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Interview Richard Carpenter Interview 2014

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, Richard Carpenter 'deserves' to be finished with "Carpenters".
    From a personal perspective, I wonder, at what point in time does an individual finally make the decision,
    and what circumstances--if any--prod that decision into becoming a reality.
    What does mystify me is Why anyone--Richard included--would be mystified as to the continuing
    interest in the Carpenters' lives. The music will be extant forever, will 'live' forever;
    thus, so will interest in the lives which gave birth to that music.
    Karen's voice was once in a lifetime, his arrangements unique to their partnership--unique, indeed, to music history.
    We 'fans' still care about him (as a person), about Karen (as a person), about the music.
    The one and only authorized Biography--I write here of Coleman's Book--barely touches reality.
    It, like the sanctioned CBS TV-Movie, purposefully sanitized everything.
    Thus, if we 'fans' have an unrealistic view of their lives, it is an image intentionally brought to the fore.
  2. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Agreed! And I would take it a step further and say that the Randy Schmidt bio, which I put a lot of stock in simply because of the people who basically wrote it right along with him, STILL only gives a sliver. To quote John Bettis in our interview together, "That book was sort of a one-note samba, but I'm glad that it exists."
    song4u likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    Very true. Good point. It always comes back to that, and we forget. It's hard to imagine what all that fame and success must be like... unless you've experienced it. So, it becomes foreign to those who don't know what it's all about. You begin to separate them from being "regular" or "normal".

    The thing I really took away from the interview besides the "all done" was the fact that the man is a genius!

    He's got a great memory and also it's been said before but he's a decent guy. I may hold some frustration only because of my fantasies of "new Carpenters" songs we could get to hear... I don't have anything else against him. Lol
    For the most part... for artist like Rich you could say you wouldn't mind spending an afternoon with him, you know.

    Some artists out there are so neurotic or unlikeable that you have to only focus on their creations.
    But, you know Rich is a very nice fellow from what I can tell. Decent guy.

    And yea I think any fan at the end of the day could say... you know what he deserves his retirement and yes... let him be...
  4. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Most everyone is complex, and what we show to some outwardly isn't what we might reveal to our family and close friends. We tend to put famous performers on a pedestal and assume only the best. But they're human too. Sorry if I burst any bubbles. But I'm sure Karen had her very own set of opinions as well as what she said pubicly. When someone passes away it's natural to want to remember the best and forget the rest. Really it's about the music for us in the end, right?

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I'd say so. Keep it real with the music! That's all.

    It's easier said than done... We are curious once a person is up there on that pedestal.

    I thought about this the other day...
    What's the appeal for personal information about celebrities anyways?
    What other occupation has so much emphasis on that?
    At least it's not publicized as much.

    Maybe we want them to be the perfect role model...
    Maybe we should want to know more about our scientists or people like that or our decision makers...
    Not pester singers and actors so much...
    You know what I mean? Lol

    I see stars being asked ridiculous questions all the time.
    You wonder why they can be so neurotic in the face of that crap.
    After a while... who cares, for example, who they're dating?...
    Doesn't really effect our lives that much does it whether I knew that or not?
    At the end of the day do I care if they sleep in a hyperbaric chamber? haha

    I was watching some parts of the series of "mysteries and scandals" (on youtube of course from like the late nineties early 2000s)...
    It's basic knowledge of old superstars. Not necessarily well done, but like...
    Think of Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis...
    Got me thinking... looking at an overview of someone's career... you just don't know that much about them besides what you've been presented with...

    Sometimes the truth comes out and that's good, but there's still lots of mystery about these people...
    Often secrets were kept for a long time in those early days of Hollywood so you didn't know much truth about them until later.
    Most of the time our view is a construct and sometimes it's only what the artist has wanted you to see all along...
    Now a days with cameras in everyone's hands I mean you can't hide as easily.
    Still you can choose how you want to look at a person.

    Ya, they are just people and sometimes it's better to just look at the work.
    I don't always have to like the artist or their choices... I love the work though. Lol
    However, I suppose with some... it's a shame that I can't always enjoy the work because of what I've heard about them.
    I don't know why that is, but with some of them I just can't...

    Thankfully! Carpenters are actually great people, but yes still dynamic, complex people.
    For all that I know everything's pointed to them being very decent persons. Not to the point depicted at the time though of course.
    Part of the reason I'm drawn to them I think is a good legacy. That's something there to be celebrated.

    But yea, a fans view doesn't always have much basis in reality. We weren't there. Never met the person. or knew them.

    I suppose the ambiguity about all of it is appealing.

    I have to go by what other people have said who were there. Luckily for the documentary films and books. That's all I can do really and listen to the work.

    Still what do I know after all is said and done?

