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Remembering Your First Time...

susie b

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Do you remember your first time? Share your first concert experience with either the Raspberries or EC.

I realized that this week was my 40th anniversary of seeing the Raspberries live. I was eleven years old when I was fortunate enough to see the Raspberries play at a small Pennsylvania state college way back in 1974.

One of my mother's students took me as a favor to Mom in exchange for tutoring on Tender Is the Night & Gatsby. The student & her roommate made up my face, hoping to make me look older.  I was already 5' 9" or 5' 10", so it wasn't implausible.  The girls dressed me in a cute 70's belly shirt with my jeans & hoped I could pass for college age.

I remember just standing there being fascinated by what EC was doing on his guitar.  My eleven year old brain didn't quite get the concept of rhythm guitar.  The drums, bass & lead guitar were easy to comprehend, but it was the way that EC was driving the songs that just captivated me.  I was mesmerized.  I wanted to know more!

I was always the weird kid who was dissecting songs in my brain, always trying to figure out what made each sound or note.  I think I drove both my family & friends crazy.  I would play songs over & over & over again until I "got" it.  The Shoop Shoop Song drove me crazy until years later I discovered that they had used phone books as percussion instruments.

A few days after the concert, I had my violin lesson at school. When I arrived, I was told that my elderly instructor was out due to illness, and the new high school band teacher would be his substitute. 

He was probably about the same age as EC. 

I told Mr. H that I had been to the show, and I asked him to explain EC's guitar role to me. He asked me to be patient for a few minutes and left the room. When he returned, Mr. H had a Raspberries 8 track & a guitar in hand. We cancelled the violin lesson and had Music Appreciation-Rhythm Guitar 101. It turned out that Mr. H was also a Raspberries fan & had attended the show.

So forty years later, where am I?  ....I'm posting on EC.com.

Thank you EC for sharing your great gift......and thanks to Mr. H for taking the time to explain such a gift to a dumb eleven year old kid.

Both of you are amazing!


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Reunion Concert...

Flew to Chicago. for JUST an "Overnight Sensation"...

It changed my life...

I had given myself permission to indulge myself for the FIRST TIME EVER!!!

Bernie's Raspberries Collage Video comes on...

Video  ends with Young Raspberries playing..."I Wanna Be with You"...

With perfect timing...curtain goes  up and the "Live" Raspberries continue this little rock ditty..

I had tears and the chills!

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I was smiling ear to ear like ALL of the other lovely ladies...

I was the really tall one  ;)

I went with my old housemate, Jim, who's also a talented musician & EC fan. When we shared a house, we had a framed poster of EC on the wall near Jim's piano.

It was an incredible & unforgettable show!

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Great thread, Susie B. I love your anecdote about the rhythm guitar — often an under-appreciated component in mixes and performances. 

I missed out on live 'berries back in the day — I was just a bit too young (as you were, in theory) to go to a rock show. I also missed out on Eric's first solo tour for the same reason and also because my family had moved to a different state that year. Concerts just weren't on my radar yet. A couple years later, as a college freshman, I went to my first rock show (ELO, which was great), and was anxious to hit some more, which I did. I think I saw Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Chicago, Beatlemania, John Stewart, and a few others all in rapid succession. But... my roommate told me that he had seen Eric Carmen open for Hall & Oates (or was it America?) the year before. I was a little too late to that party.

I don't think Eric did much touring after that, so I was always bummed that I missed out on both Raspberries and the Boats-era EC. In the late 1980s, I did see Eric's (short) set at two Dirty Dancing shows: "Hungry Eyes," "Make Me Lose Control," "Go All the Way," "All By Myself," and "Almost Paradise." Of course, a full-length show would have been better.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later, and voila! Raspberries at the Highline in NYC. It was a major thrill to drive down from New England in anticipation of a concert I'd been wanting to see since I was old enough to dig music. Everything about it stands out — arriving at the Highline, finding parking, meeting all kinds of friends whose posts I'd been reading on the board here (including but not limited to Bernie, Marlene, Diane, Don H., Ira, Marvin, Darlene, Tommy Tunes, Lew Bundles, and many others), saying hello to Eric before the show, and meeting the rest of the 'berries and the Overdubs at the Meet and Greet. The soundcheck added to the thrill, especially when I heard the ballad version of "Go All the Way." And the show — a total blast, from "Tonight" to "Let's Pretend" to "Ecstacy" to "If You Change Your Mind" to "Overnight Sensation" and all the others. I believe it was the first time Raspberries played "All By Myself" live; that was an unforgettable performance. It was one of those shows that you hoped would carry on into the wee hours of the morning. As it was, we got around 2.5 hours of music that not only was the ultimate nostalgia blitz (for me), but that stood the test of time. That was one tight band, and the music sounded as fresh as it did the first time I heard it. The playing was tight and clean but also rousing with just the right amount of rock'n'roll raunch. I'll never forget it. Along with the Paul McCartney shows I've seen, it's my favorite night of live music ever. 

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I saw The Beatles when my mom brought me to see them and I was a young girl in 1964, so I became a young rock 'n roller.

