I was around Karen from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 as well as
June 12, 1981 to June 20, 1981 and I also got a phone call from her on
February 3, 1983. Most of the information on this page comes from
the many talks and events Karen and me shared together. As such,
I tried to keep this page from as much of Karen's perspectives as
possible. Most of the Karen passing away stuff comes from her
autopsy plus our talks together. For many of the answers on this
page I try to include not only the information but also the events and
stories from Karen and me about where this information comes from.
And for those that don't realize, Karen Carpenter has always been the
one that knew the most about herself. For the record, I'm not
Karen nor is anyone else that is still alive. Myself as well as
others can only rely on what we remember. And if some memories
are a bit sketchy or fuzzy here and there, it is what it is.
But hopefully this page helps people who are looking to "fill in the
blanks" as best as possible about Karen. As you will read, I
still have some blanks to fill in myself.
Also, part of the fun of a page like this is ask yourself the question
first and see what you would answer then read what is written
here. If the same that's good but also if not the same or if you
don't really have an answer then it is good
as well as you will most likely learn something new and possibly gain a
Another also, Karen did not like being considered a 'square' or a
'prude' so in her defense, I did answer some controversial subject
matter (like plugs or pads?, boxers or briefs?, etc.) as I feel Karen
would have probably wanted it that way.
And yes, when stuff doesn't seem to sound right, feel free to ask
questions as the need may arise. Maybe someone else knows?
Is something missing? You never know until someone asks.
So, I feel enough of the intro here, how about some questions &
answers, starting with...
1. What happened with Karen's passing away?
circumstances beyond her control, Karen was not ever able to answer
this question directly. That answer
is a web page unto itself herekarenlastdays.html
. Note, this page brings up
a lot of stuff missing from others and tries to break down the medical
jargon into english as best as possible. The "Karen's Last Days"
page is an objective page that deals with issues surrounding Karen's
passing away in an objective, matter of fact, type page.
wrote a subjective type page here rantnrave.html
where I discuss stuff that is more subjective, matter of opinion, than
objective to try and help explain to others better the difference
between objective and subjective topics.
The Karen's Last Days
page is more like reading an encyclopedia (the old encyclopedias, not
the new ones) whereas the Rant N Rave Page is more like reading a
tabloid in comparison.
2. Who is writing this page?
Hi, I'm Adrian
"Thee Ace Man" Downing, III and as you'll
read, I am an answer to a few of the questions that have been asked
about Karen, such as...
3. Was Karen really in love with a married man
Adrian that Karen romantically
referred to in her diaries and such after September 5, 1978 were for a
guy who's first name was Adrian, not last.
Also, this Adrian was
the guy who Richard mentioned during the reading of Karen's Will in mid
February 1983 as the guy who Karen left her love to when Richard read
off the list of personal things from Karen's Second Codicil of her Will
which was not filed publicly. Yes, Adrian, me, the guy writing
After Karen and John Adrian (last name) broke up in 1977,
Karen and me (Adrian / Ace) met on September 6,
1978. After John had married someone else three months after he
and Karen broke up, Karen was not romantically interested in
And to note here, the Second Codicil entry for Karen
leaving her (everlasting / eternal?) love to Adrian (Dowling /
Darling?) was signed by myself and notarized by a lady named Lois
Crandell in Corning, New York on February 4, 1983.
stated, this document (Second Codicil) was not filed publicly with
Karen's Will but was
read by Richard (executor) during the mid February reading of Karen's
Last Will And Testament.
4. Wasn't Phil Ramone the one who was "Karen's
Ramone was a producer and as
people in the music business know, a manager is a step down from a
producer (especially in pay).
Karen created the "new manager"
story in February 1983 to cover up that she was planning on eloping
with a guy named Adrian (me). After the mess with Thomas Burris,
Karen felt that if she had even mentioned wanting to get married again
that people would want to lock her up and throw away the key. So
Karen created the "new manager story" to hide the fact that she was
planning on eloping with Adrian (me) after she signed her divorce
papers on February 4, 1983.
The actual "new manager" was a guy
named Adrian (me again). Karen's actual "new manager" was also
almost 15 years younger than Karen but Karen and her new manager (me)
had a rule in place of "no physical touching" which was kept until
Karen's new manager (me again) got older.
And yes, tabloid paper
writers care more about stories than truths. Where is the
controversial story in "wait until he gets older". But if you
take out the wait part and that "no touching rule", instant classic
story that sells papers to unknowing masses. Remember that not
everything ever gets included in a story which is where the term "read
between the lines" came from as with most stories, if you look at
what's missing (between the lines) and ask questions like "why doesn't
this sound right?" then you can figure it out. And figuring out
what is missing is known as "filling in the blanks".
There is always that trial and error
thing when trying to do something different or new or when trying to
solve a problem. And with something new and different or problem
solving, as people that have done such things realize, there are those
things that didn't quite turn out as planned. Mistakes.
Speaking of which... Someone saying
they think that someone thinks a certain way is not the same as someone
asking someone what they think and allowing the other someone to answer
with what they actually think. Not allowing someone to answer on
their own behalf or trying to put words in other people's mouths is a
process known as "badgering" and is a very dishonest practice used by
dishonest people that can't handle other people having a viewpoint that
differs from their own. Don't you agree? See how that
works? Assumptions (making an ass out of
you and me) are never accurate and tabloids and 'story writers' are
always loaded with assumptions and second guessing and mind reading and
5. How did this new manager story get started?
On the day Karen
passed away Richard had looked
in Karen's secret Bible stash and found a plane ticket to New York plus
two tickets to Las Vegas as well as a set of wedding rings.
Richard had heard the 'new manager' story himself and he knew Karen was
up to something but did not know what.
Karen had also told
Richard that she was worried about Thomas trying to make a fast
withdrawal from her account before their divorce went through so Karen
had pulled most of the money out
of her account and hid it in the house. But Karen hadn't told
Richard or her mom where she hid the money.
So to answer another
question, Richard told his mom not to let anyone in the house and tell
everyone that Richard was sleeping and didn't wish to be
disturbed. Richard then got another ticket to New York and
Richard flew out to New York to
see who this "new manager" was and if he (me) had been told where the
money was hidden. But until the money could be found, no one in
the house except Richard and mom and dad. That was also why the
housekeeper, Florine, was kicked out.
After getting out to where
Karen was heading in New York, Richard met his step cousin, Wendy, at
the airport and Wendy took Richard to where I was. Richard and I
met and after a bit of a talk first, Richard asked and I told Richard
that I thought Karen had said
she had put the money in a shoe box in her closet. Richard called
his mom up and the money was found in a shoe box in Karen's
closet. Richard then told his mom to keep with the "I'm sleeping"
story until Richard got back. But would you want a bunch of
people in your house if you knew you had a large wad of cash laying
But also during this trip, Richard was able to get a part
of Karen's Second Codicil signed and notarized. Unfortunately,
not sure if leaving your love to someone is technically legal or
not. Like said, that Second Codicil was not filed publicly as it
was technically covered in Karen's original Will of 1972(?).
the new manager story started as when Richard flew out to New York,
you know it, there was a reporter for the LA Times on the flight.
When the reporter asked what Richard was doing, Richard had stated
something like "seeing Karen's new manager" which was how that story
got started back in 1983. At the time Richard made that comment,
he didn't actually know who that new manager story was about but after
reading Karen's Will, he had a suspicion that was
confirmed when he met with Adrian (me) on February 4, 1983 in Corning,
I had not seen Richard since mid May 1979. But do
you understand it yet?
After all the problems with Thomas Burris,
Karen wanted to get married to a guy named Adrian (me again) without
any publicity or fanfare or such. We wanted to be married
quietly. We both wanted to elope. Just us.
new manager = Karen's new husband. The manager for Carpenters was
still going to be Jerry Weintraub. Phil Ramone was still a
producer and was in a process of having his own family to manage anyway.
6. What about Karen's boyfriends?
As far as Karen's boyfriends
(and one husband,
almost two)... The relationships. I know a bit about those
Frankie Chavez was actually never a boyfriend but kind of
Karen's first crush so to speak. Frankie was seeing someone else
though and within a couple months, Karen realized that outside the
drums, Karen and Frankie didn't have much in common with each
other. But Karen told me Frankie was her first crush or puppy
love or whatever.
Note, looking at Karen's time line of
boyfriends Mark Harmon (acquaintance?), Bill Hudson (acquaintance?),
Jerry Vance (late 1960s), Gary Sims (?1969?), Gary Luby (1969-1970?),
Nicky Chinn (1971 - 72? and 1974 - 75?), Alan Osmond (1973), David
Alley (1973, not sure if they did actually get together or not with the
Maria stuff that happened with Richard. Karen never told me for
sure or not, but oops, I saw a picture of Karen and David recently and
Karen had a secret she told me about herself in June 1981. Karen
and David were a couple at one time or another), Mike Curb (1973 -
1974), Terry Ellis (1975), John Adrian
(1976 - 1977), Steve Martin (1977), Tom Bahler (1978 - 1979),
Tony Danza (maybe 1978? and maybe 1979-80? Twice?), Thomas
Burris (1980 - 1983), and a couple others I know about but leaving off
here (at least 3 more that Karen had sex and a relationship with them
from 1978 to 1983).
Yes, Karen was pretty lonely I guess.
Karen had a lively dating history despite the schedule. And as
far as scheduling, many of Karen's boyfriends and Karen, herself, had
secretaries or assistants that would try and match up days when they
were available. It wasn't really arranged by the assistants or
such, but they had to have 'days off' and the secretaries and
assistants were the ones who kept track of that stuff. Karen
never had an 'escort' (someone just there to be a guy at an event or
such without any possibility for a relationship) I guess you could
say. Karen always had 'dates' (guys that Karen was interested in
seeing if there was a possible lasting relationship there).
far as what didn't work...
I didn't realize who Nicky Chinn was
at first until I remembered that Karen said she had gone back with a
guy that she had broke up with before. Karen only referred to him
with me as Mr. Know-It-All which was why his name, Nicky, didn't click
with me at first. I got two good pieces of advice from Karen when
she talked about Nicky that one time. Number one, DON'T EVER
INTERRUPT KAREN AND SPEAK ON HER BEHALF AND PUT WORDS IN HER MOUTH
which led to number two of don't ever go back with someone you break up
with as THEY DON'T CHANGE AND INTERRUPT YOU AND DON'T LET YOU SPEAK ON
YOUR OWN BEHALF AND PUT WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH AGAIN.
Alan and Karen
didn't have enough time together because of
their schedules but also Alan was a Mormon and Karen was
Methodist / Baptist. As far as Alan, Karen had a rule that she
me about in 1978 and 1979 that if people were going to accuse her of
something, she was going to do it and not be falsely accused.
Also, Alan's family was Mormon and so sex without marriage is not
allowed. So a probable publicity nightmare here for Alan and a
principle issue with Karen (being accused). Another principle
issue or 'rule' that Karen had that she told me about in June 1981 was
that she would keep her fingers together while holding hands with a guy
who was just a friend, but Karen would interlock her fingers and palms
together while holding hands with a guy that she was wanting to be
'more than friends'. There were a lot of family pressures between
Alan and Karen. They were both very interested in each
other. But Alan was a Mormon and Mormons believe in bigamy
(multiple wives, husbands) and no sex without marriage while Karen was
Christian and felt one woman
one man. There were reserves about
Alan and Karen as Karen wasn't about to become Mormon against hers and
her family's wishes and Alan wasn't about to become Christian against
his and his family's wishes. And Karen did come out publicly and
state that despite the tabloid rumors, Karen and Alan did not have sex
together as Karen was worried that even though it was just rumors, that
rumors such as those would get Alan ostracized from the Mormon
church. With that being said, like most
stuff, best to leave the real answer up to Alan and Karen and the rest
of us need to butt out of that. Speculation is just that,
speculation. Thank you.
David Alley was about 5 years
older, but with
the working together, a conflict of interest and like with Richard and
Maria, work or boy/girlfriend - not both. David chose work; Maria
chose neither work nor Richard.
Mike Curb was kind of
a work conflict too and Mike chose someone else a year or two later
Terry Ellis was a work and a compatibility issue as well;
a mess. Terry was an executive and co-owner of Chrysalis Records
and a definite conflict of interest there. Terry didn't want to
break up the Carpenters as Karen without Richard would not be a good
thing. If Karen AND Richard, definitely. But the big
problem there was not as much the conflict of interest, but the fact
that Karen was a home body and Terry was an executive jet setter so to
speak. Just two different worlds. Karen told me that she
lived with Terry for about a week and then after that week (or two?)
Karen just snuck out on Terry and broke up with Terry over the phone as
Karen felt an in person break up would have just been a long mess with
trying to talk about all the differences and such. There were
just too many differences there and Karen liked sitting at home in
front of the TV with a TV dinner and Terry liked eating in posh
restaurants and such. It was just two different worlds.
Terry was a jet setter and Karen was a country bumpkin so to
speak. As far as the 1979 or whenever where Karen talked with
Terry before Terry got married, Karen said that Itchie had talked Karen
into doing that and that Karen was glad that Terry married someone
else. Terry wasn't a bad person but Karen and Terry just weren't
made for each other so to speak. Two different worlds.
Steve Martin and Karen cared about each other, but it just
didn't feel special for them so they decided to just break it off with
no hard feelings or such. Karen said that her and Steve just
didn't have any 'zing' there between them. Usually someone gets
violins or harps or wedding bells or such and it just didn't happen
between them so they broke it off and Steve met someone else a little
John Adrian was a kind of odd one. There were
sparks there, but also a conflict of work interest too. Part I
believe was also the countries (Karen - USA, John, UK) and in the USA
an affair is seeing multiple people, playing the field as it was called
back then. In the UK, an affair is seeing
(one) someone out of wedlock. Karen and John were having an
British standards (but not by USA standards that I am aware of) which
is what they call a "toss up" in the UK and
when John was asked about having an affair, John did say
yes that he was having an affair with Karen. Anyway, ultimatum by
Derek Green (A&M UK), John either stops seeing Karen or John loses
his job for having an affair with a client (John was an UK publicist
for A&M). John took a vacation and about 3 months later got
married to someone else. Karen chose the song, "I Believe You"
for a single in October / November 1978 as she felt the song tied in
with her problems with John Adrian and that after Karen found out that
John married someone else 3 months after they broke up, Karen wasn't
interested in John anymore. Karen wanted to believe what John had
said to her, but after John got married after they broke up, Karen
didn't believe what John said.
Yes, as Karen noticed, she seemed
to be the kind of girl that tended to get guys in the frame of mind to
marry 'the next one that came along' so to speak.
Tom Bahler was
another as Karen saw him just after he had broken up with a girl he had
been with for a couple years (Rhonda or Rhoda, something like
that). Tom wrote the song
"She's Out of My Life" about Rhoda or whatever and gave Karen the song
to possibly use in I think either 1978 or early 1979 (and the song went
to Michael Jackson).
As far as the others, Karen was actually
'the other woman' with one guy and that went on from September 1978
until around mid May 1979.
And as far as Tony Danza, I know Karen
met Tony around 1978 but not sure if they actually dated back
then. Tony was younger than Karen and Karen felt awkward about
that. I think Karen and Tony came together in either late 1979 or
early 1980 for a short while but like Karen said, she just wasn't
comfortable with a younger guy.
And of course Tom Burris which is
a post and a half all in itself.
Karen originally had a long list
of things she was looking for in a guy and also in that list were
that she was looking to avoid in a guy. Originally the list was
over 50 long and Karen managed to shorten it down to about 15 later
Karen may have had a lively dating history but it was because
Karen had many options available to her but also the ones she dated had
many options available to them too. And Karen and the ones she
dated sorted out their options and Karen and the ones she dated pretty
much had clean breaks, not that messy "he said, she said" type stuff
and Karen remained friends with her ex-boyfriends.
And also, if
you look at the reasonings Karen had behind her break-ups, there wasn't
really a pattern there outside of that 'work' thing which is
understandable as Karen always seemed to be working. Each guy had
different problems and Karen had different problems with each guy (in
addition to that 'work' thing). A two way street. And as
Karen loved baseball, three strikes and you're out.
And there was
also a guy Karen
met in September 1978 that was younger too (even younger than
Tony). People that knew Karen knew that Karen was head over heels
for this guy but it was the age thing and also that this guy, at the
time (1978-1979) wasn't a millionaire or such. This guy (Adrian,
wasn't wanting an older woman or a celebrity either. Later, Karen
and this guy saw each other again for a short while in
1981 and it was more like nukes and supernovas than the sparks and
flames stuff. Karen and this guy were planning on eloping on
February 4, 1983 in Las Vegas. This guy was Karen's 1983 "new
manager" story actually.
Karen wasn't really sad or lonely for
any length of time. There were opportunities out there but
Karen's biggest problem was finding a guy that was good on his word but
also wanted a tomboy that enjoyed being plain and ordinary and not some
glitzy show girl or a 'trophy wife' so to speak.
Karen had found
that guy finally in 1978 but there was an age and a money type
problem. So, Karen noticed that almost everyone that saw Karen
with this guy thought Karen was actually two years younger than this
guy (even though he was younger) and in 1981, Karen ran a credit check
on this guy and this guy had a credit rating of 726 whereas Thomas, her
husband, had a credit rating of 136 and Thomas's son had a credit
rating of 500 (636 combined). So although not a millionaire, this
guy was not a financial mess and also, Karen noted that when Karen and
Richard were this guy's age that neither Karen nor Richard even had a
credit score at that age. The guy also felt that Karen being a
celebrity wasn't a bad thing (but he wasn't looking to be in the media
spotlight and such) and that the age difference was fine as
most people didn't even notice that he was younger and thought she was
younger and he was the older one.
7. Did Karen ever have a tattoo?
Karen would publicly answer this
question as "no".
actually got a tattoo though and it was in a hidden area in her
hairline. The tattoo was small and was of a red rose. If
you read the Karen's Last Days page above you probably knew this.
Karen had got the tattoo as a dare when she was younger (late teens)
and she got it because she told one of her friends that she was afraid
of needles so her friend dared Karen to get a tattoo (and the friend
paid for it). Karen was always for what was "God given" and
a tattoo is not God given.
Very few people knew about this
tattoo. But also, Karen had the tattoo removed in January 1983
and as a result she contracted hepatitis from the removal. From
her own experience, Karen would not recommend getting a tattoo which is
why she would publicly answer this question as "no".
8. Did Karen play chess?
Yes, but not very often and she
preferred checkers as she was more
likely to win at checkers than chess.
Karen was actually I guess
you could say an intermediate type player. Karen would start out
(in her words here) moving the horsey thingies first. Karen would
start out moving the knights to a position that would block the 'three
move checkmate'. Then Karen would move pawns and such to be able
to set up the castling move and such. Yes, Karen could play chess
and knew the game. Karen also knew how to play dumb too.
"The horsey thingies move in an L shape and can jump over other pieces
But in checkers I would tell Karen "King me" and Karen
would tell me "Queen me".
Winning isn't everything but it does
help if you want Karen to play with you again. Karen liked
challenges and if she won too much then not challenging and winning too
little and she would get frustrated and try harder.
Karen and I
played paper football, penny basketball, Parcheesi, Backgammon, poker,
solitaire, Mille Bornes and probably a few others I am forgetting.
9. What was Karen's astrological sign?
Pisces. Karen always thought
that her horoscope matched better
with Aries or Capricorn though.
10. Why didn't Karen talk about her anorexia publicly?
Karen's therapy was a mess and
Karen didn't wish to say anything that
could be taken as negative in public so she tried to keep it
Karen and me talked at great lengths about anorexia and
such in September and October 1978 but in private without others
around. Karen was trying to understand it herself as well as
still learning how to pronounce it.
There is also that doctor / patient confidentiality stuff.
was just a big mess privately. Not so much privacy issues
but more about what do you say when stuff is not going right. I
have seen what has been done since and Karen was right. I thought
she was joking back when when Karen said that they didn't talk with her
about stuff and kept assuming things that weren't even close to being
accurate like her and Richard competing against each other. Even
I knew that Karen and Richard always worked together and didn't compete
against each other but yeah, a big mess. And talking about a mess
publicly just creates a bigger mess is all.
For information on Karen and her
treatment sessions try question #67. I tried to add a section in
here but it just got too long and cranky so I took it out. The
rough part for me in this is that the information is on the page as far
as what happened with Karen during her anorexia and the events and
problems that led to Karen passing away. With that being typed
(said?), most of the "Karen's Last Days" page contains the extra
information that others try to leave out for various reasons as many of
the 'stories' about Karen fall apart when her autopsy report is
examined closer. The autopsy report itself has several problems
when examined closer too. But after others have spoken, one has
ask, "What would Karen say about all of this?" The Karen's Last
Also, this is not some 'expert' on anorexia but is actually from me, a
guy that actually talked with Karen about her problems and I listened
to what she had to say about it as well. You would think that
supposed people trying to learn about anorexia would wish to talk and
ask questions of an anorexic, but apparently not as I have been
witnessing. About the only thing I have seen noteworthy from
anyone was her brother Richard ("straight as a board") and Tony Peluso
("why don't you eat?"). And of course people saying "eat" or
"Mangia mangia mangia" (italian for eat). But none of that other
stuff I see out there about anorexia has anything directly from Karen
mentioned in it. Even worst, many of the things I do see
mentioned about anorexics from therapists and such never fit Karen at
all and are from Cherry Boone's "Starving for Attention" book, not from
Karen. Karen had even told me that her therapists would put words
in her mouth and not talk with her or ask her questions or such.
Back in 1978 I thought Karen was joking about the therapy being that
bad, but I've come to find out that she wasn't joking about it being
bad. And after having so many adults that felt they knew
everything, Karen turned to me, a 13 year old at the time in September
/ October 1978, for someone to talk to about it for a different
perspective. Since when do kids know everything? But then
there was this 13 year old that apparently at least knew enough to ask
questions and like Karen, an "old soul" that appeared to have wisdom
beyond his (my) years about a lot of stuff (my mom had arrhythmia, life
in general, people in general, work, relationships, medical and legal
problems, etc.) or as it was called at the time, "street smarts".
Words come from books whereas street smarts comes from
experience. Both Karen and me had a lot of street smarts aka we
were "old souls" with a lot of life experiences to draw from.
Grown ups always act like they know everything; kids ask questions;
neither Karen nor me were ever into that grown up stuff which was why
we always preferred being child-like not childish as when grown ups get
caught not knowing everything like they pretend to know, grown ups
become childish when caught. Karen and me were "old souls" but
child-like old souls that preferred acting our shoe size instead of our
From my own observations of Karen, her anorexia would seem to kick in
more after she had difficulty going to the bathroom than anything
else. Karen talked about image problems and weight and such, but
it seemed like that stuff would kick in after she had difficulty going
to the bathroom (a half hour or more at times and using a plunger
afterwards and she hadn't thrown up but had plugged the toilet).
Karen had colitis for nearly seven and a half years and although not
directly stated on her autopsy, Karen's autopsy revealed that she still
had colitis when she passed away (swollen intestines and such).
But also, it wasn't just one problem like "colitis" as Karen might
worry about her eating if she had a TV show to do but also if she was
feeling that guys didn't find her attractive enough and such.
Karen also had a dificult and rough time with her visitor
(menstruation) and she would always get tired and feel drained during
her visitor. Karen found out that if she lost too much weight,
her visitor would stop. At times Karen would purposely lose
weight so that her visitor stopped and she didn't get the cramping and
bloating and feeling drained and exhausted and such. There were
several different reasons Karen might have for not eating
and in order to find out what Karen might be thinking about, you had to
ask. In all seriousness, at times, Karen wouldn't even know why
she hadn't been eating. Karen seemed to have more reasons not to
eat than to eat. Colitis (trouble going to the bathroom)?
Her visitor (menstruation)? Nervous stomach? TV show
appearance? Being on
stage? Feeling unattractive? Feeling she needed to be
"straight as a board"? And whatever else. Karen's anorexia
was a set of several underlying problems and not just one problem of
'not eating'. And after having so many thoughts of "don't eat
because of this" and "don't eat because of that" that Karen just
wouldn't eat out of the habit of not eating. The only person
asking Karen not to eat was Karen, herself.
But I tried to cover it all and not leave anything out on the "Karen's
Last Days" page for a more complete picture of Karen's passing away and
her anorexia. Hepatitis, colitis, hyperglycemia, arrhythmia and
12. Who was Karen's best friend?
Snoopy passed away a little while
accident and later Mush became Karen's best
friend. Karen could talk with Mush about anything. No one
ever interviewed Mush that I am aware of which means that there will
always be some things unanswered as far as Karen Carpenter's
Mush would be Karen's mom as Karen and her mom could also talk about
Richard would be just after mom in the best friends
Karen and her mom talked about family and all kinds
of stuff in private together. Richard and Karen were very close
too as they were out on the road and such, but when it came to secrets,
Karen actually had more secrets between her and her mom than she did
Karen had a three-ring circus of friends as she
called it. The inner ring, middle ring and outer ring. For
the inner ring, if Karen told someone a secret and they kept that
secret, they were in her inner ring of friends. Mush was Karen's
ringleader so to speak. If Karen didn't
trust them or if they told a secret then the outer ring. The
middle ring were the ones Karen talked with but no secrets
As far as is known, Karen didn't have enemies, only
friends in her three-ring circus of life.
13. Was Karen a lesbian?
No. Karen was not at all
sexually interested nor attracted to
other women. Also read #6 too for info on Karen's
13A. How do you know for sure that
Karen wasn't a lesbian or interested in being a lesbian?
I believe it was around November 1978 and Karen
and me did have a discussion about it. Originally Karen said
'thespians'. Karen had told me that she had thought about it and
that thought was that she was not attracted to other women at
all. As Karen said, "I like guy parts, not girl parts." But
the conversation came up after Karen had picked up a tabloid and Karen
told me the rest of the story (that of course wasn't in the
tabloid). But the tabloid referenced an event that happened
between Karen and her mom in February 1978 at the LA Mental Health
Clinic. And after mentioning that her mom didn't hug Karen, yes,
Karen and me talked about that it was probably a good thing her and her
mom hadn't hugged as if there had been pictures of Karen and her mom
hugging or such and it just went from there.
Eh, since this is a reference work... Anyway, Karen told me this
mentioned in the paper took place in February 1978. And Karen
said, "I was there and they
brought my mom in and
told me and my mom to hug each other. It was very awkward because
mom was not a hugger and they never discussed this with me or my mom
beforehand. So there they were trying to force me and my mom to
each other. It was horrible. You don't force people to hug
like that in front of total strangers. I don't know what they
thinking but I let them know what I was thinking and they didn't like
it. Next thing I know it ends up in the papers with a lot of
information as usual. I am actually glad that me and my mother
hug because they probably would have accused us of being what was that
word again? Thespians?" And I said, "Lezzies, um, lesbians.
Thespians are actors and actresses." And Karen was like,
"Yeah, they would have probably put it all over the papers that me and
my mom were lesbians. I'm so furious over this. How is
traumatize people helping them?" And I was like, "I'm going to duck
now, but if you do turn lesbian can I watch?" And Karen gave me that
evil look like I knew she would and said, "Not funny Adrian.
I like guy parts, not girl parts. I thought about it, and I could
be like that." And she smiled and then said, "Thanks, I just realized
that how can I turn lesbian or whatever when I can't even bring myself
to hug my own mother?" And I was like, "Yeah, you can't believe all
that you read in the tabloids. But then again, some people will
anything or else the tabloids wouldn't be selling. I mean
your therapy sessions are supposed to be private. Like you said,
is bad, and you're right about that, I would be furious too."
But of course none of that stuff made that article in the tabloid
around November 1978. The article was written by a man with the
initials DV and was based on misinformation DV obtained from the
therapist that had messed up. So a lot of information was missing
from that article. The article tried to state that Karen had left
the clinic crying because her mom didn't hug her for the therapy
session. The truth was that both Karen and her mom were p*ssed
off and walked out of the clinic after a huge mess had happened from a
therapist that hadn't talked with Karen or her mom before making false
accusations and such. But I remember Karen telling me that her
and her mother were at the mental clinic and Karen and her mother were
together in a therapy session. After the psychiatrist or
therapist had tried to accuse her family of not caring about Karen,
Karen became so furious at them that she burst into tears and started
yelling at them. As Karen said to me, "My family has always been
there for me and trying to say that my family didn't care about me was
the straw that broke the camel's back. If it wasn't for my family
suggesting it, I never would have went there in the first place.
But I was having problems and it seemed like they (psychologists,
psychiatrists, and therapists) only made my problems worst. I had
the eating disorder and it had nothing to do with my family. No
one else in my family had the problem of anorexia nervosa and so trying
to blame my family just does not make any sense. But saying my
family did not love or care about me was just an outright lie and I let
them have it for saying that. I was furious and in tears because
I was so mad at them." Karen dropped the F bomb on them right in
front of her mother and Karen was waiting for her mother to backhand
her but instead Karen's mother said to Karen something like "Enough
Karen, we need to leave this place. This place isn't doing you
any good or me either." And Karen and her mom walked out of the
place and to the family car (the station wagon) in the parking lot of
the clinic. Karen then told me that her mother got Karen into the
car and then gave Karen the keys to the car and told Karen that if a
bunch of emergency vehicles showed up that Karen needed to leave with
the car and get out of there and just go home. Karen's mother
told Karen that now it was her turn to give them a piece of her mind
after what had happened. Karen's mother then gave Karen a "I'm
probably never going to see you again" hug and slammed the door to the
car and proceeded to walk at least a half city block back into the
clinic and Karen said that she had the windows rolled up in the car and
could still hear every word her mother said to them after her mother
went inside the building. Karen's mother came back out afterwards
and got into the car and Karen and her mother left and went home.
When Karen got the bill, she went into the clinic and the people there
were holding the doors for her and apologizing and such. Karen
went in and paid the bill and then left and never went back there
again. And for those that noticed what Levenkron had said about
the LA clinic not working with Karen on her anorexia, the incident that
happened in February 1978 was the reason why the clinic would not deal
with Karen and her anorexia. Karen and her family would not go
back there and the clinic didn't want them back there either.
Just a big mess that started from a therapist that had absolutely no
common sense whatsoever. If Karen's mom didn't care about Karen
then why was her mom at the clinic trying to get her daughter some
help. Exactly. That's stupidity on the therapist's part.
But to finish here, Karen was not the least bit sexually attracted to
other women. Karen could never be a lesbian. Fans are fans
and all that and if they were lesbians then fine that was them.
But it wasn't really a choice with Karen as she was only turned on by
men and had no sexual interest in women whatsoever in any way, shape or
14. What was Karen's favorite movie?
Karen and me talked about this in
early September 1978. It probably changed over the years.
"Gone with the Wind". Her
favorite was "A Street Car Named Desire" (play or movie, didn't matter
15. What was Karen's favorite song?
Karen's answer to me on this was
that she was always hoping to find a
song that connected with everyone and that hopefully her and Richard
would find it and get to record it. Karen didn't find such a song
before she passed away.
As far as Carpenters' songs she sang, her
favorite was "I Need To Be In Love".
The closest Karen actually
came to writing her own song was the song Rod Temperton wrote (based on
ideas from Karen) called "Rock with You" that was given to Michael
Karen liked different stuff based on the mood she was in,
so her favorite changed a lot. Karen liked a lot of different
music so trying to pick a favorite just wasn't possible as it depended
on her mood as to what she might want to listen to. An attempted
trying to list Karen's favorites would be a huge list as she liked just
about anything musically.
But one song that did stand out for Karen, personally, was a song
written by Michael Nesmith (the Monkees) called "Different Drum" and
the version recorded by The Stone Poneys (with Linda Ronstadt).
But I am still kind of stuck with that "song she was
hoping to find but she never found it" answer too.
16. Did Karen have self esteem issues?
Karen Carpenter? The one
that was against the music industry
trying to promote women as just being nothing more than sex
objects? Karen lived by her principles and not by the principles
of others. Nope, Karen did not honestly have self esteem
Others did have issues with her going against the grain
of demeaning women though. Most of the industry wanted women to
be seen as nothing more than sex objects. Karen reminded them
that women were their moms and grammas and such and are more than just
sex objects. Karen had enough self esteem to stop her solo album
before it was released and others (as has been noted) might get the
wrong ideas (women as sex objects and the Carpenters break up rumor
So Karen did not have low self esteem or self esteem
Others did have problems with Karen and her
'girl next door' image though. Not A&M Records, but
others. A&M saw themselves as a family type business which
was perfect for both Karen and Richard but not so perfect for those
like Harvey Weinstein and such.
Being humble is actually a sign
of high self esteem. Being arrogant is a sign of someone with low
self esteem. Blaming everyone else for your problems without any
introspection is also
another sign of arrogance and low self esteem. Stating a problem
or a possible problem is one thing while blaming is a different animal
as one that blames without some introspection will always have to have
a scapegoat even when they are the only one there. A blamer
always has to blame someone else without taking responsibility for that
blame (someone with introspection realizes that false accusations harm
others whereas a blamer doesn't care if they hurt others or not so long
as they aren't the ones being blamed and hurt). I wish people
would learn to get
the truth straight and stop listening to those that have low self
esteem and try to twist the truth to suit themselves (and their college
degrees which they try to laud over others that have more common sense
in most cases). Karen did
not have self esteem issues that I was ever aware of. Karen was
humble and had good
principles. Some can mix up being humble with low self esteem
which is fine with me. Others trying to say Karen had
inferiority complexes and issues appear to be
the ones that are arrogant and blaming others which was not something
Karen would do. Karen was the one with anorexia, not her
family. Why do they keep trying to constantly (to the level of
brainwashing) blame the family when Karen had actually moved out of the
house and had her own condo and such since 1975 / 1976? And
Karen's family included cousin Joanie too who was like a big sister to
Karen growing up as well. As has been accurately stated, "They
were a**holes" and from what I have personally seen, I agree and I wish
to add as well that they still are a**holes in my humble opinion.
[Note, clarification of this paragraph performed on May 27, 2022, oops
on my end].
Go back to question number 10 or 11 now if you
wish as yeah, this was part of Karen's therapy problems. It's
difficult when you apparently know more than those that have college
degrees but apparently don't have enough real life experience or
'common sense' to
understand people in real terms instead of some book jargon.
Humble people don't have low self esteem.
did do a lot of work while
Karen got a lot of credit. There was a little self esteem issue
there with Richard. Not a bad issue, but it was a problem at
times as Richard always put in so much work and Karen always got so
much praise. At times Richard would have a little low self esteem
creep in there as publicly there has always been so much praise for
Karen while publicly many saw Richard as "Karen's brother" and chopped
liver so to speak. Karen was never too happy about
that. But Karen was always proud of what her and her brother had
accomplished together but Karen was careful too as "Pride always comes
before a fall". Being humble.
The truth always was though that Karen and
Richard were a team and they always complimented and enhanced each
other and worked together. The whole being greater than the sum
of its parts so to speak.
And not just Karen and Richard, but on
stage is was always a group effort with Bob, Doug, Gary, Tony, Cubby
(before Cubby was Jim) and others like Sandy Holland and Mark Rudolph
and how can you forget Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss and... The
Carpenters tour group always had to work together too. But all
the talk about Karen and Richard but what about Joe Osborn and Hal
Blaine and Gayle Levant (really, how many times does Gayle's name get
mentioned?)... It wasn't just Karen and Richard. The focus
has been primarily on Karen and Richard but many other wonderful people
were involved too that don't get mentioned that often. How do
they feel about all that? Quick, everyone rush out to the papers
and make up a bunch of stories and such. But yeah, the whole was
always greater than the sum of its parts.
But also, many mix up
self esteem and
humility so to be expected I guess. Arrogant people and
those that constantly try to blame and berate others have low self
esteem. Same as those that tend to say bad things about others
tend to have low
self esteem as well (speaking of which, aren't these the same ones
saying that Karen had self esteem problems while trying to say bad
things about Richard and Agnes and trying to throw blame on Richard and
Agnes for Karen's problems while the ones making those accusations act
like arrogant, self-conceited
know-it-alls that act like they are beyond reproach. News flash
people do earn 'a bad rap' but I have noticed many times that the ones
trying to give others a bad rap (rep) need to clean out their
skeleton-filled closets instead of trying to push it off onto
others. Smoke screens only last so long before the smoke clears,
same as someone can't keep abusing a mirror for too long before the
mirror breaks and others see through that mirror. Smoke screens
and mirrors are the primary tactics used by those that have a lot of
skeletons in their closets and try to project those skeletons onto
others to try and make believe that others have those problems and not
themselves. The smoke screens and mirrors are mentioned down in
the 'After Thought' question at the bottom of this page. Not one
of the smoke screens or mirrors (rumors) have ever originated from
Richard or Agnes has or hasn't said or done. All of the smoke
screens and mirrors (rumors) originate from those trying to support a
anorexic profile that never fit Karen or her family at all.
