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From Kay Bryson's Facebook Page


Eric Carmen

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Wally's gets into the  time warp machine and hears, "Wally, Wahhhlyy!! When Wally gets out of the time warp machine, he sees his earlier self. With the double guitar, and the V-Guitar. Confidant, struttiin' and striding again. He says," That was me?"The earlier self looks at Wally and says, "I have a concert to play. Time to go" 

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I had the great fortune to be at one of the Raspberries reunion shows. I was excited because I had bought the "meet and greet" ticket.

I stood patiently in line for over 20 minutes while the staff attempted to find Wally while Eric, Jim and Dave tried to keep smiling for the fans after a grueling non-stop fantastic show. When they finally got Wally back into the lobby for the meet and greet, he was angry because he didn't want to be there.

His disappearance caused the entire meet and greet to be rushed by the staff because it was late and they wanted everyone out of the theater.

Talk about a team player.  Later that week, Kay Bryson complained about the "damn meet and greet" on her website. I'll never forget it.

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Have you ever met someone who always thinks they're being slighted, or disrespected? Someone who always thinks he's getting the short end of the stick, and that life has conspired against him, and dealt him a bad hand?

In my experience, people who feel and think this way inevitably walk around with a chip on their shoulder. They're suspicious of everyone else's motives, and actions, and, as such, bring an oppressively negative attitude with them, wherever they go. In that way, they become a self-fulfilling prophesy, which serves to reinforce their view that everybody is out to get them. Positive people attract positive energy. Negative people attract ( and THRIVE ON ) negative energy.

When the "House of Blues's" booking agent for the Cleveland club, contacted Jim and asked about a Raspberries reunion, Jim called me afterwards and asked "What should I say to Wally?" I answered, "Just tell him to play his guitar and have fun."

What other possible reason could there be for committing to such an undertaking?  Four guys who hadn't been in the same room together for 32 years, getting back together and having an opportunity, maybe the ONLY opportunity, EVER, to forget the past, shake hands and be friends, and walk out onstage and blow away an audience that loves us, while having a ball doing it!

Unfortunately, for some, their baggage will always get in the way, as it did in 1974, and again in 2004-2005. When I first met Wally, he was already a "rock star." I was just a "wannabe." I imagine it must have been hard for him when "the new guy" started writing all the hits. And it must have been an especially bitter pill to swallow when my first solo record became a smash hit. 

I remember Wally and his whole band coming to one of my shows at The Roxy in L.A., in 1976, and apparently, Wally was heckling me from the audience. I was unaware of it, but I was later told that people all around him told him to "shut up or get out."

Wally ( with a little help from Jeff Sutton, Raspberries' sideman ) wrote a song that was recorded by their band, "Tatoo." Here are the lyrics:

__________

Yer Stale    
W. Bryson/J. Hutton
 
Yer sox are up and yer pants are tight
Yer hair's fluffed up and you look all right
Yer ten is hung and yer song is sung
Yer curl is shot and fresh you're not
 
Yer moves are all gone
Yer close friends are all pawns
Brother yer day has just dawned
Lord how you make me yawn, yawn 
 
__________
 
About the same time, I wrote this:
 
We was young
And still believed in " A Hard Day's Night"
But no one seemed to understand
And there was no relief in sight
The comp'ny man
He's got his nose glued to the charts
He says the record's doin' fine,
But now the group is fallin' apart
 
I hope there's no hard feelings 
'Cause there isn't any one to blame
I hope there's no hard feelings
'Cause nothin' ever stays the same
While we was locked in image prison
Waitin' for that break
We was raped, re-shaped, just tryin' to escape
Caught in a rock 'n roll time warp
Tryin' to find a way to get out
 
Four years on
And things were really getting too intense
Critics ravin 'bout our album
But we're makin' fifty cents
And in the end
We were facin' the hard, cold truth
So tomorrow, come what may
Looks like it's Ricky and the Tooth
 
Chorus
 
We gave it everything we had to give
But it was getting so tough
Too much frustration makes it hard to live
I think enough is enough
I said enough is enough.....
 
