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Blender magazine, July 2006


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I appreciate your sentiments Trindy, (and Wally's too, for that matter) but "writing" and "playing" are not the same. Davey Johnstone played a very similar lick on the beginning of "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" but he doesn't get a writing credit for it.

ec

Which points out something that I've always thought was a bone of contention w/ the concept of songwriting credits... and at times something that gave guitarists the shaft...

although, in the case of "Go All The Way" it's purely Eric's song & the riff is taken from Eric's creation-- I would think if any guitarist comes up with an original riff for a song (that's a major source of its HOOK) and is NOT derived from any part of the material written prior, he should get credit... from the sound of it, Johnstone's riff sounds like it's derived from the song... if not, Elton needs to buy him a house (just kidding)...

Great posts Eric, regarding this topic!!!! They definitley give us all more insight into the process...

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Pierson, re: guitarists coming up with original riffs that are a major source of a song's hook --- the best example might be Keith Richard, no? I'm not a Rolling Stones-ologist (although I love the Stones), but I know Keith was involved as a collaborator on all those songs with killer hooks.

One other note about the creative process and songwriting credit.... I've read interviews with John Lennon where he freely acknowledges Ringo for malopropisms that were key to a song's creation. But how many "Lennon/McCartney/Starr" songs are there? Even though Ringo's line "A Hard Day's Night" helped inspire the song, for example, it's still a Lennon/McCartney. (Poor Ringo!) smile

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So, can we finally put this one to bed and move on? PLEASE!

I know it's a great read, but jeez, give the guy a break. .........but, ahem, while I have your attention -

I have always wondered about songwriting credits that always include the artist where IMHO that artist is not THAT talented. I guess what I am driving at is I sense it is a case of "sure I/we will record your song but only if I/we get a writing credit." The poor naive, broke songwriter in his/her desperation says "ok" because half a loaf is better than none. I am thinking it happens more in the country genre but, again, just my opinion.

Maybe this should be a new thread - or maybe it's best left unanswered.

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Wow, what a thread. One thing I'll say, is tension inspires songwriting. I think Eric and Wally need to drive over to Beachwood studios right now and lay down some tracks, and let off some steam that is reflected in a magical recording.

Also Eric's observations and reflections on the music industry, as well as his place in it, for me, have been gold. Extremely insightful and articulate.

I don't want to lose those posts (again).

Steve

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I guess I'm going to have to float out alone on this one. But I'm well used to being the .1% of people who believes something when 99.9% of people feel otherwise, so I guess it's nothing new.

I'm not talking about precedent here. I'm not talking about what a person is "legally" required to do. I'm talking about a certain generosity of spirit that maybe could go a long way toward healing some old wounds.

Mind you. I don't think all the problems are on one side. I'm just thinking, how much would it hurt, and how easy would it be, to just share the profits of something special with someone who helped make it special?

Ah, don't mind me. I just think life is too short to cling so doggedly to being "right" about this whole thing.

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Exactly, LC! Your comparison to the world of writing/publishing is wonderful. I was thinking of the same thing with acting. Someone writes the play or the screen version. Then someone else comes along, the actor, and puts his/her spin on the part. But they also have to stay within the bounds of the director's vision of the role as well. The actor still represent the part by doing the job they were hired to do with their own unique skills but still they are not the writer or the director!

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Here in capitalistic America, people are paid for what they actually do. It encourages achievement. Jim, Dave, Wally and I earned exactly the same amount when they split our royalties, 25% each, as the musicians and singers who performed the song. We also shared the acclaim, subsequent tour dates and all the other perks that come from getting a gold record. What we didn't share were the royalties for writing the song, because the only one in the room when it was written was me. ec

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It's amazing to me how in the times we live it's the talented and productive who seemingly are always having to defend themeselves over nonsense. I don't partition my paycheck between myself and all who have helped me professionally to get to where I am...who have indirectly helped me produce what I produce ...I doubt anyone on this board does either...

....so why the heck does someone feel the need to implore Eric Carmen to do the same? Truth be told everyone associated with a band that is led by one genius is indebted to that genius. There would have been nothing without the genius. In pro basketball Steve Kerr understands this. He credits Michael Jordon and Tim Duncan for setting him up as the A team broadcaster that he is now. Steve Kerr isn't asking those guys to give him credit or pay him for the support role he played in the various championships they won together. Though overly humble, Steve Kerr "gets it".

Anyway, I love all 4 guys in the group..long live the Raspberries!