But anyone that ever knew Karen knew that Karen
was not one to cave in to others or go with the flow because of that
peer pressure stuff. Karen was never wishy washy or a pushover
which are signs of someone having low self esteem issues. Just as
Karen wasn't arrogant either which is another sign of low self
esteem. And being humble is a sign of good self esteem and those
that knew Karen knew Karen to be humble.
For more information on
this, try question #119 about Karen and Richard picking on each other.
17. Was Karen looking to leave the Carpenters?
Nope. Never. Karen
would have never left her brother.
Yes, definite proof that people never read liner notes on albums as in
Karen's solo album, Phil Ramone made it perfectly clear that the album
was not released due to concerns about the press
trying to start false rumors that Karen was planning on leaving her
brother. INCONCEIVABLE as Phil wrote in the liner notes (question
reality at the time Karen did her solo album, Richard had said "I quit"
on September 4, 1978 after a Vegas show, so Karen was technically the
only one left in the Carpenters at the time that she did her solo
album. Richard was the one that left the Carpenters, not
But without Richard there, it wouldn't have been
Carpenters (as is noticed on Karen's solo album).
But the rough
part that some people don't realize about Karen's solo album was that
it wasn't really Karen Carpenter for that album, but at least most
realize that it definitely wasn't a Carpenters album either.
Karen was always a romantic at heart. An actual "Karen Carpenter"
album would have to be romantic to be "Karen Carpenter". It
missed. Karen had it shelved.
at the time of the start of Karen's solo album (spring 1979), Richard
had said he
quit so there technically wasn't a Carpenters without Richard AND
Karen. Richard was the one who said he quit on September 4, 1978
which left Karen by herself as without Richard AND Karen, there wasn't
really a Carpenters there for Karen to leave.
And if someone was
looking to actually leave someone else they wouldn't try to do it with
the same record company.
Then came the Made In America album
after Richard had dealt with his Quaalude addiction and decided to
18. Why a solo album if Karen wasn't trying to leave the Carpenters?
This is what is known as a "loaded
question" (a question based on a false assumption in this case being
Karen trying to leave the Carpenters which is answered in question #17)
which there are two possible ways
to answer this type of question...
One way (the long way, PS, use a long paragraph for this too as people
are less likely to read a large/long paragraph)...
On September 4, 1978 during a Las
Vegas concert Richard had said "I
quit" and the rest of the concerts for the tour were cancelled.
Richard was having problems with Quaaludes and just could not function
very well anymore without shaking from his addiction. For the
rest of this try question #110
about the events that happened to start Karen's solo album. The
album was definitely not Karen's idea and that album was
more Jerry Weintraub and Phil Ramone than Karen Carpenter. I
first met Karen on September 6, 1978 and Karen and me spent a LOT of
time around each other until June 22, 1979 and so I was around for most
of the start of Karen's solo as well as personally involved in the 100K
meeting and such. That 100K meeting was what gave Karen the idea
for her "new manager" story about me (Adrian/Ace) in 1983. Karen
and I also discussed this when we were around each other from June 12,
1981 to June 20, 1981 as well as Karen's phone call to me on February
3, 1983. Outside of Karen I was probably the one that knew how
the solo album started and how Karen ended it too. Outside Karen
and myself, Rod Temperton probably was the next one and outside the
meeting where the album was shelved, Richard wasn't involved with the
solo album either. Karen, Rod, Phil and myself were involved, but
Richard wasn't really involved much with Karen's solo album. The
'not another Carpenters album' was an idea shared for trying to do
something different and possibly in another direction as after Horizon,
A Kind of Hush and Passage maybe the Carpenters sound was getting
stale I guess would be the best way of putting it. As Richard has
stated, Christmas Portrait was pretty much a Karen Carpenter solo album
as Richard hadn't been that involved with the album as he was having
problems with his Quaalude addiction. Christmas Portrait didn't
do half bad on the charts and such. Maybe if Karen did more on
her own... But if Karen had actually been looking to go
solo and leave her brother, she definitely wouldn't do it with the same
record company that Richard and her recorded with. If you are
breaking ties and moving on, you don't use the same record company to
"break away" from someone else. Some people and their stories
that are illogical and don't make sense. Ask questions.
Remember, the farther someone goes out on a limb, the weaker the limb
becomes and the more likely the limb will break and that someone will
fall. Same with stories as the farther one gets from the truth,
the more questions that come up from stuff not making sense and the
more the stories (not truth) fall apart and come crashing down.
As Phil has stated (and I saw it too and I agree) that Karen was doing
well when her solo album started but near the end, Karen looked like an
Auschwitz figure which doesn't sound to me like Karen was doing well
with her anorexia while making a solo album. Karen weighed over
120 pounds (I believe it was actually 136 pounds around May 1, 1979)
when she started her solo album in May 1979, when Karen and me parted
company for nearly two years on June 22, 1979 Karen weighed 124 pounds
(as could be seen in the July 6, 1979 pictures of Karen with Olivia and
her brother and the Bee Gees, Karen was still over 120 pounds in those
pictures), and when Karen did her photo shoot for the solo album
(February? 1980), Karen weighed roughly 80 pounds. So the truth
is that Karen did NOT do well with her anorexia while doing her solo
album and her anorexia had actually got worst during that time.
But leave it to fiction writers to leave stuff out and twist the truth
to try and make up best selling fictional stories to try and bolster
their writing careers. Who in their right freaking mind would
believe that someone going from roughly 136 pounds down to about 80
pounds was doing better with their anorexia? Yeah, stop and think
about that one for those of you that were duped by others with all that
solo album and that anorexic profile nonsense that doesn't make sense
when facts are presented. And yes, duped as a con is something
that is possibly believable. The old switch-a-roo. Trying
to make something unbelievable sound believable. Duped.
Don't assume and definitely don't take assumptions and second guessing
and mind reading as facts or truths. Asking questions and
allowing answers is what
eliminates assumptions and second guessing and mind reading and
such. If Karen had been looking to get away or break up or such,
there never would have been the Made In America album. And if
breaking away from someone, you don't use the same record company to
leave or break away from someone else. Sheesh. When
people realize that Richard had actually been the one to quit and not
Karen, then what happened for Karen's solo album should start making
sense. The Carpenters was Karen and Richard and without either
one of them (as Richard had said he quit) there wasn't a
Carpenters. Yes, the answer there is a question unto itself of
"How could Karen quit the Carpenters when Richard had already quit so
there wasn't really a Carpenters left for Karen to quit?" Yes,
this is the actual answer to the question of "Why did Karen do a solo
album if she wasn't wishing to leave her brother?" So the non
question answer is - Karen's brother was the one who left, not
Karen. After Richard left the Carpenters, there was nothing left
for Karen to leave. Without Richard, Karen worked on a solo album
not because she was wanting to leave her brother, but because her
brother had said he quit and had already left. The truth is that
how could Karen leave her brother when her brother was the one who had
already quit and left Karen. But yes, the wording on this
question is a bit off and misleading as it insinuates that Karen was
wishing to leave her brother but in reality, on September 4, 1978
Karen's brother had already left Karen. And a poorly worded
question leads to a long, drawn out answer to try and correct the bad
assumption (insinuation) and misinformation that was contained in the
OK then, short answer to this question (next
paragraph, and oops, yeah, leave a large paragraph here to make the
long answer appear even longer)...
Another way (the short way which normally ends up being the longer
Richard had said "I quit" on September 4, 1978 so how could Karen leave
Richard after Richard had already left? You aren't making any
sense there. Could you rephrase that? Which would only lead
to more problems, so I feel it would be better to just stick with a
long, drawn out explanation that the person asking the question
probably won't bother reading nor respond to.
For those unfamiliar with "loaded questions", loaded questions many
times are signs of what are known as "trolls". Trolls usually
post a type of loaded question hoping to get someone to disagree with
them. After someone bites (answers the troll) the troll will have
an argument and try to belittle and berate anyone that disagrees with
them. As this is a personal web page and not an actual forum or
such, this question didn't get messy. Use extreme caution on
forums and posting sites when you see a question that appears to
contain wrong information in the question itself. Many times the
person that does those types of posts is just looking to hassle and
create problems for others and doesn't really care about the question
or the information, but they do care about trying to humiliate and
intimidate and hassle others.
19. Why did Karen marry Thomas Burris?
Karen told me about her feelings about her wedding
when we talked on
June 12, 1981.
Karen said that she always decided things by three
signs (as I knew that, the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, three) and
Karen got her signs crossed.
The first and biggest sign was that
Karen had sent a limo to pick me up at my old house and then a plane
to fly me to California but I was not there (Karen hadn't realized we
had moved or else I would
have been there) so Karen thought I didn't care about or love her
anymore (not that I didn't want her accused of stuff because of my age
and that we had moved since she last saw me on June 22, 1979).
We moved on February 23, 1980. The owner of the old house, Jesse,
sent the limo driver away. The legal age in Virginia at the time
was and still is 15 and yes, if they had known, my parents would have
consented. And at the time as well (and probably still) underage
marriages are allowed with parental consent as the Amish get married
usually at an early age in New York as well as California (at least at
the time anyway, probably still is allowed but I just haven't looked to
see for sure).
The second sign was that the Burris's were a
relation to the Cuticellos
and Karen getting married to Tom would make her friend Debbie a distant
cousin by marriage.
The third sign was that Karen's mom rarely
made speeches and Karen's mom made the 'People Magazine' speech which
Karen said wasn't that good of a speech, but if mom made a speech it
must be important to her that Karen get married. Karen thought it
wasn't a good speech though as her mom talked about People Magazine and
Karen was hoping her mom would talk about commitments and promises and
such but her mom just talked about the magazine people being
The fourth sign
as all of these signs had 'change' in them was the fact that Tom had
been caught in several lies and with that Karen thought that getting
married would be a good change in Tom and maybe Tom would start being
honest for a change.
Getting married was a change all right as
Karen told me on June 12, 1981, "Tom changed all right. Before we
got married, Tom would ask permission before doing anything.
After we got married Tom tried to run everything."
But it was
four signs and not three and a sign that stuff was messed up and not
about 'changes'. And as I told Karen on June 12, 1981, "Try
to remember this, if I don't show up at your wedding it is a sign
that you are marrying the wrong guy again."
But after our talk in June 1981, Karen realized that there were four
signs that things were messed up and not three signs meaning
change. Karen willingly married Thomas at the time (she wasn't
forced into it or such) but afterwards, what a mess.
What had happened was that Karen had met me before but I was 15 years
younger and Karen was hoping for someone older feeling that an older
person would be more mature with age. Tom was about ten
years older (but definitely not as mature as the guy, me, that was 15
years younger and Tony Danza, also younger, was more mature than
Thomas. Tony and I were both child-like but Thomas was childish
and a big difference as child-like and childish although they may look
similar are actually antonyms [opposites] of one another in connotation
and meaning). Tom had also dug himself in a financial hole to try
and make Karen think he was wealthy and a big real estate mogul (the
name Thomas Burris was noted down in Florida on a couple
buildings). But like I'll write about later (question #155 &
smoke screen and mirrors and after the smoke screen cleared and the
mirrors shattered, Karen realized she would be happier with a guy that
was 15 years younger and at least had maturity and financial common
sense (a 726 credit rating at age 16 compared to Thomas's 136 and also,
neither Karen nor Richard had had a credit rating at age 16) compared
to that mess she had actually married on the rebound. But
maturity comes through experiences and is not determined by age.
Older people are not necessarily more mature and youger people are not
necessarily immature. The smoke screen was that Karen had age
mixed up with maturity and after the smoke cleared, Thomas was Karen's
eldest but also the most immature whereas Adrian (me) was the youngest
but the most mature (like her brother Richard) and Adrian (me) was
child-like (like Kaen) whereas Thomas was childish and there is a big
difference in maturity between someone child-like and another that was
childish. Childish people are never mature.
20. Did Richard and Karen have sex together?
Karen and me had a talk around
late May 1979 about rumors and Karen had
this to say to me, "As far as me and my brother
having sex. Richard and I are
brother and sister and we have been through a lot together and we are
very close to one another and we love each other very much and very
dearly. We are brother and sister and the thought of possibly
bringing in a bunch of inbreds with hillbilly teeth into the world is
just not my idea of having a good time..." so I hope this answers that
question. It answered it for me. Yes, the answer is a
21. Is Mary Rudolph really an adopted first cousin?
Yes. Mark's mom was only
pregnant once and Mark and Mary were not
twins (and with one being blonde and the other having darker
Karen told me the story that there was a car accident in
the paper where one parent died and the other parent was in a
wheelchair (and lived I believe about three months before dying from
complications with the accident) and the newspaper also talked of a
'miracle baby' that survived without a scratch.
Richard and Mary have four girls together and two girls - Kristi and
Mindi, look like their dad and two girls - Traci and Taylor, look like
Yes, they had a test done but it was to make
sure that there wasn't a possible problem genetically between
them. People can be not related but still have a genetic type
match that could cause birth problems. Just to be on the safe
side as Mary had been adopted, Richard and Mary had the test done just
in case as Mary's biologic family wasn't really around to check with
about family medical history and such. And added on June 18, 2022
for those wanting to see this typed as well as for those without a
clue, had Richard and Mary been actual first cousins then this test
would have definitely shown up as a positive match for probable birth
defects instead of the actual negative match that came back.
22. Did Karen approve of Richard and Mary seeing each other?
Before the actual start of Karen's
solo album in late March or early
April 1979, Karen was refusing to do a solo album and Richard was
wanting time off for some reason.
Karen's mom called Karen up and
I was there during that phone call between Karen and her mom which is
where I heard the story about number 21 above. Anyway, mom
(Agnes) called Karen up after sending Richard out to the store to get
groceries and Karen and her mom talked while I was in the background
mostly listening. Mom told Karen that she and Bernice had
noticed Richard around Mary and Richard's clothes smelling like Mary's
perfume and Mary's clothes smelling like Richard's cologne. You
know how women are with figuring stuff out when others are sneaking
But Karen was all excited to hear that her brother was
seeing Mary as Mary was adopted and not a "gold digger".
Karen wasn't mortified or any of that other stuff about it. But
yes, Karen and me talked about this and honestly Karen wanted Richard
and Mary to hook up but didn't want others that tended to spread rumors
and gossip to try and mess it up for Richard and Mary.
definitely approved of her brother with Mary Rudolph and Karen even
told me that in late March or early April 1979. And yes, I heard
about it with Karen from her mom, Agnes, in late March / early April
23. Where did Karen's middle name, Anne, come from?
Karen's middle name, Anne, came
from her great grandfather's, Thomas
Carpenter's, mother - great-great grandmom Sarah Anne (Nash)
Carpenter. In 1949, Karen was conceptualized (created, conceived)
in a Nash automobile (a Rambler if I remember correctly). I am
not sure about why Karen though.
Karen's other middle name was
Trouble with a capital T preferably.
I can't remember where Karen
said her first name came from. I do know that Karen loved her
first name, Karen, as Karen loved being a kind and caring person (kind
and caring = Karen). I know Karen came from her mom, just not
sure on the story behind it (friend, relative, both, other, something
different, ?). After more thinking (and time passing), I think I
remember Karen saying that her mom had a best friend growing up named
Karen but it also seems like there may be more to the story than that
but I just can't seem to remember it now. It seems like it was
something about her mom had lost contact with her best friend Karen
years ago and then I'm still drawing a blank here on the rest of this.
Karen was around to ask about this to be sure" question and answer.
24. Why did Bruce Forsyth (Brooth Forthyth) say "the sound is ace" and
that other ace stuff during the 1978 "Big Night Out" Christmas show?
Karen had asked Bruce to say "Ace"
as Karen was a bit nervous during
the show. Karen was not really nervous because she was performing
without Richard, but before Karen had left to do the show, Richard had
been shaking really bad and couldn't even hold a glass of water without
it spilling all over.
Karen arrived in the UK on December 11,
1978 and then flew to Topeka Kansas to be with Richard for Richard's
pre admission into Meninger's Clinic on December 12 then Karen flew
back to London to tape the Bruce Forsyth Show on December 14.
my nickname is Ace and usually hearing my name would help Karen calm
down so Karen asked if Bruce could work in "Ace" on the show and he did.
25. Did they actually steal "the Carpenters' sound" for Karen's solo
I don't know for sure. The
two that would know for sure would
have been Karen and Rod Temperton.
Rod Temperton had experience
with layering vocals while working with the band Heatwave in the mid
1970s (the song "Boogie Nights" comes to mind here for me).
Karen and Richard had always had their system of layering vocals as
I can not be positive if Karen did not give Rod extra
pointers on vocal layering. If Karen did give Rod pointers then
they definitely stole the Carpenters' sound. But if it was all
Rod Temperton then they didn't steal the Carpenters' sound. I
never asked and I don't remember Karen or Rod ever mentioning it to me
so truthfully I don't know for sure.
And now finally after a
while thinking about this, I think I remember Karen answering this
definitively. I remember Karen talking about the album back in
June 1979 and during one of our many talks Karen had said something
like, "Rod knew how to layer vocals on top of each other but I had to
give him a few pointers on how to ping pong the tracks back and forth
or else we would have run out of room on the tape. Rod knew what
to do but he had never done it before like that. Stacking vocals
on top of each other by bouncing the track back and forth, you know,
ping ponging." And I think I said back something like, "You mean
like overdubbing." And Karen was like, "Kind of but on a much
bigger scale. Rod knew the basics but I had to give him a few
pointers so that we were on the same page with it. Rod knew how
to overdub but he hadn't ever played ping pong with it before so I
showed him how."
So the answer would be yes on a couple songs in
a way, but it wasn't really stolen I feel with Karen teaching Rod how
to do it. Borrowed indefinitely without obtaining permission
first I feel would be more the close sibling term for this.
Thieves steal; Karen just borrowed indefinitely without obtaining
permission first from her brother and the group they were both
co-founders of. And as people know, a thief by any other name
would be someone who borrows indefinitely without obtaining permission
26. Did Karen draw personal inspiration from the songs she sang?
Nope. Most of the songs were
written by others and Karen would
try to relate what she felt about a song. But most of the songs
were written by others and all were picked out by Richard so not really
much was personal with Karen.
Richard and Karen tried to pick
songs with a more universal appeal to people as if the fans could
relate to the lyrics and such it would be a better seller. There
were some personal stories here and there about the reason behind
choosing a particular song, but Karen and Richard always tried to do
songs that they felt had a more universal appeal with people. A
universal appeal is not usually too personal directly but indirectly
little pieces here and there.
But as far as that "life imitates
art" stuff, not with Karen or Richard and mostly other people's music
that they borrowed. Karen sang Superstar in 1971 and didn't meet
Alan Osmond until 1973 so the song had nothing to do with Karen
personally outside of Karen singing it with "the voice" she had.
27. What was Karen's biggest influence on singing?
Karen's first influence was
singing in a church choir and then in high
school Karen wanted to get out of Geometry so she joined the school
choir. Karen would play the drums on stage with her brother
(after about age 15) but she wouldn't sing. Then a couple times
Richard asked her to sing so she did.
But before age 15, Karen really
didn't sing much. Karen would at times have a very low voice when
she was trying to figure out how to get a certain sound. As I
with Karen, "You sing like Marcel Marceau". But Karen listening
to her own voice and how it sounded was how she learned to sing.
Karen was not taught and she really didn't try to sing like anyone else
but only what her voice could actually do.
28. What was Karen's biggest influence on playing the drums?
According to Karen to me (in
private of course), Karen had athlete's
foot in high school and was looking for a way to get out of gym class
as Karen's athlete's foot started after taking showers after gym class
back in Connecticut and the athlete's foot had only got worst.
Karen joined the marching band (glockenspiel) and then she had a crush
or puppy love with Frankie Chavez (but Frankie had a girlfriend and
Karen said the crush wore off after about two months and realizing that
her and Frankie had nothing in common outside the drums so Karen and
Frankie never dated or such).
But Karen liked keeping her hands
busy so the drums came natural to her.
But Karen told me that her
biggest influence on learning to play the drums was having a foot
Karen was right-handed so the high-hat was on the left
and her right foot on the bass drum and such. I was left-handed
so I would have the high-hat on the right and my left foot on the bass
drum and such. Karen would get frustrated at me if I mimicked
playing the drums (air drums) as I would do it backwards as she would
29. What was Karen's favorite color?
Red and black from 1969 to
September 1978. Red and black and yellow after mid to late
In September 1978 Karen mentioned her favorite
color to me of red and black. I told Karen my favorite color was
silver and black. Karen and I just looked at each other kind of
funny then I said I change my color to clear unless you want it and I
could choose opaque. Karen instead chose red and black and
Yes, Karen and I both loved being different from everyone
else. So after September 1978 Karen's favorite color became red
and black and yellow and my favorite color changed to clear. Then
Karen mentioned that other people thought her
favorite color was red and black because of Mickey Mouse but her
favorite color was actually a burgundy red as that was the color of her
eyes, burgundy red with a black pupil. And of course me to Karen
about the yellow color,
"Did you catch jaundice?" and Karen was like, "Yeah, are my eyes
still yellow?" and of course me, "I can't tell. There's too
many stars in the way so you'll have to ask someone else." And
then Karen again, "Actually, yellow is the going
bananas color and you've got me going
30. Why were there yellow roses at Karen's funeral?
Karen's favorite was actually red
roses. However, Karen passed away close to Valentine's Day and
there just weren't any red roses to be found. So Richard had no
choice but to use yellow roses or none at all.
31. Did Karen have a boat?
Yes, Karen had a boat (well, a 70
foot yacht I believe that took four crew to run) and then
Karen found out that it was bad luck to have a boat without a
name. And Karen and her three signs. The boat's name was
"the Lucia" after Lucille Ball, Lucy in the comic strip Peanuts and the
island of St. Lucia.
32. What cars did Karen have?
KAC 1 - Karen's 1972 Mercedes 350
- Karen's Corvette, KAC 3 - Karen's 1979 Jaguar XJS (XKE?). And to note
here, the his and hers (charcoal gray?) Rolls Royces were under
Thomas's name and weren't technically Karen's. On top of that,
yes, her 10 ct. (kt.?) engagement ring as well as the Rolls Royces were
repossessed within three months after Karen and Tom were married.
33. Did Thomas Burris actually throw his wedding ring in Karen's casket?
Yes. Before Karen had passed
away she had asked for the wedding ring back as part of the divorce
settlement. Thomas had signed the divorce papers but Karen didn't
sign the divorce papers. Thomas threw the ring in Karen's casket
as after Karen had passed away he couldn't give it back to her any
Also, Thomas had a suppression order issued on him
that he had signed as part of the divorce agreement (it was not part of
Karen's Will but was part of the divorce papers) so he wasn't
able to talk publicly about Karen so Thomas visited
earlier and was not there during the actual viewing or funeral.
34. Were Phil and Itchie Ramone at Karen's funeral?
No. Itchie was pregnant with
Phil and her first son and Phil would not let Itchie travel while she
was pregnant. There were several complications from Itchie being
pregnant which was why Itchie and Karen had talked by phone but had not
seen each other for a while (at least a couple months) before Karen had
35. Why was there a suppression order (gag order) issued on Thomas
I believe that actually the gag
order was a part of Karen's divorce agreement with Thomas.
did not want Thomas talking with the tabloids about the divorce and
that he said she said type stuff that always hits the tabloids after a
divorce. Would you want someone that was a real estate mogul with
a 136 credit rating blabbing to papers that would leave out that 136
credit rating part of the story?
And thanks for jarring my memory
I remember Richard saying on February 4, 1983 that
the suppression order was a part of the divorce agreement and had
nothing to do with Karen's Will or such. I remember Richard had
that suppression order against Thomas in Karen's silver briefcase that
Richard had with him on February 4, 1983.
But honestly, Richard
had NOTHING to do with that suppression order and it was from the
divorce agreement and Karen and the divorce lawyer's idea.
Although Karen had not signed and finalized the divorce agreement
itself, the suppression order only needed to be signed by Thomas and
Thomas had signed it when he signed the divorce papers.
Thomas said on the first date that he had never heard of the Carpenters
so after the "living under a rock" comment, Karen put Thomas in her
outer ring of friends (question #12) as she may have married him
(question #19) but she didn't trust him since day one.
meeting with Thomas on I believe June 18, 1981 that I know for a fact
that Thomas didn't know any of Karen or her family's secrets.
Karen didn't want to go through that tabloid mess that always happens
with divorces and the only way to avoid that was to have Thomas sign a
suppression order with the divorce. There wasn't a back door deal
or extra money
or such involved. If it had been up to Richard, Tom would have
got nothing after Karen passed away so Richard was definitely not going
to "pay Tom off" or whatever that made up story is about it. But
it was in the First Codicil of Karen's Will that Tom got the Newport
Beach house and its contents and that was all that he got.
Starting in late 2019 when I saw people trying to post on the internet
that Richard had paid off Thomas to keep his mouth shut, it didn't
sound right tp me as Richard
told me on February 4, 1983, "He never cared about her. When I
told him that Karen passed away he didn't cry. He just sat there
wondering if we were going to take the house away from him. He
was only worried about if we were going to take the house away. I
didn't answer him and I just left him sitting there to
wonder about it. If we could take the house away from him then
he'd cry and if I could I would but I can't go against Karen's wishes
on that. He never cared about her." The suppression order
on Thomas was a part of
Karen's divorce agreement that Thomas had signed and had nothing to do
with Karen's Will or Richard.
As far as Karen's secrets... I (Adrian) was the one with those
not Tom. Tom even knew that. And really, Richard was a
smart guy so why on earth would a smart guy give money (or whatever the
story changes to next) to someone that he was hoping would go
bankrupt. Tom even knew that Ev Wallace knew way more than he did
about Karen. [sarcasm] And they really silenced Ev by putting her
"Yesterday Once More" (1996) documentary [end sarcasm]. And you
need to realize
that I met and I have never been too fond of Tom Burris but I need to
ask (on my own behalf for Tom's sake) these gossipers spreading this
malicious gossip that question that just begs to be asked of "What
secrets?" I met Tom and I never knew Tom to say he knew any
secrets about Karen or her family. That nonsense comes from
others, not Tom. So again, "What secrets?" Exactly,
silence. The silence that comes from stuff that is just gossip
and rumors started by others to try and make others (including Thomas)
36. What about the Dragon Lady stuff?
The Dragon Lady stuff actually
started when Karen was babysitting a neighbor boy, Jason, who was 5
years old around 1972.
Karen and this boy became good pals. But Karen
used to make up stories to tell Jason and one of Karen's favorite
stories to tell Jason was about the fierce Dragon Lady that had a warm
and tender heart. Karen's stories about the Dragon Lady followed
a pattern where the Dragon Lady would meet a young boy and the boy
would be afraid because she was a fierce dragon. Then something
would happen and the Dragon Lady would save the day and the Dragon Lady
and the boy became good friends.
Karen had several different
variations like "The Dragon Lady Saves LA" and "The Dragon Lady Visits
the Zoo" and "The Dragon Lady Saves the Day" and "The Dragon Lady
Visits New York" and "The Dragon Lady Saves Tokyo" and such.
yes, the band members would refer to mom (Agnes) as the "Dragon Lady"
at times as a kind of code word for Agnes (mom).
Karen and her
mom would also refer to Maria, the hair dresser / assistant / Richard's
girlfriend (secretly) as the "Two-Headed Dragon Lady". So this
was around 1972 to 1973.
But yes, Karen did base the Dragon Lady
stories around how she felt about her mom, fierce and protective with a
warm and tender heart. The band did use it as a reference for
37. What was Karen really like?
Karen was usually a quiet person
at first that loved to tell jokes and pull pranks after she got to know
Karen loved being different. And being
different is about being unique.
Karen was a very caring
Karen also was not arrogant or such and was very humble
and down to earth. Karen loved to help people try and solve
personal problems too.
Karen was funny and witty and also had a
slight drawl to her voice with a pennsylvania dutch type accent of
warshing clothes, tawking and such.
Karen was modest and not much
for being praised and such.
Karen liked being treated like just a
regular person but being a celebrity does have its perks as some won't
bother with just anyone. But after meeting a few of those types
of people, Karen wasn't much for those that felt they only bothered
with celebrities and such.
Karen always tried to enjoy everything
as much as possible and wasn't one for judging others as everyone has
their bad days and such. Karen enjoyed it when she was thought of
as being plain and ordinary. Karen wasn't much for being thought
of as a celebrity and such as most people behave differently when they
know they are around a celebrity instead of being themselves.
Karen liked people being themselves and wasn't much for the false type
people that try to impress someone rather than just chat. Karen
enjoyed those that were just average or even below average over those
that thought their stuff didn't stink any time.
liked trying to make people smile and feel better which was why she
always had friends and made many friends.
Karen didn't like to
prejudge or stereotype others either.
Karen was unique.
38. What color were Karen's eyes?
Karen's eye color was actually a
deep burgundy red but at times they would change to a milk chocolate or
dark brown color. With color cameras, many of Karen's pictures
had 'red eye' which many cameras would correct to that dark brown
color. But actually Karen's eye color was a deep burgundy reddish
brown that is difficult to catch on camera without having 'red eye' in
39. Did Karen wear a wig?
always though. Karen used bobby pins on her wigs to hold them in
In later years during concerts, Karen was worried about
moving around and a wig possibly falling off so she tried not to use
wigs during her later concert years.
Karen used to have dark
grayish blue (and a couple white ones too) styrofoam heads that she
would store her wigs on when not
in use. But rather than spend a lot of time trying to get her
regular hair to cooperate, Karen would just throw on a wig and put in a
pile of bobby pins to hold it in place and away she went.
40. What color was Karen's hair?
Karen's actual hair color was
blonde with a light red tint to it.
At about 8 or 9 years old
there were a couple kids in Connecticut that picked on Karen at church
and called her 'Evil Karen' because of her reddish hair and red
eyes. After hearing this, Karen's mom started dying Karen's hair
(in private) and Karen liked the darker color as she thought it framed
her face better with the darker color.
When I knew Karen she used
Miss Clairol Auburn color when she could find it.
were lower middle class so hair dye wasn't the highest priority in the
budget but mom would make allowances for it.
problem with her hair was split ends as it got longer.
freckles and only those with reddish hair develop freckles. The
blonde was a Carpenter trait and the reddish tint was from Nellie
(Lynn) Carpenter. Karen's grandfather George Carpenter (that
passed away before Richard was born) loved red heads.
41. What perfume did Karen wear?
Occur by Avon.
42. What kind of tea did Karen drink?
During the cold, Karen would drink
hot tea from a coffee mug (Karen drank tea from a coffee mug and coffee
from a tea cup, she liked being different).
During the heat,
Karen would drink iced tea from a glass (12 or 16 oz clear
glass). Karen would usually drink whatever was on sale for iced
tea (Lipton, Nestea, 4C, etc.).
For hot tea Karen usually drank
Chamomile with fresh lemon and a dip of honey (Karen would sprits the
lemon in and leave the wedge on the rim of the mug or glass).
Karen would do
the same fresh lemon but not the honey dip with iced tea as iced tea
has sugar already.
Karen also would on occasion drink a Tab soda
(usually out of the can but on a rarer occasion out of a clear 12
/ 16 oz. glass with ice).
43. What was Karen's favorite food?
Karen's favorite food changed over
the years, but the one food that was usually at the top of her list the
most was chili.
For breakfast, pancakes with butter and
For lunch, usually
a light salad (Karen liked the inner part, heart, of iceberg lettuce
and Thousand Island or Catalina or French dressing but Karen wasn't
that picky about dressing either and would mix it up a little).
Karen was not a picky eater and usually liked
whatever was on her plate.
But Karen did have a problem as she
didn't like to eat 4 hours before performing (nervousness) or 4 hours
before sleeping (restlessness).
Karen had also developed colitis
and with that she had tried to change her diet around to include more
soft foods and vegetables and fruits and such in later years.
44. What was Karen's shoe size?
Karen's shoe size was 7 1/2 men's
or 9 1/2 women's A or B width and Karen had a high arch.
borrowed my sneakers a couple times and she complained because I had
fallen arches (flat feet) and my sneaker's arch support was non
45. What was Karen's favorite sport?
Baseball. Karen's favorite
position was pitcher.
46. Who was Karen's favorite baseball player and team?
At the end of 1978 and in the
beginning of 1979 it was Nolan Ryan and the California Angels.
After talk that Nolan was going to be traitored, I mean traded, Karen
switched to the New York Yankees and Thurman Munson.
loved baseball the most but her favorite player and team would change
here and there over the years.
Karen's baseball nickname was
Pudge starting around 1963 to 1964 and so Carlton Fisk was always on
Karen's list of favorite players to watch when she got the chance.
47. What was Karen's bra size?
It had to be asked, didn't
it. Well, it varied depending on how Karen was doing. I
think the smallest size was when I first met her in September 1978 and
it was a 34 B I believe. Around March 1979 I believe it was a 42
C (Karen weighed about 136 pounds at the time).
48. What was Karen's waist size?
That varied too. Karen
usually wore long skirts or long dresses. I don't have an answer
to this one. I don't know.
But I do know that it did change
a few times from September 1978 to June 1979. I'm trying to
remember, but I think Karen said she wore a size 7 or 10 or 12 dress in
1981 but I can't swear to that one either.
49. Did Karen know how to swim?
50. Did Karen use a night light?
Yes. Karen would use a night
light under her bed so that if she needed to get up in the middle of
the night she didn't have to turn on a light. Karen wasn't afraid
of the dark or such but she didn't want to take a chance of stepping on
something in the middle of the night.
51. Did Karen ever sleepwalk?
Yes. I know of Karen
sleepwalking for about a week around September 5, 1978 to around
September 10 or 11, 1978. Not sure if there were other times.
52. Did Karen like to recite poetry?
Believe it or not, you would think
that a singer liked reciting poetry but actually reciting poetry was
one of Karen's least favorite things to do. Karen felt reciting
poetry was boring.
53. What was Karen's most embarrassing moment?
Karen would turn beat red and try
to hide whenever someone showed a picture of her in the oversized
cleavage costume from the Carpenters' Grease tribute section of the
concert in 1976 (1977?).
Film clips and such were fine, but a
picture was another story. Karen actually enjoyed doing the show
and it was a funny show but she would get embarrassed seeing a picture
of herself with the oversized cleavage costume.
So it wasn't
actually the Grease tribute show but a picture from that show with
Karen having the oversized cleavage costume that embarrassed Karen and
someone (Max Baer Jr.) showed the picture and said the magic words,
"She's hiding something you should know about", Karen would have
54. Did Karen ever feel unloved by
her family (mom, dad, brother)?
No. Karen never felt unloved by either her mom, dad or
For a reference, Karen did say that if she felt someone
was using her (unloving / uncaring) or such that she would start
around them. Users try to isolate people from others so
that they can use them without others interfering.
Karen told me that she never felt lonely around her
For another reference here, Karen did say that she felt
lonely around Steven Levenkron, Phil and Itchie Ramone, Thomas Burris
and Max Baer Jr. as well as most of her therapists.
55. Did Karen ever drink alcohol?
Yes. On occasion Karen might
have a glass of wine with dinner or such.
Her favorite was Dom
Perignon Champagne as the bubbles tickled her nose.
own words, she was "about as graceful as a bull in a China shop".
Karen would lose her balance easily (especially with heels, so Karen
preferred wearing flats whenever possible). If Karen would be
drinking, she would always make sure that she didn't have anything else
going on (so usually before going to bed or such).
Karen did not
drink that often but when she did, just let her sniff the cork and you
could pick her up off the floor later.
56. Did Karen ever smoke?
Not that I am ever aware of either
pot, cigars or cigarettes.
Karen did tell me that when she had
been at the college (Cal Long Beach) that she had walked into a guy's
room that had been smoking pot. Karen got a slight buzz and then
had the munchies for two days afterwards. Karen didn't actually
smoke pot and after walking in that room and getting the munchies, she
avoided being even around it if she could help it.
As far as others, that was their choice just as it was Karen's choice
not to smoke. Karen always believed in people's right to choose
what they felt was best for themselves just like Karen could choose
what she felt was right for her.
57. Did Richard, Alpert and Moss block the release of Karen's solo
album in 1980?
with me about it on June 12, 1981 and Karen told me that she was the
one that shelved her solo album at the last minute (I believe she said
1980 but lately I have been thinking that the 'shelve' meeting was
probably on March 25, 1980 and probably some kind of mix up on the date
on my end).
