Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Jamesj75, May 25, 2015.
I thought he was a cool guy when I met him in Las Vegas backstage at the Riviera in 1976.
After doing the math...
@GaryAlan, great to hear your remembrances from that event, also attended by me. (I believe reading that @Harry was there, too. And maybe others?) I also remember meeting Richard and getting a nice handshake, and I was so nervous and stuttering my words of admiration. I remember being shocked by the sight of Richard smoking a cigarette! Scandalous, I know... But he was definitely gracious. I enjoyed the concert and, like you, treasure the meeting...
Hey! I was there too! Agnes, Harold, and Mary were also there. I remember chatting with all of them!
It's easy to forget that many artists go into the music business and only end up with maybe a hit or two.
The Carpenters are no exception to the kind of animal the industry is. They almost didn't make it if it weren't for A&M.
A lot of their success had to do with Richard. On the technical side of things his productions are superb quality.
Nothing else like it. I would agree he's in line with Brain Wilson. The creation of the Carpenters sound really sold it.
You had all the ingredients there for a really great act. It was right time, right place and they took to it immediately.
Like they didn't stammer around, hold up production, disagree too much; they went with it. For those golden years of the early 70s, what great memories.
Obviously, it was what they were both meant to do. Really a dynamic duo, but of course I'm a bit bias. Lol
Being listed among one of the best selling artists is an achievement. I imagine it's not easy to tap into a wide audience like they did let alone have had longevity and still sound great after years of doing it.
As much as conversations devolved into being angry at Richard for whatever reason... I have a lot of respect for him.
I can get why he labeled his instrumental album the way he did. It's all true.
Also, I agree with the title of this thread.
If I knew an updated email address where I could send him a letter or his secretary I would.
Today I was talking with a friend about Carpenters and decided to go through my memorabilia/clippings, etc.
With regard to that July 1985 EPCOT appearance by Richard, I came across a picture I took that night of Richard addressing the crowd during his performance at the America Gardens Theatre: Here it is!
^^ THANK YOU for this! I was just Googling looking for an image of his appearance there.
I did a little fade correction on your photo. Hope you don't mind James.
Thanks Murray! It looks much, much better!
Now, can you do a fade correction on my memory?
Just listening to "Time". I'm surprised how strong Side One is.
From Japan...A 'new' one for me....heartbreaking....
Fascinating clip during a period when Richard was trying to reinvent his career in the mid 90's without Karen, thanks Gary!
I loved this, thanks so much for posting. We got a rare glimpse inside the car warehouse toward the end which was great.
Here is one, nice to read of Richard's generous philanthropy:
Thousand Oaks' Richard Carpenter to be honored by USC
"...Carpenter, a Thousand Oaks resident, is the honored artist.
Carpenter said he won't be performing at the event, but USC music school students will perform their interpretations of several songs from the Carpenters as well as Richard Carpenter's new song, "Together at Christmas Again."
"It's a newer song, and I'm going in to record it," Carpenter said in an interview...
" The couple contributed to the newly renovated Carpenter Family Theatre last year at Westlake High School,
where three of their five children have attended.
Their $1 million donation helped get the $4 million renovation completed.
"That turned out really well. It's a beautiful facility," Carpenter said.
He and his wife also have supported the music and performance program at Westlake High
by buying sound equipment and securing a Yamaha grand piano.
In addition, the Carpenters supported the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and the Alliance for the Arts.
A three-acre park there was named for the family following a $3 million donation.
Richard Carpenter also supported the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSU Long Beach,
which was built in 1994."
Thousand Oaks' Richard Carpenter to be honored by USC
Carpenter Family Theatre opens at WHS
I am resurrecting this thread because I want to make it available to those fans who might actually want to praise Richard for his myriad accomplishments and talents from time to time...
Further, as some members are hoping for Richard to make a surprise (or even planned) appearance at the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2019 in southern California, that prospect can surely be enhanced if Richard feels welcome and appreciated by the fan base...
