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Friday On My Mind


pierson

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"Someday's a long time and we've been waiting so long to be here..."

I just wanted to share a little unbridled enthusiasm and just reiterate what everyone else whose got tix must be thinking/feeling. I can't believe it's going to happen!!!

Today was my weekly radio show on the Rutgers University station (WRSU-FM). It began with a brief nod & wink to the anniversary of the release of The Beatles' "White Album" and followed with a set dedicated to the upcoming Raspberries reunion gig....

the beginning was moody and slow per my deeper connections with The White Album which are the quiet songs (which really sound great on grey dreary days in November-- just like today in NJ)

the following set was an attempt to capture the excitement and anticiaptation of this week's event and also give the listener a very brief historical taste (i.e. The Choir & Cyrus Erie) along with two applicable non-Berries songs; Easybeats' 'Friday On My Mind' and Ian Hunter's 'Cleveland Rocks.'

Listening back to the tape of the show (on my way home) the segue of "Go All The Way" into "Friday On My Mind" freaked me out and totally hit the nerve I was aiming for. "Cleveland Rocks" into "Tonight" basically sealed it...

I hope all the guys in the band are as peaked as I dream they are. With the recent release of Bernie's bio on Eric--and my usual fantical/love to reinspect and go back to such groundbreaking bands like the Raspberries--I remain as in awe of the genius singles as ever and I revel in the magic of the band. They are a very rare breed and deserve all the praise one can heap without becoming too hyperbolic. (Hard to do.)

With the recent passing of Greg Shaw I was saddened because he was one of the few people to actually put into words (with rare passion and eloquoence) what the Berries' actually accomplished and what the true essence of their defining singles meant. These are not mere singles or just some "memorable" tunes from a good band back in the day (choose whoever you want from 1972). Playing "I Wanna Be With You," "Go All The Way" and "Tonight" on the radio today made me realize (once again) that there's nothing like this anywhere else. And it will never happen quite this way again. (Sui generis, indeed.)

The concept and dream of these Cleveland mods was fulfilled and captured with as much glory and aplomb as any kids wishing they could replicate the thrill of The Beatles' performance on Ed Sullivan. The fact that it happened in 1972, was just all the more incredible. The fact that the dream didn't grow on a mass scale the way their '60s heroes' did doesn't change the music. The songs live and they jump and explode with a fresh incendiary spirit. Too bad the spirit was lost to most of the masses when they were released. I just guess the 'Berries weren't made for their time.

To those it did connect with, it changed them forever. It was a revolution. It brought the focus of pop, melody, structure and pure heartfelt inspiration back to the airwaves for one last goodbye & we owe them all the gratitude in the world for that. Or at least enough to drive 400+ miles on Thanksgiving week 2004 to see them tear it up live on their home turf!

Cleveland rocks!

Pat Pierson

p.s. posted under here is the 1st half of today's radio show (The Radio Boy program on WRSU)

1. intro Peter Finch "Network"/ Beatles- "Revolution 9"

2. THE BEATLES- Mother Nature's Son ("The Beatles" Apple 1968)

3. THE BEATLES- Julia ("The Beatles" Apple 1968)

4. THE BEATLES- Revolution1 ("The Beatles" Apple 1968)

5. THE BEATLES- Long Long Long ("The Beatles" Apple 1968)

6. RASPBERRIES- I Wanna Be With You ("Fresh" Capitol 1972)

7. THE CHOIR- I'd Rather You Leave Me (Bomp EP 1976/1968)

8. CYRUS ERIE- Get The Message (single Epic 1968)

9. RASPBERRIES- Go All The Way ("Raspberries" Capitol 1972)

10. EASYBEATS- Friday On My Mind ("Gonna Have A Good Time" Retroactive 1999/1967)

11. IAN HUNTER- Cleveland Rocks ("Once Bitten Twice Shy" Legacy/Columbia 2000/1979)

12. RASPBERRIES- Tonight ("Side 3" Capitol 1973)

13. BEACH BOYS- I Just Wasn't Made For These Times ("Pet Sounds" Capitol 1966)

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Very well said, Pat. Rutgers, huh? Well, you just might have been spiritually connecting with the Berries themselves.

Eric, Wally, Jim and Dave played a show at Rutgers back in 1972 in support of their then new FRESH album. A college deejay at the time approached the boys in their dressing room and asked them to sign his PROMO ONLY copy of the LP. Of course, they obliged.

Two decades later I found myself in the local rare record store. It was just a block or so from the university campus but was recently closed to bring in a New Brunswick Starbucks or some other modern nonsense. The owner caught me eyeing some Raspberries vinyl on the wall and said, "If you think those are cool, take a look at this." He then reached behind his counter and pulled the plastic protective cover from a MINT copy of FRESH.

The first thing I noticed was a large hole punch in the corner of the record cover—a telltale sign that the LP was a PROMO COPY given to radio stations. But the surprise was on the back. As he turned it over, I could see each of their names written very neatly in ballpoint pen: ERIC CARMEN, DAVID SMALLEY, WALLY BRYSON and JIM BONFANTI, who added the word RASPBERRIES under his name.

My eyes were wide open as I held it in my hands and found it transporting me back to the day they held it in theirs and signed it for the local deejay. Minutes later they hit the stage and played one of their memorable sets for the college crowd—none of them fully understanding what they were witnessing in that small New Brunswick hall nor coinsidering how long it would be remembered.

As I gingerly handed it back to the record store owner I asked him, "Where did you get this?" He said, "A friend of mine worked for the Rutgers University radio station and got the band to sign it backstage. I can let you have it for $30."

Over the years, I have acquired plenty of items signed by Eric, Wally, Dave and Jim. Many of them start off, "To Bernie," but this anonymously signed original LP is one of my most precious treasures. Because it was there, there when the music was fresh, when it was alive and echoing not only on transistor radios and turntables across the country but also stirring in the minds and souls of our beloved Raspberries who still had songs to write and stories to tell. They were young and believed in "A Hard Day's Night." I'm older now, but I still do.

Bernie

PS: "I Wanna Be With You" entered the BILLBOARD charts on November 25, 1972 with a bullet. Now, almost 32 years to the day, Raspberries will be playing that song again. Friday on my mind? I don't think there is a single other thing on it right now. Not a single other thing.

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I stand corrected--it was the FIRST batch of Berries! And it IS gonna happen again, Friday night! Ahhh, those days are back again...And this time, Mr. Raspbernie, you won't have to look at the back of an album and wonder what it was like--you'll BE there!!!Congratulations! (to us all!)

smile --Over-the-Moon-Darlene

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Pat, had I known I would've tuned in! Back when I was working in radio ('77-'80) I couldn't ever play the Raspberries because disco and mello rock had taken over! (two reasons I'm not in radio these days.) I'll make a point of tuning in to your next show. Looking forward to meeting y'all.

Dave

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hey, this must be the joisey peeple's hangout? what exit on the NJ Turnpike (exit 9, for new brunswick!)

musta been the CHEAP THRILLS record shop on George Street, huh? spent MANY hours in there ...

looks like MANY of my fellow New Jerseyans are headed out to Cleveland ... a safe, happy and heavenly trip to all of you. I'll be thinking about you friday night!

can we get the band to come play New Brunswick? State Theater? Court Tavern? Old Man Rafferty's? Tumulty's Pub?

;-)

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