Yes, you can go home again -- and again. The Raspberries reunited last November, playing to a sold-out crowd of baby boomers at the House of Blues. A follow-up show there on New Year's Eve once again brought a full house, confirming that this '70s power-pop band, whose last hit was more than 30 years ago, can still draw devotees.
"Fan response has been great," says drummer Jim Bonfanti. "We were surprised how quickly the first show sold out [in four minutes]. And the intensity and enthusiasm of the audience at every show hasn't let up."
These pop-rock heroes haven't known this much hometown excitement since the old Agora Ballroom days, when they were the Sunday-night house band. For yet another Cleveland appearance, Bonfanti joins original Raspberries Eric Carmen (vocals/guitar), Wally Bryson (guitar), and Dave Smalley (bass) -- along with local musicians Billy Sullivan (vocals/guitar), Paul Sidoti (vocals/guitar), and Jennifer Lee (vocals/keyboards).
The band will be supporting a new CD, Raspberries Greatest, released by Capitol Records, the company that first signed it in 1971. Back then, it toured Europe, headlined Carnegie Hall, and sold out the Los Angeles Coliseum all in the same year (1973). Now, this bunch has put its infamous 1975 breakup behind it. Combine the Raspberries with the Knack, best known for "My Sharona," and local powerhouse Stone Pony, a Southside Johnny tribute band, and you've got a sure cure for the summertime blues.
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