In fact, Karen told me that at that meeting that Richard
and Moss had focused on the musical content (lack of any hits) during
that meeting but somehow it had clicked with Karen that the album was a
publicity nightmare. So while the others were focusing on musical
content, Karen had thought about publicity concerns.
told me that at the last minute she just asked if it was all right if
she shelved the album and Jerry Moss said "Yes" (I am fairly sure that
Karen said Herb Alpert left the room during that meeting) so at that
Karen shelved the album.
The way the contract was written, only
Karen or Alpert and Moss could shelve the album, no one else.
Karen told me she shelved it but also told me that she didn't tell the
others why, she just shelved it.
But why. Karen had done an
interview for Rolling Stone on March 17, 1980 that was not published
and during that interview it had focused on publicity concerns.
The biggest concern was about possible rumors from the press with Karen
doing a 'solo album' and the tabloids starting up a "Karen leaving the
Carpenters" rumor. Karen had no intention of leaving her brother
and the 'solo' album was done as Richard was taking time off and
Richard wasn't sure if he was going to get back into music after
dealing with his Quaalude addiction January to March 1979 at Meninger's
Clinic in Topeka Kansas.
But nothing that Richard or Alpert or
Moss said influenced Karen's decision to shelve it.
But Karen had
realized at the last minute that the 'solo album' was as Karen and I
called it "A Can of Worms" and a publicity nightmare. False
rumors about a breakup were her biggest concern but also a secondary
concern was of the lyric content.
Karen said that the album was a
"diamond in the rough" and if ever released the edges would need to be
knocked off first. One of the edges was a song called "My Body
Keeps Changing My Mind" which Karen thought the lyrics were a bit too
much on blaming a woman for that sex stuff. So maybe "Your
Swagger Keeps Changing My Mind" would have probably been a better idea
putting the blame for that sex stuff on men where the blame
Slight changes here and there as Phil had talked Karen
into trying stuff more sexual in nature but Karen still wanted to keep
her "girl next door" image but was tired of the squeaky clean
But in 1996 try to remember that Karen's solo album was
released in the state that it was rejected by Karen in. Karen did
not want that album released without fixing a few things here and
But after Karen passed away, stuff couldn't be fixed and
Karen was very adamant that the album did not get released while she
was alive. Karen had never stipulated anything as far as if she
had passed away. With that loophole Richard and Alpert and Moss
allowed it to be released for the fans.
But with that release
again try to remember that Karen (not others) had rejected that release
based on publicity concerns (a breakup that wasn't going to happen,
lyrical content, Karen's girl next door image and such) and not based
on musical content (lack of hits).
Another reason Karen shelved
it was that Karen thought the album wasn't that good and after some
problems with Phil Ramone that maybe that album would tank and be a
black eye on Phil's reputation. And when Karen thought about
that, really the album's selling point was only that it had Karen's
name attached to it and her voice. The songs were lackluster
musically (no hits) but another big problem was what if the album had
sold and been successful. It's not like an album that has
"sounded like sh*t" hasn't sold before (Karen did say that Richard did
actually say that the album sounded like sh*t which with Karen being
upset at Phil for taking away "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall" and
"He's Out of My Life" and giving those to Michael Jackson and Phil
getting Karen to do 'sleaze bucket' type songs, Karen was actually not
too happy with Phil).
And with that, Karen did not want to
release an album that she was hoping would actually fail so that people
would leave her alone about "going solo" when Karen never wished to go
solo and was hoping that her brother got over his Quaalude addiction
and back into music. If the album wasn't released at all then no
possible press problems or image problems.
And another bigger
problem, in Karen's recording contract with A&M Records was an
'image clause' and what if the press ruined Karen's image after that
album was released. Karen didn't want to take a chance of her
contract with A&M being violated either.
it. Not Alpert, Moss, Richard or mom (mom didn't even know about
Karen doing a solo album actually until at least after Karen passed
away), but as Karen told me on June 12, 1981 that she was the one who
shelved her can of worms.
Then came Made In America starting in
58. What music did Karen listen to most?
The radio. And if a radio
station played Carpenters' songs non stop 25 hours a day, 8 days a
that was fine with her.
59. Who were Karen's favorite musical artists?
The radio. Karen liked
everybody but her ears weren't much for that non melodic stuff like
punk rock and such. And after 1978, the 4 B's - The Beatles, The
Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and Burt Bacharach.
For a longer list here... Karen loved Christmas music the
most. That was her favorite.
She liked The Beatles, The
Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and Burt Bacharach, the 4 B's. The
first song that Karen and I sang together (always non public) was
Barbara Ann by The Beach Boys.
After finding out that he broke
keys on her brother's piano, Karen was not much for Neil Sedaka.
But that was more personal than musical.
She liked Ella
Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby,
Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Matt Monro, Bobby (as Karen told me all his
friends call him Bobby not Robert) Goullet, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones,
Humperdinck, Danny Kaye, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, the Everly
Brothers, Buddy Holly, The Righteous Brothers, The Sandpipers, Glenn
Miller and his orchestra, the Andrews Sisters, Les Paul & Mary
Ford, Peter Paul and Mary, Jan & Dean, The Mamas & The Papas,
Blood Sweat & Tears, The Lovin' Spoonful (Daydream especially),
Elvis Presley, The Fleetwoods, Fleetwood Mac (some stuff, Karen did not
see "Tusk" as being melodic but she did like the beat), Bobby Darin,
The Coasters, Abba, Alvin & The Chipmunks (David Seville),
Ann-Margret, The Association, Simon and Garfunkel, Starland Vocal Band,
Bill Haley & His Comets, Billy Joel, Jackson 5, Rockin' Robin
(Bobby Day), Bread, Brenda Lee, Carole King, Charlie Rich, Ricky
Nelson, Connie Francis, Jackie DeShannon, Linda Ronstadt, Dean Martin,
Cab Calloway, Scatman Crothers, Fats Domino, The Drifters, Hermans
Hermits, The Hollies, Spike Jones, Jerry Reed, Olivia Newton-John and a
bunch more but she liked the melodic stuff with harmonies.
listen to Jimi Hendrix a little because of Mitch Mitchell and it was
different (Karen loved being different), but he wasn't her favorite by
any means. Karen did love Led Zeppelin because of Bonzo's
drumming and like probably everyone else, her favorite song of theirs
was "Stairway To Heaven", but another favorite of theirs that Karen
liked when Karen felt like being in a wild & crazy mood was "Moby
Dick" but she couldn't quite get the hang of the lyrics for that
Karen wasn't much for the psychedelic, acid rock, hard
rock, heavy metal, glam rock, punk rock, new wave, 'twangy' country
music (post nasal drip stuff). Country music like John Denver
type stuff she liked. She kind of liked dance music to dance to
but most of that stuff was out of her range or too fast paced as far as
singing it (Karen would sometimes get tongue tied if too fast of a
tempo). Disco somewhat (Bee Gees, Heatwave, Donna Summer, a few
Karen wasn't too picky so usually whatever was on the
radio was usually good enough or on a demo tape or such (later
Growing up it was pretty much whatever Richard was listening
to at the time from their dad's record collection or on the
And as far as the radio, the more Carpenters' songs the
radio station played, the more likely Karen would listen to that radio
60. Why haven't people heard of you before?
I was blocked by a suppression
order issued on me in 1973 by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Bernard
Pawley, and his assistant, Sir Nicholas Born. The order of
suppression had to do with the "Keep Christ In Christmas" and also the
"Merry Xmas" movements that
started in 1973. The church was worried as I had information and
the church did not want that information possibly becoming public
somehow so I was blocked from the API / UPI, public films, public
books, tabloids, national and international news articles, Who's Who
Among American High School Students (1982 - 1983 edition), and so
The incident happened where I asked a substitute Sunday
School teacher, "We know Jesus was born on December 25th but do you
know what year? Surely if you know the month and day someone must
know the year." And the teacher replied "The year zero" which the
year zero does not exist as it went from 1 BC to 1 AD and no year
zero. Yes, a big possible mess there. It had nothing to do
with the Carpenters or such.
And really, you probably have
heard of me
before in a way, but Richard also knew about my name being blocked and
you mention someone publicly that is blocked? Hints possibly
without a direct reference? Like...
Well, "Karen's new manager" - Phil
Ramone was a producer, not a manager. It wasn't Phil.
Adrian - Karen was not in love
with a guy that was married. Adrian was a first name not last.
The sound is Ace - Why would Bruce
Forsyth say such a thing?
Why doesn't anyone know about how
the song "Rock with You" started?
61. Were you and Karen soul mates? or Did Karen ever find her
It was first noted by
Rod Temperton after a phone call between Rod and Karen and me in mid
May 1979 and after a series of questions Rod stated that Karen and I
were definitely soul mates.
In June 1979 Karen and I talked with
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and he confirmed it as well.
Also Sir Nicholas Born, assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury
mentioned it as well in early mid May 1979 too.
A bunch of people
saw it. But to explain... When Karen mentioned and talked
about her past regressive therapy that she did in either 1977 or 1978
in San Diego, the therapy went back too far by accident and Karen had
all these past life memories in other languages just floating around in
her head. Karen wrote them down and we discussed it in late
September or early October 1978. During the discussion Karen kept
looking at me and saying how my face seemed to match these past life
faces she saw. And the names that came up came up in later talks
Karen and I had with Sir Nicholas and His Holiness the 14th Dalai
Lama. But also, Karen and I would just start saying and doing
things at the same time together and it would kind of freak people out
(including us at first, jinx). Karen and me could also see each
other's actual thoughts but we couldn't do that with others (even Karen
and Richard didn't see each other's actual thoughts). Karen and
me would also both get feeling lighter than air when we were around
each other for any length of time. Karen and me also never argued
with each other either. And the one that Rod said was the
clincher was that Karen and me never dreamt about each other. I
know people say "the one of your dreams" but Karen and me thought about
each other a lot but never had dreams about each other. As Karen
and I thought about it "soul mates are your dreams come true" which is
why we felt actual soul mates don't dream about each other as they are
your dreams come true.
But all of Karen and my past life
information matched up with each other except my first one (Abel) and
Karen's last one (Barbara Allen) before being Karen Carpenter.
But yes, Karen and me were actually confirmed soul mates through
several different sources. Karen had found her soul mate in 1978
(and later). But also, Karen's soul mate was almost 15 years
younger than her and my soul mate was almost 15 years older than
me. A bit awkward there and a definite possible publicity
long is an eternity anyway? I made a list of our past lives and
the connections between them in question #128.
62. Did Karen ever have a Myers-Briggs Personality test done?
Yes. Her results were that
she had the INFJ-A personality type and she was more the emotional side
than the intellectual side. For a reference here, Introvert,
iNtuitive, Feeling, Judgemental - Assertive as opposed to ESTP-T which
would mean Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Prospecting - Turbulent.
Assertive means positive thinking while Turbulent means negative
thinking and were added later.
63. Who originally came up with the idea for Karen's solo album?
64. Who was the first producer brought on for Karen's solo album?
Eddie Kramer. Eddie and
Karen did not record anything together however. Eddie was the one
who recommended Phil Ramone to Karen in late March or early April 1979.
65. What was Karen worth when she passed away?
Priceless. Some things money
can't buy. Karen was one of those priceless things.
66. Was Karen a Mormon?
Karen was a Baptist /
Methodist. Karen considered herself a Christian first.
as far as religion, Karen was a kind of mish mash of different ideas
based on if it works it works and if it don't move on to something
Karen did not believe in multiple wives or husbands, so
Karen wasn't a Mormon.
After her experience with her past
regressive therapy, Karen was fascinated with the idea of reincarnation
and certain Christian groups are against that.
Baptists are usually pretty lenient on that "other kind of stuff" which
was why Karen was kind of comfortable there.
Karen did have a
firm belief in God and as God being like a person and not a higher
power or such.
Karen also believed in Jesus and was very big on
forgiveness of others.
But Karen was a conglomerate of different
ideas based on her own life experiences.
67. Why didn't anyone try to save Karen? or Why didn't Karen get
treatment for anorexia?
Thanks for the question.
Many people asked Karen to get
help but unfortunately the help was and still is not there. I was
one of them as was Richard, her mom and many others. But like
Karen told me about the therapy stuff back in September and October
One therapist that Karen visited
accused Karen of being an over achiever. Like Karen said to me,
"How can I be an over achiever when I really don't have any goals or
objectives? Figure that one out."
Like Karen said, "It seemed like
every time I said something to one of them, I got told that I was wrong
and that I was lying. A prime example is that me and my brother
Richard have never competed against each other. I told them that
Richard and I are brother and sister so we compliment and not compete
with one another. What were Richard and I going to compete
over? Who could iron shirts the fastest? For some reason
they couldn't answer me on that one."
And Karen said, "I remember the
one session where me and my family were there and they kept accusing us
of being liars and that we were just trying to cover up for each other
and hide from the truth, so I asked them what the truth was and we all
just sat there silent for a little while and then we all just walked
out on them. That's the truth."
And Karen said, "It seemed like a
game with them that every time I said something they would try to tell
me that I said the exact opposite of what I said. I would try to
correct them and they would say that I wasn't listening. So then
I said, Earth to therapist, if I wasn't listening then how did I know
that what you said wasn't what I said?"
Another time Karen said to me,
"They seem to just keep trying to dig up dirt on me for the
tabloids. I don't have any dirt. I have nothing to
hide. So they keep making stuff up."
And another time Karen said, "Most
of the time I have no idea who they are talking about. About all
I hear is the word Karen and then a bunch of stuff comes out of their
mouths that doesn't make any sense or sound like me at all."
And yet another time, "Past
regressive therapy is very expensive but it works. Afterwards we
found out that there was nothing in my past lives to cause an eating
And a big problem was that in
February 1978 Karen and her mom did go to the LA mental health clinic
together and it was so bad that Karen never went back there
dropped the 'f bomb' on the therapist right in front of her mom.
And as I am trying to keep this page child friendly as much as
possible, the rest of this paragraph is being blotted (whited)
out. And honestly, what
kind of quack tries to say that two people don't care about each other
when her mom is right there trying to get her daughter to get some help
with an eating disorder and if that ain't caring then the f***ing quack
needs to get his f***ing head out of his f***ing a** and f***ing
realize that someone's mom is the only f***ing reason she is there
because her mom cares enough about her daughter to take time out of her
busy f***ing schedule to go down to the f***ing quack farm and have
some f***ing quack have his head up his f***ing a** so f***ing far
being a f***ing dipsh*t and not realizing that if someone's mom didn't
care, she wouldn't f***ing be there, would she? How f***ing
stupid can you f***ing get? And even today these f***ing quacks
still keep f***ing trying desperately to find a resolute answer to that
mind boggling question of "How f***ing stupid can you f***ing
get?" And those that appear to side with these quacks still keep
trying to help these quacks find an answer to that question of "How
f***ing stupid can you f***ing get?" as well. No, that therapy
bullsh*t did not (and still does not in most cases) help Karen (and
most other anorexics) one bit. Why do the numbers of anorexics
keep increasing? Well, maybe if they would talk to the patients
instead of making sh*t up that makes little to no sense, there might be
an answer to that question which might help people actually get some
help for a change. Wishful thinking. Doctors (including
psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists) try to help people while
quacks try to make a lot of money. And why quacks? Quacks
make a lot of noise but really don't do anything useful or helpful for
anyone else. Quacks.
Another question that begs to be
asked is "Why didn't the therapists talk with Karen instead of trying
to put words in her mouth?" Richard and Karen never competed with
each other on anything. Karen never felt unloved by her
family. Those problems still persist. I get so tired of
them trying to make Karen sound like she was Cherry Boone when Karen
and Cherry were nothing alike. Karen never fit that profile of an
anorexic just like sadly, Ariel Castro doesn't fit the profile of a
'sex slave abductor' either. Psychology, psychiatry and therapy
are still back in the dark ages because of this 'profiling'
(stereotyping) nonsense that has been proven time and time again not to
Interesting question with two
possible answers. The reason why two possible answers is the
middle part here that I am not positive about.
But first was 50
thousand to Eddie Kramer.
Then I can't remember this next part
exactly anymore as I am not positive if it was 250 or 350 thousand to
Phil Ramone. I do know that at the negotiation with Phil that
Phil had stated an amount and then a disagreement and then Phil raised
the amount. I believe it was 350 thousand agreed upon, but as it
was so long ago I'm not positive that it wasn't 250 thousand
In early June 1979 there was another problem and an
additional 100 thousand to Phil Ramone.
It was either 400
thousand or 500 thousand total depending on that 250 or 350 thousand
69. Why was there an extra 100 thousand for Karen's solo album?
I believe it was early June 1979
and there was a meeting held with Phil Ramone, Itchie Ramone, Itchie's
toy poodle, Rod Temperton, Karen Carpenter and that "new manager"
Adrian guy (me at age 14 but somehow that age 14 thing didn't get
An article had been written by a Karen Iuchanji
(Ichiuji?) and submitted to a tabloid and that article had contained a
couple pictures and a name of a person that was on the media blocked
list. The rejected article had been sent to the individual,
Archdeacon of Canterbury, who had placed the block on the
The assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury was sent
out and he chatted with Phil Ramone and Itchie in early May 1979.
After the chat with Phil and Itchie, in mid May, the assistant, Sir
Nicholas Born, had a chat with Karen and me about the article as
After this problem arose and based on Phil's arrogance of
"who does this assistant guy think he is, I'm Phil Ramone" and the fact
that Phil's hands were slimey during the handshake with Sir Nicholas,
what became known as 'the ultimate injunction' was levelled by the
Archdeacon of Canterbury against Phil Ramone.
injunction was a four part injunction which froze Phil's bank accounts,
removed Phil's line of credit, did not allow securities (stock and
bond) selling or trading and did not allow real estate sales or
With that, Phil had borrowed 50 thousand from Rod
Temperton and 20 thousand from Itchie plus outlaid about 30 thousand
for expenses related to Karen's solo album (studio time, musicians,
During the 100K meeting Rod Temperton left the room before
the actual meeting happened.
Karen's new manager was talking
about how Karen would probably be better off just dropping Phil and
Phil was just fuming at Karen's new manager as
how dare this guy have someone place the ultimate injunction on Phil
f***ing Ramone. And like said, Phil was just fuming, f*** this,
f*** that. Itchie was fuming too. Itchie's toy poodle was a
female so her b*tching (barking?) was to be expected I guess.
then Karen's new manager (me) was like, "I really think Karen would be
better off elsewhere but if you were to continue how much do you think
you would need to continue?" Then Phil was kind of mumbling
numbers to himself and then said, "One hundred thousand" and then I
just held my hands out and looked at Karen and then Karen said, "Will
you promise me this will cover everything and do you promise not to ask
for anything more?" And then Phil said, "Yes" and then Karen and
Phil shook hands and Karen said "It's a deal" and she would have the
papers drawn up.
But yes, Karen's solo album was almost cancelled
in mid May 1979.
Part of the hundred grand was also used to get a
lawyer so that the injunctions against Phil could be removed. In
May 1979, Phil's water, gas, garbage and electric had been turned off
as a result of the ultimate injunction.
The project was continued
for a short while in June 1979 and then put on hold until the fall of
70. Did Karen used to tie a string around her finger to remind her of
Yes. Karen would use a
different color needlepoint thread tied around her ring finger to
remind herself about things. A forget me knot.
71. Did Karen have a nickname of Pudge?
When Karen and her family first
moved out to Downey, Karen was about 4 foot tall and weighed 120 pounds
(according to Karen). Karen would play baseball with the area
guys and one of the guys came up with the nickname Pudge for Karen at
the time (1963 / 1964?).
So at school, the guys would ask Pudge
if she was going to play ball later.
So of course with the cute
baseball players talking to Pudge (Karen), other girls would ask Karen
if she could fix them up with [such and such] baseball player.
Pudge was actually fairly popular at school in Downey.
other ball players too numerous to mention, all great baseball players
should have a nickname. Karen's ball player name was Pudge after
she moved to Downey.
After getting her nickname, Karen would
always try to make sure others had nicknames too. Well, most
others but not that copy cat Carlton Fisk guy that caught for the
Boston Red Sox. But Karen was glad that at least one Pudge played
in the major leagues even if he did have to borrow Karen's nickname to
72. Did Karen ever hate anyone?
According to Karen on February 3,
1983, the closest she ever came to hating anyone was Thomas
Burris. But then Thomas signed the divorce papers, so Karen ended
up never hating anyone.
73. If Karen were still alive would she have a solo career?
Only if Richard had passed away or
couldn't perform anymore. Otherwise, no, Karen would have always
been with Richard as half of the Carpenters.
74. Did you and Karen ever talk about having and raising kids?
As Karen would say to me, "If you
haven't been noticing, I've been grooming you to be my husband" and as
I would say back to Karen, "And if you haven't noticed, I'm also
briding you to be my wife" and then we would say at the same time,
"What's good for the goose is good for the gander".
agreed on the house with a white picket fence and our own china pattern
with a two car garage with a dog and two point four kids. Yes,
two point four kids, a boy, a girl, and a point four midget that we
keep in the basement like every other typical american family at the
time. Statistics don't lie you know.
Karen loved and adored
taking care of babies and toddlers and I was more for the older
toddlers and later. So infant and toddler, Karen, older, me
although we would both work together.
In 1978 to 1979, Karen and
I honestly had some thoughtful discussions about this. Cloth
diapers, safety pins, rubber pants, Johnson's baby powder, the
works. That stuff was being phased out at the time though, but we
weren't much for 'disposables' and all that. There was, however,
a company out in California that still ran a cloth diaper service
As far as our own kids, we were going to raise
them to take care of themselves. Infants and toddlers can't take
care of themselves, but as they started getting older they were going
to learn to "earn their keep" like Karen and I had both learned.
Chores definitely as they got older. No emotional outbursts and
we were not going to raise any 'spoiled brats'.
Dad (me) had the
louder voice so I would be the disciplinarian so to speak.
also discussed too, no corporal punishment or such. If needed
though, restraint as we weren't going to let a kid just throw a tantrum
or such. At the table, we need to talk or in the corner until you
can learn to behave then talk at the table.
Definitely the kids
were not going to be babied (after being old enough anyway).
Karen and I were both cuddlers, but like said, we weren't going to baby
the kids. If they got hurt somehow, brush it off and get back out
there as that was how Karen and I were ourselves.
Karen and I
both believed in empathy (you can do it) and not sympathy (aw, poor
baby). Karen and I weren't going to raise any quitters.
Hump busting 101.
Church (Methodist or Baptist, up to Karen
really) and community and helping others. Karen and I were both
independent too and like said, the kids weren't going to be
babied. Brush your teeth; comb your hair; don't leave a mess;
clean up after yourself; if you take care of things they'll last longer
and help take care of you.
Karen and I also weren't selfish
either, but people appreciate things more when they earn them
Don't make fun of others as how would you feel if they made
fun of you like that. No arrogance allowed. Humility and
humbleness but not a pushover either. Stand your ground.
And of course forgiveness and repentance and penance and all that
passed away in 1984, but as far as the household, yes, we would have
had at least a dog and pets. With that was responsibility and
with that responsibility is a good lesson of "if you love something,
you take care of that something." Responsibility and learning to
take care of stuff (or you don't have any more until you learn to take
care of what you have).
Also, definitely, "do unto others..."
would have been stressed most likely with "how would you feel if...?"
type lectures as the need arose.
As far as Karen and Richard out
on the road, I would have stayed back and taken care of the house and
such. Jerry had already started booking tour dates for late
February 1983, so I would have stayed back and taken care of Mush and
the house in late February 1983.
As far as Aunt Dumb Aleck and
Uncle Smart Aleck (or Aunt Karen and Uncle Ace and as they got older,
Aunt Dumb Ass and Uncle Smart Ass, well actually Aunt Honey as I know
Karen liked the dumb / smart thing there between us and dumb is a
'black sheep' thing, but I just didn't like using that word for Karen,
but there were some stories in those names of Dumb Ass and Smart
Ass. Nobody likes a smart ass, right dumb
ass? Precisely. Everyone loves a dumb ass, not a smart
ass), if the nieces or nephew needed a break or were having problems,
yeah. No spoiling and no emotional outbursts or such. No
cussing either. Family is family and if the nieces and nephew
could tolerate the wackiness but also our "you need to behave"
intolerance (no fits or emotional outbursts and no "spoiled brats" and
such) then fine or else "you'd learn".
But yeah, Karen and I were
a lot alike and with Richard and Mary... Rules and boundaries as
Richard and Mary would have their preferences too and Karen and I would
have respected that.
Karen actually knew about Richard and Mary
but kept it a secret from others.
I also have a sister, Robin, who had two daughters, and one of the
daughters has a daughter and a son. Family is family and in the
late 1980s my sister lived in San Diego then they moved to Yuma Arizona
then they moved back to New York in December 1989. My sister's
husband could be obnoxious at times, so Karen and I would have been
more with Richard and Mary and 'the folks (both sides)'.
was actually a Karen Carpenter fan so would have been interesting
there. After the settling in after Karen and I would have eloped,
the grandparents are the grandparents. As Karen and I would have
been out in California, we would have been closer to Harold and Agnes
(Karen's folks) than to my folks, (Bud and Lee) in New York.
tough part would have been Karen and I eloping and our explanation
would have been that we needed to because of the age difference and we
needed to get married on our own without any kind of fanfare from
others (and also with Karen after the Tom stuff, something different as
Tom definitely didn't work out so why repeat that).
father-in-laws were both the types that liked to sit around and were
jacks of all trades and masters of none.
The mother-in-laws, oh
boy. My mom would have been asking Karen's mom all kinds of
questions about Karen and Richard growing up. My mom was also the
oldest in my grandmother's family and had 5 younger brothers and no
sisters, so my mom was a tomboy (and no, I didn't nor do I have an
oedipus complex or whatever. I do have a 'tomboys who like to
make mud pies' and the 'I only have unique experiences with a unique
person' complexes though). Karen and my mom-in-laws were both the
no nonsense types. Yes, Karen and I were both "in for it" as
Karen and I loved to goof around but both of our moms were the 'no
nonsense' types and not much for 'foolishness' or 'clowning
around'. Yes, Karen and I were both 'black sheep' and Karen and I
were both proud of our nonsense, foolishness and clowning around which
probably would have kept our moms and dads talking about it for
The thing is though that my mom's side was loaded with
tomboys and Karen would have fit right in with them. Karen and I
would have been alright with family (and non family) get togethers and
reunions and such, but as far as kids, unless Karen and I were both on
our deathbeds so to speak, we were taking care of our kids and they
were going to behave properly and responsibly.
As any of our kids
would be someone that had "our blood" so to speak, yes, Karen and I
were the kind that we were actually tougher on our own than on
others. With "our blood" they should know better.
visits and such, Karen and I would have been about rules and behavior
and such but also about teaching life lessons and learning life skills
and such. Karen and I would have probably encouraged the kids to
be physically fit as Karen and I were the outdoors types, but Karen and
I were also 'bookworms' too. Books tend to be more open to the
imagination than movies. Definitely kid's books, encyclopedias
and a library and also baseballs and gloves and that kind of
stuff. Athleticism and intellectualism.
And of course,
jokes and stories. I was actually the real life kind of guy and
Karen was the one with an imagination. I would have been the old
fart with stories of "I remember the time when..." where Karen would
have been the old fart's wife with stories of "Once upon a time there
was a Dragon Lady (Super Turtle, Flying Wombat, Courageous Kangaroo,
Lonely Teddy Bear, etc.)..."
We definitely would have had the
full Dr. Seuss library (Theodore "Teddy" Geisel was/is my favorite
author) and also Grimm's Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes. We also
would have definitely had a music library too. Spike Jones, Sheb
Wooley (Ben Colder), Allan Sherman, David Seville & the Chipmunks,
Ray Stevens, Little Jimmy Dickens, all the classics.
and I had kids, we would have raised them to do chores, but the gender
stuff would have been interesting as Karen and I both realized that if
something needed to be done, it didn't matter gender so long as it got
done. So boys would have been taught to do dishes and girls
taught to mow lawns and such as a lesson of "as you get older and have
a husband or wife, if something should happen, you should know how to
do this stuff" with "work together" and such. Boys have boy's
things and girls have girl's things normally but stuff can happen and
stuff still needs to be done sometimes. Yes, cooking and cleaning
and such is "woman's work" but men should learn to do it when the woman
can't same as if a man can't do it then the woman needs to wait until
the man does it (unless you might get a fine for an unmowed yard) or
something like that.
Yes, standard boy / girl type roles, but
with Karen and I, we were always "work together" like with Karen and
Richard of "work together". "Stand your ground." "Grades
aren't as important as what you need to learn." "Plan ahead but
always have a backup plan just in case." "Don't get stuck in a
rut." "We're not normal and we like being different."
Alternatives. Manners. Family. Honor.
Dignity. Respect. Reputation. Patience.
big question from kids as they get older, "How did mommy and daddy
Karen and I had a lot of stories together to share with others.
Karen and I also knew a lot of secrets about each other too (which had
Karen not passed away and others not opened their big mouths to say
things untrue about Karen, those secrets would not have been mentioned
elsewhere). Karen and I also had a lot of personal experiences to
share too, so it may seem like we were going to be 'hard*ss' parents,
so to speak, underneath all of the responsibility stuff were a couple
parents that had a lot of wisdom and stories about how that wisdom came
about to share.
Karen and I went through a lot
together, both good and bad. There was (and still kind of is) a
lot of love there and also a lot of shared unique experiences between
Karen and I between ourselves and with others.
since raising kids is serious business so to speak, Karen and I were
jokesters and pranksters at heart. Seriously? Well, kind of
seriously. The kids would have most likely developed a good sense
of humor too and a happy home (as Karen and I were usually happy around
each other even during rough times).
Karen and I were both
child-like too so the growing up and ducks in a row type stuff our kids
probably would have got from their uncle Richard and aunt Mary and
gramma Agnes and grampy Harold and gramma Lee and grampy Bud and
possibly uncle Bill (after 2010 or so uncle Shawn) and aunt Robin and
great great uncles, great great aunts, great uncles, great aunts, at
least two great great grammas (Et and Grace), great grandmas, great
grampys, cousins galore (if they got any growing up that is.
Learning responsibility is one thing but 'growing up' and 'being
serious' just wasn't for Karen or me. People tried; Karen and I
were all right with responsibility and such, but 'growing up and being
serious' just wasn't for us) and many friends too.
And that first
big question from children, "Why?" which we knew the answer to that as
being, "because mom said so".
All the cute and cool stuff they
got from mom and all the bad stuff was from dad (even though Karen and
I were pretty much identical in personality).
Karen and I had a lot of family on both sides to try and keep track of
(and a bit of juicy gossip on both sides too which would have kept
Karen busy trying to keep up on all that stuff).
And more here as
Karen and I were going to focus more on intellectual over emotional
thinking with kids. Emotional people are rarely rational and
after our own personal experiences, Karen and I wanted kids that
thought things out rationally and not emotionally (usually when
emotional thoughts kick in, rational thoughts go out the window, so we
wanted our kids to have a good rational head on their shoulders as much
as possible. Emotions were fine so long as they have some
sensibility attached with them I guess you could say. And
honestly if you look at all the emotional nutcases out there today that
are easily brainwashed and just rely on emotion without intellect,
Karen and I had the right idea for raising 'healthy' children.
Honestly, throwing a fit and being destructive for not getting your way
is not 'healthy').
So yeah, lots of stories to pass on to the
kids from Karen and me, but wasn't meant to be I guess as we didn't
The other part, if Karen had got pregnant, with the
anorexia, we would have had to have kept a constant watch on her.
Of all the guys around Karen over the years, I was probably the most
likely to have been able to deal with Karen being pregnant. But
yes, pregnant women gain weight. If anorexia kicks in, it can be
a real experience (probable restraint and such to keep her from
possibly hurting herself or the baby). I knew what to look for as
Karen would behave oddly when anorexia was kicking in (Karen would
usually start being a little distant from being personal and almost
arrogant as Karen would start thinking that since she was getting
thinner she could do whatever she darned well pleased 'almost' as
everyone likes women that are thin since all thin women are attractive
and cute like little girls. Karen was normally very warm, caring,
funny, modest and frugal. When anorexia kicked in, Karen would
start behaving almost like a 'spoiled little brat' compared to her
normal self. It wasn't anorexia per se or a Jekyll & Hyde
type thing, but it was a side effect of her becoming more determined,
which with the anorexia, Karen was more determined to be 'straight as a
board' and with that determination she wasn't as warm, caring, funny,
modest or frugal. Also, Karen and I had a habit of being what
people called scatter brained. Karen and I would be talking about
one thing then switch to something completely different and then back
to something else without missing a beat. When anorexia was
kicking in, Karen might start getting sidetracked and miss a beat here
or there). In a word, when Karen's anorexia would kick in, she
would become more easily "distracted".
Also would have had to have her mom and her dad and
brother look in on her too. Constant serveillance which Karen
would have tried to revolt against and sneak off and such.
with the arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) probably would have had to
have kept Karen monitored too.
Morning sickness and all the fun
that goes with that. Empathy (no sympathy) pains, Pickled ice
cream and stork jokes of course.
I knew the risks as did Karen
know the risks if Karen had got pregnant.
Karen wanted totally
natural child birth. No epidurals under any circumstances.
No c-section (caesarean). And if Karen ripped my arm off and
shoved it where the Sun don't shine during child birth that was fine
with her, so it would have been fine with me too (what choice did I
And Karen would have been fine, but I would have been a
nervous wreck worrying about everything had Karen got pregnant.
Yes, this is actually real life (non fiction) written here and all of
the head scratching that goes along with being honest about stuff that
happened (or could have happened). I hope this helps some people
at least (it helped me realize how confusing this stuff can be
75. Where was Karen's birthmark?
I knew this back when but I do not
remember now. So I need to say I don't know on this one too.
76. What did Karen weigh when she passed away?
77. What did Karen weigh when she was born?
78. Did Karen drool in her sleep?
Yes. So do I too. It
is caused by an overactive saliva gland and not much can be done about
79. Did Karen use teeth whitener?
Yes. She would put the
whitener in a tray and then in her mouth but I can't remember which
brand she used.
80. Was Karen afraid of spiders?
No. Karen was not afraid
of any bugs. Like everyone else, Karen didn't want to be bit by
bugs, but she wasn't afraid of them.
Good question here as it
brings up an incident that happened in I believe early 1979.
Someone had brought in a mouse and it got loose and next thing you know
Karen was standing up in her chair afraid of the mouse. A tomboy
afraid of a mouse? She was. I picked on her about it too
for a little while anyway. The mouse was caught and we were going
to let it loose outside but instead, Karen kept the mouse in her desk
drawer for a couple days and fed it celery, lettuce, water and of
course cheese too. Karen had always talked about "facing your
fears" and Karen had been afraid of mice. After keeping the mouse
in her drawer for a couple days, Karen got over her fear of mice.
Karen also wasn't afraid of snakes either.
Karen wasn't fond of
snakes or mice, but so long as they
didn't bug her or chase after her, she was fine with them. Karen
always let them know though that if
they were going to be mean, Karen could be mean back.
learned to get over most of her fears but she always had a fear of
needles and DC-10s.
81. Did Karen prefer plugs or pads?
Karen actually preferred plugs but
after hearing about 'toxic shock syndrome', Karen would wear pads at
82. Was Karen left or right-handed?
Right-handed. Karen wrote
with her right hand and ate with her right hand too. I ate
left-handed for a reference here.
83. Did Karen watch soap operas?
Yes, actually, Days of Our Lives
and I believe also As the World Turns from September 1978 to June 1979
at least. In 1979 Karen met Larry Hagman's mom, Mary Martin, and
Karen used to watch Dallas as well.
84. Did you and Karen have pet names for each other?
Kind of. Most of the times
we just used our names Karen and Ace with each other.
pet name for me was Darling and mine for Karen was Honey.
mid May 1979 Karen's step cousin Wendy had called Karen dumb ass a few
times. After a visit from Buddy Ebsen in mid May 1979, I had the
nickname smart ass. So Karen and I had the nicknames of Dumb Ass
and Smart Ass with a bit of history behind those nicknames between
us. "No one likes a Smart Ass, right Dumb Ass?"
yes, always Karen and Ace. Which brings up my joke of "We're a
couple. We're Karen and Ace as she always needs to come first so
I can roll over and get some sleep otherwise I'd never hear the end of
it. Karen and Ace."
85. What about the name Kristi Lynn?
First, boys would have had the
last name Downing and girls the last name Carpenter.
Karen and I talked about naming kids and of course Adrian IV for a boy
and Karen Junior for a girl, but...
(But Karen asked what my sister's name was
and I said Robin Lynn, and Karen said that was kind of ominous because
her brother's name was Richard Lynn, and Karen thought that two Karens
running around would get confusing so Karen Lynn was out. And
Karen was not going to name her daughter Junior.
that day I made it a point to stop by her classroom and poke my head
inside the door and I would say, "Junior, Junior, Junior" and Karen
would kind of smile and then look down at her steno pad. Like I
told Karen, "Junior is a nice tomboy name. She'll like it."
