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I sure had fun Saturday night hangin' out with Bernie and Kathy! We had dinner, drove to the Beachland Ballroom (my first time there, by the way) and listened to the Choir play songs that I heard the first time I heard them, probably 1966 or 67. On the way home, Bernie asked me what I saw in them, all those years ago that made me want to join their band. I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now and I think I've got the answer. I've always been a very visual kind of guy. Not in the sense of seeing with my eyes (which aren't that great) but in the sense of seeing things in my mind's eye. When I looked at the stage that night in 1967, I saw me standing in between Wally and Dave and I felt a little surge of energy that told me that could be a really exciting band. I didn't know them at the time and I had no way of meeting them, but I filed thatl image away somewhere. I went back to Lyndurst that night thinking about what I had just seen and heard. I saw the POSSIBILITIES. That's what it was. I could see me in their band and I could see us MAKING IT. There were other bands in town, even some pretty cool one ( a group called Kicks Inc. comes to mind) but I never really visually could see me in them. The Choir was different. I "KNEW" that could work. I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking. And visualization. I think one of the reasons Cyrus Erie was such a great cover band (and we were) was because when we played a a song by the Who, I didn't try to sing like Roger Daltrey, I WAS Roger Daltrey. And Wally WAS Pete Townshend. and when we played the Abbey Road medley that starts with Golden Slumbers, I saw Paul in my mind and, in that moment, I WAS Paul. It took a couple of years and a few twists of fate, but eventually I was standing up there between Wally and Dave. And it did work. And (at least for a little while) we DID make it. We fell a little short of my dream of becoming the next Beatles and being a force for good in universe, but in our own little way, we did make a difference. So Bernie, there's your answer, and for everyone else, this is officially my first post. How'd I do? Eric

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Eric, for me and a lot of people from the 70's generation you were (and are) our "Beatles". I'm 45 now, by the time I could really appreciate music the Beatles were gone. We needed a new spark and you guys were it. It's got to feel great to know how many lives you have impacted.

Thanks for every effort you've given us.

Bill

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Holy CRAP! What timing! I haven't logged onto here in a LONG time, and it's only because I heard WMJI's Action Jackson's MP3 interview with my friend Joey Molland of Badfinger, giving props to The Raspberries as the Kings of Cleveland and beyond! So I thought I'd poke my head in this board after a long hiatus....

Eric, thank you for the confirming the power of visualization. I agree. The same power has enabled me to live the dream of performing live with Joey (and board member/drummer Tommy Allen!) twice in the past, and at The Cavern Club this coming August! A dream come true to say the least. (You're welcome to join us....Terry Sylvester from The Hollies will be there too!)

If you are still on here, thank you for your contributions to pop music, and for the reunion shows....Thanksgiving will never have the same meaning to me, after experiencing the HOB in 2004.

Please keep the flame burning....

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Eric , I know what you are saying !

Back in the late 70s I was Playing All By Myself (instrumental version) to the entire Junior High School for a little talent show and I was last of the kids to do my thing. There was a Girl who knew how to read music and she was turning the pages for me and I played the whole song and just before I was to finish the bell rang and I thought to myself everyone is going to get up and leave before I fisnished the song. Well no one moved a inch I looked at the school teacher and he knodded to continue and I finished the song and everyone applauded and it is a very nice memory for me of my school days.

Thank you for all the great tunes you wrote, you are always with me.

damon # 311

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Great first post!...Thanks for sharing your thoughts on some very special moments in your life...moments that helped set your course in life...I think we all have moments like that...turning points...that time when we realize what could be if we would only listen to our hearts...I'm glad you followed what your heart told you on that distant day...I know i have enjoyed the music that came from that dream...

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Eric--great stuff. It was a huge kick to read your thoughts on those early days in your career. "The power of positive thinking"... it goes a long way, in any situation.

And yep, you sure did make a difference. Like Bill C points out, for those of us just a couple years too late to witness John, Paul, George, and Ringo during the heart of Beatlemania, it was Eric, Wally, Dave, and Jim that filled the bill. Quite admirably, too.

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Thanks for posting, I believe in that power too. I hadn't listened to a Raspberries tape in 18 years, when I found my copy of my greatest hits cassette, and fell in love with the music again, in a different way. My tastes had matured, and I was able to get your sound much more than when I was a struggling musician trying to figure out your sound. Joan Jett recommended you to me, Yes I've touched your old white Gibson, LOL!, the Dead Boys told me they used to listen to the Raspberries all the time, but I couldn't get a handle on it until 2004. Ironically, I started playing the cassette probably just as you were starting the first rehearsals. I heard all the bands you influenced at that moment, and never could dream I would ever see you live. We began listening to the tape every day, sometimes 3 or 4 times in a row. 6 months later, my friend told me the Raspberries were playing BB King's. I was so glad something had reminded me to play that tape that day. And I'd like to thank you for giving us the chance to hear the songs live 3 times so far. Thank You for seeing the possibilities when you dream, Mr Carmen.

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Eric--Welcome aboard! If you're up to an "Ask Eric" question, I have one that relates to what you just wrote about in your first post. You've talked about visualization and positive thinking when forming bands, and you've mentioned thinking about the Raspberries when writing material that would work for them. When Scott joined the Raspberries, did his uncanny ability to sound like John Lennon influence the way you wrote with him?--Thanks,Kirk.

p.s.-since most everybody is using your picture for their avatar, you have permission to use mine when you reach 25 posts wink

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The Choir must be good, because you're talking about them, Eric. To share about this history, and maybe other stories, is a real treat. That was interesting, when you sang cover songs, how you brought the quality of the original singer back live in concert, then. It sounds like you had alot of fun, because you covered several singers or bands.

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A very insightful first post, Eric -- since living in L.A. much of the time, lately, and hangin' with a lot of film people, I believe your first post would be considered to be called the script of the EC.COM "prequel." I believe that sort of "visualization" is how you have changed our musical worlds, and what has gotten you very far. Thanks. smile

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Eric...You are absolutely right!! You WERE Roger Daltry & Wally WAS Pete Townshend..You guys ripped the roof off the Chesterland Hulabaloo soooo many times!! Do you remember practicing with a band in Solon, between Cyrus Erie and Raspberries?? We never did play out cuz our drummer sucked, but you came over with Marty a couple times...the spring of 1970.I spoke with you many times on the phone back then, when I was living in Minneapolis,Minn....trying to hold onto some hometown friends. Glad to have you on-board...

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