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At the show: Rab4 vs. EC solo


LarryGL

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Hello all!

A few days after the incredible reunion show, I was struck by something that clearly shows how powerful Raspberries music was--and still is today--thirty years on.

And that is--NEVER ONCE did I yearn to hear Eric's solo music during the concert!

Now, please don't get me wrong! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of Eric's solo material--I'm not inferring that EC's legacy is inferior to that of Raspberries.

All I'm saying is--the Rab4 catalog offers us true-blue fans ALL WE NEED to rock the night away! It's testament to just how AWESOME Raspberries are!

I for one, cannot think of one other legendary group (where a member went on to bigger success)--where such a group was not forced to play the member's solo hits. For instance, the Eagles played Henley, Frey and Walsh solo hits during the "Hell Freezes Over" tour.

'Nuff said?

--Larry

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I'll say it, Carmen's solo legacy is inferior to the Raspberries. There's still some great stuff in his solo career, but it would have been even better and more consistent in the context of the band. That's my opinion, anyway. I would have loved to have heard Raspberries record "Make Me Lose Control", "That's Rock and Roll", "Sunrise", "Hey Deanie", etc... As for doing his solo songs in the current live show, I have mixed feelings. I don't miss it at all. There is ample enough excellant Raspberries material for a full show. Still, it would be nice to hear the band's take on some of these songs. Also, if the band takes it on the road adding a few of Carmen's better known songs might be more of a draw to the more casual fans. I suppose it depends on how long the band keeps it together. If they are still playing together in a year or two, adding some solo stuff might be a good idea. For their first reuion show, I'm glad they omitted it. In fact I could have done with fewer covers and more Raspberries tunes.

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I was really impressed with the way Dave and Jim picked up the Starting Over period stuff. It's obvious they can learn new material, so it would be fun to to see 'em add some solo tunes. I'm not that crazy about "Lose Control" Barb, but the other 3 you mentioned would be great, especially "That's R&R". And maybe Eric could get into playing Dave's 'Pop Teasers' or 'Someone Like You' as a trade off. Heck, those are both TECHNICALLY Berries tunes anyway! But to answer the original question, no, I didn't miss Eric's solo stuff at all during the HOB show. But if they'd have played it, I'm sure it would've been great!

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When I heard The Choir songs, I thought for sure "All By Myself" was going to be soon. I have always wanted to hear Wally play the guitar solo in that song.

Hey, maybe next year, they can do "the solo years" and do Eric's solo stuff, Tattoo, Fotomaker,Dave's, Boxer, etc.... It'll never happen, but it's fun to think about!

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That's license plate if ever i saw one - RAB4.

it's so funny...I didn't once think about the solo stuff and i am a huge eric solo fan. A friend of mine who couldn't make it asked me what solo stuff they played...as if they HAD to play Eric's stuff to get us to come.

He was stunned when I said they didn't play any and even more so when I said they shouldn't.

I will probably get flamed (love that expression laura!!!) for saying this but I never heard any Choir songs before Friday night. It was GREAT.

I am not a Beatles fan either...I can feel the flames of HELL leaping up around my feet! eek But there is something about Raspberries music that is unique and kick ass and even better live.

I realized something driving home on Sunday.....I can count on one hand how many times I went to a concert and was as pleased with the band live as I was on the record. Eagles, Boston, Chicago, john Denver, green Day, Stones and Raspberries.

OK - that's going on two hands.

but nothing compared to last Friday.

annie

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Annie,

Don't feel too bad about getting flamed. I am not much of a Beatles fan (The Stones are more my style) and I have never heard the Choir before either so you weren't alone there! smile

As a matter of fact, the only Raspberries tunes I have heard before the show that night were the songs on the "Capitol Collectors Series" CD. I have since picked up both of the "Power-Pop" CDs so hopefully I can make up for lost time...