And Karen said, "I'm not calling my daughter Junior."
of Roberta Lynn, but we didn't really like Roberta as a name [Roberta
had 2 things going for it - Burt Bacharach and starts with R, but the
third thing was Bob Messenger which was a plus on one end but also a
minus as Karen didn't want to favor one band member over another, so
Roberta and Carla and such were ruled out].
Rhonda Lynn? Rikki Lynn? Rita Lynn? Rachel
Lynn? Racquel Lynn? We couldn't really think of a good
girl's name that began with R.
Adriana, Adrienne, Claire, Clara,
nope [yes, even girls don't sound good with variations of my
Olivia? Dionne? Stella? Scarlet?
Edna and Agnes just sounded too old. Elizabeth and Mary were
common like Karen.
My mother's maiden name was Lee Ellen
Bardo. Bridget was out too.
Karen made a rule that the name
had to have three things in it related to things like family, names,
and stuff Karen loved.
And after about six pages of cross out
names on a green steno pad, Karen asked again about my mother's name,
and I said, "Lee Ellen". Karen liked the name Christie because of
Christie Lee Brinkley [Billy Joel's band worked on Karen's solo album]
and also Kristy McNichol [Christina Ann McNichol, which Ann and Lee
were 'signs' as well] was on the 1977 and 1978 Christmas
specials. So Karen thought of spelling it Kristi instead of
Kristy or Christy or Christie because Karen realized that many girl's
names ended in y and ending in i was a bit different and distinctive,
plus Kris Kringle with the K's [Kris boy, Kristi girl] and Christmas
because Karen loved Christmas and Karen was also a "tea totaller" at
the time as well, so ti [tea] hit the spot too, and Karen was proud to
be a Christian so Kristi Lynn for a girl after at least 6 to 8 hours of
Karen thinking hard about it.
Karen needed three things for the
name and Kristi had way more than three.
We were both surprised
that smoke hadn't come out of Karen's ears that day so I checked her
ears with a flashlight just to be sure. No smoke or flames, and
the flashlight didn't shine through to the other side so all was
Honestly, someone at the school had ear mites and we were
asked to check each other's ears just in case. I liked my stories
better.), but then I asked the question, "If we could name the kids
anything we wanted, what would we name them?" After thinking for
about ten seconds, I said Fuzz Nuts for a second boy and Karen said
Gitchy Gitchy Goo for a second girl in honor of naming Methuselah's
Gainad for Fuzz Nuts (nad is spanish for testicle, nuts) and Karen
loved to play 'Gitchy Goo' with babies because "babies are so cute when
they giggle". Yes, we were joking about the second names which
was why it didn't take us long at all.
86. Was Karen into politics?
Nope. Karen told me that she
had registered as a Republican but had never voted. Karen rarely
talked about politics or world events type stuff. Karen liked
talking about personal relationships and such.
87. Did Karen use facial masks?
Yes. Karen would use facial
masks to help refresh the pores in her skin. I can't remember
which kind though only that it had a green color to it.
would also put cucumbers over her eyes at times too.
curlers in her hair sometimes too.
Foot baths with epsom salt for
A hot wax job for unwanted body hair (Karen
Karen also used tweezers to pluck her eyebrows with.
88. Was Karen afraid of needles?
Yes, actually. Karen wasn't
really afraid of anything (including her mom) except needles and
89. What was Karen's favorite time of the year?
Christmas. Christmas and
Karen was always family oriented and Christmas
was always that family get together time of the year for her.
Christmas was about family and helping those in need with Karen and not
about the presents or such.
And like with a big family, shouldn't
we all be more helpful with one another and more understanding.
Peace on Earth and goodwill towards our fellow peeps.
90. Did Karen speak beatnik?
Yes, she did. Fluent
beatnik. Can you dig it? Groovy. Far out.
also knew Valley Girl lingo as well. "Fer sure". "Gag me
with a spoon". "Like Totally". "Oh My Gawd".
Karen also knew a bit of 'sailor talk' as well (which if I remember
right, she learned most of her sailor talk from her dad). Karen
had noticed around late October / early November 1978 that she was
having problems with sailor talk so I brought in a gallon pickle jar
(with a white lid that had air holes in it and a slot to insert coins
and bills) and Karen had the jar about half full by the end of November
/ early December 1978.
91. Did Karen speak other languages besides english?
Yes. She had learned to
speak conversational Japanese (but not fluent). Karen also could
speak German / Dutch from either her grand ma ma or great grand ma ma
Rudolph. Karen was a little rusty but she could speak Dutch /
German fluently. Karen was also trying to learn Spanish as well,
but she was still trying and learning and was still trying to work the
bugs out like rolling the RRRR's and such. Karen was also trying
to look into learning Portuguese some time down the road. Karen
didn't really know anyone that spoke Portuguese at the time.
92. How was Karen able to hold notes so long while singing?
Karen had actually learned to
breathe in through her nose while singing out of her mouth at
times. Karen never trained herself to do it or such, it just kind
of happened without Karen realizing what she had done.
93. What were Karen's measurements?
It varied a bit. From 34 -
24 - 38 to 42 - 36 - 46 and such. Big shoulders, smaller waist,
larger hips. The most I saw Karen weigh was in April / May 1979
at 136 pounds.
When I first met Karen on September 6, 1978 she
weighed 94 pounds. Most of the time I knew Karen from September
1978 to June 1979, she weighed 100 pounds or over.
would try and focus on her weight number while I would try and get her
to focus on how she was feeling and what she was doing instead of
worrying about some silly number.
94. Why did Karen move out from behind the drums?
From Karen to me in 1978 (within a
couple days after Cubby O'Brien had visited so around October
Karen talked about moving out from behind the drums starting in 1971
and this was what she told me about it.
Originally there was talk
from the audiences during concerts and the talk was "Where is that
voice coming from?" and "Who is that singing?". So they brought
in Jim Squeglia (j not g sound? and Karen had a difficult time
pronouncing his last name) to fill in for the slow numbers
(ballads) and Karen would go behind the drums for the fast
This lasted from 1971 until 1973 when Cubby O'Brien, one
of the original Mousketeers, was brought in. After Cubby was
brought in in 1973, Karen was brought out front and a drum duo (solo)
with Cubby and Karen was added to the show.
Karen had told me
that she did love it behind the drums, but after thinking about it,
Karen knew she needed to move out front as Karen had thought that if
she had been out in the audience, she would have wanted to see who was
singing as well. Karen agreed with the audience on that
But Karen didn't actually feel forced up front and she
understood why it needed to be done so she agreed to try and move up
But when she was first moved up front, Karen was so used
to playing the drums that it was awkward for her not having her drum
sticks in both hands and instead holding a microphone in one
hand. It took a bit of adjusting but she had a lot of support
from Richard and the band during the transition. Karen wasn't
really sure if she could handle not playing drums and singing at the
same time as she had always been used to being behind the kit while
singing and being out front without a drum set was just awkward for her
at first as she wasn't used to just singing.
And remember too
that back then there weren't the big Jumbotron TVs and such like there
are now. It was the stage, the equipment and the audience back
But Karen also hadn't been hiding back there behind the
drum kit, Karen really loved playing the drums but unfortunately back
then you couldn't see a drummer (even with the clear crystal set)
behind the drums and cymbals on stage.
But then too, Karen always
considered herself a baseball player that played drums and sang for a
95. Did Karen actually have trouble saying the name Bruce Forsyth?
Yes. Brooth Forthyth I mean
Bruce Forsyth was a tongue twister for Karen. Karen had a slight
overbite and a big tongue which would get twisted at times with the eth
I mean s sound. If you listen to certain songs, Richard had the
same problem too at times for the same reason.
96. Did Karen have a nickname of Buck Snort?
Yes. Actually when Karen
would get laughing hard, she would have a snort sound come out of her
nose. After Karen heard herself snort then she would start
laughing and giggling more and snorting even more until tears of joy
would run down her face. Karen loved to laugh and she also loved
getting others to laugh too.
97. What about the lead sister stuff?
While growing up Karen always
hated the term "little sister". As Karen would say, "How would
you like to be called little all the time?"
People had big
brothers and younger sisters or big sisters and younger brothers (not
little or older).
So it was during one of the Japanese tours
(1974 I think) where a magazine writer got lead singer mixed up and it
came out as "Lead Sister" in an article.
Karen loved it and
T-shirts were made up with Lead Sister on the front and Karen with the
number 1/2 on the back like a baseball type shirt as Karen loved
When doing her drum solo (duo?) with Cubby, Karen would
sneak off backstage and change into her Lead Sister shirt for the drum
section of the show.
Before the drum part, Richard would do an
altered lyric of "Piano Picker" and introduce his five foot four
tornado of a sister, Karen.
98. Did Karen sunbathe naked?
Karen preferred the word nude, but
yes, Karen did sunbathe in the nude as she did not like having tan
Karen also preferred loose clothing as she didn't like
stuff rubbing up against her skin.
Karen would also use a sun
lamp at times as well.
And tanning salons started around the
1970s and Karen would on occasion use a tanning salon in places like
New York or Connecticut or London even where there isn't as much
99. Did Karen swear / cuss?
Yes she did quite a bit in private
and a couple times in public too. I remember Karen in late 1978
having a gallon pickle jar as a swear jar and she had it about half
filled in a month. If I remember correctly too, it was a habit
picked up from her dad.
100. You say Karen always lived by principles, do you know any of them?
Karen believed in having
principles and sticking to your principles. Karen was a Christian
and Christians had proverbs to follow. Here are several of
Karen's principles (proverbs)...
"Always stick to your
principles. The rules you follow define who you are. You
can't hide from yourself. Let your conscience be your guide."
"God always gives you a sign to
point you in the right direction. When making decisions I always
wait for three signs from the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Of
course sometimes you can read the signs wrong and God does have a sense
of humor too and sometimes He needs a good laugh. So always
follow the signs."
"I am not going to be falsely
accused of anything so be careful. If you accuse me of something
I'm gonna do it."
"Always keep your promises.
Relationships should be built on trust and you can't trust someone that
breaks their promises." Later Karen and I changed this to "We
don't make promises. We say what we mean and we mean what we
"No one is going to call me
chicken. If someone dares me to do something I am going to do it."
"Always finish what you
start. No one likes a quitter."
“As they say adversity builds
character and as you see, I’m quite a character.”
"Practice what you preach; no one
likes a hypocrite."
And of course "The Golden Rule", "Do unto others as you would have
others do unto you."
"I always believe in what is God
given. If it was meant to be different God will change it and
make it different."
"You never know what you can do
until you try."
“If you don’t have anything nice
to say, it is better to say nothing at all. What you do in your
house is your business.”
"Remember God has a sense of humor
too so be careful what you wish for as you will most likely get it one
way or another."
"In Heaven the streets are paved
with gold but we're not in Heaven so we gotta watch where we step."
"Always appreciate what you
have. Some day it may be gone."
"Never say never. Sooner or
later it's bound to happen whether you want it to or not."
From others and Karen’s own
experience, “Never marry someone you meet in a bar.”
"Remember, God is always watching
you. Always make the best of it and give Him something good to
"If things were perfect, nothing
would ever get better. There's always room for improvement."
"We're all perfect in our own
messed up ways."
"Since we're all created in God's
image, there's nothing wrong with believing in ourselves just don't get
too cocky because then God will knock you down a peg or two."
Note, this one kind of slipped out
after one of a few times Karen and I talked about Elvis. "I feel
there are too many copy cats out there as it is. I like being
different and doing things differently. It gets too boring for me
otherwise but to each their own. I feel we are each made
differently for a reason or else we'd all be the same. We all
have our role models but we are all unique too. If you are going
to be something what is wrong with being yourself whatever that may be,
copy cats included." And of course I couldn't resist using an
Elvis type voice back, "Thank you. Thank you very much."
"You don't get a second chance to
make a first impression. Always mind your P's and Q's."
"The best things in life aren't
easy and require a bit of work. I like keeping busy."
"Always try to be kind to others
as you never know when you might have a bad day and need others to be
kind to you."
"Always look for the good in
people. Things happen. Nobody's perfect."
"We're not born with instruction
manuals and some people take longer to learn than others."
“Your body is your temple.”
"I'm all natural with no
artificial ingredients or preservatives. Just little old me the
way God intended me to be." With others that weren't Christian, "I'm all natural with no
artificial ingredients or preservatives. Just little old me the
way nature intended me to be."
And one of my favorites that Karen
would use for people that were a bit mouthy (cocky or arrogant).
"Ass is not a swear word. It's in the Bible and don't take my
word for it. You should look it up. I'm not going to tell
you where it is in there but if you keep reading you will find
it. It's that book that starts out with in the beginning and I
feel you should read it. There's a lot of good advice in there
that you might want to look into."
"Don't eat the yellow snow" (Yes,
there was a lot of Frank Zappa played at the Carpenter's household).
101. Did Karen actually have freckles?
Yes. Karen had lots of
freckles actually. She usually wore a lot of makeup to cover them
up. You can kind of see her freckles on the "Ticket To Ride"
102. Did Karen shave her legs?
Actually no. Karen usually
used hot wax and didn't shave with a razor. And to those that wanted to know,
Karen didn't shave her pubes which is how I know her hair color was a
light blonde with a slight reddish tint. Karen hid her tattoo of
a red rose that was in her hairline. Yes, some things
aren't needed to be known so I used white letters here to hide it.
103. Who was Karen's favorite drummer?
Buddy Rich, next Gene Krupa then
John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham. Karen loved hearing all three.
course Ringo Starr of The Beatles. Karen, Hal Blaine and Ringo
all had the same type of drum set at one time. And of course
Cubby O'Brien too as Cubby may not have been flashy like others but he
was very steady like Ringo.
104. Who was Karen's favorite singer?
Karen had a bunch of favorite
singers. But her biggest thing was the ability to hold a note and
/ or harmonize. Bing Crosby, Peter Paul and Mary, Les Paul and
Mary Ford, The Andrew Sisters, Jim Reeves, Eddie Arnold, Elvis Presley,
Patti Page, Ella Fitzgerald, LuLu, Matt Monro, Bobby Vinton, Tom Jones,
Englebert Humperdinck, Bobby (not Robert) Goullet, Alvin of Alvin &
The Chipmunks and many, many others. But as far as Karen's own
singing, what her own voice could do was her major influence for her
own singing. Karen didn't try to imitate anyone else.
105. Who was Karen's favorite piano player?
Hands down her brother Richard as
Richard knew all the songs that Karen loved to hear (especially the
Christmas songs at Christmas time). After Richard would be Victor
Borge then Liberace I guess. Karen was also very fond of the
people that she had worked with over the years. Karen also had
the pleasure of meeting many different people over the years as well.
106. Was there actually a real coin toss before the Bruce Forsyth Show?
And another yes
as Karen had fibbed about Richard having the flu during that
A coin toss did actually happen however.
second full week of December (beginning December 11) 1978, Jerry
Weintraub showed up in New York State with Richard too. Jerry had
booked the Carpenters on "The Bruce Forsyth Show" for the Christmas
Special "Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out".
Richard was in no shape
to perform. Richard was shaking so bad and he got a glass of
water to take pills with and nearly the whole glass of water had shaken
all over the floor before Richard took his pills.
the room at one point. Jerry, Karen and I were standing there and
I can't remember if it was Jerry or Richard that tossed an (1971?)
Eisenhower silver dollar into the air and it was called by Karen and if
it was heads then Karen did the show without Richard and tails the show
Before the toss I told Karen to say, "Heads I
win. Tails you lose." Karen just said, "Heads. I
always call heads." The coin fell off the wrist and Jerry picked
it up off the floor and put it under his one hand and on his other
Then Jerry said to Karen, "I'll make a deal with
you. I'll give you anything you want if you'll agree that this
coin is heads and you do the show."
Karen then asked if Jerry
would agree to let Richard have whatever time Richard wanted off to go
to a rehab and get his Quaalude addiction dealt with.
it was a deal and then Jerry pulled his hand away and the coin was on
tails. Karen did technically lose the coin toss as she had
called heads. But she got Jerry to agree to let Richard have time
off for rehab, so Karen won overall.
Anyway, Karen took off for the week and did the show but
also, on December 12, Karen and Richard met in Topeka Kansas and
Richard did the pre-admission to Meninger's clinic and then Richard
went back to California and Karen flew back to London to finish taping
the Bruce show on December 14.
Karen and Jerry had asked me if I
would be willing to go with Karen and all I needed was my birth
certificate. The problem was that both of my parents were working
at the time and I wouldn't have been able to get my birth certificate
before Karen would have had to have left for the show. So I
I did see Karen again on December 18 and she told
me about what happened with the show and such on December 18th.
But my nickname is Ace and during the show Karen asked Bruce to work in
saying my name, Ace, which Bruce did to try and help Karen relax a
little more as Karen wasn't so much nervous about doing the show
without Richard, but Karen was nervous because Richard had been in such
bad shape before Karen left to do the show and Karen was hoping her
brother was going to be all right.
107. Do gold records sound the same as regular records?
tell, but yeah Karen
wondered about that too. As Karen would say, "Curiosity
killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back."
As I witnessed in 1979 with Karen, the
hardest part is getting it out of
the frame using a butter knife on the staples in the back and then
trying not to get fingerprints all over it then after
playing it putting it all back in the frame and lining it all up again
so that hopefully no one
notices. (Note, we did not do a good job with the lining it
back up part).
And after all that, Karen said (and she had a witness to
it) that gold records sound
the same as regular records. They are just made with a golden
colored vinyl is all. They don't sound 'tinny' or such as they
aren't actually metal (at least in the one we tried).
As far as platinum records, Karen
and me were nervous wrecks as it was with a gold 45, you're on your own
with that one.
108. Did Karen die from anorexia nervosa?
First, the nervosa claim is a bit
off. Anorexia bulimia would be more accurate.
it was complications from treatments she received (Lennox Hill) and not
Karen weighed 108 pounds since November 1982 until she
passed away which would not qualify as being anorexic.
thing fatal on Karen's autopsy was her glucol (blood sugar) level being
over 1100 which was on Karen's Toxicology Report but the coroner had
filled out the autopsy report before the other reports had came
Karen's blood sugar was sky high and as a result her heart
just stopped beating. Not a heart attack, but her heart just
stopped beating because her glucol level was too high.
into what is called a hyperosmolar coma which is what happens after
someone has hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Definitely no. There were
not any indications of Karen having a coronary or angina or blockages
or a deformed heart even. Karen's heart and aorta were both
listed as being slightly small but normal.
From the autopsy - "The heart weighs 170
grams and is small but of normal shape and configuration. The
epicardial surface is smooth. The myocardium is red-brown and firm and
shows no focal ulcerations. The endocardial surface and valves are
grossly normal. The coronary arteries reveal no arteriosclerosis and no
congenital abnormalies. The aorta reveals minimal intimal thickening
and plaque formation. The pulmonary arteries and great veins are
Karen actually had
hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) with a level over 1100 which is
fatal. There was nothing at all to indicate Karen had a heart
attack before she passed away.
The actual start of Karen's solo
album (non fiction version)
Karen had a mini stroke in late
1977 and one half of her face was paralyzed for a short while. On
occasion, Karen's one side of her face would freeze up (as an example,
the left side of Karen's face during the Merry Christmas Darling
segment in the Christmas Portrait special). Richard was worried
about his sister and was trying to get away from touring and more into
TV shows and such which were closer to home. Karen and Richard
were both looking to try and get a break but things had been booked but
only about a year in advance so they tried to lighten the load after
Karen had a mini stroke and Richard had been shaking a bit here and
there from his addiction to Quaaludes.
It started on September 4, 1978 in
Las Vegas as after the show Richard had told Karen, "I quit" and Karen
asked, "Do you mean it?" and Richard had said, "Yes. I can't do
So Karen snuck off and moved in
with her step Cousin Wendy B in New York State on September 4,
1978. I met Karen on September 6, 1978 (but I did not know her as
Karen Carpenter at the time).
Around mid October 1978, Paul
Williams showed up (and I found out she was Karen Carpenter) and Paul
showed up to have Karen sign her and Richard's new recording contract
with A&M Records. Karen and Paul talked and Karen did not
sign the contract at that time. Karen did not tell Paul this, but
there was a clause in that new contract about a 'new album' and with
Richard 'quitting', how could there be a new album if Richard had
quit? Well, actually, Christmas Portrait was going to be
released, but Karen hadn't thought about that. Also, the single,
"I Believe You" came out just after Paul and Karen met in mid October
1978 too. Paul left and the contract was not signed by Karen on
second full week of December (beginning December 11) 1978, Jerry
Weintraub showed up in New York State with Richard too. Jerry had
booked the Carpenters on "The Bruce Forsyth Show" for the Christmas
Special "Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out". Richard was in no shape
to perform. Richard was shaking so bad and he got a glass of
water to take pills with and nearly the whole glass of water had shaken
all over the floor before Richard took his pills. Richard left
the room at one point. Jerry, Karen and I were standing there and
I can't remember if it was Jerry or Richard that tossed an (1971?)
Eisenhower silver dollar into the air and it was called by Karen and if
it was heads then Karen did the show without Richard and tails the show
was cancelled. Before the toss I told Karen to say, "Heads I
win. Tails you lose." Karen just said, "Heads. I
always call heads." The coin fell off the wrist and Jerry picked
it up off the floor and put it under his one hand and on his other
wrist. Then Jerry said to Karen, "I'll make a deal with
you. I'll give you anything you want if you'll agree that this
coin is heads and you do the show." Karen then asked if Jerry
would agree to let Richard have whatever time Richard wanted off to go
to a rehab and get his Quaalude addiction dealt with. Jerry said
it was a deal and then Jerry pulled his hand away and the coin was on
tails. Anyway, Karen took off for the week and did the show but
also, on December 12, Karen and Richard met in Topeka Kansas and
Richard did the pre-admission to Meninger's clinic and then Richard
went back to California and Karen flew back to London to finish taping
the Bruce show on December 14. Karen and Jerry had asked me if I
would be willing to go with Karen and all I needed was my birth
certificate. The problem was that both of my parents were working
at the time and I wouldn't have been able to get my birth certificate
before Karen would have had to have left for the show. So I
stayed behind. I did see Karen again on December 18 and she told
me about what happened with the show and such on December 18th.
But my nickname is Ace and during the show Karen asked Bruce to work in
saying my name, Ace, which Bruce did to try and help Karen relax a
little more as Karen wasn't so much nervous about doing the show
without Richard, but Karen was nervous because Richard had been in such
bad shape before Karen left to do the show and Karen was hoping her
brother was going to be all right.
Richard entered Meninger's clinic
in Topeka Kansas on January 10, 1979. Karen was still primarily
living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State.
As noted in Karen's diary in red
pen (as Karen was using a two-sided teacher's pen with black and red
ink, and the black side had run out, so Karen was not one to waste
anything and used the red side in her diary), 'confrontation about
album'. Well, if you haven't noticed yet, there is not any
discussion about a solo album as the idea for a solo album had not yet
been thought of. So 'confrontation about album'? Well, it
was over the phone (Karen in New York and Richard in Topeka) and it was
about a discussion about that new recording contract. Jerry
Weintraub had called Richard about the new contract not being signed
and Richard called Karen about it and Karen brought it up to Richard
about that "new album" clause and Richard was a bit upset but
understood and told Karen not to worry about that new album clause and
to sign the contract. This was on Wednesday January 24,
1979. I am pretty sure that I saw Jerry again on January 26, 1979
and on that day Karen signed the new contract in front of Jerry
Weintraub and myself.
Karen and I had a private joke
about Jerry and we would sit there at times and just twiddle our thumbs
in honor of how Jerry Weintraub kept complaining about being idle as a
manager. During February 1979, Jerry read that new contract and
came up with an idea of asking Karen to do a solo album.
In the beginning around late March
to early April 1979 there were 7 people that knew about Karen doing a
solo album. Those 7 people in order of knowing were Jerry
Weintraub, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Karen Carpenter, step cousin
Wendy B------k, me, Richard Carpenter. Agnes Carpenter found out
that Karen and Richard had an argument which was how Agnes (mom) became
number 8. Then Eddie Kramer became number 9.
Karen and Richard were both
wanting to take time off from the music biz but what good is a manager
"twiddling his thumbs" with nothing to manage? Weintraub came up
with an idea for Karen doing a solo album and he presented the idea to
Alpert and Moss (as the Carpenters were A & M's biggest sellers and
A & M was looking for more product to sell and not 'time
off'). Alpert and Moss were OK with it as it would possibly be
more product and more money for A & M. So Jerry Weintraub
mentioned it to Karen and Karen said NO!!!
And cousin Wendy and then I got an
earful. Karen wanted time off and Karen was busy doing something
not music related and Karen was living in New York State (not the city)
with her cousin Wendy and working weekdays with a couple week long
vacations while staying with her cousin and working on her arrhythmia
and anorexia problems. Karen was not wanting to go back to work
before her 7 to 3 job ended on June 22, 1979. Karen said NO!!! to
Jerry, Jerry, and Herb. Note also, Karen did not want her
brother to actually 'quit' either and was hoping that Richard would do
Jerry, Jerry and Herb next
approached Karen again and said they had talked with Richard and
Richard and Karen had a disagreement and Karen said NO!!! yet again and
why should Karen give up her time off and Karen asked Jerry, Jerry and
Herb why didn't Richard do a solo album or greatest hits album or such
and why did it have to be on Karen's shoulders? Why did Karen
have to sacrifice her time off especially since Karen was the one who
sacrificed with the Bruce Forsyth show and such.
Karen was livid and fuming.
Mom found out that her son and daughter were having a disagreement and
intervened. Richard was out getting groceries one day and mom
called Karen up at Karen's work and mom had a talk with Karen about
what was going on. I was in the room with Karen, so I heard this
call. Anyway, mom asked Karen to do this as a favor for her
brother ("whatever it was" as mom put it) and that mom would make sure
that any favor that Karen asked for in return would be granted from
Richard. Mom did not know that they wanted Karen to do a solo
album. Mom only knew that Karen and Richard had a disagreement.
Mom told Karen that Richard wanted
time off as Richard had just started seeing Mary Rudolph and that was
all it took for Karen to agree to do 'her' solo album. Karen was
tired of her brother meeting all these "gold diggers" and Mary was an
adopted cousin (not blood relation) and not a gold digger. Karen
LOVED playing match maker. So Karen jumped on board for her solo
album and the primary favor Karen asked for was that she finish her job
until June 22, 1979.
The finishing job favor was kept
(there was a problem in mid May 1979 and the favor was kept as Richard
intervened and Richard got to meet me, the reason why Karen was wanting
to finish her job. And Richard also kept me a secret as me was 14
years old at the time and Karen and I were spending time together but
Karen and I had also agreed that we would wait till I got older as my
age was a bit of a legal problem so Karen and I had a rule of no
physical touching. And imagine the mess if the press got a hold
of Karen around a 14 year old and Richard with his adopted first
cousin. Yes, goody four shoes had some possible publicity
problems at this time). I was around Karen and Karen was in the
local hospital on one day, but that was the only day she missed on her
job and Karen finished working that job on June 22, 1979.
The other favors were between
Karen and Richard (and the "we split the cost" favor was brought up
between Karen and Richard a couple times and the end decision was
between Karen and Richard themselves, but Richard was asked to pay half
as it was only fair since Richard was the one that wanted time off to
be with Mary, but Karen was almost to the point of "why don't you pay
all of it Richard since you want the time off so bad?" but I am pretty
sure Karen did stick with half as "that was fair" but Karen would write
the check and Richard would put half of that amount in Karen's account
Then they contacted Eddie
Kramer... (And I was there when Eddie Kramer came out to New York
State and talked with Karen and asked Karen to try someone else as
Eddie was used to artists that did their own material and Eddie would
feel like a "fish out of water" just like Karen would be a "fish out of
water" without her brother (and Eddie and Karen were both Pisces) and
Eddie mentioned that he usually inspired his artists to write their own
material with the "raison d'etre" [reason of being, purpose] speech
which was where Karen had the melody of "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh,
uh, uh" pop into her head which later Rod Temperton and Karen turned
into the "Rock with You" song in May 1979). Eddie was the one who
recommended Phil Ramone as a producer.
Another note here, Richard was the
one that always wanted a music career. Karen liked having a music
career too. When Richard said "I quit" in early September 1978 it
caught Karen by surprise. Karen did not want her brother giving
up on his dream. After agreeing to do the solo album, Karen was
actually hoping the album would be bad enough that Richard wouldn't
quit and would get back into music again after dealing with his
addiction. So when Richard said something like "It sounds like
sh*t" in May 1980, that was actually what Karen wanted to hear from
Richard. Karen loved making music with her brother and all that
they had accomplished together. Walls full of gold records (and
for those that wonder, yes, according to Karen, gold records sound the
same as regular records, oops, I messed up
Grammys, Billboard Awards and all that. Maybe if Richard heard
what a disaster Karen's career might be without him, Richard might not
want to quit?
Now, do you really think Karen was
going to say all this to Phil and Itchie and Rod while trying to use
them to make a 'sh*tty' album to try and get her brother to stay in
And at first Karen was almost devastated that her best songs "Rock with
You", "He's Out of My Life" and "Off the Wall" had been given away but
then Karen and her 3 signs. Rod Temperton squealed behind the
scenes to Karen and me during a phone call and told Karen that the real
reason that Phil took those songs away was because Phil had lost a bet
with Quincy Jones and as a result of that bet, Rod was told by Phil to
give those songs to Michael Jackson. But a little while after
this happened Karen took it as a sign from God that God wanted Karen to
do a "sh*tty" album so that hopefully Richard would feel that without
him that Karen's career would be ruined so that Richard would get back
into music and not quit. After God's intervening hand or whatever
you wish to call it, Karen figured this was God's way of trying to keep
Richard in music. So yes, I try not to
try and understand women's logic either as it is always such a long
mess to think about from a man's perspective. And it's a two way
street there as women feel that most men are too direct and don't
always explore other avenues and on and on and... But originally
Karen had thought of this as an
opportunity to see what she could do without her brother. After
the giving away of the songs mess, Karen saw it as a sign from God that
she needed to try and help keep her brother in music but it needed to
be convincing that Karen was actually trying to make a great album and
failing instead of trying to make a sh*tty album and succeeding.
Something like that. Sorry, but it's that man / woman thing
again. As people learn in life, a man trying to express a woman's
viewpoint is about as easy as a woman trying to express a man's
viewpoint. I'm trying. But yeah, it's that other half thing
as I tended to be more direct and Karen tended to ramble a bit and
there doesn't seem to be a happy medium anywhere in all that so we
always agreed to try and be ourselves as Karen wouldn't be herself
without rambling and I wouldn't be myself without being direct.
But in the process I had learned to ramble a bit more while Karen had
been learning to be more direct. We tried.
OK, so, um, to get the story
straight here, Karen was looking to leave her brother who had saved her
life in a motorcycle accident in 1973, who she had won numerous awards
(gold records, three Grammys, Billboard Awards, etc.) and someone who
she trusted, for a guy who had trouble keeping a steady clientele
because his client's names would get dragged through the tabloid mud to
sell more records at the expense of their personal lives being ruined,
had trouble keeping his stories straight and won one Grammy Award
(actually four at the time but the story writers tend to miss that Phil
had won four Grammys and Karen and Richard had won three). Why
doesn't this sound right? Even worst, why do some people believe
this hogwash (hogwarsh as Karen would say), poppycock (Richard),
nonsense (me) and bullsh*t (nearly everyone else)? OK, I get
it. First, try and get a bunch of 'experts' that never met or
talked with someone and have those 'experts' put their thoughts and
words in the other person's head and mouth since the other person isn't
around anymore and can't speak on her own behalf (shh, I'm not trying
to be an expert on this but don't mention that all people make mistakes
in a process known as learning and that 'experts' don't make mistakes
because they know it all so therefore experts are actually just
figments of their own imaginations, double shh). Try to minimize
that these others never met this person too. Try to get half
stories and such to try and bolster this false image too. Shh,
um, leave out a bunch of stuff, like three Grammy Awards, so that
hopefully the story sounds believable. Just mention Billy Joel,
but keep away from what happened to Billy in the tabloids and how after
the Grammy, Billy's life went downhill and the tabloid mess with him
and his ex-wives and wife beater all that, shh. Stay superficial
and don't dig too deep. You don't want to wreck a good selling
111. Was Karen actually the one who shelved her solo album?
Yes. It was actually
Karen told me on June 12, 1981 about the meeting in LA and
that at the last minute Karen asked Jerry Moss if she
could shelve the album and Jerry said "yes" so Karen
shelved it (Herb Alpert left the room during that meeting).
also told me at the meeting that Richard was
there with them and that the others had been silent and then the others
(Richard included) talked about the musical content and a lack of any
Karen then told me that while they were talking that
Karen started getting thoughts in her head about an interview she had
done with Rolling Stone magazine on March 17, 1980 and that if Karen
released the album it would be a probable publicity nightmare as Karen
did not want any rumors being started that she would ever leave her
brother as Karen was never going to ever leave her brother unless her
brother passed away or was unable to perform music anymore.
addition the thoughts of a few of the songs' lyric content that night
tarnish Karen's "girl next door" image and all that possible publicity
mess which would be great for tabloid fodder but not good for Karen's
or Richard's public images and such.
Karen also thought about how
she had always stood against that "women are just sex objects" media
stuff and all these negative thoughts all at once came to Karen at the
And Karen and her signs. When Karen got all
those negative thoughts, Karen figured there would be a huge publicity
problem if the album was released. Karen shelved it
As Karen and I called it, "A Can of Worms" as there was
just so much that happened that was just a big mess. It was
rushed from May 1979 to May 1980 and was just a big mess on so many
levels and best left in the can (or on the shelf in the can so to
Karen was not looking to go solo.
The album was
originally Jerry Weintraub's idea and Karen just kept getting pulled
every which way by everyone else. But it was pretty much everyone
else's (except Richard) album (A Can of Worms) that was given a title
of the person that had the least input on that album (Karen
In the end, with Karen's name being attached, Karen
didn't want that "Can of Worms" ever opened. Just a huge mess
which, yeah, after released in 1996, it has been a huge publicity mess
ever since then.
Please try to remember that KAREN rejected that
album. It is even from Phil in the liner notes that Karen was
worried about the press trying to start rumors about Karen leaving her
brother that Karen didn't want those rumors started. And yes,
REJECTED. CANNED. SHELVED. BY KAREN.
released as an album called Karen Carpenter that as even Rod Temperton
said, "didn't ring true in spots" as it was more everyone else and
about the only selling point was Karen's name and her voice. The
album was called Karen Carpenter but honestly Karen was a romantic at
heart and the Carpenters albums showed that, but that solo album was
honestly the least Karen Carpenter of anything Karen had ever
done. Karen was not looking to have women looked at as being sexy
sleaze buckets that needed to be added to some slime ball's belt
notches. Karen was just not happy with that album as it
It was "a diamond in the rough" but the edges needed to be
knocked off it first which was why Karen shelved it.
Made In America, Karen did not ever want that album released as it
was. Maybe a couple tracks or such after being polished up, but
not as the "Can of Worms" that the album really was.
As has been
shown since it was released, that album was a publicity
nightmare!!! Karen had it right. It wasn't about lack of
hits or such, but about the publicity associated with that mess as to
why Karen, herself, shelved it.
112. Did Karen keep a diary?
Yes. But while married to
Thomas Burris, Karen didn't want Thomas possibly knowing certain things
so Karen kind of didn't keep much of a diary while being married to
113. Boxers or briefs?
Karen actually preferred going
commando when she could get away with it. High cut briefs mostly
(Granny Drawers as she called them). Bikini briefs otherwise.
114. Did Karen prefer a shower or a bath?
Definitely a bath. Bubble
bath preferably. And Karen could be very resourceful too.
Karen knew how to create her own bubbles in the bathtub if bubbles
But a problem was that if Karen had been exercising or
performing and if she had got sweaty then she would prefer a shower as
a bath has stagnant water and a shower helps wash away the sweat
So it actually depended on her circumstances as to
whether she would take a nice relaxing bath or a refreshing
But she definitely preferred to relax when she could get
115. Did Karen know how to ride a motorcycle?
Yes. Karen safely riding a
motorcycle is debatable.