Gomenasai, orchestration by Richard Carpenter:
Agree, I have the feeling that what is said in this forum ultimately gets back to the man himself. I think overall, the forum members are pretty nice folks, but we do go off on "what was Richard thinking?" tangents sometimes (but Harry keeps us honest!). I think it's healthy as long as it's not malicious. Guilty as charged; I have taken a few sucker punches at Richard in this forum. All I know is, if I am at that 50th Anniversary celebration (as I intend to be) and Richard presents himself, I will give him a Standing O and be just as excited at seeing him as every other Carpenter fan present! It would be really nice if he could make it.
I think I'd almost faint in disbelief and excitement. Along with his sister, the man is my lifelong idol and a musical genius.
One can deeply respect and admire Richard for all of his accomplishments, both musically and otherwise, and also take issue with some things that as fans we have our opinions on. That, as they say, is show business; it comes with the territory.
It would be an honor and a major moment in my life if I have the opportunity to meet him and tell him what he has heard a zillion times already: thank you for the music.
I don't think Richard has any problem with differing opinions, criticisms, and second-guesses regarding their career or music. He, after all, has them too. If I were Richard, I would have issues with all the personal attacks (and many of them often mean and/or cruel) on him and his deceased mother that are posted here way too often. Because of those, If I were him, I sure wouldn't make an appearance.
^^I still believe, although I cannot substantiate, that the overwhelming majority of comments,
at this Forum, are positive.
Now, granted there have been attacks of a personal nature (which I agree are uncalled for),
but, for the most part (even with differing musical opinions) there is much adoration here for Richard Carpenter.
Now, do I still say I believe his "Lead Vocals" are up-to-par ?
Not at all. His Leads are not my cup of tea (I prefer male leads to sing in lower key).
But, many folks do prefer his type of Lead Vocal (As I emphasize, for I love his harmonies).
Be that as it may, there's adoration aplenty for Richard, both as a person and musical inspiration,
I would be shocked if he were unaware of that.
I believe your comments on his lead vocals would be in the former category I was referring to (opinions, criticisms, and second-guesses regarding their career and music). The comments in the latter (mean and cruel) are more personal in nature; like recently when one person was calling Richard arrogant and condescending as a person. Or those opining how Agnes didn't love Karen, etc. If those were statements made about me and my family by guests at a party I was invited to, I wouldn't go. Would you?
I am still hopeful, I think he WILL make an appearance. I imagine him addressing the adoring Carpenters fans at some venue (perhaps CPAC at standing room only in the auditorium). Even play a number or two on the piano. I imagine him opening up the warehouse and letting us look at his car collection and take photos. I imagine him coming into the room and receiving a Standing Ovation!
I like your optimism!
So, I had to go back and re-visit the CBS-Movie: The Karen Carpenter Story.
I must say I agree with Richard Carpenter's words:
"We all make mistakes--and one of my biggest was allowing myself to be talked into authorizing,
and participating in, the making of The Karen Carpenter Story--approximately 90 minutes of
creative license that gives biopics, in general, a dubious name....many fictitious scenes...."
(Essential Collection Liner Notes--Karen's Theme).
Sadly, much of the negative assessment regarding their personal information arises from this CBS-Movie.
If ever there was a catalyst for mis-information, this Movie is it.
Sadly, as the words above recall, Richard Carpenter realizes it.
I think that's a little unfair. Part of the problem with the script was that although it was officially endorsed by the family and the management, they didn't want the full story to be told, so were selective in terms of what they told Barry Morrow (remember, Richard only mentioned his Quaalude addiction as a bargaining chip to remove some of the scenes he thought reflected badly on the family). Along with all the requested rewrites and revisions, it's little wonder that Morrow had to use some creative licence in some scenes because he wasn't permited to tell the full story.
I can see why the family might have been protective of certain details, but if you're going to commission and drive forward a biopic, you can't have it both ways and then try and dictate what facets of the story are told and what are completely omitted. If you don't want to tell the story, then don't tell it.
As I've said before, regardless of the factual accuracy of the movie or otherwise, it was instrumental in re-igniting interest in the Carpenters' music and setting in motion their critical reappraisal. Without it, I think that such a process would at least have taken much longer that it did and may not have happened at all. That in itself is a reason to be glad that it was made.