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Carpenters: pre-internet (UK)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Someday, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I remember that insert! I was so excited that I'd be able to see Karen on video, but was disappointed when I noticed the words "Offer good in U.S. only." The next time I was downtown, I stopped in at my favourite record store to see if they could order it for me as an import. Thankfully, the manager agreed to place the order for me... and then the agonizing wait began... it finally arrived at the store a whole six months later, and cost nearly twice as much as the direct from A&M price on the insert (the store and the distributor and the government had to get their cut I suppose)! It was still worth every penny! :)

    Ah, the good old days... :laugh:
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Not to take this thread off topic, but what I do remember is when information and websites about the Carpenters did start appearing on the internet. It was in 1995, when I was studying at university. I remember this because the university library was the only place I could access a PC.

    There was one site in particular, which was amazing: Barry Bilicki's Carpenters Photos Page. There were dozens and dozens of pages packed with photos of the duo that I'd never seen before, from publicity stills to private photos from friends and family members. All of the KC solo session shots were included as well, which were a revelation at the time since her album hadn't yet been released.
  3. And in the years prior to the internet, UK fans were treated to these special "Offerings" - I remember the excitement of receiving these fanzines on a bimonthly basis.

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  4. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Were those the 'fanzines' made by the UK Appreciation Society? I never belonged to that but vaguely knew of its existence.
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I remember writing to the lady who ran the UK Appreciation Society, Marilyn Botheras, only to be told it had recently folded.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I, too, recall the day when the letter appeared in the (snail) mails that the
    Carpenters Fan Club
    would be "disbanded"---this came after the airing of the highly-rated/watched CBS TV-Movie.
    It was a complete shock that my Membership 'fee' was being returned,
    and "one final Newsletter" would appear at year's end....
    A very sad--if puzzling--outcome.
    Why, then ?
  7. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Wow, and I thought my dad's 8 track player was so cool, lol. I always get an education on this forum.
  8. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I remember finding Barry's photo page too. I was so happy to find the Newville Avenue site, and that's probably where I heard about the others. Wasn't there a "Webring" of C's sites? Is that term even still in use?
  9. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Barry's photo page was a real treasure trove. I spent a lot of time there... not only looking at the pictures, but waiting for them to load! Dial-up was painfully slow. :laugh: I remember the Webring. My Carpenters website was part of it. So many members of Newville Avenue had C's sites back then. It was great fun, and a great time to be a fan. Unfortunately, the free website providers that most of us used, either went out of business, or they started charging for hosting. Since none of us were making money from these tribute sites, we couldn't justify the cost to keep them up. So, most of the fan sites disappeared, and the ring fell apart.

    Thank goodness for A&M Corner - the last bastion for serious Carpenters discussion on the internet!
    wideawakeat4am likes this.
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I remember the Webring and the painfully slow loading of Barry's photos too :laugh:. So many happy memories in those days, there were Carpenters fan sites galore! Leadsister was my favourite back then and I am still in touch with fans I met on there to this day.
  11. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    The Leadsister forum was the most fun I ever had online, especially the off-topic! We had quite the cast of characters there - Annie and her baby polar bear, Lindakron and her goats, Karly and Bruce, Rachel, Pea, Mikey, Paul from Wales, Pimmetje, and so many more (I wish I could remember all their names) - Leadsister meet ups, Leadsister couples, Leadsister babies! I sometimes wonder how they're doing...
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Murray- what was the name of your site?
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I'm still in touch with Annie now, Karly and Bruce are still together and have three children now. All those names ring some lovely bells in my head, we had a great vibe going on that forum.

    Back on topic, I remember also writing to the US official fan club in 1990 when I first got into the Carpenters and again, I received a copy of the last ever newsletter and a lovely note from Evelyn Wallace confirming that the US fan club had disbanded months earlier as well. I wish I'd been around for their entire career and collected all 90 newsletters as a set. That would be a lovely treasure trove to look back on and I bet it was really exciting waiting for the next one each time.
  14. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    It was "Murray's Carpenters Tribute Page". Really creative title, eh? :laugh: It was mostly a bunch of MIDI recordings of me playing Carpenters songs - anyone remember MIDI files? There were also some magazine articles and a few pictures, and the audio from Karen's wedding - it would have been impossible in those days to share video over dial-up!
    newvillefan likes this.
  15. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I'm sure I stumbled across it somehow! :)
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Ahh so it was you that locked up my CRT on dial up with those midi's :laugh:
    Seriously, I use to hate those midi files when I was looking at Carpenters pics, it was a vicious cycle, I would reboot, wait another 15 mins to get back on and then I would do it again, hit a page with a midi and it would lock me up. I laugh now but it was not funny then. If I remember some of Barry's pages were hit and miss some had midi's and some didn't. The ones that did always locked my system, must have been the 500 mb of ram. :laugh:
  17. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Now you're taking me on a walk down memory lane! My computer used to lock up while I was recording those MIDI files, and then I'd have to reboot and start over from the beginning. I got so sick of playing "Touch Me When We're Dancing"! :laugh: So, allow me to humbly apologize for the problems my MIDI's caused back then! :laugh:

