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šŸŽ¤ Interview Bob Messenger Interview 2016

Chris May

Resident ā€˜Carpenterologistā€™
Staff member
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!

 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known 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
 

Portlander

Well-Known 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

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 ... !
 

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
 

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.
 

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 ?
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
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!


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.
 

ars nova

Well-Known Member
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
 

song4u

Well-Known Member
A little late to the discussion here. Great interview. Thanks for sharing Chris.

I've always kinda thought of Richard as the sensitive musical prodigy who kept his deepest feelings inside. Perhaps it was just too painful to socialize with people he associated with Karen and "what was".

Richard went on to build his own life and family, which given the major tragedy of Karen's loss played out publicly, I was relieved to hear he achieved. Given how close he and Karen were known to be, it had to be a profound personal and professional loss for him.

Nothing that hasn't been said before.
 
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