My brothers were both musicians with friends at Ohio and Kent St. It wasn't unusual for me to go with my brother Layton to visit his friends in the late 60s and 70s. At the time there was a little emerging band with an amazing singer and guitar player - their names were Eric and Wally. The McBride brothers Bob and Mike were also part of the 4-some. I fell in love for life with the musically brilliant young man I met - my Muse, E. He would later form the Raspberries. I actually did see the greatest band that ever was and have a signed album by all 4 boys I can post later. I have all 4 albums and am in the FB vinyl addiction club. :)

Friend and manager of the band and Cyrus Erie Club owner Don Ladanyi would later become a good friend to me. Don still lives in Ohio and called me just a couple of weeks ago to chat. A few months ago, Don emailed me to start up a little CE band club online. We are a small but mighty gang - including my friends Kelly and Shane McBride, Bob and Mike's kids. Don and I are trusted friends and we both always have E.'s best interests at heart.

Mary Ellen

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November 26, 2004 at the House of Blues in Cleveland was my first Raspberries concert.... I remember it like it was yesterday! I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to go to quite a few of the reunion shows after that, but none (ok, maybe Chicago, or BB Kings) could ever compare to the electricity in the air that first night. Ask anyone who was there and they'll tell you...it was magical. I (like lots of us) had given up hope that I'd ever see the band live. From the opening video montage to the last note, I was mesmerized.

Thanks to Raspberries and the Overdubs, Bernie, and all of my incredible friends from this site, that night is hands DOWN one of my favorite memories! 

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GREAT posts y'all !

Wish I had a story to add, but alas I could only be a 'Berries/Ec' fan from afar.


I remember Raspberries were to play at an arena in Baltimore (Md) I was just wild with excitement and anticipation! Being i was only 12 or 13 years old at the time, my Mom put her foot down firmly and said "no way"! I tried everything under the sun to change her mind and allow us to go. Nothing worked, I still remember being dejected and depressed for weeks. Turns out, Mom knew best! The big, bad city was no place for two small-town kids on their own. I think the arena was in a particularly 'questionable' area, too.

My sincere apology to those of you that had to endure this story yet one more time!!

redd :)

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I recall not seeing the Raspberries for the first time, rather The Cyrus Erie. It was at the Chesterland Hullabaloo....Before they took the stage, their equipment was impressive, and at that age, these guys had professional gear! Impressive.

When the music began, they were dead on the songs....Can you imagine Nights In White Satin being played on a Farfisa(I think) and sounding exactly like the song?? The Who(pre-Tommy) were my favorites....Substitute was exact...as well as Tatoo...We later found out Townshend personally showed Wally how to play these. Michael McBride was a powehouse drummer...also popped out front to do Mick Jagger songs while Eric manned the skins.....Bob McBride silently buoyed the group with solid bass.... Early on, Marty Murphy was also on guitar...they did songs like "Come On Up" by The Young Rascals.....I recall "Love Is Blue", by Paul Mauriet.....Left Banke songs off the first album...."Positively 4th St." song by Wally....."Rollin Over" by The Small Faces as well as a kick ass version of Tin Soldier, My Way of Giving, I'm Only Dreaming.....Open My Eyes by The Nazz....

  You had to be there, gang! Nothing like this group had ever hit the stage before in Cleveland....even eclipsing The Choir.....these guys had the equipment, the songs, the stage clothes....they were stars!  Back then every group wore stage clothes....something that isn't done as much nowadays. I saw them at the Hulabaloo's, CYO dances,Clevelands rock & roll bars.....I visited Marty many times at his job at Gateway Drug Store in Lyndhurst while attending John Carroll University...we chatted for hours about the group, equipment,Cleveland music, and music worldwide.

  It was not unusual to be at Record Rendezvous browsing the latest 45's and to look up and see Eric & Marty standing alongside you.....or to be shopping at Richman Bros and see Eric searching for new stage clothes. The music community was tight and we all lived within the same culture. Guitars, songs, girls, and gigs were all that mattered. 

  Great memories of the day...sorry I went on longer than I should have.......

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In the summer of 1970 I got home from an evening out and there was a message for me from my friend. He was frantic. He said "You HAVE to get up to the Hullabaloo Club (in Erie, PA) and see/hear what I'm hearing!" Another friend drove me up and as we walked in the door, I was hit with the opening chords of "No Matter What". This instantly had my interest .... Got up towards the stage and was in awe ... the visual was perfect rock n roll. And THEN "I've Got A Feeling". Oh boy, I'm hooked ... who the hell are these guys? And then "Gimme Shelter" and "Brown Sugar", followed by a perfect rendition of "Let It Be". Been a fan ever since. You could have shot a cannon off and not hit anybody as there was hardly anyone there. That lasted one night only. When they came back about a month later, it was standing room only as the word had spread. Dave was now in the band and they wore matching Raspberry colored suits. Trust me, it was WAY cool. Never missed a local performance after that. Very inspirational. Went out and bought a Marshall half stack and Gibson Flying V a month later. I saw them only once with the Starting Over lineup and it seemed like things were coming to an end ....


Once the internet happened, I searched forever and finally found this website and Michelle Cervoni's Berries site. I was one of the lucky ones who saw the initial reunion show in Nov 2004 and the final public show in Dec 2007. I really can't describe the feeling, but I know that the hair was standing on my arms both times, and there were lots of tears in my eyes throughout both evenings. The look of excitement on my wife's face at seeing the Berries for the first time after hearing me go on and on about them for 20 years was priceless. An experience I will always treasure and never forget. Thank you Eric, Wally, Dave, Jim, Scott and Mike. Oh yeah, and John Aleksic too. Can't leave him out. He was the one singing "No Matter What" if I remember correctly.


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