So Eric Carmen pleaded “no contest” to a drunk driving charge yesterday, the result of an incident wherein he got drunk-ish (three times the legal limit!) and drove his car into a fire hydrant outside of Cleveland. Starting April 25, the “Hungry Eyes” singer will spend a month in jail. Wait, “Hungry Eyes” singer? Don’t you mean the “All By Myself” singer, Lucas? Nope. According to the Associated Press, the Cleveland rocker’s contribution to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack is his most enduring legacy. Here is a quick scan of headlines out there:
‘Hungry Eyes’ singer jailed for Ohio drunken drive — The Associated Press
Thirsty ‘Hungry Eyes’ Singer Gets Jail Time — Popeater
‘Hungry Eyes’ Singer Eats a Jail Sentence — TMZ
Only the Cleveland Plain Dealer mentioned the Raspberries in its headline, and that’s his hometown paper. The gossip sites just took “Hungry Eyes” and ran with it. Maura and I both thought this was pretty weird. I know that Dirty Dancing, despite being the most anachronistic movie this side of A Knight’s Tale, retains a level of popularity normally bestowed on bacon-covered fast food items, but the man has some pretty big hits. “Hungry Eyes” peaked at No. 4 on the charts in 1987, but a few months later, “Make Me Lose Control” (otherwise known as “Turn The Radio Up” by me until today) peaked at No. 3! And “All By Myself” went to No. 2 and was covered by Celine Dion, who took it to No. 4. Surely the headline could just as easily read “‘All By Myself’ singer is a drunken monster”?
This is all characteristic of the weird kind of effluvia that passes for music coverage in the non-music press. Sure, the AP story mentions the Raspberries and Carmen’s other hits in passing, but when they had to choose a song, they chose the one from Dirty Dancing, even though I’ve heard “All By Myself” and “Make Me Lose Control” as much, if not more, in my lifetime. In the end, if you can tie even the most vaguely music-related story to something other than music-–a TV show or movie or celebrity-–it has a better chance of making an impact.
Let’s cleanse our palates with some non-”Hungry Eyes” Eric Carmen content!
The Raspberries, “Go All The Way/I Want To Be With You”
Here are the Raspberries ripping through their two biggest hits (that weren’t covered by Shaun Cassidy). Carmen’s smooth voice is often in contrast with the rockin’ hooks, but I dig that about them. The guy wasn’t afraid to be a singer. You can go here to watch them talking to Joe Namath and Billie Jean King.
The Raspberries, “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye”
I’ve got a soft spot for this Raspberries ballad. I’m a sucker for Badfinger, Raspberries, the Hollies et al. when they slow it down.
Eric Carmen, “All By Myself”
What’s wrong with making love being just for fun?
Eric Carmen, “Make Me Lose Control”
This video is something else. That bikini girl at the beginning is so ’80s hot.
‘Hungry Eyes’ singer jailed for Ohio drunken drive [Associated Press]