116. Did Karen have "Perfect Pitch"?
No. Karen had near perfect
pitch but not perfect pitch. To explain, this relates to breaking
the lead crystal glass while singing. If someone can sing the
note and hold it so that the glass breaks then they have perfect
pitch. Near perfect pitch can get the glass to vibrate but not
break. The note is known as the high C note and many operas tried
to end on this note (the saying, "It ain't over until the fat lady
sings" came from this). And the joke back in the day (for the
older folks that might remember it) before that Johnstown Massacre
stuff was "You don't reach the Hi-C by drinking Kool-Aid". But in
either 1978 or 1979, Karen brought in a couple lead crystal glasses and
a tuning fork. Both Karen and me could make the glass vibrate a
little, but neither of us could hold the note to break the glass.
There is also another meaning of 'perfect pitch'. What is
mentioned above is for someone singing. For someone listening,
being able to distinguish between different notes on the scale by
listening to a piano and being able to distinguish which note is being
played by hearing that note would be 'perfect pitch' for someone
listening. If you can always distinguish all 88 notes (keys) from
one another when played, then you would have 'perfect pitch'.
Someone with perfect pitch would know if any key on a piano was out of
tune as well. Definitely not Karen. There were many notes
that Karen knew, but not all of them. Like almost everyone, Karen
would have difficulties with distinguishing between both the bottom and
the top notes of the piano. But on the lower notes, most people
don't know the difference between a dun and a dun, while on the upper
notes, most people don't know the difference between a tink and a
tink. Try it sometime.
117. Did Karen actually have colitis?
Yes, Karen did actually have
colitis. The main reason why they did the intravenous feeding
procedure at Lennox Hill was because Karen had colitis. Karen did
not make that up to avoid talking about anorexia. Colitis was
diagnosed at least a couple times but Karen was never treated for
colitis that I
am aware of from roughly September 1975 to February 1983.
118. Was Karen for the "Women's Liberation Movement"?
Definitely not. Karen was
against the Women's Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights
Karen felt that women should have a choice and not be
forced into being exploited and such. Karen felt that the Women's
Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment both exploited women
further and didn't actually help women at all. Karen felt that
women should be allowed to choose whether they wished to enter the
workplace or be a stay at home mom or housewife if they so chose as
well. There was a lot of rhetoric and stuff hidden with the
Women's Liberation Movement and that Equal Rights Amendment that
certain men wanted hidden. And yes according to Karen, men.
But Karen saw that
the movement and the amendment both had intentions behind them of
breaking up families and trying to create more "Latch Key Kids" that
were unsupervised. Karen saw all of that smokescreen as being
nothing more than the powers that be trying to break up families and
family structures. And what better way to break up families than
to force women into the workplace and away from their homes and their
children. As without parental supervision, children are easier to
Karen rarely bothered with politics and such, but in
this case she made an exception. Karen was against both the
Women's Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment as she felt
both exploited women and had intentions behind them of breaking up
families and the family structure.
But yes, the question begs to
be asked that if they were so into equality and such then why weren't
they trying to get men to get paid more so that women didn't have to
enter the workplace and thusly women could take care of the children if
they so desired? As Karen noticed, none of that rhetoric helped
housewives or stay at home moms or even stay at home dads. None
of that stuff helped support the preservation of any type of family
structure at all. And without a family structure, people are
easier to manipulate and control.
Yes, Karen was actually a very
thoughtful person to talk with if someone got the chance.
Unfortunately, no one has that chance anymore. But then too if
someone writes that stuff down, maybe it can be shared with those that
weren't able to get that chance.
119. Did Karen and Richard pick on each other?
Definitely. Karen probably
picked on Richard more than the other way around.
brother and sister and were very close. And being very close they
could be a bit more honest with each other. Like Karen calling
Richard "Four eyes" and Richard shooting back with "Fatso" (as at the
time Karen was 4 foot tall and 120 pounds).
But it was just
picking really and not meant to be mean between them.
Reinforcement of the old saying "nobody's perfect". It was
actually Richard and Karen's way of keeping each other from getting too
arrogant. Somebody that is arrogant can't handle something
negative being said about themselves.
Karen would pick on Richard
and call him a "mama's boy" and Richard would comment back about Karen
being a "tomboy" and stuff like that. It wasn't meant to be mean
but was meant to be honest that no one's perfect and we all have our
flaws. Too much positive and not enough negative makes someone
seem like they are arrogant and better than everyone else. Karen
and Richard didn't want to be like that.
With all accomplishments
are those other things that didn't work out quite as expected.
But yes, Karen and Richard picked on each other at times. Keeping
your ego in check I guess would be a better way of putting it.
Humility. Being humble. As the saying used to go, "Don't
get too big for your britches."
But this is also related to what
was discussed back in question #16 about self esteem issues.
120. Did Karen have a double chin?
Kind of. When Karen weighed
over 116 pounds, she would develop a slight double chin. If over
116 pounds and Karen lowered her chin towards her neck, there would be
a ridge that would show up below her chin, a double chin.
121. What was Karen's IQ score?
I do not remember Karen ever
mentioning this to me, so another "I don't know". I think 127 but
not positive as if she had told me it was so long ago and one of those
122. Could Karen drive stick shift?
Yes. But Karen preferred
automatics as if anyone has ever had to do it, driving a stick shift in
high heels is a pain.
Before Karen got her license her dad made
sure that Karen had enough "grease monkey" in her that if something
went wrong, Karen would at least know to look under the hood to find a
doohickey or thingamajig or whatever and enough knowledge to cuss at
the blankety blank doohickey or thingamajig or whatever for breaking
Karen did actually have a working knowledge as to how cars
worked and she did actually like crawling around in the grease (that
tomboy thing) but with her singing career and such, she tried not to
get caught climbing under cars (so yeah, sneaking around after hours
hoping her dad or brother didn't catch her under there looking around).
123. Did Karen actually get into fights when she was younger?
I know Karen's public image is of
someone that doesn't do such things but as Karen had told me back in
1978 and 1979...
Karen did get into a few fights while she was
growing up. Karen also told me that she was a "dirty fighter" and
that she would kick, bite, scratch, gouge, pull hair and whatever it
took to win a fight. But yes, Karen was a tomboy and she did get
into a few fights when she was younger.
124. Was Karen a perfectionist?
Kind of. Karen always
believed that if you were going to do something to always do your
best. But the big problem is that if it is always 'the best' then
there is not any room for improvement. And what happens when you
improve upon perfection? Better than perfect? Yes, trying
to be better than perfect is probably a bit more accurate for Karen.
125. Did Karen prefer guys with or without a moustache and/or beard?
Definitely without. Soup
strainers tended to be ticklish for Karen and kissing a guy wasn't
meant to be a laughing matter. Karen preferred men that were
clean shaven. Karen also preferred guys with longer hair.
Karen liked to play with hair and run her fingers through it and
such. Most guys have short hair though so Karen tried to make do
with what you got.
126. What nationality was Karen (and Richard)?
Good question there.
"American mutt" as she would say. "Heinz 57 (all varieties)" as
had a varied family history and I know a bit of it but there were a
couple things that are still a little sketchy.
As far as the
Tatums (Mom's dad's side), I remember Karen mentioned it to me but I
don't remember what she said now. I am pretty sure Irish bit I
also think Welsh and Scotch but
not positive on that.
As far as the Rudolphs aka Reuwers (Mom's
mom's side), they were either Dutch or German (possibly both, not sure
if it was Germany and/or Holland).
As far as her dad's dad's
side, the Carpenters were British (UK) and they lived in Surrey
UK. Her grandparents
George and Nellie (Lynn)
Carpenter were missionaries in China at one time which was also the
same time as Harold (dad) was born.
But George was British and
Nellie's family was actually from Wellsville New York, so American
there (Karen did say back when where they came from but not sure on
anything now except that on the Lynn or Carpenter side there was some
Native American from her great-great-great grandmother, Ruhamah
Samoset, from the Nauset tribe. Karen actually had a photograph
Samoset in her family picture collection she used to keep in a white
I also met Susan (Seal) Carpenter in June 1979 and Susan
that she was actually George's step mom and that George's actual mother
was a lady named Elizabeth Ann Sherlock. Not sure where that
But yeah, Karen loved being a mutt, so to
So then yes, Karen found a gray sweat outfit that had a
sweatshirt that said "Made In America" and she loved that outfit as
America is an assortment of mutts and as such, Karen always felt that
she fit right in. The Made In America album title came from
Richard seeing that outfit Karen loved. I'm not sure if Karen
told Richard the story behind why she loved that outfit though.
127. Could Karen dance?
Karen knew basic stuff as well as
several popular dance steps, but as far as 'professionally'?
Karen took tap dancing lessons when she was really young so she knew
about first position and that kind of stuff. But really, Karen
wasn't that much into dancing to know all the lingo and behind the
scenes stuff. Karen could ad-lib it pretty well and she was
actually "light on her two left feet" but Karen was not ever really
into having a dancing career, so she had general knowledge about
Karen could dance but she enjoyed singing and playing drums
much better. With the right guy Karen had fun but for the most
part, Karen was not looking to be a dancer.
128. Did Karen actually have past life regressive therapy done?
Yes. I'm not sure if it was
in 1977 or 1978, but Karen had past life regressive therapy done in San
Probably the only real public reference is the claim of
one of Karen's past lives being Buddha's wife and Rahula's mom,
Believe it or not that was actually one of several
past lives that came up.
In either late September or early
October 1978, Karen sat down with me and discussed what came out of
that therapy as Karen was kind of wondering if any of the ones that
came up had anorexic paths or eating problems or such.
So now I
am going to list all the names.
Note to people, many of these
names should be easy to recognize, but as such, the names these women
are known to have been associated with are very prominent men as well
and I will list them too.
But also a pre note as well about
this. In May 1979, a guy that was the assistant to the Archdeacon
of Canterbury, Sir Nicholas Born, confirmed two of the matches, Enoch
and Edna, and Jesus and Mary Magdala.
In mid May 1979, Karen and me talked with Rod Temperton over the phone
and Rod verified that Karen and me were soul mates with a series of
questions from Rod and a series of answers from Karen and me. And
in June 1979, Karen and me also met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai
Lama and he confirmed the Buddha and Yahtsodharai past lives for both
me and Karen respectively.
So here we go with the list as well as
the languages in the past lives that Karen had. After the
therapy, Karen actually had the past life memories in her current
thoughts. Karen didn't know Hebrew or Aramaic or Chinese or
Arabic or Swahili or such, but Karen could repeat what was said from
the memories and those that spoke the other languages could understand
what Karen said even though Karen didn't know those languages.
Yeah, actually kind of creepy when you think about it which is why this
was one of only a few things Karen did not discuss publicly.
honestly, voice of an angel? After seeing the names here shortly,
um, angel would be a step down for Karen...
Abel didn't have a wife.
Edna (ed nuh). Aramaic.
Rachel (Ray chell) Hebrew.
Tsoporo (tsoap poar oa). Midian Hebrew.
Delilah (de lile uh) Hebrew.
Mekada (meh kah duh), Queen of Sheba. Hebrew
Isaiah's wife (?)
Yahtsodharai (yaht sod har ay). Chinese
Mary Magdala (mayree mag duh luh). Hebrew.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (kuh dee j[long j sound, zh?]ah bint
eLangeni (nan dee kah bay bay eh lan gee nee). Swahili.
Barbara Allen. English. American Civil War
Which correspond with...
Enoch (ee noa ch) descendent of Seth (not Cain's son Enoch, but 7th
removed from Adam Enoch)
Jacob (jay kub)
Moses (moa ziss) Egyptian. Mosha (moa shuh) Hebrew
Samson (sam sun)
Solomon (sol oa mun)
Isaiah (I zai uh)
Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha] (sid hart ha gow tah mah)
Yahshua [Jesus] (yah shoo ah)
Abu al Qasim Muhammad bin Abdallah bin Abd al Mutalib bin
Hashim (ahboo al kah seem moo hom id bin abdahlah bin abd al mootaleeb
bin hahs heem)
Senzangakhona kaJama (sen zangak hoanah kah jah mah) [Shaka
Nothing that I am aware of. American Civil War.
Adrian "Ace" Downing III [Me, Myself & I].
Note that the Isaiah and Abel
references were not actually brought up by Karen during our talks about
the past life stuff. All of the other names did and the Abel is
understandable as he was slain by his older brother Cain (Lucifer?) and
did not have a wife or such. And yes, there is a lot more
Karen knew about all this stuff and the events and
such. After Karen remembered about some research her brother,
Richard, had done for a report that Richard got an F on because as the
teacher kind of said, "If he's not written in the Bible he doesn't
exist." Which Karen knew the names of the guy in this were for
someone also known as Metatron. And there was a Lord Metatron and
a Lady Metatron, the Holy Scribe and his wife.
Lord Metatron's father is mentioned as Adam then Isaac then King David
(who got Adam's remaining 70 years) and the wives of his, Eve, Rebekkah
and he was not of the flesh with the Virgin Mary (hence virgin).
And something to note here is that Adam was blond haired and blue eyed
and Caucasian whereas Eve was dark haired, dark eyed and darker
skinned. But in the Bible, this would be the Holy Spirit aka
Emmanuel. And of course Adam's (Emmanuel's) Father the Holy One,
Himself, God. And also, apparently God has a wife too that was
named Sarai then changed to Sarah later and she bore a son,
Isaac. God, Himself, however has not been born of the
Is this reincarnation stuff making any sense
finally. Exactly, move onto something else please. wtmi
(way too much information)!!!
129. What was the last song Karen Carpenter recorded?
Now. Before Now was You're
130. Was Karen Shy?
Kind of. It's always awkward
when you first meet someone.
But Karen wasn't really worried so
much about if a person liked her or not, but Karen lived by her
principles. And a short while after getting to know Karen, Karen
would start sharing her principles, and after that, yes, Karen had a
lot of principles and a lot to talk about. And with a lot of
principles, yeah there just ain't that much time to get into it like
with question #100.
The other part was that Karen would get easily attached to someone
too. And with being easily attached and on the road a lot, Karen
and her brother were always best friends. And Karen would call
her mom quite often as well.
Karen always liked seeing people
smiling and happy too, so she always loved jokes, practical jokes and
just plain clowning around whenever possible. Karen also was not
really a people pleaser either. That principles thing
Karen was usually very approachable and down to
earth. More of a country bumpkin than a charm school queen or
princess. Karen did not like being put on a pedestal or
And Karen was definitely never a damsel in distress (that
tomboy stuff made it impossible for Karen to ever feel helpless or
such). Karen was actually
not one to take things too seriously. Karen did take her work
131. How old was Karen when she passed away?
Karen was 32 years, 11 months and
2 days old. Karen was 26 days shy of her 33rd birthday.
132. What about Karen and Elvis?
Unfortunately, Karen Carpenter and
I talked a bit about this back in mid October 1978. The
unfortunately is that it was back in 1978 and quite a while ago so some
details are still a bit sketchy here on my part. First, the real
sketchy part is that I am not sure if Karen may have met Elvis more
than once as I don't really recall Karen saying to me if she had met
Elvis more than once specifically.
And there is the Petula Clark
story but also Karen said she was with Richard too which is why I think
there was more than one encounter (I think that Karen and Petula was
after a concert in Las Vegas, while I think there was a separate
meeting with Richard [and a stuffed hound dog] around that may have
been at another concert or possibly Graceland even which I feel would
have been at another time outside the Petula encounter). Over 40
Other than that, I am sure of...
Elvis did sign a hound dog stuffed animal for Karen. I know that
during the signing, Karen was on the other side of the table and Karen
saw Elvis lift his head up and look towards her and when Elvis did
that, Karen held up her stuffed hound dog and Karen blurted out
something like, "Can you sign this?" at which time when Karen held up
the stuffed dog, someone bumped into Karen's arm and the stuffed hound
dog went flying across the table and hit Elvis right square in the
middle of his chest. I also think that Karen said that Elvis
said, "I might but only if you ask me again nicely." or something
similar to that and slid the stuffed animal back across the table to
Karen. When Karen came around I believe Karen said she said
something like, "Sorry about that earlier and thank you, I thought I
had a better grip on him, would you please sign this for me?" I
believe Elvis said something like, "I saw what happened. I liked
hearing your version much better" and then he smiled (and Karen said I
had the same high cheek bones and same dimples as Elvis but Elvis’s
chin had a slight spike but mine didn’t) and then Elvis signed a yellow
ribbon around the stuffed hound dog's neck shortly thereafter.
Part 2 here, I also know that
Karen and Petula Clark did see Elvis together back stage (but I am not
sure if this was the same time as the stuffed dog incident or another
time before or after that incident. Karen didn't really specify
that to me
at the time that I can remember). Karen and Petula Clark saw
Elvis back stage and there were several people at first and then it
dwindled down to Elvis, Petula and Karen. Karen was young and
kind of naive at the time as well and Petula knew that about Karen
(Karen didn't think of it that way at the time). Karen was
actually grateful to Petula afterwards as Petula left and kind of
dragged Karen out with her (Karen did kind of want to stay at the
time). Petula was telling Elvis that she needed to get going and
in the process dragged Karen out with her as I believe Elvis thought
Karen would stay behind but didn't. Karen and Petula did leave at
the same time after that meeting with Elvis.
Part 3, Karen had met a couple
(not just one) of the kids whom their mothers were claiming them to be
Elvis's kids. As Karen said, I looked more like Elvis than those
kids did as I was native american with blond hair and pale baby blue
eyes but with a monobrow (which Karen always wanted to shave off my
monobrow / unibrow whatever they call it now). Karen also never
specified if she met the out of wedlock Elvis kids while meeting Elvis
or if she met them while touring with her brother and the
Carpenters. I can't remember for sure if Karen said she did or
did not meet Lisa Marie either.
Part 4 as far as Karen's feelings
about part 2 afterwards, Karen heard some stuff later that made her
glad and very thankful to Petula for pulling Karen out of there as if
Elvis had asked at the time, yes Karen would have. Later, after
hearing rumors of how Elvis had treated his wife and such, Karen was
glad that Petula had dragged Karen out with her. Elvis and Karen
were both raised as family first type people. Karen never thought
of herself as a groupie type person and was never that way (much thanks
to Petula as had things turned out differently...) Karen and
Elvis did not talk with each other privately which was what I had a
feeling Elvis was looking to have happen as it was very public about
Elvis being about family and the Carpenters had a great family image as
well. Elvis's family image, however, has been tainted a bit over
the years after the marriage breakup of Elvis and such, but Elvis and
Karen were both raised as 'family comes first' after you 'TCB (Take
Care of Business)' before first of course.
Part 5, Karen also told me that
there were never any pictures taken at the meeting(s) of Karen with
Elvis that Karen was ever aware of.
Part 6, I can't remember for sure
if Karen said she may have had someone make up a 'faked' picture later
on though or not just for the fun of having something like that.
Pictures are easier to show and carry around than stuffed animals, but
not sure if Karen told me or not back then that she did something like
having a picture altered. Actual picture or not, Karen had met
Elvis and Elvis had met Karen.
133. Was Karen looking to leave Richard and the Carpenters?
Actually, no. Richard was
actually the one who left and said he quit on or around September 4,
1978 and if Richard quit then...
Richard was having difficulties
with withdrawals and the DTs from his Quaalude addiction. Richard
just couldn't perform anymore without physically shaking at some
point. And it was a team, Karen and Richard and Richard and
Karen, the Carpenters. So people kind of have that backwards
there, it wasn't Karen but it was Richard that was actually the one
that actually left the Carpenters, not Karen. Karen and the
Christmas Portrait Special, Karen and the Bruce Forsyth Show,
Karen didn't quit.
Richard was having too many problems and
although he was
physically there at times, he just wasn't himself anymore.
think about it, after Richard leaving, was Karen supposed to quit too
when she was pretty much all by herself anyway? Did it get so bad
that Karen couldn't stand herself as after all; let's face facts here;
without Richard, it was just Karen there by herself.
fine and knew what was going on but sheesh peeps. Always trying
to put your two cents in instead of asking questions like "did Richard
actually say he quit on September 4, 1978? or was it September
134. Did Richard say he quit on September 3 or September 4, 1978?
Well, let's consult the
"Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book in the On the Road section shall
we. OK, up until September 4, 1978, Las Vegas. Then one
show on December 3, 1978. So yup, September 4, 1978 was when
Richard said, "I quit". And if you get a chance while reading
that book, ask yourself, "how did Richard and Karen find time to be
controlled by their mom during all that went on?"
135. Did Karen ever have an imaginary friend?
Honestly, yes, and here is what
Karen had to say about it too.
I am very sure that Karen said her
imaginary friend she had was named Lucy (about 99% sure as Emily
doesn't sound right to me). Karen told me that when she was
younger there was always a house full and that Karen actually wasn't
left alone when she was younger. There was her mom and dad and
Richard and her cousin Joanie that were always there. But at
times everyone would be busy so Karen invented her imaginary friend as
Karen wasn't used to not having someone else to play with when others
were busy. It was just for a short while and Karen knew that Lucy
was just imaginary and wasn't a real person or such.
from a young age, Karen liked being a little different than everyone
else. Being different requires having an imagination too.
And of course even though imaginary, Lucy liked being
No big deal. Try it yourself sometime.
Yes, really. Karen and her imaginary friend, Lucy, never had
problems with each other but I am fairly sure with the way some people
act that they may find they can't live with themselves and would give
up on the idea of an imaginary friend after a very short while.
136. Did you ever see Karen taking laxatives?
Yes, X-LAX those chocolate squares
in shiny tin foil.
I never saw Karen have, let alone take, any pills or powders or such,
just those little chocolate squares (which
were known as tablets).
Um, yeah, um, well you see, that 90
tablets a day I am glad people are questioning that. Karen told
me that at the beginning of her therapy with Levenkron that Levenkron
called her a liar and those that knew Karen, if you called her
something, she wasn't going to be falsely accused. So, exactly,
90 tablets a day? 90 chocolate squares in a day might be possible
if someone vomits (pukes, whatever) but yeah, to sum that up, that
statement about 90 a day was about Levenkron calling Karen a liar, so
Karen lied to him. 90 tablets a day should be proof about
Also, I need to say here that I never knew Karen to take
laxative pills or powders (not even sure if they existed back then) but
I did know Karen took X-LAX chocolate squares in the shiny tin
foil. I think certain others got stuff mixed up there. Did
Dulcolax even exist back then? I don't remember it back
then. I seem to just remember the bottles of citrate of magnesium
or the X-LAX chocolate squares. I don't ever remember pills or
powders back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Slim Fast (80s?)
was kind of the first type of powder I remember hearing about.
137. Did you ever see Karen taking pills?
Another messy answer here.
People telling stories always seems to make a mess as most stories have
a hint of truth but usually a lot of untruth that doesn't sound quite
Around mid May 1979 I didn't see it, but I was around to
hear about it
after Karen had taken 9 aspirins and had her stomach pumped.
Karen would take an occasional Aspirin or during her visitor she would
take a Pamprin or Midol here or there. But if you called Karen a
liar, she wasn't going to be
falsely accused by anyone.
I do know that Karen used to take Tic
Tacs and other breath mints (Karen gave me a Certs on January 3, 1979)
and put them into pill bottles just to be different. Back then
all the 'rock stars' and such were always getting accused of taking
pills all the time, so I know as a joke, Karen would have a pill bottle
full of breath mints and joke around about how she was taking pills
like all the other rock stars. But as far as actually taking
medication pills and such, nope.
And a definite red flag as Karen
would NOT EVER take something she did not know what it did or what it
was used for. And red flags as in Synthroid affects the thyroid
the voice box. NO!!! When I talked with Karen on February
3, 1983 she told me she did not even know what the stuff that Levenkron
confiscated was (and to note, Karen was very specific that the pills in
purse incident was on the initial meeting with Levenkron and Itchie and
nothing after that). Karen did not know what Synthroid was so I
know she never took it (and yes, it wasn't in her autopsy toxicology
I also saw that TV show and I saw a pill bottle
come out on that TV show that did not have tape across the label, had
the name "Karen Burris" (which Karen didn't have ID for a Karen
Burris), 1 mg instead of .1 mg, a place name but not a prescribing
doctor name, and a bit beyond suspicious there I feel. And then 5
other bottles too (that don't get talked about).
But this is a
guy that wrote the fictional book "The Best Little Girl in the World"
that did not have the official title of Dr., MD or PhD and yeah, this
is a good reason as to why you shouldn't talk bad of others in public,
but then again, why would someone talk publicly about a patient?
Isn't a patient's privacy and such supposed to be kept
confidential? But then too, this guy is a fiction author and not
really a qualified doctor or such. To be expected I guess.
Stuff just isn't right there and Karen isn't around anymore to get
clarification on this. But then too, you have a guy there stating
how he feels Karen is being honest with him while being told she is
taking 90 laxatives a day. Yeah right. I see someone buying
the Brooklyn Bridge on the horizon somewhere there. Yes, messy
But to answer this after I sidetracked myself here, Karen and me could
see each other's thoughts when we were close to each other (that soul
mate stuff which was awesome and highly recommended if you can find him
/ her). I couldn't lie to Karen without being caught, and Karen
knew she couldn't lie to me without getting caught eventually
Karen told me what actually happened and what Karen told
me does not match anything that either Itchie or Levenkron has said
about all that. Karen told me that the actual argument between
her and Itchie, Karen started the argument when Karen asked Itchie how
about Karen and her family having a private meeting together with
Levenkron, then Itchie changed the subject and brought up Karen using
laxatives, then Karen asked Itchie about where did the pills come from
on the initial meeting at Levenkron's when Karen's purse got dumped,
and then Itchie didn't answer and brought up her credit card bill for
lunches, then Karen told me she asked Itchie the "sixty four thousand
dollar question" of were Itchie and Phil trying to get Karen fired from
A&M Records (Karen had an image clause in her recording contract
and if Karen's solo album had been released, there could have been
possible problems and repercussions with Karen's public image and her
recording contract), and of course Itchie didn't answer and then Itchie
Karen told me on February 3, 1983 that she had talked with
Itchie on February 2, 1983 to try and get Itchie to talk again, but
Phil was on the other end and Itchie was pregnant, so Karen just
As far as what Karen told me, it checks out. As
far as what others have said, there's stuff messed up, missing and not
And if I had actually seen Karen taking pills and
such, I would not hesitate to say so. But in all honesty, I did
see Karen joke around about it (with the breath mint stuff) but I had
never seen Karen taking any pills outside an occasional aspirin, Midol
or Pamprin. I knew that Karen had her stomach pumped for 8 or 9
aspirins. Karen had originally told me that the laxatives were
for constipation and I told her, "Your eyes are brown; you're full of
it. My eyes are blue; I'm a quart low. I probably ought to
start eating corks to hold it in more." About a week or two later
I did see Karen eat too much X-LAX and get sick.
yeah, Karen would tell stories on occasion,
and most of what I have heard from others about the pill stuff sounds
like stories. 90 laxatives a day? Really? Stuff that
could affect her voice box, really? And yes, I feel that Karen
probably did tell those stories about laxatives to Itchie and Levenkron
so that when
they got repeated by Itchie or Levenkron, people should think
really? Do you really
and truly believe that a person was taking 90 laxatives a day?
(Well, I think Levenkron was actually the
one to start that Synthroid story. Got his fingerprints all over
As far as Karen's heart racing... Karen told me
that she had her tattoo of a red rose removed and had contracted
hepatitis. Karen said she had been given a shot for the hepatitis
that made her heart race. Karen didn't want people knowing she
had hepatitis but she also didn't want to spread it either, so she
avoided direct contact with others for a while before she passed away
(no hugs or such). It did show up (with whatever the shot was) in
Karen's autopsy, but none of that other stuff (Synthroid or Ativan or
such) showed up.
And as far as the Ativan (Lorazepam), that was
jogging suit, not Karen's that they grabbed out of Richard's room on
Newville Avenue. Richard was admitted into Meninger's on January
10, 1979 and given Ativan to help with the DTs he was having from the
withdrawals for Quaaludes. And yeah, the date was 1/10/83 on the
Ativan bottle and was the expiration date, sheesh.
Stories. Tabloid sensationalism. What a mess. Great
138. Did Karen have arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)?
Yes, she did. Karen told me
in 1978 that during her marching band physical, the doctor had noticed
that Karen had arrhythmia but also if the doctor had marked it on her
physical, it would have disqualified her from marching band. This
physical happened around 1964 I believe.
Karen's arrhythmia was
because Karen had been born premature (weighing 5 pounds at
birth). Karen was also diagnosed again officially in 1975 with
arrhythmia as well.
Before 1975, Karen had dieted and exercising
was part of those diets. After 1975, Karen's exercising was
mainly for her irregular heartbeat and not really for dieting
purposes. Karen knew that exercising just toned up and put on
muscle and was not a way to lose weight.
And yes, back in 1978,
Karen did not know that many big words, but she did know the word
From 1975 onwards, every time Karen went into a
hospital they would hook her up to an EKG machine and every time they
would ask Karen if she wanted a pacemaker installed. I had seen
Karen deal with this problem after Karen had gone in the hospital in
May 1979 and they had her hooked up to an EKG machine and the machine
never beat steady the whole time I was there. Bleep, bloop, blip,
and so on... Not steady and I joked about it sounding like a
messed up game
I also noticed how Karen had been used to being asked
the pacemaker question as when the doctor asked Karen was very adamant
that she did not wish to be kept alive by a machine. That was
that. As Karen even said, "if God would have intended me to have
a pacemaker, I would have been born with one already installed."
Karen and I had also talked outside the hospital and one of Karen's
principles was that she was "All natural, no artificial ingredients or
preservatives, just little old me." Karen was always for what was
We also talked about possible side effects like
maybe the microphones or electric equipment interfering and Karen
didn't really think about that stuff and her decision was based on she
was not going to be kept alive by a machine and if God wanted her heart
to beat normal it would beat normal, but since Karen's heart did not
beat normal, Karen figured that was how God wanted Karen to be or else
God would fix it.
But Karen's arrhythmia was always there whether
dieting, exercising or not. Whether the dieting or exercising may
have possibly aggravated the arrhythmia at times is open for debate,
but even without dieting or exercising or such, Karen's arrhythmia was
always there as God wanted it to be I guess.
139. Did Karen and Richard ever argue?
A few times, yes, but not that
often. But when they did it was usually over some small
technicality. Karen was very stubborn like her mom and Richard
was fairly laid back like his dad (but he did have a little of his mom
and sister in him). As far as directly, I never saw Karen and
Richard argue. I did see Karen argue a couple times with
others. Karen had learned to argue from her mom. And in an
argument, it didn't matter 'win or lose' so to speak as in an argument,
Karen would make the other person promise stuff and through those
promises, Karen would get what she wanted anyway regardless of who
technically won or lost that argument. And the other part was
Karen was very stubborn and unless you agreed to her promises, she
wasn't going to argue anymore with someone (and that silent treatment
Karen and me never argued with
each other, it was always either we agree or we disagree. As an
example here in June 1981, Karen said that she felt she hadn't been
good company because she had been tired all week from dealing with her
visitor (menstruation) and like I told her, "You're right, you haven't
been good company, you've been great company and you weren't feeling
too good but you still spent your time with me. What more could a
guy ask for?" So how can you argue with that? But between
Karen and me it was that soul mate stuff and you just can't argue with
your soul mate as both Karen and I found out.
And, yes, Karen learned to argue
from her mom, so if an argument happened, her mom was the one who
taught Karen how to argue and Agnes (mom) would always have the upper
hand in that kind of situation. Anyone else, and you're on your
own. The thing is though that Karen and her mom rarely argued
either. That mutual respect thing as both Karen and her mom had
wicked tempers when provoked, but for the most part, Karen and her mom
were usually calm and pleasant and chatty. Sometime in either
late March or early April 1979 Karen's mom called and I was there and
oh boy Karen and her mom usually chatted each other's ears off about
anything and everything together. But Karen loved her privacy, so
her mom knew not to get chattering with each other when others were
Anyone trying to say Karen was a pushover or such never knew Karen too
well. Karen was never a pushover and always stuck by her
principles. Karen was never wishy washy or such. Karen was
always very strong-willed and very determined. In a word,
stubborn (like her mom). If Karen felt she needed to do something
she did it, but if not, all the motivational stuff available still
would not get Karen to do it if she felt she didn't need to do whatever
and Karen would definitely not do something that was against her
principles (proverbs [question #100]). So like with question #16,
have low self esteem issues either. People with low self esteem
compromise their principles. Karen was not one to compromise her
140. Did Karen get homesick?
Actually, even in her 30s, if
Karen was away from her mom or dad for too long, Karen would start
getting homesick. Karen was a homebody and liked it most at home
(home is where the heart is). Karen enjoyed meeting new people
and seeing places and such, but still, deep down she loved home the
On the road and such she was the superstar, Karen
Carpenter, but at home she was just Karen, herself. Karen loved
having privacy when she could get it. Karen could always get
privacy at home when she wanted it. Karen had her personal stuff
at home too (her stuffed animals and such which all her stuffed animals
had different names like Packy the Elephant and such).
would always call her mom and
talk while on the road (unless her mom and dad were with them) not
because Karen was forced to (because Karen wasn't forced actually), but
because Karen would get very homesick when she was away from home
(within three to four months at most).
Richard would be there and
such, but Karen would still miss her mom the most. And
truthfully, Karen always called her and referred to her as mom (not
mother or such) with me.
141. Was Karen superstitious?
For the most part yes.
Karen did have a lucky rabbit's foot. Karen
didn't really believe in Friday the 13th or that kind of stuff.
Karen did love hearing old wive's tales and such though. Karen
did have a lot of rules (principles) too that she lived by. Bad
things happen in threes. A
pinch of salt over the shoulder for good luck. The full Moon was
debatable as most people that felt that the full moon was a sign would
act a bit strange but it probably wasn't related to anything dealing
with the Moon itself. But
yeah, see a penny, pick it up, but if it's on tails, flip it over
before you pick it up. It's bad luck otherwise. Careful
with that mirror as seven years back luck is nothing compared to trying
to look at yourself in a cracked mirror...
Karen did believe in
getting three signs from God before making an important decision.
The problem was that Karen got four signs before marrying Thomas Burris
but didn't realize it until after she married him. Things
In a family, I think we used to call them 'traditions'
when things happened. And some traditions can become
superstitions under the right circumstances.
142. For Thanksgiving, what was Karen's favorite part of the turkey?
I am not sure on this when Karen
was younger, but I know as Karen got older, her favorite was, of
course, the drumsticks. Probably most people figured this out
before, but still worth asking. As far as light meat or dark
meat? The dark meat is a little chewier and greasier than the
light meat but I can't remember for sure on this one so will have to
pass on this. Karen wasn't really too picky (fussy) though.
143. Did Karen get motion sickness?
Yes, Karen would get motion
sickness. Sea sick pills and hope for the best. As Karen
got older it wasn't quite as bad but Karen would still get motion
sickness on occasion if things got a little bumpy here and there.
Karen usually preferred an aisle seat to a window seat in a
plane or bus. Karen did have a driver's license and did drive on
occasion. When in the passenger seat and such, Karen usually
either stared at the floor or tried talking to someone to get her mind
off of it.
But when the family first went out to California
before moving there, Karen didn't go with them because of her motion
144. You say Karen was a tomboy, did Karen ever wish she was a man?
Nope, Karen never wished she was a
man (male). Karen loved being athletic and such and a tomboy but
that was as far as it went. Karen always enjoyed being a woman
and herself as men tended to have all these problems that it seemed
that only women, like herself, could fix.
145. Did Karen ever read that manuscript for Cherry Boone's book
"Starving for Attention"?
Actually, no. Karen said she
got part way through and it made her sick to her stomach, so she
stopped reading it.
Karen told me that she was friends with
Debby, Pat and Shirley Boone and kind of thought of Pat and Shirley as
kind people but also Karen knew that kind people could also be
something else when the curtain was closed so to speak.
made Karen sick wasn't what was written about Pat, Shirley or Debby but
was the fact that Cherry never took any blame, herself, for any of her
problems with her anorexia.
This talk between Karen and me was on
February 3, 1983 over the phone during our long phone call.
had also mentioned that she had talked a little bit with Debby during
the Grammy Awards show in January 1983 as well but didn't get specific
with her talk with Debby, just that Karen had a chance to talk with
Debby during that show.
But also, that was family stuff between
Cherry, Debby, Pat and Shirley and Karen felt it wasn't her business to
get in between any of that stuff. But if push had come to shove
somehow, Karen would always still be friends with Pat, Shirley and
Debby as they had always been friends with Karen.
Karen and me
also rehashed our talk about learning good and bad habits from others
and about choices people make for themselves / ourselves. Our old
"just because others do it doesn't mean I have to do it too" talk that
we had many times from September 1978 to June 1979 plus in June 1981 as
well. We all have our own choices to make on how we decide to
live our lives just as others have their choices to make too. The
old consequences talk.
our talk on February 3, Karen had told me about a couple incidents with
her and Cherry (notably how a dare from Cherry for Karen taking ipecac
had been what had got Karen out of the clinic and into the hospital in
September 1982 and that Cherry made a bet and even though technically
Karen didn't win that bet, because Karen had tried, Cherry made good on
the bet as if Karen had won the bet).
