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Carpenters rare video clips

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
So, thanks for these wonderful clips !
That 1978 MGM Grand concert is really one of my favorites.
True, it has a "potpourri,"
but, it hits all the right notes with me !
Thank You For The Music !
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Hello! Here is the next tape, a Dutch Carpenters radio special about their new album “Made In America” Interview with Mireille Bekooij, 1981.

This interview is incredible, thank you so much for this gem. This is probably the most insightful and candid I’ve ever heard Karen in conversation. She talks about Richard’s deep, caring, giving nature, how he contrasts with her more direct character (“If we’re confronted with something, I’ll deal with it”) and how they take after their father and mother respectively in many ways (“my father hasn’t got an enemy in the world...but look out for my mother!”). Knowing what we know now, that one line about Agnes speaks volumes. Listening to her describe Richard took me right back to stories about how she stood up to the kids who picked on him and went to bat for him when they were young. Very touching to hear they hadn’t really changed throughout their lives in that respect.

I also don’t think I’ve ever heard Karen in an interview where she explicitly talks about children being a priority, but here she actually names how many she’d like and details how she felt it could work alongside her career. It’s so sad and ironic that, by the time of this interview, her marriage was barely holding up, never mind there being any possibility of children on the horizon. You’d never, ever guess from her dialogue the state of flux her personal life was in compared to how she spoke in public. As Burt Bacharach said about this very dichotomy back in 1996, “wicked, when you think about it”.
 
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ullalume

Well-Known Member
This interview is incredible, thank you so much for this gem. This is probably the most insightful and candid I’ve ever heard Karen in conversation. She talks about Richard’s deep, caring, giving nature, how he contrasts with her more direct character (“If we’re confronted with something, I’ll deal with it”) and how they take after their father and mother respectively in many respects (“my father hasn’t got an enemy in the world...but look out for my mother!”). Listening to her took me right back to stories about how she stood up to the kids who picked on him and went to bat for him when they were young. Very touching to hear they hadn’t really changed throughout their lives in that respect.

I also don’t think I’ve ever heard Karen in an interview where she explicitly talks about children being a priority, but here she actually names how many she’d like and details how she felt it could work alongside her career. It’s so sad and ironic that, by the time of this interview, her marriage was barely holding up, never mind there being any possibility of children on the horizon. You’d never, ever guess from her dialogue the state of flux her personal life was in compared to how she spoke in public. As Burt Bacharach said about this very dichotomy back in 1996, “wicked, when you think about it”.
Regarding her marriage....her capacity for denial is astonishing...reminded me of Itchy asking if she was play acting at her wedding.
I think the choice of interviewing them separately was a great one.
Also great she talks about TGOD, always one of my favourites.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Regarding her marriage....her capacity for denial is astonishing...reminded me of Itchy asking if she was play acting at her wedding.
I think the choice of interviewing them separately was a great one.
Also great she talks about TGOD, always one of my favourites.

Were they interviewed separately? I’m sure I can hear Richard in the background murmur his agreement with something Karen says at one point...I’m also pretty sure they were joined at the hip for the entire trip to Europe in late 1981, aside from Richard not being able to attend the “Swap Shop” TV appearance in London.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Were they interviewed separately? I’m sure I can hear Richard in the background murmur his agreement with something Karen says at one point...I’m also pretty sure they were joined at the hip for the entire trip to Europe in late 1981, aside from Richard not being able to attend the “Swap Shop” TV appearance in London.
At 1 point she says to Karen "earlier I asked Richard what he collected.....". Also I think this may have been recorded at their Am offices since the interviewer remarks on the AS4U car she can see out the window....also he says they may be touring Europe in the fall of '81 so it must be the MIA press junket in June.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Whilst it’s great to have new (bootleg) recordings like this to listen to, it also serves to highlight how disjointed these 1978 concerts were, in terms of the running order and the ebb and flow of the show. It starts with that bizarre, cornball opening number, then into “Thank You For The Music”, which is nowhere near strong enough to open the show and would have been much better as a cabaret-style closing number or encore. After a brief lift with “Hush”, the flow is immediately killed with the double whammy of “When I Fall In Love/I Need To Be In Love”. The bona fide hits are held up another half an hour by inane material such as the audience participation routine on “Sing” and the Spike Jones piece and when they finally do arrive, almost three quarters of the way into the show, the audience is short-changed with truncated versions of each one.

This show is the on-stage equivalent of Passage: musically very strong, but stylistically patchy and all over the place. I’m not sure whether Ken and Mitzy Welch were still in charge of their shows by late 1978, but I never felt these performances ever really did them or their stunning back catalogue justice.
They were clearing trying out newer material on the audience and deciding what would make that next album. The newsletters reflect a number of choices for a 1979 disc that never came to be. Too bad they didn't go all in on a standards album back then. They could have been the trendsetters.

As corny as it is, it was immensely fun to hear a vocal "Strike Up the Band". Another live "Thank you for the Music" and "When I Fall in Love" and "Star Wars/Close Encounters theme". What a great collection of tunes. YET, I would have also loved to hear some things from their catalogue we hadn't heard before: A Song for You, Desperado, Hideaway, Let Me Be the One, Baby It's You.

