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Blender magazine, July 2006


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If you listen to Side 3, ofcourse you have the killer Eric songs, but you realize the others also brought something to the table in Raspberries. "Last Dance" and "Hard to Get Over a Heartache", for example, expand the range of the album and it really ends up being a diverse musical experience as a result of those other contributions. So everyone brought something to the table that was significant. Side 3 is a gem as a reasult of that diversity and it deserves greater attention as a pop classic. I think Eric's huge contributions really defined the core of Raspberries from a pop songwriting standpoint.

Those songs form a strong centerpiece and focus and deservedly so. I don't think that can be denied at all. But I also think some of the other material had hit potential too, and especially had some FM AOR potential for those times. So it seems everyone should have something to be proud of ,from a songwriting standpoint, in relation to the Raspberries material. I hope everyone gets to experience again the electric atmosphere of those performances last year. I rank the NYC gig with the very, very finest Ive ever seen in my life.

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I guess it all really comes down to how full or empty you perceive your glass to be. There comes a time in everyone's life when you make a choice. Either you beat yourself up for all the things you didn't do, or sit back and reflect on all the things you actually accomplished. The Raspberries may not have achieved the popularity of the Beatles, but we weren't a complete failure either.

And in the process, we made some pretty cool records that have stood the test of time and made a lot of people happy. Very few musicians will ever get to know what it's like to play onstage at the L.A. Colisseum in front of 75,000 people, or sell a miliion records or headline Carnegie Hall and blow the roof off the place, or have Bruce Springsteen sing your praises. Each member of the band should be very proud of his accomplishments. We did it together, and everyone's contribution was important. ec

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Besides all those accomplishments, Eric, there's the sheer influence Raspberries has had on music and musicians everywhere. Really. The Beatles had that overnight, instant impact that influenced everybody and his brother, making them wanna pick up a guitar and write pop and rock'n'roll music. In the case of yourself, Wally, Jim, Dave, Scott, and Mike, the influence might have been unnoticeable for a few years, but then it started growing and has continued mounting over the years, like this long, slow burn. It's deep, too. We all keep hearing (thanks, Bernie) about all these bands --- famous and obscure --- who cite Raspberries as a major influence. They put you right there next to the Beatles and Stones and Beach Boys and The Who. That's what would make me most proud --- a real and viable legacy.

Anyway, as many others have done, I thank you for being here and taking the time to punch in your thoughts.

Sometimes, it's probably harder than writing a song! :-)

PS: Raspathens, your post gave me a "Groundhog Day" moment.... I swore I read it before. And I did... seven posts ago. So maybe it's your Groundhog Day? :-)

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Here's a humorous perspective on the songwriting issue:

Howard Stern had Cheap Trick in the studio yesterday morning promoting their new CD. He asked them if they were all rich by now. The group answered in unison, "No!" then one member added, "Only Rick's rich, 'cause he wrote all of the hits." To which Rick Nielson said dryly, "Okay. Next time I won't!"

:-)

Bernie

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Outstanding comments, Eric. You all have so much to be proud of with regard to Raspberries career.

And Bernie, thanks for that post on Cheap Trick. I enjoyed that. Their "Rockford" album debuted at #101 in the Top 200 and sold 11,000 units its first week, which isn't bad.

They appear on Conan O'Brien's show on June 29, which should boost sales. They play Atlantic City the next day ( http://www.cheaptrick.com ).

Don smile

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Apologies for my part in contining to beat this to death by posting, but I do want to join in with my thanks to Eric for posting in general and specifically for not holding back on this topic. As I'm sure we all have been, I was involved in a hurtful situation years ago that focused on twisted words and situations, and know the pain it causes. Add to that the fact this involves something as intimate as a person's art form...well...having not been there, I won't pretend to be able to relate to that, but if I can feel a knife in my stomach over it, I won't even go near trying to guess how Eric feels.

Thank you again for weighing in on this, E.

*Susana*

P.S. And, Bernie, thanks for the Cheap Trick quote - a big "amen" to what RN said!!

