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This on Billboard Online today:

The Raspberries Blossom Once More

With a smattering of recent live shows receiving rave reviews, reunited

power pop quartet the Raspberries have fans clamoring for a full-fledged

tour. It may very well happen, but before committing to such an endeavor,

singer/guitarist Eric Carmen, guitarist Wally Bryson, bassist David Smalley,

and drummer Jim Bonfanti want to make sure things are just right.

"We are discussing it," Carmen tells Billboard.com. "There are a number of

ways we can go about doing this. We've played three shows so far, and

they've all turned out great, and I want to be able to keep that quality

level where it is. We're talking to a number of different people; we've got

a bunch of offers from agents, managers. Over the next few weeks, we will be

discussing all those possibilities, and what we can do."

Understandably, since the group hasn't issued a full-length studio album

since 1974's "Starting Over," Carmen is concerned about the demand not being

as high as it could be. "I'm not really concerned about playing New York and

Los Angeles -- those are media centers," he says. "But I've always been a

little concerned that in secondary markets like Denver, Milwaukee or places

like that, this isn't going to fly unless there is a concerted overall

national publicity campaign of some sort. I just don't think we're going to

fly into Milwaukee and set up shop on a stage somewhere, and people who

haven't heard of this band in 32 years are going to come in droves to see


That said, Carmen figures there are several ways to boost the veteran

group's profile. "I think the way to do it is to maybe talk to Capitol about

a box set, including some of the live tracks that we recorded, maybe with a

DVD involved. Then perhaps couple that with something like 'Behind the

Music' on VH1 [and] maybe a 'Conan O'Brien' appearance [laughs]. Then do a

tour, so that you've raised the awareness of the band."

One Raspberries-related release that does seem to be forthcoming is either a

live CD or DVD comprised of the two homecoming Cleveland shows the group

played on Nov. 26 and New Year's Eve.

"I've heard a rough mix of the first show, and I'm waiting to get the rough

mix of the second show," Carmen says. "We might want to do a few more shows

and get them recorded before we actually seriously sit down and pick which

tracks and whatever. And then it's going to be, can we work something out

with a record label that will actually promote this? I think at some point

it will happen [but] I'm just not sure where or how yet."

It also turns out that the shows have put Carmen back into a "power pop

frame of mind," songwriting-wise. "Playing with the band has certainly

rekindled some of the rock'n'roll thoughts that I used to have," he admits.

"I think if I were to do anything now, I would think about writing something

for this band, which would be fun to do. We haven't gotten to anything

specific. But I think we could do that. We just have to see if there's

anybody there who wants to buy it."

-- Greg Prato, N.Y.

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All you guys, I'm really excited to read POPDUDES ARTICLE, it really is uplifting to know that Eric would consider to actually write songs for a hopefully NEW Raspberries record.

And one other thing, he agrees the DVD be put out first.

I'll dance to that.

hey why not.

After all, my television is hooked up to STEREO.

AH HA, speakers are in full.

Interviews are first.

Then a record lable, oh my, c'mon, Eric

I know you can do it.

I wonder which record label, if chosen?

Any how, I wonder when the DVD will actually be put out, what more does it need, as of right now to complete it's packaging.

This all is great news.

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Three thoughts:

1. OK, so I was probably too f**king optimistic, but I thought the live CD/DVD was a done deal. I thought they were putting THAT out come hell or high water, even if they had to spend their own money. Yeah, I know, call me crazy. It was just a bit depressing to hear Eric saying "I think it will happen at some point but..." and imply that if no label expresses interest, it won't see the light of day.

2. At the same time, I feel as if publicity like this makes it more possible that it WILL happen. That someone somewhere will be smart enough to get on the bandwagon and realize these guys have something worth selling and trying to sell.

3. The idea that "if" Eric writes again, he might actually be in the mood to write some power-pop songs for a Raspberries album...oh God. My dream.

Come on, Eric. It's like riding a bike. You never forget how.

Please...go all the way...

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Hmmmmmm .... the Raspberries fifth album -- "Starting Over ... Again" -- We can only hope laughlaugh Just the thought is electrifying. I think using Jims' wisecrack humour, and calling the fifth album "Elderberries" would be a good joke, but a bad idea frown Might be a cool name for the DVD, though ...

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When they were making the DVD, I understood that it wasn't even supposed to be out until sometime in the Spring. No one's "perfectionism" is holding anything up. These things take time. It's nice to be able to state our views, but, realistically, none of us is in any position to advise the band. As I've said before (here comes the broken record!), "we need to let everything unfold in its own time." Believe me, the guys know how to do it right. And they WILL.

They ARE! Trust me. Haven't my predictions been coming true? smile

Believe me, they know what we want. And they know what THEY want!

Just EIGHT months ago we were saying:

"If I could just see Raspberries reunite for ONE night, it would be a dream come true." "All I want is to see them live ONCE for my whole life. That's all I need!" "I'd be happy the rest of my life to see them in my lifetime."

We got our "dream come true" THREE (count 'em!) times! And so much more: Dream meet-and-greets, more shows in the works, a DVD, tour in the works, talking about a CD boxed set (!!!), talking about writing new music (!!!!!) Come ON, guys, this is the kind of stuff Mary Poppins dreams are made of.

They don't need us to tell them what to do. We don't always realize how negative some of what we say sounds. Artists need to avoid negativity like the plague! It's only been a little over 60 DAYS since the November 26th Reunion Concert! They know what to do. Give them a chance. That's what's wrong with human nature--always wanting more. But music is like love. (IS love!) It can't be rushed. I'm so happy with what's happening, I just want to "smell the roses," (I mean the raspberries!)and enjoy what we have right now for awhile, because I'm REALLY grateful.

smile --Darlene

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Darlene, we're like the old fairytale about the fisherman and his wife...he caught the magic fish and she kept asking him to ask it to grant them bigger and bigger wishes, until he'd had it and sent them right back to the way they were...it's a human tendency. Once we had our "one night," we wanted two. Once we had two, we wanted three...

At the same time, I think we are all grateful...

If some of us are a bit impatient, it isn't just because of us. It's because we want so much for them.

But it does require a certain bit of trust in the process...and while we may trust our boys, it's really the big bad music business that determines what happens from here...and can you blame us for being mistrustful of that after the way they got burned the first time? All we can do is say "they're older now, they're big boys, they know what to do this time..."

I just hope the big bad music business appreciates the gem it has in them.

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