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.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 us."
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."