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chris hess

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nice job EC...

yarborough seems like the type that criticise w/o research.... he probably has never listened to a razz or ec cd all the way through... it was popular to bash so he does....

don't sweat it eric, he does'nt get it and never will. you guys are opening eyes (and ears) 30 years after the fact and that speaks volumes about your talents...

are people going to be looking for his columns 30 years on???......i think not..

i was at the chicago show,it was the most incredible performance i have ever seen...

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He doesn't have any trouble with lyrics at all. His best songs are those he wrote the lyrics to! Somewhere along the line he just said that he agonized over some lyrics. For every song Eric wrote, the "agonizing" produced superb results. Michangelo probably "agonized" over the ceiling at the Sistine Chapel, too.

smile --D

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Thank you SO MUCH, Eric and Bernie, for reproducing Eric's letter here. What can I say except that Eric speaks what I have seen to be the truth.

My favorite statement of his from this: "We saw ourselves as marauding revolutionaries pounding on the gates of the bloated, self-indulgent prog-rock movement." You go Eric!

What he had to say about Cleveland is flat-out true. This city does not believe in itself, and is constantly comparing itself to other cities and ridiculing itself before others can even get around to it. Very self-defensive and very self-defeating. Maybe if more Clevelanders believed in Cleveland, others would believe more in Cleveland. Instead, it takes a bunch of devoted out-of-town fans of our own greatest rock band ever to convince us that we have something that is even worth liking, and even then, it's more of a curiosity than anything else. "All of these people coming in from out of town...to see THE RASPBERRIES?!?" As if there must be something seriously wrong with people who not only like this band, but would actually GO TO CLEVELAND to see them. What, are they nuts? Why would they ever want to come here?

It reminds me of a short while ago when I was living in another city that shall be nameless (back when I had a job there). When the locals found out I was from out of town, they'd ask me why I came there and where I came from (which at the time was another, bigger city not far away). They were always shocked. "Don't you know--this is the place where people move FROM, TO that other city. You got it backwards!" The people in that town had (and have) the same self-defeating attitude. And as long as they have it, how can they tackle the problems and make the place they live better and appreciate it for what it has?

And no, it isn't fair at all for any writer to attempt to protect his "cool credentials" by claiming not to like the Raspberries because he doesn't like Eric's solo music. It's typical, though. It's like I said--even those who DO like the 'Berries will often not admit for a second that they liked anything Eric did solo. And Chuck Yarborough was so afraid of being considered uncool that he had to dis Eric's music first before even getting into the meat of reporting on how the 'Berries did in NYC. Is that fair to the band? No. Is it even fair to Eric? No. Because they're two different things. But that is exactly how it is.

Remember the town I just talked about? Allow me to digress for a second, but I'm making a point here. That town has an excellent orchestra--OK, not the Cleveland Orchestra but excellent, especially for a town its size. Unfortunately they don't have any really knowledgeable classical music critics like the guy who covers the Cleveland Orchestra's concerts here--the reviewer who covers them for the local paper isn't that educated, so about all she can do is say whether they sounded good or exciting to her or whatever. Well, here's what she does whenever that orchestra, or one from out of town, plays the Rachmaninoff 3rd Symphony: she makes a negative reference about the movement that inspired "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" and how it reminds her of "that terrible Eric Carmen song." And that is how she establishes her "classical music critic credentials."

In other words, things are the same all over.

If journalists want to do snark and do it right, they should watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. He knows what deserves to be snarked and when to throw the snark away and be sincere--and to my mind he loses not one bit of "coolness factor" because if it. People who have to be snarky all the time aren't cool; they're just plain insecure. Afraid to come out and say, "Hey, I really do like this. There are some things I am not going to snark about, and this is one of them." But that takes guts. And a lot of writers don't have guts.

As for local radio...I hate to say it, but I have already given up on it. I think local stations are dinosaurs anyway, and that satellite radio is the future. Why listen to a bunch of local yokels playing the same ten Clear Channel hits over and over again, when you can hear anything you want on satellite radio anytime--even unsigned bands, if you want to? I know, I know, it's the exposure thing--it matters to the band. But I really think that anyone who tries to get the 'Berries more airplay in Cleveland is trying to push back the ocean with a broom. This town only begrudgingly acknowledges the existence of the band. They would much rather talk about MSB, Joe Walsh, the Dead Boys, Pere Ubu, and Akronites like Devo and Chrissie Hynde, not to mention the newer bands all the 20somethings are listening to. And THAT is why Eric is stuck having to jump up and down like a nerdy kid at the high-school dance, pleading, "But look! Look! BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN LIKES US! Doesn't THAT count for something??"