There was one guy behind me that kept complaining that they hadn't played "All By Myself" and while I would've enjoyed hearing some EC solo tunes I also didn't miss hearing them either. After all, we all saw Raspberries, not Eric Carmen solo.

Pwerhaps, if the Raspberries gig only lasts a few shows then Eric might have the bug in him to actually do some more solo shows (I'm still bummed I missed the Rock Hall show years ago).

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There are a bunch of Eric's solo songs that I also would love to hear with Dave, Wally and Jim's touch, and up to Thursday night (when I was with Wally), I was certain that the band was rehearsing solo material. Much of my thinking was based on an email I received from Dave back in August:

QUOTE:

...We'll probably do a 90 to 120 minute show, which will have us playing quite a few songs, for sure. And we should do some of Eric's solo stuff too, I feel. Maybe some of mine and Wally's too..

ENDQUOTE

When I broached the subject of solo material with Wally, he said that the topic had come up but that Eric was totally cool either way about not doing or doing any of his own stuff. He said the night was a celebration of Raspberries.

As much as I loved hearing the Beatles/Who/Choir covers (it gave some of the audience the chance to re-live the band's glory bar band days), I would have been just as happy to hear more

'berries songs. Hopefully next time everyone will get to hear "Driving Around", "Cruisin Music",

"On the Beach", and any other favorites that were missed.

Marvin

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Craig,

Good question. The only Beatles material I really enjoy listening to is the earlier material like "She Loves You", "This Boy", "I'm Just Happy To Dance With You", etc. Perhaps this is why I enjoy Raspberries (plus the fact that they're fellow Clevelanders makes it a bonus)as much as I do. When I hear songs like "I Am The Walrus" or any of the "Psychadelic" material from the mid/late 60s I simply do not get it. This is not to say the songwriting is bad because it certainly isn't. I just get nothing out of it. The same can be said about the early Rolling Stones, give me "Exile On Main Street" Stones any day. I can relate to Paul McCartney and Wings and John Lennon's solo material much easier because it was in full swing when I was growing up (plus, Paul's bassline in "Silly Love Songs" is one of the greatest ever written).

Another thing to consider here is that when Beatlemania was in full swing I wasn't even born yet (I'll be 35 in a few weeks) so we are talking about a generation I cannot relate to. All I have to go by is what I read and see on television. When I see footage of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan I don't get the same rush as others do simply because it was before my time. My "Beatles" were Kiss and my "Jimi Hendrix" was Eddie Van Halen. My "growing up" era was the late 70s and 80s.

However, to deny their impact on pop culture would be naive and foolish! If it wasn't for the Beatles then many of the groups I listen to probably wouldn't even exist (however, if there was no James Jamerson there wouldn't be a Paul McCartney either, by the way). It all boils down to taste.

I hope I answered your questions! smile

Cheers,

John Shaft/Bry/Man With The Purple Hat

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Oooh Craig...what a great question!

I deliberately didn't read John's reply above me so here she goes:

To me, the beatles music was lyrically straight forward, not particularly heavy on metaphors that appeal to my English major sensibilities. The music is catchy and creative.

Raspberries, though, took the best of the Beatles - the musical hooks, catchy choruses - and put a complexity to the music. Layers of vocals. Lyrics that really move my soul - that I identified with in a way I never did with the Beatles. There are arrangements to certain songs that draw me in because their construction is that of a great story. "Starting Over", "I can Remember" ( I call them the Opus songs) are clear examples.

The instrumentation - the way the charts interweave each instrument so that each has a clear identity is a big attraction. i have never heard bass guitar telling its own story as well as I do on Raspberries songs.

I love Boston. I love Jimmy Buffett. Eva Cassidy - what a brilliant vocalist - Eric would have loved her. She died of cancer a few years back very very young (32 or 33 I think) Harry Connick Jr.

John Denver. Bon Jovi. Glenn Miller. Brian Setzer orchestra. A phenomenal CD - Charo. What an amazing 12 string guitarist. I hve put that CD on and defied people to identify who's playing.

