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Anyone read this?

John Adam

Well-Known Member
When I saw Neil in concert a couple of months ago, the show opens with a montage of pictures and hits he’s written for major stars or singers since the late 50’s including Connie Francis, himself, Captain & Tennille, Sinatra, Andy Williams, Carpenters, and Clay Aiken was last. The picture of the Carpenters comes up and their recording of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do plays over the speakers. I thought it odd. The last picture is Clay Aiken and his version of Solitaire plays, which I found pleasant, but still an odd choice. It’s Sedaka’s show, so he can choose the songs. I was still not happy that he chose Aiken over Carpenters for Solitaire. They had the only true hit version with it, out of the 90 covers recorded over the years. BUIHTD was a bit of a payback, and a joke at the same time on The Kind of Hush album. The dig at him, and Captain & Tennille and the end of Boat to Sail was even better I thought.
Yeah, it's not like Clay Aiken is perceived as cool or hip by the general public. I'm sure personal politics have a say in all this. But in the end it's Neil's show and his song. But yeah, the Carpenters took it to a new level of sophistication, didn't they?
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
The ending where Karen sings DeShannon’s Back is a clear stab at C&T and Sedaka. They were making fun of Sedaka’s Back on LWKUT and Sedaka and the falling out they had.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I think there was a rivalry there for a few years, but still friendly. You see Karen and Toni on the ONJ Special later on and Darryl helped with the synth programming on WYBIMLA in 81’.
Not sure C&T we’re still with A&M then. Even Tommy Smothers made light of the situation on the Tonight Show, said they needed to get their crown back from C&T. It was awkward for Karen and Richard when he said that. I hope that was the correct quote. Feel free to correct if not. Thx.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I don’t believe there is anything factual other than friendship. Toni Tennille has always supported Karen in articles I have read.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Absolutely, their was respect and mutual admiration on both sides, but they were both duos on the same record label, and C&T were having huge hits, while the Carpenters were tanking. So there had to be a bit of friendly rivalry there. The Carpenters also didn’t like the tv series idea after their poor experience in 1971. The C&T learned that too later on.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
That is one of the many things that I liked about Karen Carpenter. In what I've seen/heard in articles or interviews whether print, audio, or video she never bashed her contemporaries in the business. About the most controversial thing along those lines she ever said was "the gold record is on OUR wall" when referring to Bette Midler and the recording of Superstar.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
That was in reference to Bette’s often dig at Karen’s image, saying something like, the only banging Karen Carpenter gets is on her drums. It was part of her act back then. Now it’s kind of funny, but I didn’t think so back then.
 

goodjeans

Active Member
I think there was a rivalry there for a few years, but still friendly. You see Karen and Toni on the ONJ Special later on and Darryl helped with the synth programming on WYBIMLA in 81’.
Not sure C&T we’re still with A&M then. Even Tommy Smothers made light of the situation on the Tonight Show, said they needed to get their crown back from C&T. It was awkward for Karen and Richard when he said that. I hope that was the correct quote. Feel free to correct if not. Thx.
I watched that episode. Karen and Richard took it with class.
 

Kaisu

Member
That is one of the many things that I liked about Karen Carpenter. In what I've seen/heard in articles or interviews whether print, audio, or video she never bashed her contemporaries in the business. About the most controversial thing along those lines she ever said was "the gold record is on OUR wall" when referring to Bette Midler and the recording of Superstar.
In Randy L. Schmidt's Yesterday Once More The Carpenters Reader there's an interview with the Melody Maker magazine. There's a comment in it which reveals Karen called "Moot the Hopple" "the most amateurish group I've ever seen". She apologizes it later, but as it shows, she did do some "bashing". Bu the way, I'm not bashing her, just stating the fact.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Along those lines:
September 2016.
We had the great honour to talk with a legendary musician: Ian Hunter.
He is best known as the lead singer of Mott the Hoople
Q: Were you frustrated when Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters –vocals, drums) said that Mott the Hoople “aren’t human” ?