    Oh man, when it comes to technology, we've sure come a long way in the last twenty years!
  18. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Wow, this thread is taking me back. I'm enjoying reading everyone's experiences of finding other C's fans via internet. It was amazing to me how many other fans of their music there still were in the 1990's. Or how many there were at all! Obviously, someone was buying all those records, but I figured interest faded with Karen's passing. Finding all those photos and videos online was so very encouraging that their music was still alive.

    Dial up internet, oy. "Nobody pick up the phone while I'm online please!"
  19. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    whatever happened to Ronald Garcia? I must have bought hundreds of dollars worth of cassettes and VHS stuff from him? He had all of the radio shows and random television appearances. So cool.
  20. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    I had another memory today of pre-internet days: not so much related to obtaining information but to playing albums (vinyl in the original form). Sometimes a record would skip. After repeated spins, the listener would become accustomed to the point in the song where the record skipped (where lyrics and music accompaniment were omitted). When CDs came along, I could again hear these songs in their entirety without the skipping. Eureka! :)

    To this day, when I play certain songs on CD or PC, I am programmed to remember the point where a record skipped...
  21. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Not only skips, but loud imperfections in "your" pressing can leave an indelible impression such that every time you hear the song, you'll still hear the imperfection whether it's there or not.

    An A&M example for me is Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 on the LOOK AROUND album. The last track on Side One is called "Tristeza (Goodbye Sadness)" and features a vocal verse by Sergio himself. Whenever he gets to an "S" sound, my old pressing had that loud sibilance noise commonly heard on LP's last (inner) tracks. To this day, even on clear-as-a-bell CD versions, I still hear those sibilant "S" sounds in my brain.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  22. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Funny you mention that. When Christmas Portrait came out of course we played that thing just about until we wore a hole in the vinyl! Side 2, first track in at verse 1 “Dashing through the snow...(skip)...o’er the fields we go laughing all the way...”

    To this day I still think Jingle Bells sounds off without the skip over the entire second line! It is interesting how this stuff gets permanently planted into our brains. :)
  23. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I used to use my Dad's little portable 1950s/ 1960s record player to listen to my records. It had a mono speaker and a heavy arm which made the thick needle grind into the record. A few of my records developed jumps and I used to sing along with the jumps in the correct places. Whenever I 'heard' those songs in my head when I was out doing other things, I would hear those jumps. Eventually, when I replaced those songs on CD, they sounded strange because they didn't have the jumps in them.

    Btw, has anyone else ever 'listened' to a record in their head? :) You might think that's weird but... when I was at university, I also worked in a factory. We had to repeat the same small, unchallenging, mundane action over and over again for hours and hours. Of course, you weren't allowed to wear ear-phones or carry a Walkman and probably would have looked a bit odd singing to yourself. You also couldn't look at your watch or it would have been clear to the supervisor that you weren't focusing. To pass the time, I'd 'play' an album from start to finish in my head, at correct tempo. Maybe you'd get through six or so complete albums in a session between breaks. It was not only a way of keeping yourself mentally active and entertained but was also a means of measuring time.

    I could be corny and say that the joy and mechanics of music got me through a gruelling situation.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’ve done that many times, nice to know there are others out there whose brains work in the same way :laugh:
    Brian and Jamesj75 like this.
  25. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    My brain is a jukebox; songs play regularly but I don't make any money :D
    Certain songs are usually linked together in my head as well-- if I've memorized songs in a certain sequence, like the start to finish of an album. If I hear one of those songs out of sequence, when it finishes I can normally start hearing the next song.

    Still, I wouldn't trade my love of music for the world...
    Brian, newvillefan and Jamesj75 like this.

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