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I just found this on somebody's blog...brings back a lot of good summertime memories. (apologies if it was already posted.)


Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Raspberries...LIVE IN NYC!

I am tired.

Its Sunday night and 11 p.m. and I should be going to bed.

But first I want to write about last night.... Saturday night.

Both my friends Mike and Adam have birthdays this month, and a few months back they planned to celebrate by going to see THE RASPBERRIES play at BB KINGS BLUES CLUB in New York City.

The Raspberries were a power-pop band in the early 1970s, and they had a few hits with the songs "Go All The Way" and "Overnight Sensation", but they broke up by the mid 1970s after troubles with publishing and friction between band members.

You know.

In Rock n Roll stuff like that happens all the time. It is a business filled with egos and power and money.

Eric Carmen (lead singer of the group) went on to a succesful solo career with hits like "All By Myself", and others like that awful song from the movie "Dirty Dancing".

Recently, they decided to reform the group after something like 25 years, and they are out on a small tour.

This is HUGE news for Raspberries fans everywhere. I have read on the fan sites that people are flying in from around the world to see these few American tour dates.

My friend Mike is a huge Raspberries fan, and when he told me about the show a few months back, I decided to get a ticket too. I knew a few of their songs, and I thought it might be fun to see an old band play their hits. Mike's enthusiasm for them was infectious.

The day of the show came, and to be honest, I didn't have huge expectations.

These guys were in their 50s, & they hadn't played together in over 2 decades.

They probably weren't going to have very high energy or sound great, but still, it would be cool to hear "Go All The Way" performed live by the band who wrote it.

Plus it was a birthday celebration, and we were going to have fun.

Whats not to like?

Freinds, live music, food and booze!

The show was scheduled to start at 8, and doors supposed to open at 6, so we got to BB KINGS at 5:30 because there was already a huge line of ticket holders waiting to get in.

I had no idea that there would be so many people there to see them.

Actually that isn't true.

Around 2:30 that very afternoon, I was meeting Adam to see a matinee of the movie "WEDDING CRASHERS" (by the way, GREAT FUNNY MOVIE..Go see it and laugh your ass off)and the movie house is on the same block as BB KINGS, so I stopped at BB KINGS to see the dinner menu which they post in front of the marquee.

Two RASPBERRIES fans (from the looks of them, I think they were fans from the wayback machine in the 1970s) were standing there with Raspberries albums (vinyl!) and after I glanced at the menu and started to walk towards the movie theater, I passed this short, silver haired man who looked me right in the eyes.

Then I heard one of the 1970s fans ask this man:

"Eric, would you sign this for me?"

The silver haired gentleman was Eric Carmen, of The Raspberries.

I didn't recognize him, but hey, he looks different now than on his greatest hits cd when they used a photo of him from 19seventy something.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, so Mike, Adam and I got in the ticket holders line and a little while later, the line was down the block.

I guess they have more fans than I imagined.

After what seemed like an eternity, we got inside and seated.

We ordered some finger food and a bucket of beer.

The place was filling up to capacity crowd.

This was a sold out show.

I was impressed.

Now this was not your typical Rock n Roll crowd.

This was a older, grayer crowd.

Some people had brought their teenage kids.

I guess they wanted to show them what music they were listening to, when THEY were kids.

Around 8:30 the show started.

First a video montage was shown of the band in their heyday.

Oh, those CLOTHES.

Oh that HAIR.

The audience was foaming at the mouth with anticipation.

It had been close to 30 years since this bands last New York appearance and these fans were wetting themselves

in their delight that this reunuion was happening right-before-their-very-eyes.

The band took the stage.



They looked ALOT older than their video montage selves, but of course, how could they not?

Eric Carmen looked the best.

He was wearing a tight black vest and he looked very sexy.

He looked every bit the rock n roll frontman, except greyer.

But he still has that LOOK of youthful exhuberation when he was on stage.

Then the music began.

Eric Carmen began to sing.

It took a moment for me to soak it all in.

Maybe about a minute.

It was at that moment my mouth opened, and my jaw hit the floor.

They didn't just sound good.

The sounded PER-FECT.

Down to the perfect harmonies and music.

They were like a well-oiled machine.

They, in fact, sounded like their records.

Except this wasn't a recording. It was happening right before my eyes and ears.

Eric Carmen's voice hit ALL the high notes (and there are ALOT of them) and was so good, that a big dumb grin was pasted on my face most of the evening.

I came there to have a good time, and I was having a good time, but I didn't expect to have THIS good a time.

The crowd ATE IT UP.

I ate it up!

People were dancing in the aisles.

Older people, suddenly seemed younger.

A bunch of middle aged blonde women were standing directly in front of the stage SWOONING in front of Eric Carmen, and when I saw them, I didn't see middle aged women at all.

I saw them all, back 30 years in time when they were 16 year old high school girls falling in love with a singer on the radio.

I saw grown men so caught up in the excitement of seeing a band they thought would never play again, that they danced and swayed and lost all self-conciousness, because they were in the moment of recapturing a moment of their youth.

It was.

In a word,


They played like this for 2 hours, and they didn't miss a beat.

They played their songbook for us and we took it all in.

There was happiness and love oozing out of that room.

Then, for their encore, they came out and played "Go All The Way".

Their biggest hit.

They could have ended the show without even playing it, and it still would have been one of the best concerts I'd ever seen.

But they did play it, and it was like the sweetest icing I'd ever tasted on a cake in my life.

What a night.

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WOW! I wonder how old the writer is? I haven't read this before, and it sure got *my* attention! The blogger seems to have captured the evening perfectly, and really got educated in the bargain!

The show at BBKings NY made yet another true believer! AL-RIGHT! Thanks for sharing, Dave and JuliaD.

smile --Darlene

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Darlene, if you look at The Meet and Greet pictures, from New York, at the top middle photo, is someone named Mike who was also at the L.A. concert. He's wearing the white, then patterned blue shirt. He was wearing a Raspberries Shirt then, and he brought a twelve-string guitar, hoping to get it autographed. He said he wouldn't sell it on EBay. He's been a Raspberries fan for a long time. I think he said he's from New Mexico. He said he has played in bands, doing some of his own music.

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