A:No, I was laughing! Everybody else was mad at her. It was the best thing that could have happened.
We got a lot of publicity because of this. She had a beautiful voice. I loved her work with The Carpenters.
Source:
Interview: Ian Hunter (solo, Mott the Hoople)
-----
Did Karen Carpenter once really say that Mott the Hoople "aren't human"?
" Of course, we got massive press out of it. The best thing that could've happened.
She had a great voice, though. Wasn't too keen on her brother. But she was good. "
Source:
What Ian Hunter Has Learned from 45 Years in Rock
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Along those lines:
September 2016.
We had the great honour to talk with a legendary musician: Ian Hunter.
He is best known as the lead singer of Mott the Hoople
Q: Were you frustrated when Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters –vocals, drums) said that Mott the Hoople “aren’t human” ?

A:No, I was laughing! Everybody else was mad at her. It was the best thing that could have happened.
We got a lot of publicity because of this. She had a beautiful voice. I loved her work with The Carpenters.
Source:
Interview: Ian Hunter (solo, Mott the Hoople)
-----
Did Karen Carpenter once really say that Mott the Hoople "aren't human"?
" Of course, we got massive press out of it. The best thing that could've happened.
She had a great voice, though. Wasn't too keen on her brother. But she was good. "
Source:
What Ian Hunter Has Learned from 45 Years in Rock
"Wasn't too keen on her brother. But she was good. "

LOL!!
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
In Randy L. Schmidt's Yesterday Once More The Carpenters Reader there's an interview with the Melody Maker magazine. There's a comment in it which reveals Karen called "Moot the Hopple" "the most amateurish group I've ever seen". She apologizes it later, but as it shows, she did do some "bashing". Bu the way, I'm not bashing her, just stating the fact.
Thank you for pointing this out, Kaisu. Of all the music acts that would get a reaction from Karen, why this group? Did she have a secret "crush" on one of the band members? Was she a closet fan? They don''t look any less "human" than any of the other bands from that era. Pretty standard for the day. I don't believe I had ever seen them before until I looked up this video on YouTube of them singing their signature hit. Do they look any more outrageous then Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?:

 

David A

Well-Known Member
Thank you for pointing this out, Kaisu. Of all the music acts that would get a reaction from Karen, why this group? Did she have a secret "crush" on one of the band members? Was she a closet fan? They don''t look any less "human" than any of the other bands from that era. Pretty standard for the day. I don't believe I had ever seen them before until I looked up this video on YouTube of them singing their signature hit. Do they look any more outrageous then Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?:

Yes things like this are interesting but doubtful we'll ever know the "why". It can be something like a friend of hers in the business had a bad experience with them, or she knows a girl that dated one of them, or she encountered them backstage once, or maybe Richard didn't like them and she parroted that feeling...or she just got that weird nape-hair tingle just looking at them for some reason...ahh the things we ponder about this amazing woman :wink:
 

Kaisu

Member
Yes things like this are interesting but doubtful we'll ever know the "why". It can be something like a friend of hers in the business had a bad experience with them, or she knows a girl that dated one of them, or she encountered them backstage once, or maybe Richard didn't like them and she parroted that feeling...or she just got that weird nape-hair tingle just looking at them for some reason...ahh the things we ponder about this amazing woman :wink:
Yeah, like did she ever heard I never loved Eva Braun by The Boomtown Rats and what she would have thought of that song! Okay, I stop derailing this thread now!
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Yes things like this are interesting but doubtful we'll ever know the "why". It can be something like a friend of hers in the business had a bad experience with them, or she knows a girl that dated one of them, or she encountered them backstage once, or maybe Richard didn't like them and she parroted that feeling...or she just got that weird nape-hair tingle just looking at them for some reason...ahh the things we ponder about this amazing woman :wink:
"ahh the things we ponder about this amazing woman :wink:"

I agree. She was so simple and down-to-earth (like the girl next door). But obviously had very deep thoughts and a "complexity" about her. Most likely this contributed to the off-the-charts talent she possessed as well as the demons that haunted her. What can I say? The woman utterly fascinates me!
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
I understand that Karen made the public comments about Mott the Hoople because she considered they lacked talent, musically. I believe she also said something along the lines of, “They can’t even play their own instruments”. This line was referred to in a newspaper article that I read. However, by the time she made these quotes, Ian Hunter had been playing guitar professionally in bands for around ten years and had also played bass, so he must have had SOME skills.