I hope there's no hard feelings 
'Cause there isn't any one to blame
I hope there's no hard feelings
'Cause nothin' ever stays the same
While we was locked in image prison
Waitin' for that break 
We was raped, re-shaped, just tryin' to escape
Caught in a rock 'n roll time warp
Tryin' to find a way to get out
 
Caught in a rock n' roll time warp
Tryin' to find a way to get out
 
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
 
Let me out....
 
Eric Carmen/1975
 
__________
 
I love the guy, but he's always been his own worst enemy.
 
Danny Klawon once said to me ( in 1969 ) and I quote:
 
"Wally's a great guy, as long as you don't have to play in a band with him."
 
And that's the truth.
 
I watched the video of "Live On Sunset Strip" a couple days ago, and it just made me so sad. All I could think about was how incredibly talented Wally is, and how he was the perfect guitarist for me, and how effortless he made incredibly complicated guitar parts look, when he played them, and how much fun it was to work with a guitarist who could realize my "piano chords" on his guitar, and how awesome it was to hear "Tonight" and "Go All The Way" come together, the way I heard them in my head, and then to see and feel the disconnect and discord and bitterness on that stage.
 
Believe me when I tell you, Jim and I have had this conversation a THOUSAND TIMES, and it breaks both of our hearts.
 
To see and hear what "could have been" and realize it will never be, is very difficult for both of us.
 
If only Wally had been a "team player," we could have accomplished so much. 
 
Honestly, it kills me.
 
e
 
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That's why I continue to thank the Rock and Roll Gods for somehow managing to align the planets in a way that allowed all of us who were lucky enough to be there to see you boys back in action—even for the brief time that you were.

As the lights went down at your first reunion show, I leaned over to my book-writing buddy (and mega-fan) Ken Sharp and said, "Ken. We're at a Raspberries concert!"

The look on his face most certainly matched the one on mine.

Bernie

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E,

"Yer Stale" sounds like something a child would write. 

We know it's sad and Wally is surely a good man, but he has some serious issues to deal with, negativity being one of them.  Seems like you still have such a great hold on him, and he needs to work out and make peace with those issues if nothing else.  When the highs of life are really high and special, the lows tend to be so much worse. 

Hugs,

M.E.

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Eric, I think you completely captured Wally's issue- resentment. Resentment that you carried the band by writing the hits, the successful solo career, his lack of success post-Raspberries, etc... It's understandable to act that way when you are in your late teens early twenties, but after 30 years have passed, it becomes sad (especially from a friendship standpoint). His playing on the Raspberries' albums is truly amazing, always tasteful,melodic, and always perfect for the song. Is it possible that you subconsciously had Wally on your mind for some of the "Boats" lyrics? "I know it's over, you know it's over... perfection is consuming, we're only human..."

I'm sure I'm way off! Anyhow, hopefully things will change among the band, and you guys can celebrate your past accomplishments.

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Mr. Carmen,

It is so wonderful that you stepped back just a bit from this.  I can see great compassion and sorrow rather than sheer frustration and railing against the unfairness of the circumstances.  Sounds like the negative part of Mr. Bryson has been living rent-free in your mind for awhile now, glad to see you are heading toward evicting the negative out permanently and keeping the best of him instead.

You have pretty good intuitive skills past the primal emotional urges we all can feel from stuff like this. It is heartening to read from your post the direction you are taking this in for yourself, bravo, Mr. Carmen, bravo.  (Gosh, man, I don't know you, but this kinda  makes me wanna cry, I'm feelin' for you.)

AnneNR :)

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I have never understood why some people do not or can not celebrate the happiness and success of others. Happiness is so easier or at least must more pleasant.

I have friends, acquaintance's  plus siblings and children who have different talents and gifts that I do not have. But I  LOVE their successes ! They are wonderful! It does not take away from me that they are smarter, prettier, more talented .

