Roger Friedman, national music critic for FOX News, said of Jim Bonfanti after seeing Raspberries in their 2005 NYC reunion concert:
“…drummer Jim Bonfanti, the center of their power...he should be playing with The Who or The Rolling Stones on tour. He's phenomenal.”
Jim Bonfanti, co-founder and renowned drummer for legendary classic rock band Raspberries, has been playing professionally since the mid 1960’s. Jim also was a member of sixties band The Choir, known for it’s 60’s garage band classic “It’s Cold Outside” which prominently features Jim’s drums in the song’s memorable intro. Jim has been featured in issues of Modern Drummer, Classic Drummer, MOJO and others. Jim made several TV appearances in the ‘70’s, including American Bandstand, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Midnight Special and The Mike Douglas Show just to name a few. Jim performed on the 2005 VH1 Classic special, “Hangin’ With The Raspberries”.
Raspberries count artists as diverse as John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Elton John, Tom Petty, Jon Bon Jovi, Kiss and Rick Springfield among their fans. They burst onto the national music scene in 1972 with their million selling Top 5 smash, “Go All The Way”, followed by the Top 10 “I Wanna Be With You” and the top 20 hit “Let’s Pretend”. Regarded internationally as the architects of the “Power Pop” genre of rock and roll, Raspberries are highly respected by their peers for such classic album rock tracks as “Tonight” and “Ecstasy”, which prominently feature Jim’s skills. The group’s 1974 hit “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)” was Rolling Stone Magazine’s Record Of The Year.
After more than 30 years apart, the original lineup of Raspberries reunited for the grand opening of The House Of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio on November 26, 2004. The show sold out in four minutes. A wildly successful national tour followed in 2005 that met with with SRO crowds, rave reviews and many celebrity sightings. Fans from as far as England, the Netherlands and Japan flocked to witness concerts by these icons of power pop.
In 2005 EMI records released “Raspberries Greatest”. In 2007 Raspberries released “Live On Sunset Strip”, a 2-CD / DVD set and the band’s only official live recording, on Rykodisc Records to rave national and international reviews. The band played a limited number of concerts to support the release. In April 2009, Raspberries were invited to headline the private VIP party for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum’s Induction ceremony, which would be the band’s final performance. Raspberries’ international legacy as the architects of the “Power Pop” genre continues to this day. 2014 saw Raspberries’ signature million selling top 5 smash “Go All The Way” featured on the platinum selling soundtrack to the motion picture “Guardians Of The Galaxy”.
After more than 40 years Raspberries continue to show the music world why they are considered among the most influential bands of the rock era.
Jim continues to be very active in the Cleveland music industry, playing and recording with various bands.
Jim uses Ludwig Drums and Evans heads.
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