The schtick (spelling?) material was cutesy but it made for fun interaction with Karen and Richard- that's something no one who was picked will ever forget.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Regarding the MIA interview. I always was drawn to the sensitive side of Karen as expressed in her vocals. But I love the ballsy/tell it like it is fire in her too.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
At 1 point she says to Karen "earlier I asked Richard what he collected.....". Also I think this may have been recorded at their Am offices since the interviewer remarks on the AS4U car she can see out the window....also he says they may be touring Europe in the fall of '81 so it must be the MIA press junket in June.

Good catches. On the subject of touring I thought he was referring to a tour in the fall of 1982, not 1981. Thinking about it now, you’re probably right. I doubt he drove that pesky Ferrari all the way from Downey to Holland :laugh:
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Regarding the MIA interview. I always was drawn to the sensitive side of Karen as expressed in her vocals. But I love the ballsy/tell it like it is fire in her too.
Yeah, any cynics convinced she'd split from Richard had she lived should listen to how she describes him here. I'm sure she'd do her own stuff but there'd always be a carpenters album every few years.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
So, we also find that Richard came up with the album title: Made In America.
Karen: "a dream of mine was to always have my own wedding song...." (6m51s).
No one would suspect any health issues with Karen at this point in time.
The Wedding Song and Those Good Old Dreams, two of Karen's favorites (and also two of my favorites) off this album.
Great interview !
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Newvillefan said: "This show is the on-stage equivalent of Passage: musically very strong, but stylistically patchy and all over the place."
I sorta agree with that....but, Karen's voice is in such great form here. It must have been awesome to be in that room.
I love Passage because of its difference from previous albums,
as with the 1978 MGM concert--which now becomes an instant favorite with me !
All-in-all, it's a very satisfying concert.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
They were clearing trying out newer material on the audience and deciding what would make that next album. The newsletters reflect a number of choices for a 1979 disc that never came to be. Too bad they didn't go all in on a standards album back then. They could have been the trendsetters.

As corny as it is, it was immensely fun to hear a vocal "Strike Up the Band". Another live "Thank you for the Music" and "When I Fall in Love" and "Star Wars/Close Encounters theme". What a great collection of tunes. YET, I would have also loved to hear some things from their catalogue we hadn't heard before: A Song for You, Desperado, Hideaway, Let Me Be the One, Baby It's You.

The schtick (spelling?) material was cutesy but it made for fun interaction with Karen and Richard- that's something no one who was picked will ever forget.
Also, remember, I as I have mentioned in other posts prior, that Vegas "gigs" back in the day were short experiences. Casino's had these headliners perform there not as a "destination" but to get people to their property to GAMBLE. THAT'S where the money was/is. So these shows were often short to get people out and back to the game floor. I speculate, that had they been playing actual concerts in arenas (where they should have been), the shows would be lengthier and may have provided some "album" cuts and possible full-length versions of some of their hits? But who knows...the Palladium show also did the "medley" of hits, too, and that wasn't a "casino."
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Vegas "gigs" back in the day were short experiences. Casino's had these headliners perform there not as a "destination" but to get people to their property to GAMBLE. THAT'S where the money was/is. So these shows were often short to get people out and back to the game floor. I speculate, that had they been playing actual concerts in arenas (where they should have been), the shows would be lengthier and may have provided some "album" cuts and possible full-length versions of some of their hits?

Looking back now, it’s insane that they were booked for such shows and ever agreed to them. Jerry Weintraub should be ashamed for ever signing them up to such an undertaking and thinking this was a good idea. And why did Richard and Karen ever agree to these stints in the first place? To my mind, they deserved better than to be lumbered with two one-hour long shows on a casino strip lasting well into the early hours and they should never have involved a full orchestra, with all the cost that entails. It must have been financially lucrative for them, but not what they should have been doing at this point in their career. They deserved far better. I can half imagine them on their backs at midnight in a Las Vegas dressing room, wiped out, with a full show still to go, thinking “how on earth did we get here?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Part of the appeal to do the Vegas shows may have been the shorter length of those shows
and that they did not have to physically trek hundreds of miles a day to get from one concert destination to their next destination.
Now that I have heard these Vegas shows, I am convinced that they did more good (1978) than harm.
Really, Karen sounded fantastic and full of energy in this MGM 1978 show,
whereas the London Palladium 1976 shows/concerts sounded much less satisfactory.
The duo could not have attempted the schedules they had done from 1971-1974, so the Vegas routine was (maybe) a satisfactory middle-road venue.
Also, at least in America, 1978 would not have "filled" concert venues as they used to, so keeping it smaller was the way to go (imho).
Again, I am going by merely listening, but the 1978 Vegas gigs sound excellent. Perhaps smaller halls were more suitable for their vocal sound.
As for orchestras, it would be interesting to know the cost involved, but how bad could it be ?
Had it not been profitable to retain orchestras, it would not have been done.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone, yesterday I visited a Carpenters friend of mine who lived nearby.
We talked for one hour about Carpenters music!
And the great thing, I bought some very nice things from her!

many old 70s and 80s VCC and VHS tapes containing dutch Carpenters appearances and many audio cassettes with awesome stuff!

