My obituary for rock star Eric Carmen, who became a close friend

Eric and Amy Carmen with the author at The White House Hanukkah party, Dec. 11, 2019. (Photo: Melody Kurson)

Eric Carmen was a power pop hero to me and he became a good friend. Some of my Facebook friends might have recalled Eric liking and commenting on my posts. Every time that happened, it sent a jolt of go all the way good vibrations through me and I treasured our long phone calls and text exchanges. As I write in my obituary for Rock and Roll Globe, Eric always wanted to talk politics and I always wanted to talk rock history.

After Eric died, I did what everyone does when a pop star dies — a deep dive into the back catalog. For some reason, I had never seen “Footloose,” which is insane for someone who was in high school in the 1980s. We made a point of heading out to the Paris Theater to catch a revival run and Eric’s song “Almost Paradise” is just one highlight of that perfectly 80s soundtrack. I could just see him at his piano coming up with that monster hook for Mike Reno and Ann Wilson to knock out of the park.

For some reason, it annoys me that Footloose screenwriter Dean Pitchford to give himself a songwriting credit on every song on the Footloose soundtrack. I have no special insight or gossip here, but I just picture him saying “hey, I’m the screenwriter of this movie that’s a guaranteed cult hit and if you want your song on the soundtrack you gotta credit me as lyricist.” In Eric’s case, he also wrote “Make Me Lose Control” with Pitchford and that reached #3 without a hit movie behind it so who knows, maybe Pitchford is some great lyricist even beyond the obvious genius of “Let’s hear it for the boy,” with its Shakespeare-inflected couplet, “Maybe he’s no Romeo / But he’s my lovin’ one-man show Whoa-oa-oa.”

Anyway, I miss Eric Carmen very much and he was a huge talent and a good guy.

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