Aside from what Karen said, Ian Hunter co-produced Ellen Foley’s first album, which was a big hit where I live in 1979. I mention this because I really liked the big hit single from the set:- ‘We Belong To the Night’. Ellen Foley’s next album, ‘Spirit of St. Louis’, recorded with The Clash and produced by their Mick Jones, is one of my many all-time favourite albums. (Ellen Foley wasn’t as big in some countries as she was here. In case you don’t know, she was the famous female voice with Meatloaf on ‘Paradise By the Dashboard Light’).

Ian Hunter also produced an album by Generation X. You may not know, but Generation X is famous for presenting their lead singer, Billy Idol, to the world. He’s another performer who I like a whole lot. Well, maybe I like him a little less now that I’ve grown up a bit. (I was a big fan in my 20s).

Seems Ian Hunter had an ear for selecting good talent in the early years of their careers and supporting them.

He has collaborated with a number of other great artists as well, such as Todd Rundgren, another of my favourites. (I have many).

Hunter also wrote ‘Ships’, which was a Top Ten smash in the US for Barry Manilow in 1979. Not that I like the song much.

One of Mott the Hoople’s big fans was David Bowie himself, who wrote their big hit, ‘All the Young Dudes’ and produced them for a while.

Recently, as I’ve been reading about artists that I really like or reading their album liner notes while listening to their albums, Ian Hunter’s name has come up again and again.

What I’m saying, in a long, roundabout way, is that it doesn’t make sense for performers of one genre to criticise musicians from another genre because all performers have value for somebody, somewhere - or may rise up and eclipse the more famous act in the end - or work with a whole progression of artists who may resent the criticism. You can’t afford to place yourself above others and think you’re better than them. Even the busker on the corner is going to have some passers-by who think they are great.

I suspect that Karen’s apology about Mott the Hoople might have come after it seemed the backlash might negatively affect Carpenters’ commercial standing. She was probably advised to apologise.

I think we sometimes imagine that Karen was a fully lovely person, but I suspect she definitely had her hard side, as those who worked alongside her have intimated.

She was only human.
 
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Brian

Well-Known Member
I forgot to mention that Ian Hunter also indirectly helped to expose the magnificent Queen to U.S. audiences because they supported Mott the Hoople on tour stateside in their early days.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Barry Manilow recorded the song "Ships" (from 1979 "One Voice") which was written & also done by Ian Hunter!! Matt Clark Sanford, MI
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thank you for pointing this out, Kaisu. Of all the music acts that would get a reaction from Karen, why this group? Did she have a secret "crush" on one of the band members? Was she a closet fan? They don''t look any less "human" than any of the other bands from that era. Pretty standard for the day. I don't believe I had ever seen them before until I looked up this video on YouTube of them singing their signature hit. Do they look any more outrageous then Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?:

Never realised this song was them. Always liked it. Might check out an album of theirs....from every negative comes a positive.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Q: " Did your criticism in the Melody Maker about Mott the Hoople represent a hatred of rock or what it stands for ? "
A: (Karen Carpenter) "No, I love hard rock--or, some of it. There's a lot of it I don't like, but then there's a lot of soft rock
I don't like. I really don't know what made me say that about Mott the Hoople, and after I'd said it I could have died.
It got to be a standard joke in the business because we're so different, Mott the Hoople and the Carpenters.
It was one of those things you regret saying.........I apologize to Mott."
(read full interview, page 109, Carpenters Reader, Schmidt, first edn).
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Q: " Did your criticism in the Melody Maker about Mott the Hoople represent a hatred of rock or what it stands for ? "
A: (Karen Carpenter) "No, I love hard rock--or, some of it. There's a lot of it I don't like, but then there's a lot of soft rock
I don't like. I really don't know what made me say that about Mott the Hoople, and after I'd said it I could have died.
It got to be a standard joke in the business because we're so different, Mott the Hoople and the Carpenters.
It was one of those things you regret saying.........I apologize to Mott."
(read full interview, page 109, Carpenters Reader, Schmidt, first edn).
Thanks for this post Gary.

I find no reason not to believe this apology for exactly the reason Karen states. We've all done that; developed some negative bias about something or someone, and expressed it, only to think later "what the heck was I thinking". For me, mystery solved.
 
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