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Raspberries on the Tour of '74


LC

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Having finally bought and read the "Marathon Man" book, I've gotta say... it's a quick and entertaining read that, for me, "filled in the gaps" from 30 years of being a Raspberries/EC fan. A public thanks to Bernie and Ken for pulling together so many great quotes and recollections.

One thing I found especially intriguing was the 1974-75 Raspberries tour. I looked at the schedule on pp. 174-177 (direct from Scott McCarl's diary) and found it astonishing. Apologies if the tour scheduler is reading this, but... the itinerary looks insane! There didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason. If you plotted the schedule on a map and connected the dots with a marker, it would look something like my 3-year-old's scribbles.

As just one example, on a six-day stretch in May 1974, the 'berries played Hilton, NY; Wheeling, WV; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Russells Point, Ohio; and Chicago.

On a 12-day stretch in November, they went from Niagara Falls to Shippensburg, PA, to Wisconsin to Massachusetts, then back to Pennsylvania, then Vermont, then Virgina, and then back to Pennsylvania.

It was that kind of criss-crossing from December 1973 through April 1975. It had to be grueling. I read later in the book that Eric thought the Dirty Dancing tour was logistically the worse, but... just looking at the 1974-75 schedule is tiring.

Still, what I'd give to have been at one of those shows....

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I believe it was insane. I went to their August '74 concert in Atlanta (as well as 4 'new' shows).

I could tell that there was some 'touring wear' on the band, although the sound was great..really hard-edged and loose on the stuff that was not on the "Starting Over" record.

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That's awesome--old ticket stubs are memories unto themselves. I bet you remember all kinds of nuances from the show just by looking at that stub. I personally would love to have seen, from the Starting Over album, "Overnight Sensation," "Play On," "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine," and "Party's Over" on that tour.

(When I was a teenager, I thought Wally's kick-ass, angst-filled line "So I'm older and brighter and a bad criticizer and I'm crazy but I don't give a sh*t!" was the coolest thing.... I mean, sh*t fit into the lyric like a glove; the cool thing was that it wasn't gratuitous---he didn't go out of his way to toss in a curse word. Same with Eric's more subtle first line of "Starting Over.")

Anyway, I digress.... Cool ticket, Mitch. And I noticed it shows that the opening act for Raspberries was... The DeFranco Family! Yet another odd pairing for the 'berries.... They were either blowing another band off the stage (see the Terry Sylvester/Hollies thread) or playing with a true teenybop act. I remember the DeFranco family as sort of an Osmond Brothers/Partridge Family knockoff... "Heartbeat, it's a love beat, and a love beat, is a good sensation..."

(Correct me if I'm wrong on that lyric.) :-)

--LC

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I caught them in Greenville, PA. I didn't know about Jim & Dave leaving. When they came onstage I was totally surprised. Though I liked the "edginess" on the new songs, I really missed the original sound on the older songs. BUT, Wally's "V" just SCREAMED. What a sound! I went out and bought a "V" and a Marshall half-stack the next day (even though at that time they were using Ampeg amps).

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I saw them several times during that tour--twice at Joint in the Woods (where I met Kay for the first time in the ladies' room!) and just about every NJ venue (not all--they weren't always publicized). Also Sheep's Meadow in Central Park (which was the March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon), My Father's Place (only the last one--didn't find about about the other dates in time), in Reading or Pottsville, PA (don't remember which), Rutgers University at the student center, and at a place called "The Cave," but there seems to be a mistake in Scott's journal, because The Cave was a club in Manalapan, NJ (not Middletown) and the date I saw them there was Sept. 25, '74. He must have written "The Cave" on the wrong line in his journal (or there was *another* "Cave" in Celina, OH!) and he definitely got the town wrong--somebody mixed up Middletown with Manalapan. Anyway, it was great to see the band that many times!

smile --Darlene

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Darlene,

I also saw them at "The Joint In The Woods" also. I don't recall the date or where it was located. I think it was in Parsippany. Would appreciate your help. I remember not liking the music that the DJ played in the club that night before they came on. It was very funk oriented as I recall. Most of the songs I didn't even know. But I do remember them playing Frankenstein by Edgar Winter Group. I also remember the Raspberies playing Free's "All Right Now" that night. Do you know what club TJITW now is?

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I also saw both shows when Eric made his solo debut at The Bottom Line in New York City on April 2, 1976. Just curious--who else on the board was there that night? Both shows were fantastic!

smile --Darlene

I saw Eric at the Bottom Line. I also went to that Arista Records shabang that I know you attended.

Apparently you and I went to several clubs/shows together.

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I also saw the "Starting Over" Raspberries in what may have been their first show together. It was before the LP came out but sported the new lineup as well as some of the new songs. I remember them playing "All Thru the Night" and I think "Play On"; I t was at Central Park in NYC. It was a WNEW-FM concert and I remember being shocked to see these "new guys" as I did not know of Jim and Dave's departure.

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TOMMY, Yes, it was Parsippany. I have no idea what the club is now, or even if it is still standing. When I met Kay Bryson at the first reunion concert, I told her I wanted to go up there and if the club were still standing I would write "Kay was here" in lipstick on the mirror in the ladies' room. smile

The first Joint in the Woods show was before the Central Park one. Maybe you went to the second JITW show which was later.

Apparently, we went to MANY shows together! smile

The "Arista Shabang" you mention must have been the party after the Avery Fisher Hall Arista One Year Anniversary Concert. I was miserably disappointed that night because Gil Scott Heron came on to replace Eric. Somehow, the group I met there (were you IN it?!) decided to crash the Arista party at the Marriott-Essex House. I was reticent to do that, but Barry Manilow's bass player invited me and that's how I wound up there.

I just remember meeting Melissa Manchester and talking to her most of the night--she was such a sweetheart, and I remember being very impressed with her instrumental talent. Bob Dylan also wandered into the party sometime with Patti Smith, but I don't remember much else. I have a few pictures, and wonder if you are in some of them!

smile --Darlene

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Sorry for the confusion. I went to the first Joint in the Woods show I would imagine. It was with the original lineup and I would guess it was somewhere around 1973 but would love to know the actual date if you have it. If it is in "Marathon Man" book I could look there.

Also, I did not attend the Arista party after the concert just the concert. Gil Scott Heron is replacing Eric last minute is what I refer to as the Arista Records shabang. My face dropped when they announced that Eric's truck carrying his instruments broke down and that he was being replaced by Gil Scott Heron. I'd love to know the true story. I mean really am I to believe that an artist scheduled to play a concert can't play because his instruments didn't arrive but they can get a totally different artist and all his band and instruments to the show in easier than getting the original artist's instruments there?

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I'm pretty sure I saw the original lineup at JITW also, but don't remember when. I was always on the lookout for Raspberries shows, not to mention calling CAM up to find out if any would be in my area, so I went to a lot, and can't always remember when or which batch of Berries was playing.

I have never seen so many people bummed out as when they announced Gil Scott Heron. All I remember is listening to an interminable number of acts and following them down the posh program (which I still have), or at least the number seemed interminable. I remember hearing Linda Lewis sing "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" in her baby-voice (I love that song), thinking "Eric will be on soon!" Just as it was his turn, the emcee announced his replacement and on came GSH and The Midnight Band. A collective "NO!" was audible. So many people were upset. I remember seeing Clive Davis shortly thereafter and waylaid him and asked him why. I just got some kind of noncommital answer, but the rest of the concert was totally downhill for me. Even going to the party didn't begin to make up for Eric not performing that night.

--Darlene

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