But as far as "Starving for Attention", that was a book written by
Cherry Boone about Cherry Boone and not a book about Karen
Carpenter. Not sure how some others got Karen and Cherry mixed up
with each other, but somehow it happened. And yes, when it
happens it results in stuff getting confusing and not sounding like it
is about Karen anymore.
146. Did Karen ever have any gray hairs?
Yes, actually. Not sure at
what age they started but Karen did have a couple gray hairs when I met
her in September 1978 and a few more as the years went on. Karen
also always wore a wig and also dyed her hair too so they didn't
show. But I remember Karen distinctly telling me that if I get a
gray hair to not pull it out because you get even more if you pull them
out. The voice of experience.
147. Did Karen Carpenter actually meet Michael Jackson?
Actually, no. In mid to late
May 1979 after Rod Temperton had flown out to Los Angeles, Michael
(with help from Rod Temperton) called up Karen to thank Karen for
letting Michael use the songs (Rock with You and Off the Wall plus
She's Out of My Life) for his album. Karen and Michael did not
see each other in person but Michael did call Karen around mid to late
May 1979 to thank her for the songs that were originally planned for
use on Karen's solo album but given to Michael instead.
148. Did Karen ever live next door to Casey Kasem?
Yes, actually Casey rented from
Karen and lived next door to Karen at one time in her apartment
complex. I am not positive of the time period that Karen and
Casey lived next door to each other, but I do remember that Karen
talked with me about it in June 1981.
149. Where were you when you heard that Karen passed away?
I was actually at my high school
and I had (for once) stayed at the school as I had got a call from
Karen (as did the school secretary, Lois, too) on the night
before and Karen had told me that she planned on stopping by and
picking me up later that day at the school (Friday, February 4,
The news came on (either noon or noon thirty) and the
secretary called me into the office and we watched the news on a TV set
in the office and talked a short while before I left for class.
Towards the end of the day (around two-ish to two thirty-ish) I was
paged down to the office and when I got to the office, Richard was
there with the secretary. We talked together at least a half hour
and during that talk Richard and me both shed some tears (Richard was
kind of angry and I was pretty much numb as it was just all so
unexpected and both Richard and me had lost our best friend). But
Richard and me have not seen or talked with each other since
I tried to recreate that talk as best as possible on this
page karencarp.html near the bottom in the 1983 section of
that page if interested. And if not interested, that's fine
too. No biggie either way.
150. Did Karen actually leave her love to someone in her Will?
Actually, it was not put in her
But outside her Will, Karen had made up an unofficial
Second Codicil that was legally covered in her Will she wrote in 1972,
so that Second Codicil was not required to be filed publicly.
Karen's Will, Karen stipulated that her personal possessions were to be
distributed by her family, so a Second Codicil was actually not
required. Note too, a codicil is another fancy word for an add-on
or an addition. But when Richard read Karen's Will in February
1983, Richard read the Will plus the First Codicil (which was filed
with her Will) but also the unofficial Second Codicil as well which
Karen had made up a Second Codicil, but it was not required as the
original Will stipulated that her family would decide the distribution
of her personal items.
But on the unofficial Second Codicil,
Karen listed her personal items and who she wished them to go to.
Things like certain stuffed animals and her record collection and other
personal items as well were mentioned in the unofficial Second
Codicil. This was not required to be filed publicly and was not
filed publicly as firstly, the Will covered that legally, but also, for
privacy issues, it was probably best not to publicly file that
unofficial Second Codicil anyway.
But also, not sure if that
Second Codicil could be considered legal anyway. Personal
possessions in Wills have always been tangible (physical) possessions
as a precedent. Someone's love I do not believe falls under the
tangible category. But one of the lines on the Second Codicil
read something like (it's been 39 years now so hope you bear with me
here) : To Adrian (Dowling / Darling?), I leave my (eternal /
everlasting?) love : which was signed by me on February 4, 1983 and
notarized by the secretary, Lois Crandell, on February 4, 1983.
And Richard did read off the Second Codicil during the reading of
Karen's Will in mid to late February 1983. But as far as those
that heard, the first name was Adrian and not the last name. And
100%, John Adrian did not sign nor have notarized that Second
But also, is love something that can be legally left to
someone else? And if the Will was contested without a legal
divorce agreement between Thomas and Karen? What Second
Codicil? Thank you Sergeant Schultz ("I see nothing").
Things happen. And after things happen, move along to other
things that happen...
151. Do you know anything about the Carpenter's family dynamics?
I had heard many things through
Karen and I had seen quite a few things myself. I also had the
chance to meet and talk with most of Harold's side of the family in
June 1979 at a family get together. But not really a tough
question here but there are many factors in a 'dynamic' which does lead
to a long discussion I imagine. I am also going to try and stick
to talking about what Karen said and what I knew about the family
dynamic and try not to divert away to why this question was
asked. The reason why this question was asked was because several
people noticed from the psychobabble being spread that none of that
psychobabble had anything directly from Karen in it. Very
suspicious as you would think that therapists would actually talk to a
client about things, but it is very apparent that they never did talk
with Karen as it is very evident that Karen's words are missing from
there. Have to wait and see about that length stuff I guess,
well, not much waiting, here we go...
First, the family dynamic was
intellectual over emotional thinking. Karen loved being the round
peg in a square hole so Karen was more emotional thinking over
intellectual thinking. Karen could get thoughtful, but she
preferred being emotional. Karen loved to cuddle and her mom was
not the cuddling type which Karen was more than fine with that as Karen
wanted to spend her life cuddling with a husband or boyfriend even and
not with her mom. So that worked out well for both Karen and her
mom. Her mom was a great thinker and problem solver which was
what Karen admired most about her mom. Karen's dad was a worker
and with a wife that was a thinker, it appeared to work out well
between them. And of course Richard was a thinker too and problem
solver like his mom and also a worker like his dad. Sorry, but
unfortunately Karen and me didn't talk much about cousin Joanie as
cousin Joanie got married and moved out of the house before Karen was a
teenie bopper. Karen had told me though that she had always
thought of her cousin Joanie as a big sister while Karen was growing
up. I want to say that I think Karen said that Joanie was also
more emotional than a thinker too, but I can't remember for sure on
that, but I do remember the big sister part.
From the family meeting in June
1979 with the Carpenters, Lynns and several others present, they had
talked very well of Harold's wife, Agnes, and how Agnes was like one of
the Carpenter women. They also talked of how Harold's mom passed
away and that Harold was always very close to his mom and Harold and
his mom always talked, but after Harold's mom, Nellie, passed away in
1927 from pleurisy, Harold became kind of quiet and not as
talkative. Also, Harold hadn't really dated while he was growing
up so there was definite concern in the family if Harold would ever
look for someone let alone find someone. Harold also had a
younger brother, Richard Lynn, and three younger sisters all from his
dad, George, and his mom, Nellie. Originally, the family (George
and Nellie) were missionaries over in China and Harold, his brother and
one sister (Esther) were born in China. Then when Harold was
about 11, his dad moved to the UK and shortly after, mom, Harold and
his brother and sister moved to the UK with their dad. George had
two other sisters born in the UK. And like said too, Nellie, mom,
passed away in 1927 from pleurisy, which is a lung disease. After
Nellie passed away, George was with another woman, Wefta B[censored]k,
and George was a widower and Wefta was a widow (Wefta's husband,
Dmytro, had passed away) and so there was a step mom (which I met Wefta
in June 1979 with Karen which of course Wefta was Karen's step
grandma. When I met Karen, she was staying with her step cousin
Wendy B[censored]k). As a comparison here, the Carpenter family
was the kind of family that would swat flies whenever the need arose or
even just for fun, while the B[censored]k family were the types that
wouldn't hurt a fly if it landed and then pooped in their soup and then
flipped them off and then begged to be swatted. But George's
weakness was red-heads and both Nellie and Wefta were red-heads.
Also, George was raised by his step mom, Susan (Seal) Carpenter and his
dad Thomas Carpenter. George's biological mother was Elizabeth
Ann Sherlock and so the other Carpenters (young Thomas, Jack, Charlie,
Joe and several sisters) were all half brothers and half sisters to
George. I saw great half uncle Jack Carpenter in June 1979 but
also saw him again in June 1981 both times with his wife
(Gladys?). In 1979 (and later) Jack was the eldest Capenter male
and as a tradition, the Carpenter women were asked to introduce their
suitors to Jack for a special message from him (which although Jack had
offered Thomas Burris to do it for free before Tom married Karen, Tom
chickened out and went to a doctor's office instead). George
passed away in I believe 1942 before Richard or Karen were born.
But at this family get together were Susan (Seal) Carpenter, great half
uncle Jack Carpenter, I believe Rose and Florence Carpenter, Gertrude
Lynn, (Martha) Matilda Lynn (Stoddard widow), Wefta B[censored]k,
several B[censored]ks, uncle Richard and his wife Mary Carpenter,
Geraldine (and not sure about Esther, Guinevere had just passed away in
Australia in 1978). A couple Briggs and a few other cousins and
such with different last names. The Carpenter women all prided
themselves on being sturdy women that always took care of their
families and the households. And the Carpenter women all prided
themselves on having (as they called it), "Crisco, fat in the
can". It was a Carpenter trait to have large hips and a
And to everyone's surprise, Harold
dated Agnes and then they got married and started out with a GE
(General Electric) clothes iron and a small place and a lot of
love. The Carpenters always liked Agnes and it was such a
surprise that Harold had found someone. And the Carpenter women
saw that Agnes was a lot like them as far as being sturdy and
such. The Carpenter family was not one of those hold hugfest type
families and were a very intellectual family that felt anyone could
give someone a hug but a true caring person is the person that is
always there through thick and thin and always tries to be helpful to
others. Agnes, like the Carpenter women, wasn't a very openly
affectionate person, but there must have been some kind of magic there
between her and Harold. After Harold had been fairly withdrawn
for quite a while, the Carpenter women looked at Agnes as some kind of
miracle worker with Harold. The Carpenter women all had nice
things to say about Karen's mom, Agnes.
The Carpenter family were always
very family oriented and always tried to be decent, upright and
respectable people. They always looked out for one another and if
there was trouble, they would work together to get through it. A
very good family reputation that they protected. If one of the
family did wrong to someone else either inside or outside the family,
the family would always support the one they felt was wronged and come
down hard on the one(s) doing the wrongdoing. The Carpenter
family would always try to make amends to those they felt were wronged
while also deterring people from treating others badly by making sure
that people knew if someone behaved badly, they were going to pay for
it from the family coming down hard on them. Respect others and
have respect for yourself as well. And like said, they were very
fond of Agnes as Agnes was much the same way too.
As far as being supportive, that was fairly obvious. The family
had purchased a piano for Richard and they were on a tight
budget. Karen wanted a set of drums, so on the tight budget, they
got even tighter and picked up a set of drums for Karen too.
Karen and Richard Carpenter were of a lower middle class upbringing but
like said, they worked together with each other. After moving out
to Downey, they became more middle class middle class
financially. Karen never felt
neglected or such. Karen was a bit of a tomboy like her
mom. Richard was a bit like his dad too. There was never
any sibling rivalry between Karen and Richard and Karen and Richard
always got along very well with each other. Yes, usually older
brothers feel like younger sisters cramp their style and younger
sisters feel like older brothers cramp their style too. But Karen
and Richard were a lot alike and liked many of the same things so they
didn't feel like they cramped each other's style. But also, yes,
mom (Agnes) was always a bit concerned about that as what parent would
want a bunch of 'inbred' children running around, so... truthfully,
Karen and her mom were very close to each other as they had many
secrets between themselves. If made public, they wouldn't be
secrets now would they? But even though Karen would be on the
road with her brother, Karen would get homesick at times for her mom
and home (usually after about 3 to 4 months).
But also, anyone that ever thought that Karen ever wanted to be 'the
favorite' never talked with Karen about that. As Karen would say,
"Favorites are favored because they put the round pegs in the round
holes and the square pegs in the square holes and they are favored as
they do like everyone else does. Black sheep are the ones who put
the square pegs in the round holes and the round pegs in the square
holes and if they don't fit just use a bigger mallet. Black sheep are
different and I like being different." And also, "Favorites put
their ducks in a row. Black sheep like to let their ducks
wander." In Karen's own words to me on this, "I'd rather be
yelled at than fussed over." Karen loved being a very humble
person which was why she would pick on her brother to get him to pick
back at times. The real Karen did not like being put on a
pedestal or praised or such. Humble people are very down to earth
and don't like being seen as being above or below others, but as
equals. And with that is where you get to why Karen and Richard
always got along so well together. Karen and Richard always saw
themselves as being equals to one another. And that is why also
there is usually so much missing from Karen when others try to push
that anorexia profile stuff that has no input whatsoever from Karen and
it is that obvious. Anyone that actually knew Karen, personally,
knows that the only thing in that anorexic profile that Karen matched
was that anorexia is an eating disorder. That was it. The
entire rest of that profile does not match Karen at all which is why
people ask therapists and such if they could provide a family dynamic
profile of Karen and the result is that they try and match that family
profile to the anorexic profile and it sounds nothing like Karen or her
family at all. And the sad part is that the ones pushing that
faulty profile just don't get it that they are not making any sense
because that profile is great for the Cherry Boone "Starving for
Attention" book, but falls completely apart when looking at the real
life Karen Carpenter and her family and it is that obvious. Karen
never felt unloved by her family or she never would have kept going
back to them. Karen never competed with her brother.
Karen's family allowed Karen to make her own decisions. And on
and on there through that entire anorexic profile. None of it
matches. And when they do that, it is very obvious that there is
nothing there from Karen Carpenter to support that anorexic profile
nonsense. So to explain the family dynamic question problem here,
I agree totally that after someone assembles the actual family dynamic
of Karen and Richard Carpenter that the anorexic profile being pushed
has absolutely nothing from Karen, herself, or her family to support
that faulty anorexic profile. I feel that is the real answer here.
152. Did Karen ever drop acid (LSD)?
No. For Karen to take or try
something, she needed to know what it did and what it was for. As
far as with acid (LSD), was it going to be a good trip or a bad
trip? With that question and the answer of "you don't know until
after you try it" and without knowing before, nope. Not
happening. As far as cocaine, it makes you paranoid and being
paranoid doesn't sound like someone is having fun, so Karen said nope
to cocaine as well.
153. Did Karen have a short lifeline on her palm?
Yes, she did actually.
Karen's lifeline on her palm went from the side down to about the top
of her thumb (if you drew a line straight out) or about 1 to 1 ¼
inches from the side of her hand. Part two. Did Karen believe in palm
reading? Karen didn't really believe or disbelieve in palm
reading. Karen's take on that was that God would know the answer
to that and unless God told her personally either way, Karen was open
for suggestions from others either way.
154. Was Karen heartbroken that her solo album was not released in 1980?
Definitely not. Karen was
actually the one who had it shelved.
Remembering back now I
remember how Karen had told me that she had shelved it (Questions #57
& 111). And Karen did tell me too that she did break down and
cry after shelving it as she was worried that after the others (Rod,
Lib, Rusty, Steggy, Grimey and Phil plus Peter Cetera and others) had
put so much work into the album that Karen was worried that they might
be upset at Karen for shelving the album. So Karen did kind of
make certain people think it was a record company decision and not just
Karen's decision even though it was in reality Karen's decision to
And when Karen and me talked again in June 1981, we
kind of came up with a type of advertising blurb I guess you could call
it for Karen's solo album. The blurb went something like, "Here
it is finally, the album you've all been waiting for by Karen Carpenter
that spawned such hits as 'Rock with You', 'She's Out of My Life' and
'Off the Wall' for Michael Jackson is now released. Isn't it
lovely as it has Karen Carpenter's name and picture on it and all this
stuff that was leftover after the good stuff was given away to Michael
Jackson. I proudly present to you Karen's first solo album, 'A
Can of Worms' with all this stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good
enough to give away to anyone else." Karen and me agreed that
that about summed up Karen's solo album.
And as far as the songs
being given away, Karen saw that as a sign (3 signs actually) from God
that instead of doing a great album and having a solo career and such
that God wanted Karen and Richard to keep making music together as
Carpenters which was what Karen was hoping for anyway. Then after
that solo album mess got canned and shelved by Karen came Made In
155. Why did Karen want a divorce from her husband?
It is actually not a long story
there but it is a personal story that the details need to stay between
Karen and Thomas. As people have figured out, yes, Thomas did
several things that were pretty bad. Karen also was no angel
herself. The big problem was that Karen and Thomas just did not
get along well with each other after they got married.
biggest reason why was because neither Karen nor Thomas could be honest
with each other without getting into an argument about it. It
just did not work out between them and they both had almost nothing but
secrets that they kept from each other. Karen and Thomas just
couldn't share a life together was the real problem.
been some talk about a couple problems, but the major problems were
never made public and should not be made public I feel as it really
should be one of those things that stay between Thomas and Karen.
I have revealed a lot on this page, but on this one, I need to back
away from the specific details.
I can say that no one has
publicly mentioned what I knew from Karen to have happened between her
and Thomas. I can also say it wasn't because of "a bag of bones"
or the vasectomy or any of that other stuff mentioned, but there was a
major incident that happened in November 1980 between Karen and Thomas
and Karen gave Thomas roughly a year to try and come clean and Thomas
never did come clean about anything.
And with Thomas not coming
clean, Karen was definitely not going to come clean either. So
Karen had it out with Thomas as was noted upstairs at her dad's
birthday party in November 1981 and the marriage was all over except
for the paperwork after November 1981 (even though they had been
keeping distance in private and public since around November
As far as the divorce, Karen did have Thomas in a divorce
and had it came down to having to argue in court, Thomas would have
been in a bit of trouble (not jail type trouble though, but there would
have been depositions and a witness and Tom knew his back would have
been up against the wall if it went that far. The bad thing Karen
had a witness for. The really bad thing was only witnessed
between Karen and Thomas).
Karen just wanted Thomas out of her
life after what had happened and so Karen told Thomas that she would
put in a few things for him if he agreed to a divorce without dragging
it out and just get out of her life. But, if Thomas wanted to
play around or try his luck, so to speak, with what Karen had on him
(that she was keeping secret) if Thomas wanted to try and get more or
stretch it out too long, Karen would see to it that Thomas got
So in February 1983, Thomas signed the divorce
But Thomas and Karen couldn't get along with each other
so a divorce.
And with the divorce Karen was looking to avoid a
media circus with all that he said she said type stuff in the tabloids,
so an order of suppression (gag order) was included with the divorce
papers. Thomas signed the suppression order and the divorce
papers in February 1983. Karen had also asked for the wedding
ring back from Thomas as well as part of that divorce so Thomas threw
the ring in Karen's casket in private and with the suppression order,
Thomas was not at Karen's viewing or funeral as Thomas wasn't allowed
to talk with the press about Karen.
As far as 'the last straw' so
to speak, Thomas would not be able to defend himself publicly about it
so it would be very unfair to mention the details against someone that
can't defend themselves. So that is why I know what Karen told me
had happened and it was really bad, but in all fairness too, that was
between Karen and Thomas and not really my business to butt in there
either, so I feel it best to leave it between Karen and Thomas where I
feel it belongs anyway.
But after all the lying and hiding and
secrets and such between them, Karen and Thomas just could not trust
each other anymore. Stick that on the tabloid headlines, "Two
people that don't trust each other get a divorce". Yeah, not
really an attention grabber for a headline there; is it? Why do
tabloids always try to make stuff up or twist it passed recognition
156. Did Karen have a secret tape of her solo album hidden on a shelf
in her room?
Actually, no. Karen had a
secret hollowed out Bible and also a silver hard shell briefcase with a
lock on it that she used for anything she wanted to keep hidden or
secret from others. Karen had people cleaning her room and
dusting her shelves and such so keeping a tape on her shelf behind a
Mickey Mouse or Lucy or whatever wouldn't remain hidden or secret for
Rod Temperton did used to make copies of stuff for
Karen (like Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall") and
Karen would usually keep it with her regular tapes and such (not
hidden) in her car at the time.
I know that Phil Ramone had the
production tapes for Karen's solo album.
It is more than likely
that Karen may have had a copy of her solo album on a cassette tape at
one time and with that it would have been kept in Karen's silver
briefcase if hidden (not on a shelf or such) or with her other music
stuff in the music room at the house or possibly in her car even.
Karen's briefcase had a lock on it (one of those cylinder locks like on
Karen did have a copy of the article that wasn't
released from her March 17, 1980 interview with Rolling Stone magazine
in her silver briefcase at one time (I saw it on June 12, 1981).
But as far as that story in the New York Times from October 6, 1996 -
Itchie was pregnant with her and Phil's first son and there were
complications so Phil did not allow Itchie to travel which means that
Itchie had not been around Karen for at least a couple months before
Karen passed away. That 'story' in the New York Times is just so
messed up in so many waysrobtimes.html.
But no, Karen did not have
a secret tape of her solo album sitting on a shelf in her room. I
don't think Karen had a tape player in her room, so why would she keep
a cassette tape in there with nothing to play it on. Yeah, just a
messed up story there, that like all stories, just falls apart when you
mention details that don't add up right.
157. Was Karen scatter brained?
To an extent, yes. Karen's
mind did tend to wander a bit into uncharted territory. That
vivid imagination stuff.
But yes, Karen would tie a string around
her finger to remind her about things; that forget me knot stuff.
But while working and singing, Karen would be very focused on what she
was doing and usually very intense. Karen did love to daydream
when she got the chance though. But being scatter brained isn't a
bad thing actually as Karen was able to focus on many different tasks
and things at the same time. Multitasking as it came to be known
later. And with singing, if you can focus on the lyrics and the
tempo and the phrasing and intonations and such at the same time, it
158. Was Karen into science fiction and that kind of stuff?
Great, thoughtful question
here. As far as I ever knew Karen was not really into science
fiction. Her favorite Star Trek episodes were when
Captain Kirk fell in love with anyone (there were what, 19 of those
episodes in the original series). Karen was a hopeless romantic
and most science fiction is not very romantic and has a lot of
technical jargon. Karen liked learning new things and using her
imagination, but when stuff would get too technical, Karen would kind
of zone out from it. Karen liked keeping things simple whenever
possible. She did like science fiction to an extent like Star
Wars and such, but Karen was a hopeless romantic and was always more
interested in interactions between people more than the science
aspect. Most science fiction is not that emotional. If I
remember right, she actually liked the movie "Logan's Run" more than
159. How did Karen feel about the space program?
Karen just hoped that we stayed
ahead of the Russians and it gave both countries something better to do
than trying to blow each other up. Karen liked new things and
space can be filled with new things. Karen also believed in
having an imagination and space is filled with a lot of imagination
too. But Karen was more into watching the stars and Moon and
planets and such in the night sky and although it might be nice to
visit, Karen was a home body at heart and on Earth she would get
homesick after three to four months. Let the others colonize Mars
160. Was Karen afraid of heights?
161. Did Karen have claustrophobia?
Another I don't know.
162. Did Karen actually have problems going to the bathroom?
Yes, she did. Many times the
toilet would get plugged from Karen going to the bathroom. And
yes, this did lead to Karen using X-LAX and also Karen not wanting to
eat as much solid food.
Karen did also have her rules of not
eating 4 hours before sleeping (restlessness) or performing (jitters /
nervousness) as well.
Karen's intestines were swollen and as a
result Karen's poop would most times be extremely large and plug up the
toilet. Karen would also, at times, take a while going to the
bathroom as being large, it was difficult for her. So yes, for
those wondering, having colitis was a large part of the reason for
Karen developing anorexia and taking laxatives and such.
also had a difficult time with her visitor (menstruation) and when she
lost too much weight, her visitor would stop as well. And Karen
noticed too that when she lost too much weight that the thought of "all
little girls are attractive and straight as a board" would happen as
No this doesn't sound like an overbearing mother or family
problem to me either, but people are entitled to their opinions.
But Karen would, at times, end up spending a half hour or more in the
bathroom because of her colitis and at times having to plunge the
toilet afterwards. And during about 8 years of dealing with
colitis (1975 to 1983) things happened. OK, sh*t happens and with
that, maybe being a "big sh*t" isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Karen had colitis and I drank a lot of milk so the janitor literally
left a plunger with Karen and me for when the need arose. Yes,
Karen preferred being humble, but behind the scenes she was a "big
sh*t" and after the experiences of being a big sh*t Karen definitely
preferred being humble. I agree from my own experiences that it
is far better being humble than plugging up toilets being a big sh*t
163. Did Karen wet the bed when she was younger?
Actually, Karen did talk to me
about this back when. The problem is that the talk was back when
forty plus years ago and I don't remember what she said about this
now. So another I don't know for sure here about Karen,
herself. I know that Karen and me thought that bed wetting wasn't
really a sign of any kind of psychological problem and was probably
more of a bladder control type problem but could vary by person.
And the best way to find out would be to ask the person involved but
not jump to conclusions about 'everyone' as you never know until you
An added on my own thoughts here... Another larger problem is
that wetting the bed does not appear to be a psychological or
psychiatric problem. Much like sleepwalking does not appear to be
a psychological or psychiatric problem either. Some do while
others don't and neither sleepwalking nor wetting the bed are by choice
or because of the actions of others or such. There does not
appear to be
an actual pattern associated with sleepwalking or bed wetting outside
some do and others don't. In both sleepwalking and bed wetting,
it appears to be temporary and just stops at some point whether someone
is treated for it or not. Like dreams, some things just happen in
real life that can't be really explained that well other than they
happened or didn't happen, whichever.
164. Did Karen snore?
Not that I am aware of.
Another I don't know for sure here. Karen didn't snore around me
if she did snore. Karen and me did take some naps together here
and there and during one nap I snored once but as far as Karen, I never
heard her snore or such and no one else mentioned it to me either, but
they did wake me up when I started snoring the one time as they didn't
want Karen getting possibly woke up with my snoring.
165. During Karen's solo album, who was "Karen's Protector"?
When they started doing Karen's
solo album and Karen and Rod met, Rod said he felt a presence that
wasn't there physically watching over Karen. In private, Karen
and Rod talked about this and Karen told Rod that the presence Rod was
probably sensing was for a guy Karen knew named Ace (me). So when
talking in private between themselves, Karen and Rod would refer to me
as "Karen's Protector" between themselves.
Of course Phil
Ramone overheard them once and thought they were talking about
After all, Phil and Itchie wouldn't let Karen out of their sight so it
must be Phil they were talking about as being "Karen's
Protector". But Phil was physically there and like Rod had said
that he had felt a presence that wasn't physically there watching over
At first Rod thought it might have been Richard or her mom
or her dad but Rod also didn't feel like it was family either then
Karen assured Rod that it was someone else that Karen met named
Ace. Then, like I said, Phil had overheard Karen and Rod talking
about "Karen's Protector" and figured they were talking about Phil so
Rod and Karen let Phil think what he felt like thinking.
Rod said to me and Karen over the phone in mid May 1979, "Ace it was a
good thing I didn't call you Mister Perfect because Phil would have
thought we were talking about him too."
But Karen and Rod had
nicknames they would use between themselves when they talked about
others just to be different but also at times so that others didn't
know what or who Rod and Karen were talking about. Phil's house
was known as "The Compound". Phil and Itchie were known as "The
Gestapo". As Karen and Rod felt they were prisoners, Karen's
Nickname was "Number One" because she got p*ssed on and Rod's nickname
was "Number Two" as he got sh*t on. Phil's nickname was "A**hole"
(the one who sh*t on others, Rod would substitute s for the asterisks *
whereas Karen would leave the asterisks blank) and Itchie's nickname
was "Snitchy" as anything you told Snitchy, Phil knew. The band's
nicknames were "Rusty" on guitars, "Lib" on drums, "Steggy" on bass and
"Grimey" on keyboards. After the incident with Paul Simon, Glenn
Burger's nickname was "Spaz".
known that Phil would try
to increase record sales for
his clients by having stuff appear in the tabloids. Neither Karen
Rod wanted their private stuff appearing in the tabloids and since
A**hole and Snitchy were constantly around them, Rod and Karen used
nicknames and such to hide things with when they talked together.
"Karen's Protector" was one of those nicknames.
As far as I know,
Rod and Karen didn't have nicknames for Richard, mom (Agnes), dad
(Harold), Jerry Weintraub, Derek Green, Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss or
A&R Studios. As far as I know too, Rod and Karen didn't have
nicknames that I am aware of for Paul Simon, Peter Cetera or any of the
other artists that showed up either.
166. What would Karen have to say about all of this stuff since she
Truthfully, Karen passed away or
else a lot of that stuff would have never been said or done by others
especially when dealing with her anorexia issues publicly. karenlastdays.html .
dad and brother and such are fine as is Ev Wallace and several
The ones that need to worry are the ones that have been
spreading false rumors and malicious gossip and such about Karen and
her family. Heaven would not be a very heavenly place if such
things as spreading malicious gossip and false rumors and such about
others were allowed to occur there. Something to think
The big problem is that the ones that really should be
thinking about it appear to keep trying to blame everyone else which I
don't think trying to blame everyone else is a very heavenly thing
either. More to think about. THINKE (Take Heart In Not
Yes, life would get pretty boring if
everyone knew everything and there was nothing left to learn
about. Mistakes included. THINKE again.
How long is
an eternity anyway? After we pass away and before we were born
there has been an eternity. So after she passed away, Karen
probably has a bit more to think about through eternity than the rest
of us that are
167. What was Karen's vocal range?
You'll need to look here http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com
as Richard is a whiz on that kind of stuff. It is under the "Fans
Ask" section on that site. Great stuff there. Highly
recommended. Many great insights.
168. Did Karen play bass guitar?
to look here http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com
as Richard is a whiz on that kind of stuff. It is under the "Fans
Ask" section on that site. Great stuff there. Highly
recommended. Many great insights. And then on the "Offering
/ Ticket To Ride" album look for the songs "All of My Life" and "Eve".
169. How did you know that it was really Karen Carpenter that you knew
and not someone else?
I found out actually in mid
October 1978 when Paul Williams showed up.
Paul Williams was very
obvious and he always called her Karen and he had a recording contract
Before mid October 1978, her brother Richard had shown
up and it didn't ring a bell with me. Her cousin Patti Carpenter
showed up and called her Karen (as Karen had tried to tell me her name
was Wendy) and I took piano lessons before with Patti so I knew her
last name was Carpenter, but it didn't ring a bell. Cubby O'Brien
had shown up and it didn't ring a bell either.
But after that and
to save space here, I met many, many people including relatives that
all knew her as Karen Carpenter, the singer for the Carpenters. celebs.html
. The people are listed on the page and those from 1978 to 1979
including Karen, herself, were people I met while around Karen
including Thomas Burris in June 1981.
On top of that in late May
1979, Karen and I went to a local jewelry store and Karen pulled out
her Visa card. Yes, it was Karen.
And for those that
wonder, yes, when I have those that try and say that it wasn't Karen
Carpenter and "she had you fooled" I know for a fact that those people
did not read anything I wrote about my times with Karen and that they
lie when they try and say they read this page karencarp.html as that page includes the personal
stories about my and Karen's meeting with the people on the
"Celebrities" web page.
And to poke fun at them, I also included
stuff at the top of the page to pick on those that said they read the
page when it is obvious they hadn't read that "Karen Carpenter"
I even did an overview page here karentime.html
which listed people and where to find the information about what
happened when we met as a quick reference if they wished and they still
never looked and never will.
But yeah, I picked on them pretty
bad on the top of the "Karen Carpenter" page starting around May / June
2020 when I started adding in the top part of that page. Myself
and many others still get a kick out of the top of that Karen Carpenter
page and those that lie through their teeth trying to convince others
that they read the page when it is very obvious that they have never
read that page or they wouldn't be running their mouths and making
fools of themselves. Because like I tell them, "You know other
people do actually read that page and know you never read it."
And they still don't get it and still try to convince others that they
read the page even though it is obvious to those that read the page
that the others never read that page or else they would have seen me
picking on them.
170. Was Karen allergic to anything?
Not that I was ever aware
I know Karen had been stung by a bee and she wasn't allergic
I don't remember Karen being allergic to pollen
either. I do remember Karen talking about hayfever but I don't
actually remember Karen having hayfever.
I'm pretty sure Karen
wasn't allergic to anything that I
was ever aware of.
171. Did Karen sing in the shower or while taking a bath?
Not totally sure on that, if she
did, she sang quietly to herself.
172. Did Karen's husband have a son by a previous marriage?
Yes. His name was Mike
(Michael). Mike was 18 when Karen and Tom were married.
far as the kind of relationship between Karen and Mike, "I don't
know". Karen didn't really mention that to me in any
I did see Mike one time from a distance in June 1981, but
we never met or talked with each other.
Tom met me on June 18,
173. Where did Karen and Tom live after they got married?
Karen and Tom lived in Newport
Beach. I don't know the house number or street (the people that
own the house don't want a lot of tourists going by anyway so the
address is kept confidential).
174. Whatever happened to Thomas Burris (the guy Karen married)?
Thomas is not allowed to talk
publicly and as such, if you meet him privately, he can talk.
With that being said, like most people say, who cares? So long as
he isn't bothering others then leave him be. Karen had already
said worst to him than anyone else could say so best to leave it at
that and... Tom had signed the divorce papers. And as Tom
had signed the divorce papers (plus the suppression order that was with
those papers) then Tom did Karen a favor and as a return favor, the
rest of us should leave Tom be. But why would anyone want to talk
publicly when all that would happen is they would get yelled at by
others that never knew Tom or Karen.tom.html
175. What would Karen like to be most remembered as?
Being different. Being
176. Did Karen wear fake fingernails?
At times, yes, Karen would wear
fake nails. Karen did actually take good care of her fingernails,
but like with any active tomboy, nails break on occasion. Karen
would also wear fake eyelashes at times too. Karen's actual
eyelashes were pretty thin.
177. Did Karen dye her hair?
Yes. Karen's hair was
actually about the same color as her brother, Richard's hair only a
slightly more reddish tint to it (Like on the As Time Goes By
But I should probably rephrase this question too.
Karen told me that her mom was the one who first started dying Karen's
hair back when Karen was about 8 or 9 years old. Karen's
mom had overheard a couple girls at a church in Connecticut picking on
Karen and calling her "Evil Karen" as Karen had kind of reddish eyes
and slightly reddish hair. So Karen's mom used to sneak in hair
dye and would secretly dye Karen's hair so that Karen wouldn't get
picked on. Karen actually liked the darker color as it framed her
face better than her natural lighter strawberry blonde color.
as Karen got older, she had a couple gray hairs as well that she liked
keeping covered up.
Karen preferred Miss Clairol Auburn color for
As Karen got older, she also wore wigs and kept them in
place with loads of bobby pins.
Kind of covered in questions #39
178. What was Karen's favorite kind of birthday cake?
Yellow cake with whipped cream
frosting. Karen and me talked about this on my 14th birthday
December 4, 1978. Mine was German chocolate with puke (coconut
pecan) frosting for a reference here.
179. How did Karen feel about her public image?
That was up to the promotion
department and such and that was a public image which can never match a
person's actual image. So Karen took a lot of that stuff with a
grain of salt actually. That was publicity and such and not real
Karen did mention this a few times in different interviews
at different times.
But with Karen it was "People are going to
think what they want to think." Karen understood that a public
image is not real life. Like movies don't really happen in real
life. Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West in
the Wizard of Oz movie but in real life she was a very nice lady.
"People are entitled to their opinions" as well.
that image stuff would get a little awkward in public at times if Karen
had a glass of wine or Richard had a beer or a cigar or such.
Karen understood that a public image wasn't real life. And with
that, many people appear to be confused about Karen.
not one to do anything because it was popular or such. Karen was
not one to base her life on what others thought or decided or suggested
either. That profile of an anorexic is for someone that is
extroverted and relies on others. Karen was actually very
introverted and very self reliant and was honestly an INFJ-A
personality. If everyone else jumped in the lake, Karen would
rather be different and cannonball into the lake. I never knew
Karen to ever do anything to be liked or popular or to fit in with the
crowd or to conform to a mold. Karen was always one to break the
mold and do what she felt she needed to do. Karen loved
And yes, I diverted here a bit because I felt the
need to. Karen actually enjoyed having that nice girl and girl
next door public image that she had as that actually fit her better
than other images available. The problem was that people thought
that a nice girl or a nice guy never drank alcohol or such and it was
the word NEVER that bugged Karen about that image stuff.
loved being different and there really isn't a public image for someone
being different. So because there wasn't a 'different' public
image available, Karen felt that the 'nice girl' and 'girl next door'
were what she came close to since there wasn't a 'different' image
Karen was that nice girl next door that liked being
different. But a public image can't be different. Karen was that nice girl next door
that liked being different. But a public image can't be
different. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Speaking of
Pete and Repeat being out in a boat...
