A REALITY CHECK (PART 3)!
The Raspberries In Concert December, 2007
Welcome to Part 3 in an unexpected series that has caught some traction. We have been looking at photos that keep us grounded in Hope and Reality. The Raspberries reunion a couple years back was fun. The band kicked off their reunion with a short tour. When I was a kid, I'd lay on the floor with the stereo speakers between my head to capture the "true concert experience" from their albums. I recall the song, "I Reach for the Light" well and had the joy of seeing Eric Carmen live as a soloist in concert at Kings Island Amusement Park long ago. They are pictured above in concert--not to be missed! I cannot wait for this band to visit my city! Many of you are seeing this photo and probably wondering who they are. The late John Lennon was a super fan of Eric Carmen, Jim Bonfanti, Wally Bryson and Dave Smalley. Here's what Bruce Springsteen said about the band in March, 2007: "In the late 70's I'd drive on Sunday nights to Asbury Park to sit in with Southside Johnny with "The Raspberries Greatest Hits" firmly stuck in the cassette player of my C-10 pickup. Dismissed at the time of their chart dominance for having 'hits' (Fools!), they are THE underrated power pop masters. Their best records are as fun and fresh today as when they were released. Soaring choruses, Beach Boy harmonies over crunchy Who guitars, lyrics simultaneously innocent, lascivious, and all about sex, sex, sex continue to make for an unbeatable combination. "Go All The Way", "I Wanna Be With You", "Let's Pretend", "Tonight", all still deliver on their three minutes of promised ecstasy, while "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" still raises the hair on your arms and should go down as one of the great mini-opera masterpieces of all time". Nancy Wilson loves Gibson Les Paul guitars; I love Nancy Wilson from the
Duane "Dog" Chapman and I could hang for a few days. I admire this guy. He spent twenty-three years on the wrong side of the law. He was wrongly convicted for a murder he never committed, the charges were dropped and he went from ex-con to American icon. A born-again Christian, he is featured on A&E's television series "Dog: The Bounty Hunter" with wife Beth and his kids. He is credited with bringing serial killer Andrew Luster to Justice and making the streets safer from hoodlums. Yes, he is unconventional. But where wayward people are concerned, after they are taken into custody, Duane gives them "the talk" if he sees that they have a desire to "straighten up and fly right". Furthermore, he stays in touch with them. He's the real deal and he not only "talks the talk, he walk's the walk". (Try watching the show and then you decide). That's some reality, my brother! An Arizona sunset: there's nothing quite like it. Especially with The Raspberries' songs blaring over the Jeep radio. Reality! Jennifer O'Neil is unforgettable in this film. Watch it once and you'll understand what it is to long for someone. It's THAT real! Sylvester Stallone delivers on a film that proclaims: "It ain't over, til it's over". I like that. I also liked the story Sly brought us in theaters last year, reprising the American "can do" spirit even when we seem surrounded by those who " just cant". Amen! Like so many of you whose parents came to this country with little more than the clothes on their back, my late Father told me about the emotional feelings he experienced as a teenager when he first came to America from Eastern Europe and saw the magnificent Statue of Liberty from a steamer ship. It's so emotional for me that I can't talk about it. But for the first time since I was a kid myself, the Statue's Crown will be opened to the public! I had my Mother, Father, Aunt and Uncle's names engraved on The Immigrant Wall of Honor in New York. My two brothers and I chipped in and had it done. It means a lot to my Aunt and my Mother. They are true survivors. One day, I hope my children will see it. An overwhelming Reality! Actress, Writer, Producer, Director on Brooklyn Cable Television's BCAT station (part of Manhattan Neighborhood Network) and founder of The EVVY Cultural Exchange and The Annual EVVY Award for Fashion and Culture in New York, my friend of many years is Florette Vassall. She was my Guest on my BLOG Page feature, "THE INTERVIEW". Let me tell you what friendship and love-in-action is. Flo is an in-demand commercial actress. She had just flown into JFK Airport in New York from Germany when she learned I was in Washington, D.C. for Pan American World Airways' 30th Anniversary of Al Topping's "Last Flight Out" (see my Monday BLOG Post). Immediately, she boarded a plane to meet up with me--and with very little sleep. I couldn't imagine anyone doing this for me! A true friend, and an amazing lady who keeps it real! More ahead...