A huge local band at their peak, Cyrus Erie is famous for being Eric Carmen's springboard to regional stardom. Eric was not an original member, the band being formed by drummer/singer Michael McBride and his brother Bob McBride on bass. Other early members were Tim Manning (guitar) and Rob Belzer (guitar?/keyboards?). This lineup recorded three very good original songs at Cleveland Recording that never got beyond tape. Late in 1967, Eric joined (allegedly to play drums and free McBride to sing....) but Carmen's guitar, piano and singing skills were too good to ignore. Marty Murphy, who had played with Eric in the Sounds of Silence, joined on guitar at the same time. Eric had been snubbed for a part in the Choir so he decided to recruit former Choir guitarist Wally Bryson (who had already quit them few months earlier) in a deliberate attempt to one-up them....and many fans will say it worked.
The Cyrus Erie took Cleveland by storm in the summer and fall of '68, helped by the Choir's temporary breakup and regrouping. Cyrus Erie straddled the 'underground' and 'commercial' styles, they played rock hits of the day and some selected LP tracks by bands like the Small Faces and Who. Some band originals, mainly by Eric, were also performed live. The band's huge popularity did not go unnoticed and they got the attention of NYC producer Sandy Linzer. The group took a publishing demo of a Paul Leka song called "The Painter", and Eric's original "Sparrow" - and recorded them at Audio Recording. Not long after this Marty Murphy left the band, apparently by mutual agreement. A few months later the group went to New York and recorded several songs, including a new version of"Sparrow" but producer Sandy Linzer tried to force 'pop' arrangements. After completing "Sparrow", the would be A side to their debut 45, they quickly laid down "Get The Message". Eric's songwriting did not go unnoticed, a demo he did for "Light the Way" found it's way to the group behind Oliver (the guy who had the huge pop hit "Jean") and was cut by Oliver on a unsuccesful 45.
The Cyrus Erie 45 was a hit in Cleveland but Wally quit the band shortly after, apparently due to some problem with Eric. The group halted, briefly, and then reached back to the Choir again and added Dann Klawon on guitar. At some point Bob McBride left and Randy Klawon played bass.
This group was called the Quick and was short lived. However, they did, presumably for contractural obligation, record a 45 for Epic. The two songs were harded edged than the Cyrus Erie 45 and not as successful. Sources have claimed that the record was sold with a picture sleeve, but actually the sleeve was a mockup discovered in the CBS vaults and never sold commercially.
After a couple months as the Quick the group reverted back to the Cyrus Erie and played out until early '70. Eric had stayed in touch with Epic and recorded some additional songs for a 'solo' 45 that was scheduled but never pressed. Meanwhile he was talking to another former Choir member - drummer Jim Bonfanti. Eric and Wally put an end to their disputes, and the Raspberries were just about ripe.
Addtional Cyrus Erie info can be found in the books "Overnight Sensation" (Raspberries history) and "Marathon Man" (Eric Carmen bio).