    What I do know is the experience of art has immeasurable value on our lives.
    Maybe one of the only things in common with a fan and the artist.
    Besides being human is that we got to see or hear their work...
    Once they had their screening or listening session...
    Well, maybe even that's questionable... not everybody experiences that in the same way either. If that makes any sense.
    Meaning maybe you're favourite song or video/film is one the artist actually didn't like in the end.
    Hmmm fascinating...
  6. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I think part of the appeal is we want to know the psyche behind that incredible voice. Complex indeed. I'm curious like everyone else. But sometimes I think maybe I know too much and it's better not to ask more.

    I know what you mean about bad press or a bad image of an artist ruining the listening experience. For example, I love George Michael's singing and song writing talents. But during his Boy George period I was totally turned off. I felt like he sold out by creating an image that distracted from his talents. Now that he's himself again, I'm enjoying his work.

    WYBIMLA Active Member


    Perhaps the more we know... the more we can unlock the secrets of such a beautiful voice like that...
    It's funny cause I'm sure Karen didn't even know where it came from. It's probably as much a mystery to her as it is to us.
    Forever a mystery it will be. Luckily captured in their recordings. Thank goodness that A&M gave them a chance.
    I think from some of the interviews of Karen you have some sense of who she was.

    I feel like I know too much sometimes too. Especially when and if I'm conversing about Carpenters with people. I catch myself almost acting as if I were there or something. I was born 8 years after Karen died so... Lol

    Anyways, I don't think you need to feel like that though because...
    If you think of it ...Carpenters have had a number of documentaries and a few books...but...
    In relation to some other celebs that's a fairly modest output of information in relation to their success.
    Among some of the best selling artists of all time.
    There could be more (like another biopic in the future at least)...

    From what I understand the 89' bio pic and the Colman book were a fairly controlled way of story telling.
    Based on some fact, but also only a version of events they wanted you to know.
    Even with "Little girl blue". I'm starting to agree with Bettis assessment of it. It was a "one note" kind of thing.
    A very good contribution, but again not the full story.

    So, I think in the case of the Carpenters... I think we have a good amount of information, but there's probably more not for public consumption.
    How many hours were probably cut out of some of those documentaries?
    Then, there's legal stuff you can't even say.
    You'd need volumes to begin to wrap your head around the full picture.
    I don't think any of us would really want to go through all of that... unless your getting paid I guess. Lol

    As an example of a celeb that does have a lot to say about them...

    I've written it a dozen times on this forum, but yea I'm also a Michael Jackson fan. He's a fascinating example. I know a lot about him too. He's got book after book after book about his life according to many different people and one from himself. Documentaries galore. If I wanted to I could collect all that information, but at a certain point I stop myself.
    I do have a few books in my collection, but never read them thoroughly enough to regurgitate all the details. I've seen enough documentaries and interviews to have a fairly decent understanding of his life. Even with all the archival video and everything else there's still a lingering mystery about the man, and then people believe what they want to believe anyways...

    Sometimes I'll think about mistakes he made in his life and I'm like "why MJ why?" I'm sure he wasn't too thrilled at some of his life choices either.
    Again it just comes back to them being people however abnormal their lives might be.

    At a certain point too when you know too much and you think "TMI", but "well, you asked"...
    Somethings are better left unknown.
  8. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Imagine if the biographers would have had access to Levenkron's notes, or transcripts from Richard's sessions in rehab, then we might have had a fuller picture of what really made them tick. Of course, releasing any of that information would be totally unethical, and frankly, none of our damned business!
    Jeff likes this.
  9. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    George Michael is not, and has never been Boy George (real name: George O'Dowd)! George Michael started out in the 80s as lead singer of "Wham", and Boy George was lead singer of "Culture Club".
  10. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected.
  11. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I have mentioned, on one thread or another here, that I have an aversion to 1980's music. It now seems I'm actually suffering dimentia relating to that era. :whistle:
  12. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the rest of you but I'm finding it hard to accept that essentially we will not be hearing from Richard anymore, I know there are some that have not always agreed with how he has handled things since Karen's passing but Richard was all we had left in what was left with Carpenters. However now that he's decided it's officially over and no more releases no more interviews...well it's almost like re-living the feeling of Karen being taken its all too finale. I never want it to end. I'm feeling a bit melancholy today.
    Jeff and theninjarabbit like this.
  13. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Is that why I got the letter I wrote returned to me? Did he close the P.O. Box and decide that's it with the fan letters...? Disappointing, but I guess that would be reality for you (that, or the information on the Carpenters web site is outdated). I am feeling your sense of melancholy, Chris-An Ordinary Fool.
  14. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Instead of dwelling on what we don't have, enjoy what we do have. ::said in a mom voice:: :tsk:
  15. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Agreed. As a "keeper of the flame" the man has handled the Carpenters legacy flawlessly. My God, 20 years of non-stop post humous releases from Voice of the Heart to the SACD.