Don't get me wrong--I am SO glad Bruce is plugging the guys because they so badly need it. But when you think about it, it's really pretty sad that so many people have to get permission from Bruce Springsteen to like the Raspberries. Or to admit to liking them. It is pathetic that Eric has to make desperate attempts to get the Cleveland media to pay attention to the band because "Bruce likes us." The support from someone of his caliber is great, but why is it so NECESSARY in order to legitimize the band in the eyes of its own hometown?

I don't know. All I know is, it is. And even that may not work.

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I think Eric's point about Bruce was made to call attention to the fact that Bruce "gets it" while THEY (the Cleveland media) do NOT, rather than saying, "You should like us because Bruce does." And the point was *very* well made, because it stripped them bare of all their excuses and phoniness. That letter left them nothing to hang on and let Michael Norman hang himself, which he promptly did.

smile --Darlene

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That letter was better than a "punch in the face" !!

It is such a shame that your own home town doesn't give you the respect you deserve. NEW YORK WILL TAKE YOU ANY TIME WITH OPEN ARMS !!! happy

Well, that letter certainly proves when you said 'GO ALL THE WAY" you meant it !!!



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Oh, I agree in that Eric made a very cogent point in saying that "Bruce gets it and you don't." I just think it's sad that he even has to go that far. And that it may not even work with the kind of media we have here. And, if it does, it will only be because they think they need a permission slip from Bruce Springsteen or someone else of his ilk to believe in the good thing they've got. They can't just come out themselves and say "This is ours and we think this is great." No, they have to have some big name, someone from somewhere else, validate it for them. And THAT is sad.

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Probably exactly what we're doing right now: supporting Raspberries in every way possible by attending concerts and sharing their music with everyone we know. Bernie, being an "ad man", has incorporated his natural gifts into this website (as Kay has incorporated her natural gifts into raspberries.net) and both websites are only the "tip" of the iceberg, that is, only a very small portion of the promotion efforts their administrators are making in every way to support the guys on a deeper level than any of us individually can. They can't do what they're doing without the support of each and every member of both websites.

Individually we can call and write our own hometown media to inform them of upcoming performances and request increased airplay of Raspberries and EC music, etc and express our opinions on the boards, because the band *does* indeed read and carefully consider them! (The original Berries performing unaccompanied is just one example of this.)

Just one year ago the return of Raspberries seemed a complete impossibility, but look what's happening now! Anyone who has even posted or read this board or Kay's can be proud of being a part of "the miracle" that was *meant to be.* And "you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

smile --Darlene

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Its not only getting more airplay in Ohio but everywhere else. Need I remind you that it took a while to sell 1600 tickets in NYC from a market of 20 million so eventhough they do not get the respect from the home town they should, right now it is still their largest base. I would not be too surprised to see them play Cleveland again over the Christmas/New Year holiday.

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I was very impressed with what Eric had to say. It's a shame that Chuck Yarborough was more interested in "snarkiness" than attempting to inform; he just couldn't seem to get beyond his own issues with the band -- notice there was only one band member he DID admit to liking -- and as a result, even in his reply Chuck Y. exuded more attitude than substance. And in his citation of the Springsteen reference, the word "grudging" immediately came to mind.

Unless there is a major change to corporate radio in the midwest, I fear the problems of Cleveland may apply to many markets, including my own St. Louis radio market. Here, KLOU and KTHS will play Raspberries if prodded by requests, but as Argee says, corporate play lists dictate most of what goes on the air. If management of the oldies station feels that "demographic factors" require them to play at least one Righteous Bros. tune an hour, they will...and then they wonder why Arbitron ratings fluctuate so greatly.

Here's hoping that the LA and San Diego shows generate a LOT of interest. I did not know that the BB King shows were the only sellouts for that club this summer. Perhaps armed with that kind of "buzz" -- along with the VH-1 coverage -- there may finally come the recognition that "the guys" so greatly deserve.

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I amby no means a writer but here is a copy of a letter I wrote to The Plain Dealer9Clevelands only newspapaper) in response to an article published on Sunday about "legendary bands always have a gig" If I get a reply I'll let you know :Dear Mr. Sweeney:

I read your article in the Plain Dealer regarding "there's always a gig for legendary bands" this past Sunday. I thought you made some very good points. However, I, amongst others, are very disappointed in the Cleveland papers, Radio and other media for their what I would call, refusal to show any support for any bands that have come from our city.