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Trindy, instead of chastising the person who's right, why not tell the guy who's dead wrong that life is too short to keep "clinging doggedly" to a faulty point of view. Wouldn't that make a little more sense? That would go a long way toward "healing old wounds" as well. I'd like public apology for making me out to be some sort of thieving bastard to anyione who'd listen. I'm the one who's been wronged here, not Wally. ec

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Eric, you've been wonderful in sharing your feelings, and giving us insight into this very personal topic....it can't be easy. Thank you.

There is NO reason you should be made to feel you have to defend yourself to ANYONE here,

and I'm sorry it seems to have come to that.

I'm with Bob...

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Hi,

I'm an Eric Carmen fan. I'm a Wally Bryson fan. I'm a Raspberries nut.

When I originally posted the mention of the Blender article, I thought we'd be discussing how wonderful it is that a national magazine had chosen Raspberries and their million-selling single "Go All The Way" as one of "The Best Songs Ever." Instead, we've gone on to other things.

I'd like to thank LC and Darlene for their comments about my posts, and say that I agree with Ted that we shouldn't be beating up on anyone here, celebrity or fan. We aren't going to solve the "Go All the Way" debate here, but we run the risk of splitting the fans into separate camps again. Let's not do that, please.

I don't want to sound like Dr. Phil, but let's take a deep breath and be thankful that all the Raspberries band members are alive. I'm a fan of Badfinger, but there are three members of that band I can't ask questions of anymore.

Let's also say a word of thanks to the guys' wives, girlfriends, children, grandchildren and assorted relatives who probably read some of these comments and wonder why the hell their loved ones put up with the "fussin' and fightin'."

Things we say today may be regretted tomorrow when someone isn't with us anymore. Let's avoid that situation. Life is, like Eric said above, too short. You can't change the past, but you can change the future.

I made three wishes many moons ago: 1) to see Raspberries regroup, 2) to see Raspberries record their fifth studio album, the best of their career, and 3) to see Raspberries get the recognition they deserve (Grammys, Rock Hall Induction, "the cover of the Rolling Stone") --- Eric, Wally, Dave and Jim have delivered on the first wish, the second wish looks like a reality, and the third wish is within reach, so let's stick together (fans and band) and reach the "ultimate Raspberries triumph" in the near future.

To the families of Eric and Wally, we fans appreciate you sharing these guys with us more than we ever say.

To Eric and Wally, I admire you guys, and I hope you both know that this one-time lonely midwestern teenager owes you both more than I can ever repay you for the musical treasures you've created, and for the musical gems I hope to see you create together in the future.

I also appreciate Eric's comment above in response to LC's comment:

LC wrote: "Wally's my favorite guitarist ever, and his work on those four great Raspberries albums was a key part of what made them practically perfect."

And Eric responded, "Why do you think I wanted to play in a band with him?"

I think Eric's great comment got "lost in the shuffle" of the posts here. It shows a musical bond with Wally.

Eric's comment is also a good sign that, like Darlene said, "Raspberries were meant to be--and they will be. No silly misunderstanding over a Blender article is going to change what's 'written in the stars.' "

I'll close this by quoting a great man, a wonderful entertainer, a charismatic lead singer, a talented pianist, and a terrific songwriter:

"...I hope there's no hard feelings 'cause there isn't anyone to blame..."

Don smile

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On songwriting (from Eric Carmen: Marathon Man):

While the rest of the band enjoyed the fruits of their limited success between tours and recording sessions, Eric locked himself in his apartment and composed songs.

"I remember many, many, many days of sitting in the living room of my little apartment, in Euclid, Ohio, with nothing but a piano and my stereo system—literally walling myself up for three or four days because it was time to do a Raspberries album. I specifically remember writing 'I Wanna Be With You,' 'Let's Pretend,' and 'I Reach For The Light' in one weekend. I did a lot of writing for Fresh.

"This was my routine: There was a McDonald's about three blocks from my apartment. I used to get up in the morning, go to McDonald's, have some breakfast, and order seven large Cokes. I would drink one with my breakfast and bring the other six huge vats of Coca-Cola home and put them in the refrigerator. Then, all day and into the night, I would sit there drinking Coca-Cola after Coca-Cola, totally focused on the thought that I had to write a great song.

"It was a grind, but it was some really productive time, too," says Eric. "Let's face it, I wrote 'I Wanna Be With You' and 'Let's Pretend' in one weekend. Not bad."

- - - -

How anyone could suggest that credit for the art created by an artist, slaving alone in front of his empty canvas, be shared is beyond me. Remember, nobody is taking away the great roles that Wally, Jim, Dave, Scott and Michael played in the creation of many of Eric's Raspberries songs -- and each was equally compensated for playing on them. But the songwriting is the songwriting. Period.

