past for that type of musical fodder...and when he finally had his solo opportunities, he miscalculated tastes again...His first two singles, although superb, All By Myself and Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, were another gross miscalculation on the current trends of the time...He, unfortunately, pigeonholed himself musically into an unappreciative musical genre and no matter how he tried to revamp to a harder edged style, in both cases, initial impressions are too difficult to overcome...

 

SB7-How do you feel about this Johnny Cochrane?

 

JOHNNY COCHRANE-I agree with Al...Your first impression is what sticks...Look, the defense had everything on OJ but a video of him committing the murder, but the jurors saw a football player and not a murderer...Eric...I'll tell you the same thing.that I told the court and I paraphrase..."If you have a hit, you must stick with the same shit"...But to be fair, I never even heard this dudes music...Can I hear something by him...Ludwig, bang out a little EC music...LUDWIG...LUDWIG!!!...

 

SB7-He's deaf, remember...

 

JC-Ok,,,Let me see a lyric sheet to one of his songs...I WANNA HEAR IT FROM YOUR LIPS...

I axe you...What kind of jive is this?...He needed to change the words to a more contemporary meaning if he wanted street cred...Something like this...

 

"I'm doin 5 to 10...

For takin out some creep...

Doin time, for a crime and I'm proud

That I listened to my peep...

 

You see,someone robbed my cell phone...

From my gin, I took two sips,

Then I shot that( n-word) through the lips...

 

 SB7-Any comments? Isaac Newton?

 

ISAAC NEWTON-While I find that very entertaining JC, I dont think that's it...It was the whole RASPBERRIES thing itself...The name was all wrong...It should have been The APPLES...APPLES APPLES APPLES...Would I have discovered gravity if a raspberry had fallen from a tree?...NO...It had to be an apple...I wouldnt even had seen a raspberry if it fell...Would Johnny have had the same impact on history if he was Johnny Raspberry instead of Johnny Appleseed?...The Beatles recorded on APPLE records... An apple a day keeps the doctor away...Could you imagine saying to someone..."You're the raspberry of my eye"..And how about that poor bastard?...Would he have survived if William Tell shot a raspberry off his head? ...Just to reinforce my point, why doesnt someone go get Adam...He's in room 222 and ask him if he would have listened to Eve when she flashed some cleavage and said "Try a raspberry...They are delicious"...I could go on and on people...Do they roast a pig with a raspberry in his mouth?...

 

ROBERT MERTON- If I can interject something...Gentlemen and ladies, in 1948, I wrote about a theory I had which is the self-fulfilling prophecy...Raspberries/Eric Carmen were doomed in a self-induced sabatoge state with their song titles alone..."Going Nowhere Tonite, Boats Against The Current, Foolin Myself, etc...They needed some uplifting themes and messages...Why  couldnt they come up with some positive re-inforcement titles like, "Ecstacy" or aggressive assertiveness like "Tonight You're Mine"...Titles like that would have given them a strong positive approach...

 

SB7-They did Mr. Merton...And that's what's confounding...Well, that about wraps it up here...As you can see, we dont have any answers, either...So we turn this discussion back to EC.com and see if you guys have any theories...

 

LEW BUNDLES...Bye Gail, Don and Cherie and Lisa...We miss you guys...

 

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/26/2012 at 12:14 AM, Sid said:

I see a pattern here. The worst name for a great group, in my opinion, was Cyrus Erie. In fact Erie is a horrible name for your lake, it should be changed to Lake Ohio.

I live in Cleveland and believe me that is the perfect name for our Lake. All you need to do is look at it in the early winter when the waves are crashing onto I 90 as you are driving along the highway while the road is freezing instantly.  Also it looks very "Erie" when it's frozen over with the snow squalls blowing all over. Eric had a birds eye view from his apartment in Watergate Towers, of Lake Erie. He might agree with the name. I lived there also but in the east building, overlooking the parking lot, but we were on the same floor.

 

 

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