Back in the days I was discovering the magic of music, I would listen to "The Sound of Music" endlessly, then Kiss. Van Halen. Heart. Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life", Emerson lake and Palmer. Diverse interests to be sure.

Ah, but isn't music is the food of life?

play on!!!!

that was a great question to trigger fond memories.

thanks- annie

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The Raspberries' roots are in Beatles and other same-era music, and I thought it was a nice touch to do the covers. Plus, I have always been a Beatles fan! And too, it is reminiscent of seeing the group play in the early 1970s when they did do many covers. As for the Eric solo stuff, as great as it is and as much as I like it, I agree that it was better to leave it out. That is best saved for another place, another time (which I would also rush to go see). The Choir music, however, also reflects the group's formative years, and it was fantastic to hear them play those two songs. In the end, they should play what they enjoy....and I will enjoy what they play.

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It's a pretty safe bet that if there had been no Beatles, there also would have been no Raspberries, Choir, Cyrus Erie etc. Eric is a Pop music virtuoso but even he had to be fed ideas from others.

Marvin

Well, since obviously Eric favors composers like Rachmaninoff in the classical arena, wouldn't it be safe to say that there may not be a Raspberries as we know it, without the piano composers like htat? I think real musical genius is who can feed and combine various musical flavors to produce the new one -- even Steve Jobs and Gates had to feed off of known technology to mold the powerhouses they have now.
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Annie and John, good answers! I love Beatles too, especially their earlier stuff. (I love the earliest work of Elton John, when I first discovered him, as well). I don't agree that there wouldn't have been Raspberries, but for the Beatles. I think Raspberries were meant to be and would have happened, no matter what. Eric and the guys were influenced by Beatles, to be sure, but there were other influences as well (i.e. Brian Wilson). Absent the Beatles, the music of The Choir, Cyrus Erie (etc.) may have taken a different turn, but given the tremendous amount of raw musical talent in Cleveland at the time, I believe they would have developed pretty much the way they did. Our guys were really musical innovators. The harmonies, the natural instrumental talent they had, the ability to transmute raw emotion into living tone...They didn't need to be fed ideas from anyone--they sure had enough! Even now, that magic vocal blend (!) has a range of musical colors I've never seen in anyone or anything else. That's what drew me to them initially. The sheer beauty of their music, spontaneity and musical material. For me, there's no one or nothing else out there that can compare.

smile --D

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Jeff I agree with you. No doubt that Eric has been influenced greatly by the classical composers and deep deep inside, this is probably his true love - but that wasn't going to get him any girls! That's where the Beatles come in, and that's why he 'strapped on that guitar.'

Marvin

OK, then, so now that he is settled, it is the time for him to release "Carmen plays the piano Classics" eekeek
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I've thought about this before on why I'm such a Raspberries fanatic. First of all, they represented a music that was dying. Songs about love and feeling good and cars and beaches and summertime. I missed this in the Beatles after they moved into the message/abstract music era. I was rooting for a return and the success of this music and the Raspberries, who represented this better than any other band. Their fight to survive just made me more of a fan. Badfinger was great but their music was deeper and darker. they didn't represent the same thing. There were article saying that the Raspberries themselves were never more than their music like the Beatles were but for me that wasn't true. I still want success for the band more than anything today. When Eric was on his solo stuff, I continued to root for his single to climb the charts. Wally in Fotomaker too! Once I start rooting for something I don't stop. I think the reason I love the Raspberries is because of the good time music they and I loved and they represented and fought to keep alive!

Bill c.

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Bill, That's so true. No matter who went where or did what, I followed and cheered for them to succeed. I once called up Clive Davis himself for a ticket to the Arista one year anniversary concert, to see Eric. Had I been closer to Cleveland, I would have done the same for Wally, Jim, Dave, Scott and Michael. And after all this time, they proved that we knew what we were talking about. They're more amazing than ever!

smile --D

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