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Interview Bob Messenger Interview 2016

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    In early '16, I recorded an interview at home with the legendary flute, sax and live bassist Bob Messenger for a tentative project I was working on. As this was not originally intended to be aired on radio or published as a podcast, the interview was not taped in a studio. Bob has not recorded any interviews to either of our knowledge since Karen's passing in '83, and whatever earlier interview(s) to which he may have contributed with the Carpenters would be considered extremely rare.

    I created this in a video timeline as I normally did with my radio show archive interviews for The Download (originally aired 2013-2014), and peppered in some occasional rare photographs that were mostly provided, courtesy of Bob and Joan Messenger. Enjoy!

     
    Brian, byline, David A and 11 others like this.
  2. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Wow, so good. Thank you for sharing this Chris. I can't help but wonder about some of the 'I can't remember's. Maybe he just doesn't want to say.

    I was just reading a Laura Nyro remembrance, and David Geffin, who loved her, said outright, I don't want to talk about her ever(subtext: it's too painful, too personal).

    It's also interesting too, the way he hasn't spoken much to Richard in thirty years: we think of all these guys and gals together as a team and such, but Rich probably always thought of the band as employees, it seems.

    One person's fandom is another person's day job.

    Chris
     
    Tapdancer and GaryAlan like this.
  3. Portlander

    Portlander Member

    Excellent interview Chris, Bob sounds like a really decent guy and he was always my favorite of the Carpenters talented and loyal band members. Interesting to find that he was asked to be in the "Touch Me When We're Dancing" video even though he didn't actually play on the single. Kind of disappointing that he has no current contact with Richard and it sounds like it's been since Karen passed which I find surprising. I guess people move on with their lives. Thanks for all you do on this wonderful site!
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks ever so much for that Interview, Chris May !
    Bob seems like a fine fellow !
    A few amusements....
    Gee, Orange County must be quite a distance from Thousand Oaks !
    Even so, whatever happened to phone calls as a way to stay in touch ?
    I had wondered, was Bob ever actually "in the recording studio" at the same time
    as Karen was when recording her vocals ?
    Sadly, it sounds as if the impact that we "feel" as fans --the emotions which fuel our 'fandom'--
    is not as prevalent for others who are 'employees' on a 'gig'....
    Funny, but it seems....I probably listen to Bob on those recordings more than Bob has ... !
     
    David A likes this.
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the post, Chris! He said several times that Richard built everything around Karen. I would have to imagine that an extreme effort from Richard, mentally and emotionally built this reality. I think I remember reading that Karen said something about being hard working musicians is what they wanted to share with the world that would result in good music, and Bob confirmed that result with his choice of remberance in this interview. I think it's also nice to note that a lot of free work went into the beginning which I will take as an important decision for any musician. Even after all these years he seemed guarded and to protect them from any gossip and to treat his friends with respect. I think the interview proved to be an example of character.

    Thanks for sharing this and the pictures.

    Craig
     
    Don Malcolm and Guitarmutt like this.
  6. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for posting, Chris! Fascinating to finally hear an interview with Bob Messenger. He sounds like a great guy.

    It reminded me of a comment he made in the Coleman book about how he overcame his initial stage fright by focusing and playing for Karen and Richard. He obviously knew they were perfectionists and wanted to play at their level. He certainly succeeded.
     
  7. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Thank you Chris. Always lovely to hear from the gang.
     
  8. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Thanks Chris, great interview!
     
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The performance --tenor sax--by Bob Messenger,
    Please Mr. Postman
    is brilliant.
    In any event, I am glad he is credited on the Official Carpenter website, on the tune.
    Gold, happily does list his name (in the tenor sax credits) for Postman.
    Otherwise, reading the credits elsewhere, his name is hard to come by for Postman sax:
    From The Top, Essential Collection,Anthology; as instances where he is not credited.
    (Oversight ? No one proof-reads those credits/liner notes ?)

    He did the brilliant , original , sax on the Santa Claus single,also ?
    Why was he not approached (or, was he ?) to perform the alternate Santa Sax ?
     
  10. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I enjoyed the interview. I listened to it when you first put it up, but haven't logged in for ages to reply. Thanks for posting it, Chris.
     
  11. his was my comment, somehow the formatting was a bit askew:

    30+ years is a long time. the touring ended long before Karen died. each had families
    and the situations through which people live. when was the last time you saw your frat buddies? the police cadets? the army buddies? it isn't fair to say that Richard considers them employees, time passes and focuses change
     

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