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Request for A Raspberries Encore!


Les R.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a quote from Eric on 04/08/14:

The Raspberries didn't work the first time, or during the reunion tour, because, contrary to what Kay would have you believe, Wally is a very angry and bitter man. Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate my point. During the last "reunion" shows, we had a terrific and talented sax player, named Paul Christianson with us. We had never had the benefit of a sax player onstage, since the earliest days of Raspberries, so it was a treat to have Paul onboard. In the absence of a sax player, Wally played the "sax solo" that Michael Brecker played on "Overnight Sensation" on guitar, but since we now actually HAD a sax player, during rehearsals, I suggested that Wally should let Paul take the sax solo, and then come in on top of it, the way he did on the record. Wally's reaction to that suggestion was one of "You're taking something away from me!", rather than "OK, we've got a sax player, let's make use of him, and make it sound "just like the record." During rehearsals, Wally "layed out" of the sax solo, but when we played our last show, a private party at the Rock Hall, the night before the induction ceremony, in 2009, he played right over Paul. I had my "earbuds" in and couldn't believe what I was hearing, at the time. When I got home that night, it just so happened that someone with a camera phone, standing just to the side of Wally's side of the stage had recorded it, AND put the recording on YouTube! I don't know if the video is still there, but in it, you can hear Wally blasting his guitar over the sax solo, and you can also see me, at the keyboard, on the opposite side of the stage, whipping my head around in disbelief! That is precisely why Raspberries failed, and why there will never be another reunion. Because Wally never was, and cannot be, a "team player." It didn't matter what was right for the song. It only mattered  that the spotlight would have been on Paul for the 15 seconds that the solo took, and not Wally. Being in a band is about recognizing your "role" in the band, and doing that, to the best of your ability, not about who is the center of  attention for 15 seconds.

Eric's post is merely the tip of the iceberg. One of many posts on the topic.

These problems are much deeper than disagreements over which songs to play.

A history of physical violence is not something that can easliy be ignored.

A Leopard does not change its spots.

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I could write a thousand pages on this subject, but, sadly, the post above pretty much explains all there is to know. If, by some fluke, The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ever sees fit to deem us "worthy,"( which is unlikely, for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that Jann Wenner doesn't believe that any group that wasn't from the East Coast or the West Coast is of any importance, from what I have been told). The Midwest doesn't exist and nothing that came from there could have any relevance. 

Rock, like everything else, is political, and I'm afraid the band never achieved the "stature" that would cause us to be nominated, let alone elected. And, because of "All By Myself", and Clive's refusal to support anything "rock" after that record, I will be dismissed as a "balladeer." 

Hell, The Moody Blues, who made one of the most magnificent, cutting edge, albums of the sixties ( "Days Of Future Past" ) aren't in the Rock Hall, but one hit wonders like Percy Sledge are. Personally, I would argue that "Nights In White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon" were more influential than "When A Man Loves A Woman," but I would also argue that "Warmth Of The Sun" was more important than anything Madonna ever did, or will do. So, it really doesn't matter whether we end up in the Rock Hall or not.

I remember being absolutely shocked a few years ago when The Ronettes were finally inducted. THE FUCKING RONETTES WEREN'T INDUCTED BEFORE.....( I can't even begin to list the acts that shouldn't have been there, before The Ronettes ). 

All that means is one of those acts that WAS inducted had a better advocate than The Ronettes had. That's how it works. Life isn't fair. Get over it, or, as Taylor Swift says..."Shake It Off!"

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P.S.

Van Gogh sold TWO paintings before his death. Go figure.

I've had some "great moments" in my career. One of them came at a BMI awards dinner, when this great big guy with a short beard came up to me and said "Boats Against The Current. That's a hell of a GREAT SONG!" 

I thanked him, and asked his name, and he said "Steve Cropper."

And I said "Steve..."Dock Of The Bay"...Cropper?" and he nodded "yes." Those are the moments that make it all worthwhile. I had a "Sir George Martin Moment" like that one, as well.

The recognition by my peers, the writers and artists I ADMIRED, has always been more important than the "official recognition" of The Rock Hall. Bruce Springsteen's approval trumps most others. Same for all the artists that wrote lovely things for the liner notes of "The Essential."\

A little statue is always nice, but I'd rather have the approval of someone I really admire. 

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If not The Raspberries, I'd think that at least Eric Carmen would warrant induction. 10 studio albums with 80 (off top of my head) penned songs.  More importantly virtually every one of those songs being good-great. 

That's not just a statement of my opinion as a fan... that's a statement that is just true. You can listen to all 10 albums and realize the Eric Carmen songs are wall-to-wall premium stuff, or better. You can say that about very few song-writers.  And to boot Eric Carmen was/is a great singer and piano player. 

One of the best song-writers of the rock era, leading a group that many say was the George Washington of power-pop...

Case closed.  

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Speaking about little statues, how exactly does one get nominated into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame? They've been around since 1969 and this year they're just getting around to nominate John Mellencamp, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Cat Stevens, Cyndi Lauper, Donovan and Ray Davies—and only TWO of them will get in. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry got in... LAST year!!! They finally let Lennon and McCartney in, too. In 1987! What?!? Guess they were waiting to see if the duo had "lasting appeal."

Anyway, you'd figure Eric would be in on the merits of "All By Myself" alone, but add "Almost Paradise," "Make Me Lose Control" and "Go All The Way" (ALL Top 5 Hits) to the list and it seems pretty conclusive that he should be there. They seem to have a softer spot for songwriters who didn't perform, but plenty of worthy talents are already there in that category.

Still I have to wonder, why hasn't Eric been nominated for this accolade?

Bernie

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I only knew the song "The Dock Of The Bay" performed by Engelbert Humperdinck. I have found that this is the same song by  Steve Cropper that Eric mentioned. The song has very sad history of creation. It was recorded by one of its co-writers Otis Redding days before his death on December 10, 1967 in a plane crash.
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Who cares what an irrelevant cabal associated with the HOF decides, anyways? I guarantee few music fans care or even know who is or isn't in the HOF. Halls of Fame are always political unless there is some objective criteria used. Grudges and intrigue rule. "Official" committees of the current time do not truly decide who created or did something of lasting importance or value.

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Most of us can agree there is nothing fair or even logical about the HOF. My favorite band, the Ramones are in it though most people had never heard their music because it was never played on the radio. They made it in because Seymour Stein of Sire Records has clout with the HOF, nothing else. Also, they are an East Coast band. They busted their asses touring for decades and never gave up though it was apparent they weren't going to hit it rich. In fact, life on the road, internal strife, and fast food every day took a toll on them. I'm proud of them and grateful for the recognition though posthumous but that little statute belongs to Mr. Stein.

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Hard to believe the Moody Blues aren't in. "Nights in White Satin" is, in my opinion, every bit as era defining as "Stairway to Heaven."

I'll admit I can probably count on both hands the number of acts that I'm absolutely certain are in the Hall of Fame. Others would be guesses — and, given what I'm learning here, those guesses would probably be wrong.

And to think my ambition in college was to write for Jann Wenner and "Rolling Stone" ...

Thank you for answering, Eric. 

Cheryl

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I would think that perhaps both the Raspberries and Eric Carmen would merit nomination or induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I would wonder how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would decide to include the artists; either as a band or a solo act.  I wouldn't think that the Raspberries would be overlooked as a rock band or that Eric Carmen would be perceived as a balladeer.

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