Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by From This Moment On, Apr 5, 2014.
How did the Carpenters meet (isn't there an instrument he can't play!) Bob Messenger?
Perhaps Bob could fill in the details if he comes this way?
For some reason he and Peluso always stood out to me when I first got into the group. Maybe because they looked so different to Strawn/Woodhams. . .plus had their solos in the promo videos. They really were a motley crew, and that's what I love about them. Messenger always looked like a big friendly giant, to me.
Looked for some info on him and found this info from a chap named Bob Borochoff, written last year :
"Bobby is an old friend. He originally played saxophone in a band with my Mother in the sixties. My mom sang as Ruthi Scott in those days. Became ill and couldn't blow a horn anymore, switched to the bass. Great guy-taught me to play chess as a youngster in the sixties. Glad to hear he is still around."
Someone else wrote : "He lives in Southern California and still plays around town with a few local jazz bands."
I think he was a few years Richard's senior so he's probably mid 70's now. I'm just pleased he's still around, after the loss of Peluso and Strawn.
Thanks for the info, ullalume.
Have to agree with your first and last paragraphs.
I think some members here are personally acquainted with him . . .
I hope Bob is in good health and wish him well.
"...There's a Christmas party at the home of Farmer Gray..." Gotta love Bob's voice as well - and he talks like this in person
Last I'd spoken to him, he's still living down at the beach here in Southern California and plays in and around Newport...
My first Carpenters connection was in the summer of 1975. My parents had been visiting friends in LA and I didn't find out until years later that they had gone to a party at a musician's house who introduced himself as the "bass player for the Carpenters." My parents were kind of hippy-ish back then.
Yeah, Bob was only their bassist in terms of their live shows. Joe Osborn was primarily responsible for all of the studio cuts. Of course Bob also played many of the solos on the records (tenor sax and flute) as well as on stage.
Bob is credited with playing bass on some Offering sessions according to the Complete Recording Source, something I didn't realise until I just looked it up. I wonder which ones? Am I right in saying that, with the exception of Karen and Bob on this album, Joe played electric bass on every single studio track ever released by the Carpenters thereafter? I'm sure that's the case.
Yes - I'm pretty sure Bob played on Another Song (the part eventually replaced by Joe in '95). As to the others, they were Joe with the exception of All Of My Life & Eve, which were Karen. He (Bob) also played on several of the Carpenters' television show cuts for ABC.
The plot thickens - the Carpenters Resource says it was Danny Woodhams that played on 'Close To You' the album, not Bob. He did play on the Tan album though
Oh woooops!! I'm mixing them all up - two entirely different albums... You're totally right! I've got my brain in 50 places today so I'll try to slow down! Hahahaha...
Anyone got pics or video of Karen grooving on the bass? Would love to have seen her play it.
I'm 99.9 % sure that doesn't exist unfortunately
But his tenor sax solos are mind boggling! A Song for You, for example. And his bass. Playing those parts in front of audiences over and over is no mean feat! Joe apparently was afraid of the audience. Bob? Never! Flute, sax, bass! No problem.
Long live Bob Messenger!
I noticed in old Billboard reviews posted today in the Official Review of A Kind Of Hush that Bob was yet again singled out for praise by the reviewers. I've lost count of how many times I've seen that. He was a vastly underrated member of their backing group and contributed some wonderful work to their studio albums.
Absolutely, Stephen, he is vastly underrated.
Love this Bob Messenger !
(Coleman Biography , page 120):
" We wanted to do a good job for Richard and Karen. That's exactly how I got rid of my
early stage fright. I was playing for them."
(There are only six times he is listed in the Coleman index.)
Is it my understanding that it was his original sax solo replaced on the ballad "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". ?
(I much prefer that solo on the Como Christmas show, the Single release.)
But, even so, why not retain his services on the other sax solo?
Would love to see that! Are there any picture at least?
Do you know, I don't recall ever seeing a single picture of Karen on the bass. The only time she played it was on the Offering album, I guess Richard might have some photos of them at Joe Osborne's studio in his private collection.
Well, here's a pic....she's close to the bass....does that count??
The Making of a Star!!! now what could she be singing???
I did a wonderful interview with Bob last night. He's doing well, still living here in Southern California and playing his sax.
Sadly, I think the "fake picture"/portrait in the New Carpenters photos thread is the closest we'll get.
Bob Messenger is great, simply put. It's funny because he's the only one other than Tony that I recognize when I see him. He and the other band guys (let me see if I've got it: Tony Peluso, Gary Sims, Danny Woodhams, Joe Osborn, Hal Blaine) are really the unsung heroes of the Carpenters' studio albums. I wish I could've met them in person, too, just to say "thank you for contributing your wonderful sound".
What an unexpected treat. Is it Bob specifically in relation to his work with the Carpenters? Is it one of your download pieces?