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This has to rank as one of the greatest thread's in the history of the EC.com message board!

....and as much as I love Raspberries music, beleive it or not, I was never a big fan of the intro to Go All The Way...the song would have been fine without it as far as I'm concerned!

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Wait a minute, Harry. You read through 8 pages of gripping dialogue that centered largely on "Go All the Way"'s intro... and you don't even like it? I don't think I've ever met anyone who made that claim --- especially not here.... Besides, that's like saying you don't like "The Star Spangled Banner," "Hey Jude," and "Good Vibrations."

Well, to each his own.... But don't be surprised if Bernie revokes your membership card.... smile

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....and as much as I love Raspberries music, beleive it or not, I was never a big fan of the intro to Go All The Way...the song would have been fine without it as far as I'm concerned!

Huh? I can't picture that song starting any other way. Damn Pennsylvanians ... oh wait, that's where I'm from too! laugh
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I happen to love the intro to "Go All The Way," but Harry brings up an excellent point. When Eric Clapton released his unplugged version of the aforementioned "Layla" (whose intro was played by Duane Allman), he did it sans guitar riff. And it was still "Layla." When Eric and the boys did their unplugged version of "I Wanna Be With You" on VH1 last year, Eric cut out that song's equally GREAT intro. But that version still worked, too! Why? 'Cause the song is the song. I suppose if Eric sat down at the piano one night and played "Go All The Way" as a slow ballad it would work just as well as when he did the same thing with "Let's Pretend" on the Starting Over tour.

Bernie

PS: Since there are no actual membership cards, Harry's in the clear :-)

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And there, in a nutshell, you have it. The intro consists of A-D-A, A-DD and those chords are part of the "arrangement." The song, which consists of lyrics, melody and music for the verses, choruses and bridge, existed prior to the addition of the "intro" and stand on their own. I may well play the intro with a thirty piece string section at Severance Hall. That would be no different than playing the chords on the piano. They're still the same chords. Or I might not play the intro at all. If I had been in the group "Chicago", I might have suggested the intro be played by the horn section. That would have worked, as well. If i had been in a polka band, we might have done it on the accordion. I just happened to be in the "Berries, so the intro was conceived for Wally's "Pete Townshend style" guitar playing. ec

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I remember goofing off one day with a guitar several years ago, and I played a version of GATW with the intro to "All Right Now" (sped up slightly) substituted for the usual intro....and it worked fine, with just a wee bit of clumsiness going from the intro to the verses. Changes the mood of the song a bit also.

(Another good trade-off of intros is between "Don't Fear The Reaper" and "So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star".....

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I found this thread to be VERY educational. Much thanks Eric and all whose posts echoed your's. I must say that it was very easy to be completely confused as someone that knows squat about the music business and the birthing of songs(which now I have perfect clarity thanks to this thread). It all makes scense now.

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Brioohs and Tony,

You are both correct. You have won an all-expense paid, at your expense, dream vacation to Ohio where you will be served Raspberry tea in lawn chairs on top of a Greyhoud tour bus speeding at 25 miles per hour past Eric's house where you may, if you're very, very lucky, see Eric walking his dog (have those souvenir bags ready, gang)...

Yes, I messed up. Hoffman's been one of my favorite actors for years. And I do like "Almost Famous" (sorry, Cameron)...

Don smile

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I think the best description of who Raspberries are is what producer Jimmy Ienner told Ken Sharp in his book "Overnight Sensation: The Story Of The Raspberries".

Ienner called Wally "the soul of the band," Eric "the commentator because of his melodies and because of his titles," Jim "a gentle soul, but...behind the drums he was a maniac," and Dave "the quiet one who balanced the other things."

Don smile

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No accordion for the intro on the polka band arrangement. I favor the concertina--with the concertina master of all time playing--Jerry Darlak, and the master polka vocalist of all time singing--Bruno Mikos of Youngstown, OHIO! Unless, of course, Eric, you can wail in Polish... haha

smile --Darlene

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