    84-Old Fashioned Christmas
    85-Greatest Hits/Remixes/Video
    88-Treasures Remixes
    89-Lovelines/KC Story
    91-From the Top (more remixes)
    96-Christmas Collection/KC album
    99-As Time Goes By.

    If something pops up for the 50th, great, otherwise, good on ya Rich. Karen would be proud.
    song4u likes this.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Don't forget there's also Karen's album, which although he didn't "work" on, he also gifted to the fans who'd hounded him for this last remaining part of her legacy. I think we've gotten used to having too much of a good thing, although it would be amazing if anything else is drip-fed out in the coming months/years.
    song4u likes this.
  17. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    It's there, mate. . . .Christmas Collection/KC Album '96
  18. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    No, I didn't mean that I expect Richard to keep on releasing more stuff or that I'm not grateful for what we have....that is not what I meant. I mean he is officially out of the public eye both physically and audibly meaning we most likely will not hear from him about any thing related to Carpenters. For me that hits home, like I said it's almost like the feeling one had when we lost Karen, it's really all over.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I'm quite depressed today reading this thread, I have that same feeling too.
    Jeff likes this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This has already--no doubt--been asked: but I'll reiterate, anyway,
    Was the raison d'ĂȘtre for the 2014 Interview being granted specifically to
    be certain that the fans were "notified" of Carpenters' being 'finished' ?
    As Chris May writes, prelude to the 2014 interview : " ...in this rare...interview..."
    Thus, how many interviews (especially since 2009) has Richard Carpenter granted ?
    Mr. Carpenter thus sparing with the interviews:
    I ask,if not for Mr. Chris May's interview, how else would fans have been alerted to the fact that he was "...
    all done." ?
    A number of fans (myself included) have written physical letters (of late) with no response. Is that another "all done".
    I remember that last 1989 Fan Club Newsletter, the one which said " no more Fan Club." (I really wept!).
    I was quite surprised, as the Club had been inundated with New inquiries after the airing of the CBS Movie.
    Carpenters' were more popular-- at that point in time --than I had remembered in all the years since 1983. (And, in America!).
    My emotions run the gamut.
    The output since 1983 has been prodigious, and treasured for all that. And, I thank Richard Carpenter.
    A day doesn't pass by--hasn't since 1973--when I do not listen to a Carpenters' song or an entire album.
    These songs have helped me through many an awful time in my life.
    But, honestly, if Mr. Richard Carpenter does not get the same sense of enjoyment from revisiting "The Carpenters" music ---
    if he does not want to do it (release more product) for himself and for the fans--regardless of the monetary incentive--then,
    I do not much care. It needs to be done from the heart, from his heart. And, if he is not doing this from the heart, then it
    does need to be finished.
    "From the heart comes the soul..."

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I do understand that he's probably "all done" when it comes to remixing and remastering the official catalogue, as he's probably at a point now where he's satisfied the Carpenters' canon is in sparkling form and as complete as it can be for future generations, there isn't any more remixing he wants/needs to do. But by saying "all done", I don't for a second think that means he won't ever think about Karen and their joint legacy again. I'd guess not a day goes by that he doesn't think about her. There could be any number of reasons why he may have thrown the towel in - his age (he is after all officially past retirement), the fact he has a large family to take care of, health reasons...it could be anything. What's hard for the die-hard fans is coming to terms with this fact.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool and Jeff like this.
  22. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I agree Stephen, RC has worked tirelessly since his muse first inspired him. I'm thrilled, grateful and delighted with the legacy I own. I have every note that can be found not counting the vault such as it is or isn't. Admittedly, I suffer from the what I have vs what I have not syndrome. It's a difficult balance between want, need, desire, desperation and finally grief. Maybe I'm selfish or just clinically addicted to the voice.
  23. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad over the past 10 yrs or so that I have filled in my collection with some missing sets such as the Japan 2 cd Treasures, the Japan Single Box, Readers Digest, Karaoke sets Sweet Memory and others...they will become more important to me as time goes by....
    Jeff likes this.
  24. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Perhaps thinking about Richard living his own family life happily ever after would help. He may feel that he has been living for both himself and Karen all these years, and that has to be a heavy load.

    Most people, if they lose a sibling young, don't face scrutiny from all over the world to "do right" by them.
    Jeff likes this.
  25. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    yet family isn't traditionally a burden even sustaining impossible grief . however the arduous task of production might prove exhausting overwhelming n time pedsure. what do I know about studio, emotional toll and demands? absolutely nuttin. just tryin to selflessly walk a mile in RCS shoes. but Rich for crying out loud if need be I'm available for immoral support so to speak.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

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