You may or may not know of the recent reunion of The Raspberries. Eric Carmen, Wally Bryson. Dave Smalley and Jim Bonfanti. This band was formed in Cleveland in the 1970s and gained national attention with hits such as "Go All The Way", ".I Wanna Be With You," Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) and more. The band broke up in the mid 70's. Last November they reunited and played to a sold out (in a record 4 minutes) crowd to open Cleveland's House of Blues, sold out again for New Year's Eve, played in Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, Cleveland and most recently sold out 2 nights in New York City. While in New York they also taped a segment for VH1 Classic which aired on Sunday and will be repeated throughout August. Upcoming shows include Atlantic City in September and then Los Angeles and San Diego in October. Superstars like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi (who attended one of the New York City concerts) all are singing the praises of this band and even credit them for some of their success. The fan base for this band are some of the most loyal and dedicated people I have ever met. There is a woman from London who flies here to see every concert, a man from the Netherlands who flew to Chicago, fans from Japan that fly in for shows, the list goes on and on.

It absolutely amazes me that with all of this going on The Plain Dealer and other local media have continued to ignore this band and all that they are achieving. We should be shining bright lights, screaming and showing support for something this good to come out Cleveland, a city that needs all of the positive press it can get, not turning our heads and looking the other way. I, and many others think that this band deserves our support and are willing to do whatever needs to be done to make sure they get it.


Adrienne Lewis

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This is one heckuva thread! All you guys are amazing. Kudos!

Eric is always terrific at standing up for the Raspberries and himself. He proves it once again here.

I'm a Jersey Girl, and know nothing personally about Cleveland other that what I've read. In general, I think the music biz today stinks, and this is just an extension of that. Print and radio, both.

It was on 101 CBS FM NYC that I heard first about the Raspberries reunion last year on Eric's birthday and posted it here. *That's* how all the Raspberries reunion excitement and anticipation on this board began. Of course, that historic, first class radio station was zapped since and replaced by garbage.

Regarding the print in this particular instance... "Snarky"? Oh puh-leeze! How beyond lame! I've read more intelligent and dead-on concert/music reviews in NJ college newspapers!

All The Best,



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Cleveland seems to have the opposite problem that San Francisco did in the 70s. The press, radio programmers, djs, and concert promoters(well actually one--Bill Graham)kind of all worked in tandem.

As a result, this overzealous civic pride got C-grade material by otherwise good artists such as Boz Scaggs and the Grateful Dead exposure, while an act that has a #1 smash in some place like Baltimore or Pittsburgh would get barely played, and sometimes none at all.

T. Rex never did a concert in San Francisco. Grand Funk occasionally played S.F., but not nearly as often as in other cities. Granted, I am not a fan of Meat Loaf, but you know, the powers that be in my old home town were not exactly fond of him---despite interest in his music nationwide.

It took years to get an Alice Cooper gig in the Bay Area. This is not to mention the fact that Eric and the Boys were not really a welcome sight either......

It's too bad we couldn't export a bit of that "pride and regionalism" ethic to Cleveland.

S.F. took it a bit too far, and Cleveland has done none of it.

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Eric, if you're reading this, and from what I understand you do, I need to tell you about my first visit to Cleveland to see the Raspberries on November 26th 2004. My brother and I (from Minnesota), were waiting in unbelivable anticipation for the show to begin, when a couple of locals stood by us and were looking around at the sell out crowd. They were talking amongst themselves about how they couldn't believe the turn out for their "Local Band". I had to interject and question them on why they thought that the Raspberries were just a local band getting back together, when they had a string of top 40 hits in this and other countries? They didn't get it! The only reason I can see that the Raspberries could slip under the radar, was just pure and simple poor media coverage. When we came back for the Pavillion Concert I was astounded to see the Raspberries not on the Cover of the local scene magazine. Who the hell is bigger than the Raspberries in Cleveland right now? Eric you need to understand that people outside of Cleveland really have no idea how much this lack of credibility from your hometown stunted the growth of this great band. It would be great to just say screw 'em, but winning them over is what is needed. I applaude your letter. And by the way, I loved your solo career, but if the Cleveland media didn't, they have no one but themselves to blame for disregarding Raspberries.

PS:You have nothing to prove to your fans, we've been here all along.

Bill Campbell, Minnesota

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