My two cents,

Bernie

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How anyone could suggest that credit for the art created by an artist, slaving alone in front of his empty canvas, be shared is beyond me. Remember, nobody is taking away the great roles that Wally, Jim, Dave, Scott and Michael played in the creation of many of Eric's Raspberries songs -- and each was equally compensated for playing on them. But the songwriting is the songwriting. Period.

My two cents,

Bernie

Exactly... and Eric CLEARLY explained in his posts the deal with the creation/writing of "Go All The Way."

Too bad there was a "crediting" mishap that's f'd the whole thing up... and being that such a mishap could lead someone to get a little more pocket change, there's a bit more fuel to the fire...

Unless Wally "thinks" he actually wrote those notes to the riff, he should understand Eric's point and realize the REALITY of the "crediting" ...and that Eric's decision is not based on any personal animosity or anger, but a simple clear distribution of what's deserved.

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Outstanding explainations of songwriting on page 5, by Bernie and Eric. I know that no musician in the world is credited to writing credits unless that person really came up with the concept of the song. Meaning the song was thought of by a writer, days, weeks or months, before a studio recording session. To say it in straight logic language: No second concept precedes the first concept when the second concept had none of a clue as to what the first concept was(The whole song and melody, plus words), because a writer thought of the song already. But, I like "Go All The Way". Talk about a song that stands out on the radio. The music lyrics of the 70's weren't always meant to be sophisticated, but they were commentaries of that time.

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Eric, maybe this is a good time for me to tell you just how much it means to me, to log on and see your posts here. To actually get the right answers to questions we only used to be able to speculate at (usually horribly). To me, to have your voice here means everything. This is your website, it is a honor for you to join us. Thanks so much.

Much Love and Respect

June

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The pleasure is all mine. Thanks to Bernie and all of you, I can actually post here without being harassed. Bands are, by their very

nature, imperfect things. Occasionally, the collision of talent and ego can ignite a magical spark. When that happens, incredible things can follow. But the same elements that create the spark are a volatile mix capable of burning down the house. Rarely do people point to Charlie Watts when they talk about what makes the Rolling Stones the Rolling Stones, but to me, without Charlie's magnificent, relaxed, understated groove, there's no Stones. As brilliant as Mick and Keith may be, it might just be Charlie's almost-late backbeat that defines the Rollings Stones for me. I admire Charlie for doing his job brilliantly all these years, and for being humble and recognizing that he's just as important as Mick and Keith, even if he doesn't do as many interviews as they do.

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The defining element of a band that endures, is whether or not each member can understand what his job is and not only come to terms with it, but embrace it. The Beatles can't become the Beatles if George is always angry because he's not getting as much attention as John and Paul. It's by excelling at being George, embracing his "Georgeness" that he becomes ultra-cool and the Beatles' magic happens. The same can be said for all the members of Aerosmith who aren't Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. And all the members of the Stones who aren't Mick and Keith. And all the members of the Who other than Pete and Roger. And all the members of Queen who aren't Freddie Mercury. And on, and on, and on.

Wally Bryson is a brilliant guitarist, a fine singer and wonderful songwriter. His work speaks for itself. It doesn't really matter whether he co-wrote "Go All The Way." He played that incredible intro better than anyone else could have, because I conceived it knowing HE WAS GOING TO PLAY IT! And now, he is forever the guitarist that played that magnificent intro on the top-five, million-selling hit "Go All The Way." To me, that beats Brian Jones' rhythm guitar on "Satisfaction." And that's not too shabby. ec

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Nicely stated Eric. And great comments re: Charlie Watts. I totally agree with you that w/out Charlie there is no Stones (musically and spiritually). He's still playing like it's 1965 while the other two or three (bless their little pointed heads) are, at this point in the game, nothing more than entertaining caricatures of themselves. And Charlie seems like quite a gentleman to boot (although for all I know he could be a raging a-hole, but I bet not).

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This is a lot like some of the divorce cases I handle. Wally believes his memory is accurate. No apology forthcoming. I have a hard enough time convincing clients what really happened last week, much less 35 years ago. I think this site and this board are in large part great, but I'm getting that same uneasy feeling that I got when I read the latest Sinatra book "A Life". At the end of the day, however, I'll pop in my favorite Raspberries/Carmen compilation CD and just ease into the images and pure joy this music brings. For now, however, there is someone in my waitng room.

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