180. What is the difference between a schmock and an apron?
Yes, actually, Karen and me had a
discussion about this. If I remember correctly from Karen, a
schmock has pockets whereas an apron does not have pockets (I'm hoping
I don't have it backwards here after 40+ years).
And why we had
this discussion was because at the time I believe all the stores had
aprons (no pockets) and Karen was looking to find a schmock (with
pockets). It was that german / pennsylvania dutch thing.
The women clerks at the stores had also been noticing that they were
all aprons and not any schmocks.
As always, women realize that
men don't have a clue. And with that, men realize that women are
right about men not having a clue.
181. Did Karen have any kind of an accent?
Yes, Karen actually did have a
slight pennsylvania dutch accent. Karen would warsh (wash) her
clothes. Karen would also tawk (talk) to people too. You
know, "tawkin' to myself and feelin' old...". Which also, in and
not ing. Readin', writin' and 'rithmetickin' (the three r's) and
sleepin' too when you get the chance (or was it git, wait, you get
chances but you git along, so, yup, get).
Karen also had a slight
what they call 'drawl' to her voice like her dad. Karen's talking
was usually a little slow and drawn out a little.
182. Did Karen sew and make her own clothes?
Yes, actually. Karen would
hem and mend her clothes at times too. Karen would make her own
ponchos (coats can get a bit bulky).
Karen had an electric sewing
machine but she also knew how to sew by hand with a needle and
Karen would also knit and crochet at times too to help
keep her hands and her mind busy.
And also needlepoint and cross
stitch too with the hoops and such.
Karen did know how to use a
loom as well. Back and forth, back and forth...
183. Did Karen enjoy gardening and such?
As Karen told me, "I have a brown
thumb." Karen and plants did not seem to get along too
well. Karen watered and talked to the plants and tried, but the
plants just never seemed to cooperate with her. Karen's mom did
great with plants and had a green thumb, but Karen seemed to have a
brown thumb when it came to plants and flowers and such.
184. Who introduced Karen and Thomas Burris?
Tony Scotti and Carole Curb.
I believe it was April 12, 1980 and it was in a four
person booth at a restaurant that was more like a bar & grille than
a formal restaurant. But yes, I have heard many
different stories myself on this as well. Good question.
185. What about Karen's condominium?
Another good question here.
Karen's condo was on Avenue of the Stars and she first got it in
1975? / 1976.
The story I got from Karen was that after the house on
Lubec Street didn't work out so well and people had been saying the
words "old maid" and "spinster" that Karen felt she needed a place of
Karen was a bit worried about asking her mom about it so
she asked Ev Wallace if Ev would mention it to her mom. That was
the problem. Apparently, Karen's mom had been one of the ones
talking about Karen being a spinster and old maid and Karen's mom was
wanting Karen to ask about getting a place of her own (without her
brother), so when Ev mentioned it, Agnes (mom) was a bit upset about
the fact that Karen didn't come to her mom first about it instead of
trying to go through Ev.
And then a big 'responsibility' talk
happened from mom to Karen (which Karen's mom had apparently been
waiting quite a while to have this talk with her daughter). Well,
kind of a talk but it also ended up being a lecture too about Karen
needing to be more responsible and like mom had always told Karen, "if
you have a problem come to me and we'll sit at the kitchen table and
talk about it."
But mom was not upset about Karen wanting a place
of her own and moving out as mom was one of the ones behind the scenes
with the "spinster" and "old maid" talk and such, but mom was upset
about Karen talking with others instead of talking directly with mom
about it. Not everyone else needs to know your's and your
family's business so to speak. And if Karen was going to have a
place of her own, then Karen needed to be more responsible.
(mom) was hoping to have the pitter patter of little feet around the
house and hoping to have grandkids some day. You don't have
grandkids with a spinster or an old maid sitting around the house with
mom and dad or living with her brother.
186. Was Karen looking to be in a musical or movie before she passed
After the musical / play Evita
came out, Karen appeared to be the most likely candidate to play Evita
(Eva Perón) in the movie version. Karen was looking
forward to that probability but things turned out differently than
Karen and Eva were very similar people as Karen and Eva
were both known to be caring women with kind hearts.
also started to learn to speak spanish as well but she was having
problems with rolling her rrrr's. She was working on it though.
187. Why doesn't Richard talk more about Karen's solo album?
Richard wasn't actually involved
much with Karen's solo album. Outside a problem near the
beginning and the meeting to shelve the album, the album was to be
Karen without Richard, solo, so Richard stayed out of it as much as
Richard's involvement was pretty much Karen asking for
Richard's approval or blessing or whatever, Richard giving that
blessing as well as Richard giving Karen encouragement, Karen doing the
album without Richard interfering, the problem toward the beginning of
possible rumors leaking out that were squelched, and Richard attending
the meeting where Karen shelved the album. Richard has even added
a couple comments about Karen saying a couple things to him while
working on the album.
But in all honesty, Richard has said all
that he could say about it.
I was actually the one around Karen
while she worked on the album in the beginning and I know Richard
wasn't really involved with the album. Richard told Karen that
maybe she could learn a few tricks from Phil (which the Carpenters
already had used pet names like "darling" and "baby" and such in songs
had done sound altering with the Calling Occupants song and the last of
the three was Phil tried to use the tabloids to bolster record sales
which the tabloids don't want girl / guy next door articles so nothing
new there) and Richard knew Karen loved a challenge so when Richard
told Karen, "Your voice can't do disco", Karen took the
After dealing with his Quaalude addiction from January
to March 1979, Richard was wanting to take a break and readjust.
Karen had also been taking a break as well and living with her step
cousin Wendy in New York State (not the city) since September
Jerry Weintraub and A&M weren't wanting a longer break
(although Christmas Portrait had been released), so it wasn't actually
Karen but Jerry Weintraub that came up with an idea of Karen doing a
And back on September 4, 1978 Richard had said "I
quit" after a Vegas show because Richard had withdrawals ("the shakes")
So lots of stories there, but in reality, Richard
wasn't really involved with Karen's solo album. Not even behind
Richard has hid one thing, but the thing he hid was
something bad that Itchie had done. Only Karen, Richard, Itchie,
sir Nicholas Born (assistant to the Achdeacon of Canterbury) and me
knew what that was (Itchie had tried to have a bad article published
about Karen in a tabloid and the article had been rejected as it had a
name and a picture of someone that was on the media blocked list, me,
which was how the office of the Archdeacon of Canterbury got involved
Others that weren't even there keep trying to make
insinuations and such that aren't true. But I had talked with
Karen before (September 6, 1978 to late April, 1979), during (April /
May 1979 to June 22, 1979) and after (June 12 to June 20, 1981 and a
phone call on February 3, 1983) and I know for certain from Karen,
herself, that Richard was never against Karen doing a solo album as if
Richard had been against it, Karen would have never let Jerry Weintraub
talk her into doing it.
Others and their making up false
innuendoes. If Richard had been against it, Karen would have told
me and I know that Karen would not have done the album if Richard had
ever been against it.
After a private meeting with me, Karen and
Richard in mid May 1979 I knew for a fact that Richard had never been
against it and I had seen first hand Richard encouraging Karen to do
the album which was how I know about the three things learned from Phil
Ramone that I stated earlier.
But to quote Mark Twain (Samuel
Clemens) here "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to
their level and beat you with experience."
When doing a solo
album, you want to do something that says "This is who I am and this is
what I'm about" and Karen's solo album ended up being "This is the
stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good enough to give away to someone
But how do you say that publicly without sounding
rude? Just shelve the can of worms and move on to something
else. That was what Karen decided to do, not Richard.
188. Were Itchie and Frenda around Karen when Karen passed away?
I saw that at the end of that book
There is a time sequence missing in that book from that
stuff about Itchie and Frenda being around Karen. Itchie had
found out that she was pregnant with her and Phil's first son and there
were complications so Phil absolutely forbid Itchie from travelling
during the pregnancy. For the last few months Karen was alive,
Itchie was on the east coast and Karen and Frenda were on the west
So that stuff in someone's book had to have happened at
least a couple months before Karen passed away (but most likely
probably around July / August to possibly October 1982 or possibly 1981
had called Frenda on the day before Karen passed away (February 3,
As far as Itchie, Karen had called Itchie on February 2,
1983 but Karen had not seen Itchie in at least a couple months before
Karen passed away.
After Karen left Lennox Hill Hospital in
October 1982, she stayed in New York City a short while and then
returned to Downey in November 1982.
During Karen's last few
months, she stayed with her mom and dad or at her condo mostly and saw
Richard on a couple occasions.
Also ties in with question #34
189. What is the story on Karen's "snickers" sweater?
That sweater was given to Karen by
John Adrian (not sure when). The story from John is that he gave
Karen the sweater and John had a nickname he used with Karen of
Snickers which had to do with the candy bar.
This next part still has me
scratching my head but Karen talked with me about John after she had
picked up the single "I Believe You" in October 1978. Karen had
told me the story about what had happened between her and John and that
John had broken up with Karen in 1977 and 3 months later John had
married someone else and Karen had sent them a wedding gift of a
bowl set. John's last name Adrian was the same as my first name
Adrian. What Karen also told me was that John had given Karen a
sweater with the name Snickers on it and Karen gave me the impression
that the nickname was because Karen giggled (snickered) a lot. I
remember it that way as at the time there was a cartoon show called
Wacky Racers with a character named Dick Dastardly and his sidekick
mutt, Muttley. Muttley snickered a lot and when Karen mentioned
snickers to me, I was like, "like Muttley (snicker)" and Karen was
like, "yeah, you know me, I snicker a lot." This is one of those
rough parts where Karen isn't around anymore to ask about stuff to be
I just go by what I remember. But yeah, Karen and
John had broke up in 1977 and Karen had met a different Adrian (me) in
190. Was Karen romantically involved with a 13 / 14 year old?
The key word is romantically, and
the answer is yes. And the reason why can be found in question
#61 about 'soul mates'.
The Adrian (me) that Karen romantically
referred to in her diaries starting in September 1978 were for a guy
who was 13 years old at the time. Romance is the mental
attraction between two people with shared events and experiences and
such. This is also the Adrian (me) mentioned that Richard read
off during the reading of Karen's Will in February 1983 (the Second
Codicil that was not filed publicly). Sex is not a requirement of romance
the last anyone knew. And with that, yes, the romance was there
but we both knew we had to wait until I got older.
with that, yes, as has been said
time and time again that Karen and I both had a rule of no physical
touching between us. And as has been said many times, "how can
two people that have a rule of no physical touching have sex
together?" Yes, silly tabloid writers that can't keep their facts
straight as always (well, after the one article around November 1978
and what followed afterwards, it was a short lived writing career for
one named DV that seems to be behind all this twisting story
But how that came about is very well documented on this
page (karencarp.html) that is loaded with the stories of
the talks and events that happened between Karen and me (Adrian).
The juicy bits included. You can tell the ones who read that page
from the ones that haven't. And yes, there are a bunch that try
to mislead people as
to what is actually written on that page as after someone reads that
page, it becomes obvious why others did not want them reading that page
(stuff starts making sense for a change and others' stories fall apart
is why and in some cases others have some bad things they are trying to
hide that they want to keep hidden).
And for a quote from someone that saw Karen and me
around each other, John Heib, "You two make Romeo and Juliet look like
a children's book". And yes, Romeo and Juliet was actually a
romance for those that may remember even though Romeo and Juliet did
not have sex together.
And to quote Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
here "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level
and beat you with experience."
And yes, Karen and Richard were
very close and kept secrets together. At this time in the
Carpenters time line, Karen and her mom had figured out that Richard
had been sneaking around to see Mary Rudolph and as Richard said in mid
May 1979 after he saw Karen and me together, "Also promise me that if
you bring him home to meet the folks that you give me notice because I
wouldn't miss the looks on their faces for the world. This even
outdoes when you dragged the neighbor's dog home and said he was a
stray and asked if we could keep him."
191. Did Karen believe in Ouija, Astrology and that kind of stuff?
Karen always tried to keep an open
mind about things. And as people know, Horoscopes and such aren't
always accurate but can be fun to read.
As far as what are called
pseudosciences and such now, Karen would listen about it, but as
everyone knows, a lot of times people have to try and twist stories
around to get it to match. That's not truth.
Also, not one
Ouija board has ever magically worked on its own without help.
And the Magic 8 Ball would give three different answers (or more) to
the same question.
And what about that dealing from the bottom of
the deck with Tarot cards.
But Karen believed that something that
was true would always be true and that it takes a lot of imagination to
try and believe in magic or witchcraft or voodoo or such. And
Karen did believe in using your imagination.
As far as mind
reading and such, Karen did actually have His Holiness the 14th Dalai
Lama read her mind (and mine too) and she (we) felt he was
accurate. Karen and me had also seen each other's actual thoughts
at times too but we didn't have that happen with others.
world does actually have some real magic intermingled with fake
magicians. In a desert, someone with a divining rod that can find
water is a miracle whether science believes in miracles or not.
As far as the Moon in the seventh house and Jupiter aligning with Mars,
it gives something different to look at in the night sky, but as far as
a hidden meaning or such, if someone other than God knew what that
meaning was, it wouldn't be hidden now would it?
But the world would be a boring
place if there wasn't some kind of magic happening somewhere. Karen believed in if it was true
it was always true and if it was proven false it was not true.
What Karen knows to be false or true, rests in spirit with Karen now.
192. Did Karen use a daily planner?
Yes, actually Karen did use a
Karen always had so much going on that she would
write stuff down to hopefully remember better. At times though,
Karen would forget to look at her daily planner and would miss
something here or there. With that, Karen would tie a different
color cross stitch thread around her ring finger to try and remind her
of important things as an extra precaution. But Karen had things
going on in California, Connecticut, New York plus stuff with the
Carpenters and all that and Karen would have all these different things
to try and keep track of. And like anyone else, sometimes Karen
would forget to write stuff down because she got in a hurry or
It was a good idea, but sometimes too much might happen all
at once and you need to concentrate more on getting stuff done rather
than worry about writing about it.
193. Who do you feel played the best Karen Carpenter?
This will be an odd answer for me
because I feel it was actually a fictional character that came closest
to playing the actual Karen Carpenter.
Watch the TV show "Who's
the Boss?" and watch for the character Mona (Angela's mom). That
is the closest I have ever seen to anyone actually portraying what
Karen was like in real life (in a round about way as Mona is actually a
fictional character but thanks to Tony Danza and a few suggestions,
definitely loosely based on Karen Carpenter as the Mona character has
mostly the same quirks about her that Karen had. I am my own
woman. The funny wit. The over dramatizing and facial
expressions. That ability to cut through nonsense but also be
sincere. The motherly advice. And so on. As a side
note for those that saw that interview that Tony did about the show,
what Tony said as far as his input on the character as well as the name
choice for the character is accurate. Actually, Tony did a
wonderful tribute to Karen in his own way as I still feel that the Mona
character has probably been the most accurate portrayal of "the real
Karen" even though she is technically a fictional character and not
Helmond is probably the actress that has portrayed the best Karen
Carpenter so far in my opinion (without realizing it).
Unfortunately, the writing and such for the shows and such about Karen
has not been that good and as a result any of the shows that attempt to
play a real life Karen have missed quite a bit.
Cynthia Gibb is
probably a distant second place here as like I am saying, the writing
for The Karen Carpenter Story is a bit off. Karen was a happy
person (which Cynthia does portray) however, the writers should have
tossed in a few jokes and such which was why Cynthia Gibb's portrayal
was a bit flat unlike Katherine Helmond.
In real life Karen was
rarely a serious person and could be found many times clowning around
and such. You don't see that in the movies and documentaries and
such about Karen unfortunately. But for reference, you can see
Karen through the Mona character in the sitcom, "Who's the Boss?" as a
194. What actress do you feel would portray a good Karen Carpenter?
Karen Allen. Karen Allen has
that warm personal side to her that Karen Carpenter had. Karen
Allen also has that down to earth feel about her as well.
tough part would be getting a writer to toss in a bunch of jokes and
pranks and such to help make a Karen Carpenter performance actually be
like Karen Carpenter for once.
Karen Carpenter was usually very
happy go lucky and very upbeat emotionally and clowning around and
such. But writers and producers want to try and sell a sad story
which really wasn't Karen Carpenter in real life.
195. Did Karen consider herself a klutz?
Yes, she did. Karen was more
at home with baseball cleats than wearing high-heels.
As far as
the charm school balancing a book on her head, I think her record for
that was about 3 minutes before the book fell off.
Karen was a
tomboy and not a beauty queen or princess. Karen was about as
dainty as a bull in a china shop.
Karen tried, but she just
wasn't charm school material. In high-heels, Karen would start
tripping over her two left feet.
Karen preferred baseball cleats,
sneakers (especially boating sneakers), flats or low heels. Karen
had a high arch in her feet
and would walk with her weight on her heels and not her toes.
Several times Karen had the heel break off on her low heels. For
Karen, a set of high-heels might last a week before the heel broke
off. Karen walked heel to toe and with high-heels you have to
walk on your toes or else the heel snaps.
Karen also had narrow
feet (A or B width).
Karen always had a good sense of humor about
it and being a klutz is definitely more funny than being a beauty queen
or such. Karen would rather be a klutz than a beauty queen any
Karen was also most comfortable slouching and leaning her
head forward when she sat down. Karen enjoyed being down to earth
and being a klutz with two
left feet helps people stay down to earth quicker than someone that
isn't a klutz (yes, pun intended here).
196. Did Karen daydream?
Yes. Many times if it was
quiet and Karen was just sitting there, you could see Karen just kind
of drift off into her own little world. She always enjoyed
daydreaming when she got the chance.
197. Was Karen actually a sad person in real life? and Was Karen
suffering from depression?
We all have our moments. It
would be a rare moment to catch Karen being sad or depressed or
such. Karen was normally happy and upbeat and clowning and joking
around. Karen was sad after the dog, Snoopy, passed away and
Karen did have a difficult time dealing with someone passing
away. Karen had a tough time with losing anyone which is why she
actually hoped she would pass away before her mom and dad or her
brother or her cousin Joanie or any of the band or even Ev Wallace
(Karen and me had this talk around January / February 1979 I
believe). But Karen felt she had lived a kind of fairy tale type
of life and was normally very happy and upbeat and enjoyed all that
life had to offer. That is why most that knew Karen realize that
those movies and documentaries about her which try and paint her to be
some sad depressed person are way off and not accurate. Karen was
normally laughing and clowning and joking around most of the time and
Karen was very child-like and very happy go lucky most of the
time. Karen was just not one that enjoyed being serious for too
long. Being serious was for grown ups and Karen enjoyed being
child-like and looking at the world with all the wonder of a child's
eyes discovering things for the first time. Karen wasn't naive,
but she did have a bit of innocence about her.
As far as the depression question
there... Ativan is a muscle relaxant and was prescribed to
Richard on January 10, 1979 when Richard entered Meninger's Clinic (and
as noted in the report, the pills expired on January 10, 1983 - that
was not an issue date). Richard had the DTs, the shakes, from his
addiction to Quaaludes and for the DTs Richard had been prescribed
Ativan when he entered Meninger's Clinic. Ev Wallace was the one
who got the red jogging suit back from the hospital after Karen passed
away and Ev knew as well that it was Richard's red jogging suit and not
Karen's that those pills were found in at the hospital. But back
in the 1970s and 1980s, Ativan was prescribed to those that had muscle
spasms like the DTs or twitching or such and was not prescribed for
depression. Valium was usually the wonder drug prescribed for
depression at the time. Karen did not have depression and Karen
never had a prescription for an SSRI (Prozac, 'happy pills', was
introduced in 1987 / 1988) or Valium or Ativan or such that I was ever
(or anyone else either). So yeah, that story about Karen being
depressed and the Ativan pills is off on several different levels and
definitely not true. The Ativan was an expired prescription for
Richard and not Karen's. Karen had collapsed near Richard's
walk-in closet on February 4, 1983 which is up the stairs to the left,
whereas Karen's room was up the stairs to the right on Newville
Avenue. The red jogging suit was Richard's jogging suit and not
Karen's as Karen normally wore pastel colored jogging suits with
sneakers. And as this page has shown, when others don't get the
facts straight, more questions than answers happen. But yes, the
answer is that Ativan and Valium are not the same and Karen never had a
prescription for either Ativan or Valium or an SSRI (the first widely
distributed SSRI was Prozac around 1987 / 1988 aka 'happy
pills'). Richard had a
prescription for Ativan when he entered Meninger's Clinic on January
10, 1979 (that expires in four years aka 1/10/83) but Valium was never
mentioned and as the autopsy was messed up, the Ativan was taken out of
Richard's red jogging suit that one of the paramedics had grabbed out
of Richard's closet. Mistakes happen. And with mistakes,
you got it, more questions than answers happen when things don't add up
or sound right.
198. Did Karen believe in God?
Yes, she did. Karen thought
of God as more of a person you could talk to and ask questions and
And Karen knew God to give her answers to her questions
back in the form of signs. When Karen was going to marry Thomas
Burris, Karen waited for three signs from God. Karen got four
signs instead but didn't realize it until afterwards. Oops.
Karen also figured that the one that God had set aside for her (her
true love) was the guy that would get Karen back for all the practical
jokes she had played on others which getting her back happened in 1979
(in front of Olivia and Dionne who witnessed Karen having a thick black
racing stripe down the middle of her face which Karen was clueless
about it at the time).
Karen was not one to ask God for miracles
or such though. Karen also did not believe in that "if I do this
then will you do something back for me" type stuff either. Karen
did not ever try to bargain with God about stuff as Karen knew that God
had His plan, His Will, and Karen was fine with that.
deepest secret that she kept the most secret was that she had asked God
if He could give her a heart that beat steady (get rid of her
arrhythmia). God's answer seemed to be "no" on that one.
199. Why did Karen turn down "Rock with You" for her solo album?
Karen actually did not turn that
song down. There was more there than what was made public.
In mid May 1979 just before Rod Temperton left for LA to work with
Michael Jackson, Rod told Karen and me what had actually happened
there. For what happened (including the making of the songs "Rock
with You", "Off the Wall", "She's Out of My Life" and "Burn This Disco
The first producer thought of for
Karen's solo album was a guy by the name of Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix,
Kiss, etc.) Karen and Eddie met together in either late March or
more likely early April 1979. I was there at the meeting with
Karen and Eddie and when I introduced myself to Eddie I remember using
my Confusion greeting with Eddie, which went, “Most honorable greetings. I
am Confusion. He
who hesitates must pause. Man must learn to be wise like potato
chip. Sank you for displeasure on shaking your hand.” to which
Eddie replied something like, "Your delivery is a little off and I
don't really work with comedians." and we shook hands and then Eddie
was sitting next to Karen and I sat on the other side of the
desk. Karen and Eddie talked quite a bit and Eddie mentioned that
he was used to doing artists that wrote their own material and Eddie
knew that Richard wrote but that Karen didn't write her own
material. Eddie and Karen were also both Pisces so Eddie said
that they would be compatible working together but Eddie just felt that
would be better off going with someone else that possibly had
more experience working with someone that didn't write their own
material. Eddie also gave the same speech that he gave to all his
clients which he called the raison d'etre (french) or the reason of
being / purpose speech that he had given to Jimi Hendrix and had also
inspired Kiss' song "Rock And Roll All Nite". After thinking a
little Eddie Kramer mentioned Phil Ramone and gave Karen one of Phil's
business cards. Eddie also warned Karen that Phil had a habit of
asking his clients to spend time with him and that Phil would try to
bolster sales for his clients by trying to get secret information from
his clients to put in the tabloids. Eddie warned Karen that if
Karen contacted Phil to make sure that any skeletons in her closet or
such were kept hidden from Phil. This was in late March or early
After the meeting with Eddie Kramer, Karen had a melody stuck in her
head of "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" that she would kind of
sing and dance to here and there starting a couple days after Eddie's
Karen did contact Phil Ramone and Phil had signed on Rod Temperton as a
songwriter for Karen's sessions as well as control room operator and
voice arranger and other stuff as the need arose. Rod had worked
on the project since it first started on May 1 or 2, 1979. The
started on May 1 or 2, 1979 and demos were sifted through and such and
Phil would not let Karen even attempt "She's Out of My Life" because as
Phil put it, it was too much like a Carpenters song. So other
songs were worked on. That first Thursday after the sessions
started, Karen was either doing dishes or setting the table and Karen
started doing her "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" song and
dance. Then Rod said something like, "Hey, that's got kind of a
beat to it; what brought all this on?" And then Karen told Rod
the story about Karen and me and how I was too young. To which
Rod replied, "Have you two ever thought of becoming jewish?" (as the
legal age in Israel is 13). Then Rod and Karen sat down at Phil's
kitchen table and worked on the "Rock with You" song based on Karen's
melody and the story Karen told Rod about me (which was where the close
your eyes and such ideas came from). As Rod told Karen, "I have a
gift for gab". So towards the end of the first week of sessions,
Rod and Karen worked on coming up with a demo version of the song in
the studio but each time, Rod would interrupt the recording so there
was never actually a full demo done of the song with Karen but the song
had been finished enough and the full lyrics had been written within a
day or two of that Thursday. Rod had laminated the original lyric
sheet which was a sheet of holed notebook paper just in case he spilled
his coffee again. In the second or third week of May, Karen had
the lyric sheet on her, and I had seen where the lyrics and the song
had been nearly completed. Just a couple slight touch ups
later. But I can't remember for sure now but I am pretty sure the
original first word was "boy" instead of "girl" but with possible
publicity concerns, Karen and Rod had also done "baby" and "darling" as
the first word. I do know the
verses and the choruses had been completed. The first time was
"Share that beat of love" and the second time was to be "Snare shot
that beat of love" but didn't quite come out like that on Michael's
version. But yeah, Karen and her drums, snare shot. Michael
understood too but that n looked like an h on the lyric sheet and
Michael's solo album had been worked on for a couple years and the
record company and Quincy Jones were anxious to get the record out so
it was good enough and Michael's "Off the Wall" album was finished and
put into production in the beginning of June 1979. Rod had
actually snuck Karen copies of the songs "Rock with You", "Off the
Wall" and "She's Out of My Life" to Karen on cassette tape which Karen
played loudly in her car while be boppin' down the road.
In mid May 1979, there was an incident that happened between me and a
guy named Max. Karen was going to be kind of unavailable for a
couple weeks. So Karen called up Phil's house and Rod
answered. Rod said that he was alone so we talked together, Rod
on the one end and Karen and me on the other end. Karen and me
the situation and Rod asked Karen if she'd got a call from Phil
yet. Karen hadn't got a call so Rod filled me and Karen in that
Phil had lost a bet with Quincy Jones about Phil winning the 1979
Grammy Award and part of that bet was that Phil owed Quincy Jones 3
songs for losing that bet (Phil had bet Quincy that Phil wouldn't get
a Grammy Award in 1979 and Phil won the award). Rod had "She's
Out of My Life"
and "Rock with You" but still needed a third song yet. So, no,
Karen didn't actually turn down the "Rock with You" song, but because
of the problem with the Phil and Quincy bet, some sneaky stuff had been
going on behind the scenes and Rod actually came clean with Karen and
me about it during that mid May phone call. Rod was alone as Phil
and Itchie had gone to the store to get stuff for Rod and Rod's trip
out to LA to work with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.
still needed an idea for a third song. Just before hanging up and
after our talk, Rod started coming up with the "Off the Wall" song that
Rod actually wrote on his plane ride out to LA to work with Quincy and
Michael. The Off the Wall song was written by Rod about Karen and
an incident that happened at a pub (as Rod called it, I think Studio 54
but not sure) where Rod had
been hitting on (flirting?) with Debbie Gibson (not the singer) and
Karen had pulled a cue stick (which Rod thought was a baseball bat) and
chased Roddy Woddy around the pub pretending to be an ex-girlfriend of
Roddy Woddy as a prank. But during the phone call, Rod had said
off the wall a few times and Rod wrote the song about Karen personally
and also about the pub incident as Karen was an off the wall kind of
While landing in LA, there was a building on fire that could be seen
out of the plane window. One of the passengers said it was a
disco and with that, Rod got an idea for a fourth song, "Burn This
Disco Out". "Burn This Disco Out" was never a consideration for
Karen's solo album.
At some point in time before mid May 1979, Karen had met with an old
friend named Tom Bahler. I know Rod Temperton met Tom as well at
some point in time. But Tom had given Karen the song "She's Out
of My Life" to Karen if Karen wished to use it at some point in
time. Tom and Karen and Richard had met before back when the
Carpenters first started and the Bahlers sang but also ran a car
dealership on the east coast. The Carpenters had been asked to
write a jingle for Bahler's automobile dealership and the new Ford
Maverick and just after
agreeing was when the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records in
April 1969. But at the time they met again in 1978 and / or 1979
Tom had recently broke up with his girlfriend, Rhoda or Rhonda, and Tom
had written that song based on the breakup (so the song had nothing to
do with Karen, personally).
At first, Karen was pretty shook up over losing "Rock with You" but
after the other songs and Karen and her "three signs from God", Karen
took the events as meaning that God didn't want Karen to have a solo
career and that Karen and Richard would always be Carpenters
together. The problem was that the contract still required a solo
album from Karen. But in a smart move in the beginning, there was
an 'out' clause as since Karen had been the one to put up the money,
Karen could shelve the album without technically violating the
contract. The only three that could have shelved the album were
Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss and Karen. At the last minute, Karen
asked if she could shelve it (I believe March 25?, 1980) and after Herb
Alpert had left the room, Jerry Moss said "yes" and then Karen shelved
the album. Karen enjoyed working with other people and such, but
it just wasn't the same for her without her brother. And when you
reread question #110 about what happened to start Karen's solo, it
wasn't Karen's idea anyway and Karen was kind of roped into it by their
manager Jerry Weintraub who wanted something to do besides twiddle his
a revisit here from question #154 with that advertising blurb Karen and
me came up with for her solo album, "Here
it is finally, the album you've all been waiting for by Karen Carpenter
that spawned such hits as 'Rock with You', 'She's Out of My Life' and
'Off the Wall' for Michael Jackson is now released. Isn't it
lovely as it has Karen Carpenter's name and picture on it and all this
stuff that was leftover after the good stuff was given away to Michael
Jackson. I proudly present to you Karen's first solo album, 'A
Can of Worms' with all this stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good
enough to give away to anyone else." Honestly, Richard didn't
know much about what went on and Rod Temperton was not allowed to talk
and neither Phil Ramone nor Quincy Jones were ever going to confess
about what happened with those songs that were siphoned off. If
Karen had actually wanted that album released, it would have been
released. I know from my talks with Karen in June 1981 and also
our phone call on February 3, 1983 that Karen absolutely did not want
that album released and if you read questions #111 & #154, that was
200. And oops, one of my own questions here, who was/were the one(s)
started the "If you respect Karen then you
need to post something bad about her brother and mother" stuff on
Good question. I don't
know. I've asked, but no one will answer. I know it is
wrong to bully others and that to me is definitely bullying
others. And so I told them and then asked them, "I knew Karen and
Karen had never said anything bad about her mother or her brother so
why should I say something bad about her mother or her brother when
Karen never did?" and they could ban me, but apparently they couldn't
answer that question I had which is why I really don't want anything to
do with those that badmouth Karen's family because of some faulty
anorexic profile that never matched Karen or her family.
after several bad incidents myself and seeing them gang attack myself
as well as others, I don't associate with them as people have
noticed. I belong to groups and not gangs as people have also
201. What kind of deodorant did Karen use?
I remember it was a roll-on (that
round plastic ball type) but I
can't remember the name of it or if it was men's or women's.
also can't remember for sure if Karen may have used a spray at times
for when exercising or such.
Karen usually had a lot of quirks
where under certain circumstances she would do things one way while
under other circumstances she would do things another way.
Try not to quote me on this but I think Karen used Ban (men's) roll-on
and Right Guard spray when I knew her from September 1978 to June
1979. Not positive though but I am positive that Karen and me
used to joke around that they didn't make a Left Guard.
202. What kind of toothpaste did Karen use?
I don't remember for sure. I
think it was Colgate because Crest had too much of a minty aftertaste
but I might have that backwards too.
203. What kind of floss did Karen use for her teeth?
Karen used regular white dental
floss. Karen would not use any floss that had color to it (mint
green or blue or such).
204. What kind of shampoo did Karen use?
I can't remember for sure on this
either. I know she used a separate conditioner as well. I
she used a brand that was gentle on dyed hair. But again here, I
don't remember. It was also a brand that was for split ends, but
still drawing a blank on it.
205. Did Karen have Asperger's Syndrome?
Karen had all of the quirks
associated with Asperger's but she was never officially diagnosed with
206. What size hat did Karen wear?
I don't know. I know Karen
wore wigs and baseball caps, but I'm not sure on size. Karen did
have a small head and usually had her baseball cap on the first notch
in the back. Six and three quarters (6¾)? I'm not
sure if six and three quarters existed back then as a size so Karen
probably had six and seven eighths (maybe both?).
207. Did Karen Carpenter ever appear in Playboy magazine?
Not in pictures, but because of a
reader drummer poll, Karen's name did appear in Playboy magazine in the
mid 1970s (1975?, 1976?).
Karen and I talked a little bit about it
around March 1979 I think it was. Ronald Reagan was in the
running for being the Republican Presidential candidate so of course
"Bedtime for Bonzo" and from that, like usual, our talk changed over to
"Bonzo" Bonham. Karen and me had talked about drummers several
times since we met in September 1978 and Bonzo's name had come up a
couple times before (there were 12 drummers names that came up for
being able to do 'monotone' and Bonzo was one of them and later Alex
Van Halen became number 13 plus Karen had mentioned Led Zeppelin a
couple times as well) but I think it was around March 1979 when Karen
mentioned the Playboy drummer poll stuff that had happened. As
far as the hallowed 12 (I can't remember them all for sure now but...)
- Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Sandy Nelson, Earl (Carl?) Palmer, Buddy
Miles, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, John Henry 'Bonzo'
Bonham, Mel Taylor, Roger Taylor and one more (I think it was Louie
Johnson before his accident but I can't verify that for sure)...
Playboy magazine had run a poll
for drummers and Karen's name was one of the drummers listed in the
poll. Karen did not win the poll, but she had appeared on the
poll directly above John "Bonzo" Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Karen
was surprised about that too as John had done a lot of complicated
stuff with odd time signatures and such.
But Karen had not heard
anything directly from John Bonham about any of that stuff but she had
heard indirectly that there was apparently stuff said in the magazine
making it sound almost like there was a feud between Karen and
Bonzo. In private, Karen and Bonzo went in different circles as
the Carpenters were a Vegas act while Led Zeppelin did stadiums and
such. Karen and Bonzo didn't really cross paths or such in real
Karen didn't really agree with the poll and Karen had
called the writer of the article up and had given him a statement, but
writer did not use that statement so anything in those Playboy articles
saying that "Karen said", Karen didn't actually say that
stuff. But polls are based on opinions for what it's worth.
There was supposedly one of the comments that struck Karen as kind of
funny with a phrase of "Can't cut the mustard" as that was an old
saying from back when and after you think about it, cutting
mustard? Try it sometimes. Grab a butter knife or such and
squeeze some mustard on a plate and then try cutting that
mustard. Yeah, it's kind of a funny saying really. It is
intended to mean "not good enough" but not sure how anyone could be
good enough to cut mustard that appears to be impossible to cut.
far as in the real world, Karen and Bonzo didn't really see each other
or talk with each other so there was never a feud there or such between
Karen and Bonzo that Karen was ever aware of.
As far as with
Karen, it was the Playboy writer and not Karen behind that stuff, but
Karen couldn't really comment on Bonzo's behalf about what was actually
said by Bonzo or not.
Karen took that stuff with a grain of salt
But yes, Karen's name had appeared in Playboy magazine
at one time but no pictures or photo shoot or such and the stuff
written in any of the articles was not what Karen had actually said or
208. Did Karen have any pets?
Karen had two dogs (dawgs, that
pennsylvania dutch accent thing) named Lady (German Shepard) and Mush
(Albino Malamute / Samoyed).
Many times Karen would leave Lady
with Richard so that Richard had company too but Lady was still
technically Karen's dog.