Poor Kay.... life is so short . Why carry bitterness and envy ? Sing with me... "Let it Go, ......Let it Go..."

postscript :

Dear EC,

I am  impressed.  For all the many times that this subject has come up, you have always taken the High Rode. I'm sure it would have been easy  to let other stories  out, you did not " Go there". It shows you were raised better than that, I am pleased to have met you. You sir,  are a Gentleman.

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  • Raspbernie unlocked this topic
  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...
On 4/19/2014 at 2:24 PM, Eric Carmen said:

"Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you DESERVE better and go EARN it!"

—Steve Maraboli
 
Quote Of The Day
 
Love this quote! There are so many "whiner" individuals I'd love to drop it on! It's sad vis-a-vis with the Raspberries that so much time was lost when if that same negative energy had been reversed, and, instead, applied to writing even more great music!

 

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It's the same #1 cancer that is murdering the United States, and has mutated so far down, and been adopted by over half our leadership, that it will finish us off short of a miracle. It is a disease, and Kay Bryson was (is?) a carrier.

Truth is Eric was the giver in that band, the others were beneficiaries. He wrote songs to their skills, he gave up album space to allow some of their weaker songs a place, and there's more he did for them.

Just true, imho.

It wouldn't have to be said if he hadn't been attacked unfairly too often.

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James, I agree with most of what you said. I don't know anything about Kay Bryson but those four band members experienced a lot together and they know more than anybody what happened on the road, rehearsals, hotel rooms performances, recording, dealing with record executives etc.etc. It is their story to tell or not tell. Some other points:

The other three had to work hard to fit into Eric's plan for the band and the songs. We have to give them credit for that and they sounded so good together. Wally's harmonies with Eric were almost like sibling harmonies. And songs like I Can Remember,  Wally is playing Note for Note, the Keys  Eric is playing on the piano. If you play piano and guitar you know how difficult this process can be translating from piano to guitar. That they even stayed together as long as they did and turned out those songs.. this is no small miracle. And also the reunions,  the same thing. There is no denying that Eric is the one that stands out, he's the talented genius one but he had to give some of that up to make it work with the rest of the band and they had to work hard to be to the standard that Eric expected. We see that in Eric's demos alone, he could have made it just with his voice and piano.  He didn't  need anything or anybody backing him up. But in his quest to be part of a band he had to learn to give up some of his individual standards and work together with others who are on totally different musical standards than him.  So I'm thinking they all benefited. I really appreciated reading Eric's comments here also. I'm sure this topic has been discussed to death but this is the opinion I've always held long before I read anything on this site.

James,  I certainly agree with you that Eric gets attacked unfairly so often. He has the right to give his side of the story and his opinion. Thanks for reviving this thread.

Rhonda B.

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I love Don Felder as a guitar player. But he is a case in point. He joined the Eagles formally between their 3rd album "On the Border and their 4th album "One of these Nights", or about at that point.

The Eagles already had made it, they had already created a brand via their 1st album (with Take it Easty, Witch Woman, Peaceful Easy Feeling....and deep cuts that were even better ). Their 2nd album was a genius concept album called Desperado ( with Tequila Sunrse, Desperado and again with deep cuts even better, much better ). They had made it, they´d make it at a much higher level, but the hardest part of the work was done. The house was built.

They had made it via mostly GREAT song writing and great harmonies and strong leadership from Glen Frey and Don Henley. Don Felder was adept at none of those things, he was the perfect guitar player for the band, but that was it.

So he was invited and entered the band after the band had made it. And the band gave him EQUAL legal ownership and all the massive financial rewards that entailed. Think about that!! Not even taking into account the exposure as a musician he would receve that would provide a foundation for anything he did post Eagles.

That was a gift to him that fell down from the sky. A gift....better than winning the lottery!!

But in the end his take, and what he put out to the world....was that he was a victim of Frey and Henley. Frey and Henley had given him the world, and Felder chose to sully their names.

In a healthy and intelligent culture, he´d have been laughed off the planet for trying to play victim. But in our culture nary a peep of criticism.

And things have devolved since then on a societal level, a lot.