This is all from the same woman I got the scrapbook and the scarf from.

I digitized and posted the most interesting cassette first.

Carpenters Live at the MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas 1978!

The recording was made by the head of the Dutch fanclub who visited the concert and took many pictures.

It contains their hits and some interesting stuff like, Strike up the band (with karen singing), Thank you for the music and When I fall in love/I need to be in love.

There are many more things to come!

Chris
That intro is breathtaking!
 

David A

Well-Known Member
^^Part of the appeal to do the Vegas shows may have been the shorter length of those shows
and that they did not have to physically trek hundreds of miles a day to get from one concert destination to their next destination.
Now that I have heard these Vegas shows, I am convinced that they did more good (1978) than harm.
Really, Karen sounded fantastic and full of energy in this MGM 1978 show,
whereas the London Palladium 1976 shows/concerts sounded much less satisfactory.
The duo could not have attempted the schedules they had done from 1971-1974, so the Vegas routine was (maybe) a satisfactory middle-road venue.
Also, at least in America, 1978 would not have "filled" concert venues as they used to, so keeping it smaller was the way to go (imho).
Again, I am going by merely listening, but the 1978 Vegas gigs sound excellent. Perhaps smaller halls were more suitable for their vocal sound.
As for orchestras, it would be interesting to know the cost involved, but how bad could it be ?
Had it not been profitable to retain orchestras, it would not have been done.

I think this is an astute analysis and agree. Each of your points seems spot-on.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, even though the "Hits Medley" arrives late in the 1978 MGM show,
Karen does not sound tired or out-of-breath, and this Medley never sounded better !
Karen draws out lyrics on songs like "Only Yesterday" (46:43, "song....") and " I Won't Last A Day" (47:54, "day....")
to great effect. She hits the low notes perfectly and does not sound nasally (e.g., compare to 1976 Palladium show ).
The intro, Strike Up The Band, is a nice addition and must have sounded awesome 'in-person.'
This concert was recorded on a cassette, so it would have sounded even better 'in-person.'
I would have gone for more complete songs, also, but this MGM concert sounds terrific (allowance for the cassette-source and the age of the media).
Quite frankly, I was shocked to hear how strong Karen sounded at this date, 1978.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Quite frankly, I was shocked to hear how strong Karen sounded at this date, 1978.

Karen usually had a knack of sounding great even if she wasn’t in great health. She sounds great in the 1978 bootleg recording at Long Beach as well, short though the set was. Richard himself said “she sounded marvellous, it didn’t matter what kind of shape she was in”. The only time this wasn’t borne out was in late 1981 - those shows where she performed Touch Me When We’re Dancing and Top Of The World live caught her at her worst ever point in terms of her state of health and it showed in her vocal performance.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^I did not hear the same "strength" in Karen's vocals for the Long Beach performance of late 1978 (compared to earlier 1978).
As short as the Long Beach performance was, I felt---or believe I heard--a pronounced weakness in her vocals (beautiful as it still was).
Her recording-studio performance of the song "Now" (April 1982) is clear indication of the ravages of her health.
However, the Japan telethon snippet, where she starts ad-libbing for Touch Me sounds strong and
the snippet of Crystal Lullaby ( during Brazil radio-interview 1981 promo tour) sounds strong, too.
But, I agree, Top of the World is unbearable to watch or hear, as Karen was literally having to gasp for breath (Julio program).
As awful as I think "Now" sounds, the other songs recorded in studio, April 1982, sound fine.
It is nearly impossible to get a handle on exactly what was happening.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone, yesterday I visited a Carpenters friend of mine who lived nearby.
We talked for one hour about Carpenters music!
And the great thing, I bought some very nice things from her!

many old 70s and 80s VCC and VHS tapes containing dutch Carpenters appearances and many audio cassettes with awesome stuff!

This is all from the same woman I got the scrapbook and the scarf from.

I digitized and posted the most interesting cassette first.

Carpenters Live at the MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas 1978!

The recording was made by the head of the Dutch fanclub who visited the concert and took many pictures.

It contains their hits and some interesting stuff like, Strike up the band (with karen singing), Thank you for the music and When I fall in love/I need to be in love.

There are many more things to come!

Chris
This was cool to hear. I didn’t even know there were lyrics to Strike Up The Band. It sure sounded like Karen was using her lower voice for a lot of these songs. Great live recording.
Thank for posting!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Newvillefan is correct, of course, as I intended to write:
"The other song from April 1982, You're Enough, sounds fine..." in comparison to the song "Now."
My primary thesis is, however, not altered: One of those songs --You're Enough--sounds vocally much stronger than the other !


Excerpts from Variety, Review of March 7, 1978, MGM Grand (see page 155, Yesterday Once More, Schmidt):
"...the Carpenters really made their own kind of music, then and now."
"If it was said to be dated then, it is dated now. But, it is not."
"The audiences at the Grand respond strongly to their messages of entertainment."
 
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