Felder´s case is more extreme, but I see Kay Bryson and her husband in a similar boat. Instead of thanking the stars for their fortune in being in the same band as Eric Carmen, and necessarily being carried by his genius talent, and all the financial etc. rewards that would come with that, they complain and attack. It´s actually Eric who sings the praises of Wally, stating how Wally was his hero and how he felt so honored to have Wally playing guitar in his band etc. When Eric criticizes Wally it is only to set the record straight and defend himself.

But like too often in our world, it´s those that do, that build, that create, - and thus serve the rest of us - who get bludgeoned by lies and cheap shots, while those who are carried do the lying and cheap shotting.

My opinion.

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And a very good opinion James. I go to the ends of the Earth to defend my Eric.( and he doesn't really need any help in that department, he's totally got that covered LOL).  His talent and genius alone speaks for itself without any words. That's why I kept Kay  Bryson out of my post. 😊

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This thread isn't one of the bulletin board's finest moments, in my humble opinion. I understand that reading the old posts here can "reopeni wounds," but there's been a long truce since this thread boiled over eight years ago. 

I love Eric, and I love Wally, and I love all the other Raspberries. But they were just a band making music, and of course there was going to be friction What music group ever had complete harmony? Musicians are like any artist—they have their styles and preferences and their pride. Unless there's one dictatorial leader who "hires" his players, conflicts will arise.

I'm just happy Raspberries put aside their differences long enough to play more than a dozen shows over a few years. Whether you saw them in person or on YouTube, those shows reminded us why we loved 'em and why they were good for each other... even if their collaborative years were far too few.  

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I hate when these old posts pop back up to the top again. People and their opinions often change over the years, so there’s no use fighting or taking sides over something that was said eight years ago.

Kay Bryson is someone I consider a dear friend. We text each other every few months, mostly about our grandchildren and children, with the occasional talk of Wallys health, but we NEVER talk about Raspberries. that being said, she is fiercely loyal to her husband, something I admire greatly in her. I never had that. 

Eric Carmen is the reason I became a piano player. I’ve always said he made playing piano “cool” when everybody else wanted to be a guitar player. He is one of only four musicians (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Brian Wilson being the others) that I would consider an idol of mine. I’ve been fortunate enough to exchange messages with him over the years, and I think the world of him. 
 

It saddens me that Eric and Wally could not get along longer than they did because I feel we’ve been robbed of dozens of great songs they could’ve written together or at least played on together, BUT, I get it. I am not gonna bore anyone with stories of bands that I’ve been in over the years but just let me say it’s very easy to join a band, but to sustain it is very very difficult. You go through so much together that you’re bound to have battles. I’ve been in bands where I literally wanted to murder other musicians because of their actions, So I clearly understand the rift EC and WB have. If you think marriage is hard, try being in a band with someone, I honestly believe it’s 10 times harder and you’re usually having to put that effort in with three or four other people rather than just one. 
 

i’ve been lucky enough to see Eric and Wally play together in two different versions of raspberries, as well as being solo artists, and I treasure every opportunity I’ve ever had to see either of them play live. I would love to be able to see it again, but I highly doubt I’ll ever get that chance. 

I don’t want to know how the hotdog is made, I just know it tastes good when I get to eat it. So let’s not fight about how the music got made, but let’s just enjoy the music.
 

 

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Nice post, Pat. But I do think your food analogy deserved something better than... a hot dog! LOL 

I especially love that between our two posts, mine is (for once) shorter! 

Finally, let me as you this: Would you rather be in a band... or married?  

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14 minutes ago, LC said:

Nice post, Pat. But I do think your food analogy deserved something better than... a hot dog! LOL 

I especially love that between our two posts, mine is (for once) shorter! 

Finally, let me as you this: Would you rather be in a band... or married?  

Haha I only used hot dog because that’s the thing people always say you don’t want to know what’s in it. 
 

Regarding band or married? I’ve divorced myself from both! Turns out I was always meant to be a soloist in music and in life!

As one of my favorite writers once said, “I’d rather do it myself” lol

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