But Karen and Mush were more the kind of
footloose and fancy free types while Richard and Lady were a bit more
When Karen was younger and in Connecticut, she dragged
a neighbor's dog (Great Dane?) home with the leash and tags still on
and tried to say it was a stray and if they could keep him. It
was a difficult task with Karen being young and hanging on the leash
for dear life while almost being dragged down the street. For
some reason the family didn't think a dog that had tags, a collar and a
a stray and the neighbor's dog was returned. A short while later
the family got a Beagle named Snoopy. Another while later Snoopy
had got loose and was hit by a car but did survive but did pass away
shortly after from complications from the car incident. Yes,
Karen was heartbroke afterwards and Karen told me that she always had a
rough time dealing with others that passed away.
209. Do you know anything about Karen's "The money maker's in the
I am not sure when that comment
was made, if that comment was first made after September 6, 1978 then I
know where that comment came from.
After Richard had said he quit
after the Las Vegas show on September 4, 1978 Karen snuck off and
started living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State (not the
city). After being there a little while Karen met a girl and
Karen and this girl used to talk quite a bit together as this girl had
some problems and Karen was always one to try and help people sort out
their problems. The girl's name I believe was Mary and she had a
mother named Mary as well and two brothers, Tim and Brian. The
daughter Mary's father had been arrested not too long before for
counterfeiting and the printing press that her father used was actually
located in the basement of the house. The money maker's in the
basement. (Yes, that also has been said by several prostitutes as
well and Karen always loved stuff with a double meaning to it, but this
had a triple meaning, her voice, counterfeiting and
But Mary talked several times with Karen about her
situation and how her older brother, Tim, kept getting in trouble
because other kids would pick on him because his dad was in
prison. Mary also told Karen about her younger brother, Brian,
who was starting to get into trouble as well and how Brian had brain
damage from an accident that happened at a parade where Brian had been
hit in the head with a rifle butt during a parade.
But if this
was first said after September 1978 then the inspiration was from a guy
that had a family and the guy's name was Bill (William). Karen
used to talk quite a bit with Bill's family and that was probably where
her inspiration for that comment came from, not a prostitute. But
maybe it was a prostitute if she first said it before September
1978. And yes, Karen always loved puns (play on words). And
yes, Karen had also met the family of a guy named Bill and that guy had
put in prison for counterfeiting.
And a continuation here on a
private matter. Karen had run off in September 1978 and started
living with her step cousin Wendy in September 1978. On December
1980, this small area in New York State had made the papers out in
Downey California and as Karen had a long habit of being and hanging
around 'troublemakers (black sheep)', the family wondered if Karen also
knew these other individuals that made national headlines.
Karen's answer was that she had seen them riding around the area in
their Corvette but her step cousin Wendy had warned Karen and Karen had
figured they were 'trouble'. So Karen had not really met them but
she had seen them a couple times from a distance.
But Karen had
left the area to live back with her family in June 1979 in Downey and
yeah, a year and a half later the area makes national headlines after a
couple locals had shot a pair of undercover police officers in a small
town in New York State where Karen had stayed for about 9 months with
her step cousin Wendy from September 1978 to June 1979. Yes,
Karen could sure liven up a place in a hurry.
And also, yes, it
was kind of a joke with her family to pick on Karen (and Karen would
pick on herself too) for her tending to
find and get into trouble. And as Karen could tell you, getting
in trouble can lead to some very interesting stories if others had the
time to listen. But she actually avoided trouble on
that one for once.
210. Was Karen sad before she passed away?
Actually, no. Karen had been
a little down in the dumps here and there after what had happened since
1980, but Karen was honestly looking ahead to a brighter future before
she passed away.
Karen's dreams as a kid didn't work out as
planned when she got older. Karen had always wanted a big wedding
and she got that but then found out it was with the wrong man.
Karen had run across a giant smoke screen with mirrors that started
around 1980. All of Karen's illusions started falling apart and
reality set in with her. And after that, Karen started realizing
that her reality far eclipsed those illusions that had appeared when
she was younger. Castles and mansions aren't better than a white
house with a white picket fence. Younger people can be more
mature than older people. It wasn't the events or such but
the people that
made the difference. And with that realization, Karen hit bottom
a couple times from June 1979 until the time she passed away.
before Karen passed away she was not sad but looking ahead to a
brighter future that wasn't filled with smoke screens and
mirrors. Karen was looking forward to eloping with a guy, me
(Adrian), that we had many wonderful memories we shared together and
were looking forward to creating many more wonderful memories to share
together. There had been a tour date scheduled for late February
1983 but most of the touring had been set up for June 1983 and
later. Richard and Karen were looking to get in the studio some
more and see about coming up with a new album to be released while they
were on tour. Of course tour rehearsals with the band and the
band getting back together again. Karen was also looking forward
to getting her divorce from Thomas and getting her life back again,
which Thomas had signed the divorce papers. Karen had also had an
idea of me writing her autobiography as there were many interesting
stories and events that had happened that Karen had wanted to share
with others as well as advice too.
Karen was looking to try and
start a family of her own, not to get away from her family, but to add
on to the wonderful family she already had and become a larger part of
her family with two point four kids - a son, a daughter and a point
midget that we kept in the basement like every other typical American
family at the time. Statistics don't lie you know. And the
white picket fence too around the
town house. Settling down and no more wild oat sowing or whatever
other people did.
So Karen had been doing a lot of soul searching
before she passed away.
Karen had also been staying steady at
around 108 pounds since around mid November 1982 and her and her mom
had came up with a plan where Karen only weighed herself once a week
(Friday mornings) which had appeared to be keeping Karen's weight
Karen's downers weren't actually her solo album being
shelved or her divorce as with Karen those were good things, not
bad. A bad thing was if that solo album had been released or if
Thomas wouldn't sign the divorce papers.
Karen had a problem she
was hiding of having her tattoo removed and getting hepatitis from a
dirty needle and the shot for the hepatitis would cause Karen's heart
to race but she didn't want people to know she had hepatitis but she
also didn't want to hug people either and take a chance of it
So Karen had a couple problems before she passed away
but Karen felt everything was finally getting better after realizing
that you can't live a life filled with smoke screens and mirrors
without it sooner or later come crashing down.
The crash had
happened and Karen was actually happier and looking forward to a more
brighter future and was not really sad or depressed about it (and
again, Valium was for depression, not Ativan. You know Valium, as
Ativan was just a muscle and nerve relaxant for
those with twitching and the shakes and such). We wouldn't be
able to appreciate the good days, if we didn't have the bad days to
look back on for comparison. And those that make bad days seem
better are always very special and caring people. Anyone can hug
or hold hands but only caring people are the ones that make others
better (or worst to those that don't actually care about others).
And Karen also figured she would be a shoe in for the Evita movie down
the road after the play ran its course on Broadway and such.
Karen was looking to a brighter future and not really sad or such about
the past things that hadn't worked out so well for her.
211. Did Karen ever meet Billy Joel?
The answer to this I am fairly
sure is yes.
The reason why is that Karen and me had discussed
baby names around March of 1979 and during that talk the name Christie
Lee Brinkley came up during our Kristi Lynn talk (question #85).
The reason I am fairly sure is that it was kind of odd that Karen and
me had mentioned her and then her name was mentioned again around June
1979 while Karen was doing her solo album. And the reason why she
was mentioned in June 1979 was because I believe Karen had met Billy
Joel and I am not sure if Billy had just talked about Christie or if
Christie may have actually been there as well.
So I am fairly
sure about Billy Joel, but not sure about Christie and unfortunately,
Karen isn't around to ask on that one to be sure here.
As far as
the people that Karen and I met together (1978 to 1979 and Thomas
Burris in 1981), try this page celebs.html
As far as stuff during
Karen's solo album and people Karen met during that try this page karensolosongs.html .
also mentioned meeting Margaret Hamilton and I believe she also
mentioned President Nixon and Pat Nixon as well as the German
Chancellor, Willy (Wilhelm?) Brandt. Karen had also mentioned
John Lennon and Paul McCartney and Paul's brother, Mike McGear.
Karen had also mentioned that her favorite Beatle was Ringo and that at
one time, Karen and Ringo had the same drum sets (but Karen never said
she met or didn't meet Ringo that I can remember. It probably
would have been one of her life highlights so I keep thinking that she
never met Ringo but not a definitive answer there on my part, just an
educated guess). Karen had met Eve Plumb (Brady Bunch) back when
and Karen and Eve kind of had the same vocabulary. Karen also did
mention that one of her favorite songs was "Different Drum" written by
Michael Nesmith (of the Monkees). Karen also mentioned (around
1978 or 1979) that she knew that one of the Monkees's moms had invented
Liquid Paper. As far as The Monkees, Karen mentioned her
favorites were Michael and Peter (drummer) but I don't ever remember
Karen mentioning whether she did or didn't meet any of The
Monkees. I know that the Carpenters and The Monkees travelled in
different circles. I also know that of the group, Karen wanted to
meet Michael the most because of the song "Different Drum". I
wish I knew for sure if the Liquid Paper comment Karen made was from
Michael, himself, or if Karen had read it in a magazine
somehwere. In addition to that is that Karen told me she had met
Bobby (as all his friends call him Bobby not Robert) Goullet and Karen
referred to Michael Nesmith only as Michael not Mike. But
speculation and second guessing is not the same as actually knowing for
sure, so as far as Michael, I don't know. I think the closest
Karen may have got with Michael may have been a fan letter or such from
Michael, but Karen isn't around anymore to check on that to be
sure. Karen had met a lot of
people over the years. Far too many to list I feel.
212. What about Karen and Bette Midler? Was there ever a feud
Yes, that was an awkward situation
especially for Bette. But no, there was never a feud or such
between them. Karen understood that Bette was just trying
to distance herself from being seen as being a goody two shoes and
such. Karen got tired of that public image stuff as well at
times. Off screen there wasn't any bad feelings from Karen
towards Bette. Karen understood all too well that public image of
being clean cut and such and Karen got tired of that image herself at
times too so she understood.
But it was the era where being nice
was seen as being bad whereas being bad was supposed to be good.
As people have figured out recently, the media has had some screws
loose for a long time now.
213. What exactly did Phil Ramone write in the credits for Karen's solo
Hint, you should probably buy the
CD with the booklet and read the booklet. But the CD has been out
of print at times so for reference here...
TO COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the love
and adventure of Karen’s solo project, people should know that we made
a conscious decision to experiment with music and styles that were not
in the Carpenters’ albums. We wanted their fans, as well as a new
audience, to hear one of the greatest voices in a different
surrounding. We knew some things were trendy and that the
intimate songs would express her love of all music.
IT WAS INCONCEIVABLE to those of
us involved with the project that a rumor might spread regarding the
end of the Carpenters. That truly was beyond the realm of
possibility; Karen loved Richard and the music they made
together. I’ve always related to Richard’s arrangements and
composing with deep admiration and we remain friends.
THE LOVE OF BILLY JOEL’S BAND –
Rod Temperton and the other players, who had the best time working with
her – gave Karen Carpenter’s work in New York a sparkle that can be
heard on this album. Karen and the rest of us who worked on this
project understood the decision to wait on the release.
AS YEARS PASSED, both Richard and
I wondered when it might be released. Together we stand proud as
this was a piece of work that meant so much to Karen. It was
truly a labor of love.
I HAVE NOT REMIXED or done
anything to the tapes. These mixes, the material and style are
the way Karen approved them. The bonus track is unmixed and was
one of several that might have been finished.
I MISS HER TERRIBLY – but I know
she’s watching with a smile.
- PHIL RAMONE
Note, it doesn't sound like Karen was looking to leave her brother to
me either according to what Phil wrote for the liner notes for that
album. But yes, for reference. This information checks out
and is accurate.
214. Did Karen wear pantyhose?
Karen preferred not to wear
pantyhose but she
would need to on occasion. She usually wore L'Eggs taupe
but she would try different brands, colors and styles at times.
215. Did Karen prefer a one piece swimsuit or a bikini?
Karen actually preferred skinny
dipping if she could get away with it. A nude beach as
well. But if not, it depended on the situation. If swimming
Karen would prefer a one piece suit. If trying to get a tan, a
bikini. But again, if the option was available, nope, neither.
216. Did Karen prefer pants, dresses or skirts?
Again, depending on
situation. If it was windy, Karen would prefer pants as the wind
wasn't likely to blow up her pants. Karen actually preferred long
skirts or dresses that would be around 6 inches from the
ground. Dresses were also a bit more difficult to get in or out
of than a skirt and blouse. And as always, depending on the
situation as at times, casual, at times, formal, and at times, who
cares. Karen didn't like stuff that rubbed up against her skin so
she preferred loose clothing. Karen's favorite was always trying
to wear something that matched "The Emperor's New Clothes". In
later years, on lower stages and TV show stages Karen preferred a long
dress, on raised stages Karen preferred pants as the audience couldn't
look up her pants.
217. Did Karen know how to use chopsticks?
Yes. Karen learned a lot
from her family. Her mom, dad, brother and her cousin Joanie as
well. Karen's dad grew up in China and her dad personally
knew a bit about the customs and traditions and such. Like Rod
Temperton and her dad, Karen was always fascinated with learning about
different cultures and different perspectives and ideas and such.
And as Karen was a very likable person, she had many friends she
learned from as well.
218. What were Karen's first words?
The family wasn't positive on
which, but it was either "Stop it" or "Bye bye".
The reason I remember Karen and me
talking about this is because I told her my story back. My
parents had two beagle dogs that they kept out back named Emmie and
Inky. When I was growing up the dogs would start barking and my
dad would yell out the window, "Shut the f*** up". So publicly, I
would tell people my first words were "Shut up" but since Karen and me
talked in private Karen heard the whole "Shut the f*** up" story of my
first words. That talk was when I found out that Karen was not
fond of (borderline hated) the f word.
A couple times Karen and me told others that we made a great
couple because our first words were "Stop it" and "Shut up". The
two key phrases to any lasting relationship. Only after being in
a lasting relationship do guys learn to stop it and women learn to shut
up. You know, "The look". And all women have the "Don't do
it" look and all men have the "Don't say it" look. Stop it and
shut up. Karen and Ace. Soul mates from the beginning
219. What was the name of Karen's steamer trunk?
Blackula. I believe Karen
also had a matching 23 piece set of luggage (I believe American
Tourister, burgundy color?, tan?, baby blue?).
220. Was Richard really 'the favorite'?
Yes, actually, Richard was the
favorite and here is the stories and information Karen told me about
all of that...
It first started when Karen was
younger and Karen's mom hated dirt. Karen used to get dirty
playing baseball and drag mud through the house at times. So
Karen's mom came up with an idea of Richard being 'the favorite' and
hoping that if Karen wanted to be the favorite too that maybe Karen
would stop getting dirty and dragging mud through the house. It
didn't work really. Karen wasn't one to like being praised or
pampered or babied or any of that so Karen didn't want to be 'the
favorite' anyway. Karen liked being humble not praised. In
Karen's words, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over".
Karen liked being 'the black
sheep' and 'the underdog' not 'the favorite'. It wasn't really
Richard's choice either but Karen kind of stuck Richard with that
favorite moniker. For Karen's thoughts on this to me in 1978 (and
later)... "Favorites like keeping their ducks in a row. I
like letting my ducks wander." "Favorites are the ones that put
the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square
holes and that is why they are favorites because they do like everyone
else expects them to do. I'm a black sheep and I like putting the
round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes
and if they don't fit you just need to use a bigger mallet. I
like being different."
And with it not working, Karen's
mom almost gave up on the idea. But Karen noticed that Richard
wasn't much for that 'favorite' moniker either but also Richard was the
one, not Karen, that would have some self esteem issues here and
there. But Karen would actually pick on Richard about Richard
being 'the favorite' and with being the favorite and such, a "mama's
boy". Karen was actually like her mom and Richard was actually
like his dad. It was actually Karen's idea to keep the 'favorite'
stuff going as both mom and Karen had noticed that Richard had kind of
been around the house and didn't get out that much (but hey, there was
this great piano that Richard loved playing that couldn't really leave
the house too well). So Karen asked her mom to lavish praises on
Richard and such and call him 'the favorite' while behind the scenes,
Karen had Richard convinced that if people saw his mom doing that kind
of stuff that people would start calling Richard a "mama's boy".
Yes, soap opera stuff with all that "stuff going on behind the scenes"
type mentality. And speaking of behind the scenes, behind the
scenes Karen and her mom always shared a saying between themselves of
"Behind every successful man is a strong woman." In Richard's
case there were two strong women, Karen and mom. But what guy
wants to be seen as a "mama's boy"? And Richard did start getting
out of the house more (with a little behind the scenes urging from his
sister here and there). And honestly here, Karen was like her mom
and Richard was like his dad, so mama's boy? Mama's boys aren't
like their dad just for a reference here. Just like daddy's girls
aren't like their moms. But Karen and her mom were both tomboys
and Richard and his dad were both the kind that loved to work and keep
busy and then collapse in the EZ chair after the day was done.
And as Richard got older and with
the fame and such, Richard did a lot of work but most of the praises
went to Karen publicly. So at times some self esteem issues for
Richard. Plus, Karen didn't want praise and attention and such
(whether in public or private) but Richard would feel pretty left out
at times and like 'chopped liver' and such. Karen didn't want to
get a "big head". Karen didn't really have an ego or an alter ego
either. But as far as publicity, Karen was 'the favorite' and
Richard was looked at as 'chopped liver' and "Karen's brother" and that
kind of stuff. Remember too that back in the 60's and 70's women
were still looked at as subservant to men (and they still are actually
thanks to the women's movement that Karen wasn't too fond of, question
In reality, behind the scenes, Richard and Karen always saw themselves
as equals but they did each have their own strengths and
weaknesses. Karen and Richard always tried to work with each of
their strengths together and leave those weakness things in another
room. Equals. With the women's rights movement (which Karen
didn't support) and all that in the 1970s, Karen got more attention
than Richard publicly.
But there was a lot more behind the scenes stuff with that favorite
stuff. And like said, anyone that ever thinks that Karen wanted
to be 'the favorite' never really knew Karen that well. Karen
loved being the 'black sheep' and 'the underdog (not that helpless
Polly Pureheart chick)'. Karen and her mom always had way more
secrets between themselves than Karen and Richard had between
themselves. But, shh, if you tell, it's not a secret now is it.
221. Did Karen ever blame herself for Richard's Quaalude addiction?
Yes, but to understand why, keep
Karen's blaming herself had
nothing to do with her family or such but had to do with an incident in
January 1973. As far as the incident...
In January 1973, Karen and Richard
and their dad and cousin Mark Rudolph were riding motorcycles
together. They had been staying on the public path and had come
upon a private path (unpoliced, no rules) and Karen and her search for
adventure and no rules and such. So Karen took off on her own
down the private path where there were no rules. Richard had
noticed a couple other riders up ahead (that Karen hadn't noticed) and
so Richard cut around and got himself between the other riders and
Karen. If it hadn't been for Richard's quick thinking, Karen
would have definitely been seriously injured but most likely killed as
Karen and the other riders were both going full speed and heading
straight for each other. Richard got in front of the other riders
and ditched his bike and the other riders and Karen didn't
collide. Richard saved the day. However, there was an
accident and in the process Richard had a broken leg, a sprained wrist
and a broken wrist (a cast on his leg and a cast on each of his wrists
after being in the hospital). So anyone that ever led others to
think that Richard was always selfish and such, shame on you, but
(butt?) everyone is entitled to their opinions (and any backlash that
may arise if those opinions are a bit off). In January 1973
Richard risked his career and his life (I probably wrote that
backwards, but eh) to help keep his sister safe after Karen had been
reckless (a well known Karen Carpenter trait). Richard and Karen
always cared very deeply about each other and always tried to look
after each other. Karen used to carry a picture of Richard
sitting in the yellow chair with his casts after Richard had got out of
the hospital from the motorcycle accident in January 1973. Karen
was always proud to whip out that picture and say how brave and caring
her brother was and how Richard had saved her life.
After the accident, Richard had been given some pain pills (Karen
didn't know about her mom giving Richard Quaaludes, sleeping pills,
before then). So as Richard started taking more pills, Karen had
always figured it was her fault that her brother had got addicted to
taking pills. No one except Karen ever blamed Karen for Richard's
pill problem, but it was understandable how Karen felt that way.
Karen had been reckless. But also too, that was Karen and Richard
wouldn't want Karen to be any other way than herself. And
remember too, chicks dig scars and brave men who risk their lives and
save their sister and such. And yes, for Karen to consider a
friend of hers to be "good enough" for her brother was one of Karen's
highest compliments she could give to a fellow girl / woman.
Which this then leads into question #106 which happened in December
1978 over 5 years after the accident which led to how I knew about
information for that question and this question too.
Richard nor mom ever blamed Karen for Richard's addiction that I was
ever aware of. I did know though that Karen had blamed herself
and she had even told me that she blamed herself even though Karen had
told me that her family had never blamed her for Richard's addiction.
Head scratching requires a bit of thought, whereas I feel butt
scratching requires a bit of nonsense (bullsh*t). So finally a
butt scratch on this one after thinking about why would self called
experts on Karen not want people knowing about Richard and the
motorcycle accident in January 1973 where Richard could have possibly
ended his life and career (maybe that is the right order) to help out
his sister? Surely if they were the experts they claim to be they
would have known about this from Karen, correct? But then
thinking about some of these self proclaimed 'experts', they seem to
think that they knew more about Karen than Karen knew about herself
which leads to some more serious butt scratching from what I've been
seeing, hearing and reading from these kinds of people.
222. What was Karen's favorite men's cologne to smell?
As Pete Rose was "Charlie Hustle",
there was always something about an Aqua Velva man (after shave).
I remember Karen did not like Hi Karate at all. Karen preferred
light scents that weren't too overwhelming and nothing really
musky. At the time, I didn't wear cologne or after shave and
Karen said I smelled like Cap'N Crunch cereal (but I actually ate
Kellogg's Raisin Bran cereal at the time and I drank almost nothing but
223. Did Karen have an inny or an outty belly button?
224. Do you know who Karen's favorite actor and acress were?
In 1978 and 1979 it was John Wayne
"the Duke" and Katharine Hepburn. It probably changed over the
years though. But from 1978 to 1979 Karen was tired of the movie
industry trying to change the men's image into some wishy washy wimp
and trying to turn women into hood ornaments.
225. What diets did Karen try?
That is actually discussed by
Richard in the "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book written by Mike
Cidoni Lennox and Chris May with additional information provided by
Richard Carpenter. It is discussed a little bit in chapter
8. Karen had tried the Stillman Diet when she was younger.
In the mid 70s Karen tried a personal trainer and that didn't go too
well either. Outside that, Karen kind of did her own thing and
didn't really go back to other people's diets, programs or such.
226. How tall was Karen?
5 feet 4 inches tall.
227. About how much does a British stone weigh?
About 14 US pounds.
228. Did Karen ever say she had stage fright?
Actually no. Karen told me
she never had stage fright. Karen would, however, get nervous
that something might go wrong while on stage but she had never been
afraid to go on stage. Karen also told me that someone had
mentioned to her that when they got nervous going on stage, they would
picture people in the audience in their underwear. Unfortunately,
I can't remember for sure now if Karen said she actually did that or
not. But Karen wouldn't get stage fright but she would get
nervous about stuff possibly going wrong (like tripping over her heels,
having her dress get caught on something, dropping the microphone,
equipment failure, etc.).
229. Could Karen make herself burp?
Yes. Karen had not figured
out how to sing while burping though. She could talk while
burping at times but not sing. She had tried. And if at
first you don't succeed, try, try again...
230. Why did the Carpenters move out to California in 1963?
Karen and me had this talk back in
the fall of 1978 after a new kid, Jay, had moved into the area where
Karen was staying with her step cousin Wendy. With Jay moving in,
Karen told me about her experiences moving to a new area back in 1963.
It was mostly Harold's (dad's)
idea. The printing business in New Haven was starting to slow
down while there were many opportunities that were opening up out
west. Harold (dad), Agnes (mom) and Richard had gone out to
California on a trip before (Karen had stayed in New Haven as Karen
would get motion sickness really bad). It was mostly because
Harold was facing a possibility of a possible lay off at his job down
the road in New Haven (the boss' relatives were getting to the age of
needing jobs as was Richard too) whereas there were all these
opportunities out in California available to someone, like Harold, that
had experience in the printing business. But also, the winters in
New Haven were a bit harsh and both Harold and Agnes weren't "spring
chickens" anymore. As far as the music business stuff, New Haven
was close to New York City and Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden
and Julliard and Yale and such, but Downey was close to the Hollywood
Bowl and the movie industry. Richard was
16 and Karen was 13 at the time they moved. But according to
Karen, the move didn't really have anything to do with the music
business or such and was about her dad finding a better job with better
pay and the better weather. Of course the Beach Boys were out
west and they were close to Hollywood, but it was more kind of an
afterthought with Richard and that her parents were just looking to
make a better living with better weather and more money and more
opportunities available. In New Haven Karen said they grew up
lower middle class but in Downey they had become more middle class
middle class and weren't struggling as much with bills and such like
they had back in New Haven. So after a lot of thinking the family
moved in June 1963.
During the move they made a trip
out of it and saw the sights on the way. Mount Rushmore, the
world's largest ball of yarn, the Grand Canyon and other places and
things as well along the way. During the trip too Karen had told
me that she had seen
a couple restrooms where the dumpster out back seemed like a safer
alternative. The wonderful joys of travel. Karen would deal
with her motion sickness by looking at the floor and not looking out
the window and talking with her brother here and there to try and keep
her mind off of it. And of course the radio in the car played
during the trip as well.
After getting out there and starting school, it was a bit more awkward
for both Karen and Richard as Connecticut started schooling when they
were younger so both Karen and Richard were a year younger than their
fellow students in their classes. Karen told me that she got her
first visitor (menstruation) when she was thirteen but she didn't get
bosoms intil she was about fifteen / sixteen and so it was a new area
but also with the age difference it was a little more awkward
transitioning to the new area for Karen. Karen saw herself as a
'late blooomer' in school. The other kids in her class were older
and getting into dating and that kind of stuff and Karen did kind of
feel out of place at times. But after moving to the area, one of
the local ballplayers had came up with the baseball nickname of 'Pudge'
for Karen (Karen was about four foot tall and about 120 pounds when
they first moved out to Downey) and after that was when Karen started
giving everyone and everything she could a nickname. All great
baseball players had nicknames and after moving out to Downey, Karen
got her baseball nickname of Pudge (which results in question
#71). Babe, Catfish, Gabby, Lefty, Dizzy, Scooter, "The Iron
Horse", "Murderer's Row", "The Gashouse Gang" and of course,
Pudge. The teenage years are always a bit awkward anyway.
Karen was the kind that would take
a while making friends but once she made a friend they usually stayed
friends. Karen liked adventure and moving is an adventure so she
was all right with moving but she was also the kind that had a hard
time dealing with being away from friends. Karen also
said that when they first moved into Downey that like most areas,
everyone has their cliques or groups with "no outsiders". Even
back in New Haven, Karen always took a while to get to know someone
before being friends with them. When they moved out to Downey,
Karen and Richard became best friends with each other. After a
short while, Karen had also started playing baseball with several of
the local guys. Karen got to know a few of the guys on the
baseball team and at school (Junior High and High School) Karen got to
meet a lot of the other girls in school because Karen knew the baseball
players and girls would ask Karen to try and fix them up with [whatever
player]. So in Junior High and High School, Karen learned to play
'matchmaker' and got to know quite a few people. It did take a
bit for Karen to adjust but in California you can play baseball year
'round. Karen loved that aspect. But it was a trade off as
Karen wasn't too happy about not having snow on Christmas. But
Karen tried to keep busy playing baseball to keep her mind off of the
fact that there wasn't snow in California for Christmas. After
moving out to California, Karen was always coming home covered in dirt
and mud, year 'round. Then came question #220.
231. Was Karen ever into witchcraft?
Nope. Not at all.
Karen enjoyed nature and all of that but a lot of that stuff was pretty
far-fetched. Magic potions seemed to have less magic than what a
Bic lighter possessed so she was never really interested in witchcraft
or Wicken or that kind of stuff.
232. What did Karen feel was the saddest / worst day in her life?
The day her dog, Snoopy, passed
A word about Karen and sadness now as well. Karen said she bawled
her eyes out when Snoopy passed away and she was sad for a while after
he passed away. Karen would actually withdraw from people when
she was sad but outside Snoopy, she rarely got sad for any length of
If Karen had extreme emotion, then she would cry because she didn't
know how to deal with it. Extreme anger, extreme happiness (tears
of joy), extreme laughing, extreme anything emotional and Karen would
start crying. Karen told me when she broke up her marriage with
Thomas Burris (November 1981) at her dad's birthday party, she cried
because she was so upset at Thomas that she wanted to kill him.
Karen told me she cried after she shelved her solo album because she
was extremely worried that the people that had helped out and worked
hard on the album might be upset at Karen for not releasing that
album. That was kind of the reason why Karen let Phil Ramone and
others think that it was the record company's decision when it was
actually Karen's decision. But Karen was extemely worried that
people would be upset at her for shelving that album, so she cried not
because she was sad but because she was extremely nervous about the
possibility of others possibly being upset at her for not releasing the
Karen would have to be extremely sad to cry or extremely happy to cry
or extremely angry to cry because she didn't know what to do with
extreme emotions so she would cry.
For sadness, Karen would get quiet and withdraw most times. Karen
was rarely quiet or withdrawn. Karen was usually clowning around
and such with others. Karen was also an INFJ-A type person and
she would need down time or quiet time once in a while to recharge her
batteries so to speak. And yes, Karen was definitely one that
would cry at funerals and weddings. Karen told me that she was
actually happy at her wedding, but she didn't cry so she wasn't
extremely happy about it, just happy, question #19.
233. What did Karen feel was the happiest day in her life?
Karen said she didn't remember it,
but the day she was born she felt was the happiest day of her
life. Nothing else would have been possible if it hadn't been for
the day she was born.
Karen had a positive outlook on
life actually. Karen mostly looked back on good memories.
She had a ton of good memories to look back on like her and Richard
winning their first Grammy and Christmases and birthdays and family
reunions and on and on. Which wouldn't have been possible if she
hadn't been born. So being born she felt was always going to be
her best day.
As noted too in question #6 above, Karen never felt bad about breaking
up with someone. Karen actually stayed friends with her
ex-boyfriends. A relationship is between two people and if one
person can't get along with the other or they are going in different
directions or such, then best to move on rather than
have both people become miserable.
234. What did Karen feel was the funniest day in her life?
Karen was young and living in
Connecticut. I think it was a Great Dane and was nearly dragging
Karen down the street with Karen holding on for dear life at times
while saying the dog followed her home. The dog also had a
collar, tags and a chain so for some odd reason no one thought the dog
was a stray and returned the dog to the neighbor's. Richard
definitely tells this story better than I do.
Sad part was that at about the same age, I had dragged (but I wasn't
dragged as the dog was smaller and not walking) a Bassett hound from
the neighbor's that had tags, collar and a chain too and no one
believed me that it was a stray either.
Yeah, Karen and me were a lot alike. We both had hard times
telling people fibs as fibs would usually backfire on us for some odd
235. Did Karen and Itchie have an argument in May / June / July /
According to Karen, yes. It
was sometime in May, June, July or August 1982 while Karen was
attending Levenkron's clinic (I am fairly sure May or June but not
positive on that).
As far as the big blow out in
1982, Karen told it a little
differently than what I saw from Itchie. Anyone that really knew
Karen knew that you didn't try to start an argument with Karen unless
you were her mom. The best Richard could do in an argument with
Karen was a draw (tie). Karen had a very explosive temper like
her mom. Karen was always offensive and never defensive in an
argument. Also, if someone else started an argument with Karen,
Karen would ALWAYS ask for promise(s) from the one who started the
argument to keep that argument from ever happening again. If the
promise(s) weren't made, Karen would be silent and not argue nor talk
at all with the other person until her promise(s) were agreed to or the
other person apologized AND agreed to the promise(s). That is why
that story I saw from Itchie doesn't sound
right to those that knew Karen, myself included.
As far as myself though...
Karen had told me on February 3, 1983 that Karen, herself, was the one
who started that argument with Itchie. Karen had told me that
she had asked Itchie about how Itchie had heard about her private
family (Karen, Richard, mom and dad) meeting with Levenkron and Itchie
came back about Itchie finding
laxatives around the apartment (without answering Karen's question)
then Karen mentioned the pill incident at the initial meeting at
Levenkron's (Itchie never spoke up about what had actually happened at
that meeting with Karen, Itchie and Levenkron. Karen had told me
what had happened at that January 1982 meeting and with that I feel I
need to keep it to myself here as it may be too late now for Itchie to
confess [she did have her chances though], but Levenkron still has a
chance to confess or not, his choice still) and then Itchie
changed the subject to her credit card bill. After the change of
subject again Karen dropped the "64 thousand dollar question" to Itchie
"Were you and Phil trying to get me fired from A&M by trying to get
me to violate the image clause in my recording contract?" Itchie
couldn't answer that question either and then Itchie picked up her
things and left.
Karen actually called
Itchie on February 2, 1983 to give Itchie a chance to answer that
question again, but Phil was there on the other end plus Itchie was
pregnant so Karen didn't
236. Did Karen whisper when she sang?
Kind of, yes. Because of the
range of Karen's voice, if she tried to sing too loudly, it would cause
distortion and the speakers would vibrate and possibly squeak or
squelch. So Karen had taught herself to sing quietly and close to
the microphone to avoid possible distortion and speaker echo and
vibration and possible reverberation too.
I had a similar problem as well
and I used to be a scorkeeper and announcer at a local Little League
ballpark. In my case it was only an 8 watt speaker and I believe
a 3 or 5 watt system, but when I would talk into the mike, my voice
could literally be heard over a mile away in a busy grocery store
parking lot and although over a mile away, it sounded like I was in the
parking lot. People of the area knew when I announced for some
reason. But the range of my voice carried very well over a sound
system. I was just using my talking voice but over a microphone,
that voice would carry and at times, that squeak, squelch and possible
echo distortion. And once that echo distortion started, yup, shut
the system down and hope for the best because the echo would overpower
the system and cause people to cover their ears from the sound that
would just get louder and louder as it echoed and repeated
itself. And if not careful, it could overload and blow out the
Karen and I tried singing together
several times without a microphone in private and at times I would joke
with Karen and say "You sing just like Marcel Marceau". Marcel
Marceau was a mime and as people know, mimes don't talk or sing.
the range of Karen's voice, the speakers would vibrate and become
distorted if she sang in a loud voice, so Karen would sing quietly aka
whisper into the microphone which added an extra dimension to her
singing as with her whispering instead of singing out loud, it sounded
much more intimate and "up close" like she was whispering in your ear
instead of singing to a large audience like most singers.
But yes, I guess you could say that Karen was the "Song Whisperer".
237. Did Karen ever wear eyeglasses?
Actually, no. Around March
or April 1979 Karen had started realizing that she was having
difficulty seeing things that were close up. Karen got a set of
reading glasses that she would use on occasion if reading something up
close. But it was only for seeing things up close and was never a
prescription or such. Karen would also wear sunglasses on
occasion as well. But the reading glasses were primarily for
reading things and not really for seeing with. Karen's brother
Richard had worn glasses though and they were prescription. Not
sure if Richard was near or far sighted. I know Karen had become
very slightly far sighted and would use reading glasses on occasion
(after about March 1979, but not before then that I ever knew
about. She could have, but I don't remember Karen using reading
glasses before March 1979 around me).
238. What was Karen's favorite book to read?
I knew Karen back in 1978 and 1979
and at that time, her favorite book was actually "Don Quixote". I
know in a couple years that her favorite book changed to "The Best
Little Girl in the World", but that book hadn't been released when I
239. Who was Karen's favorite Beatle?
Ringo. Karen and Nicky Chinn
saw John Lennon around 1971 in a restaurant and both Karen and Richard
met with Paul McCartney while Paul was working on his brother's (Mike
McGear) solo album I believe in 1974. I don't remember Karen ever
saying anything about meeting Ringo or George so I don't think she met
either one of them. Hal Blaine also had a set of drums made up by
Ludwig (called the Octo-Plex) and both Karen and Ringo had a set of
those drums as well. Richard's favorite Beatle was Paul.
240. What was Karen's ring size?
Karen's ring size around late May
1979 was 7½ women's and my ring size was 7½ men's.
Karen had set up a family get together for the beginning of June with
her dad's side of the family. Karen's (step) great grandmother
Susan (Seal) Carpenter was over 100 years old and had always wanted
Karen to find the right guy and settle down and get married. So
Karen and I made up a story that we had eloped before the family get
together and with that, yes, at the end of May 1979, Karen and I had
found an engagement ring that came with a set of wedding bands.
The woman's size on the rings was already 7½ but the man's size
for the wedding band was 9½. We didn't have the man's ring
resized (as actually I would later grow into a 9½) so we used
scotch tape and some paper as a spacer on the inside of the man's
ring. But Karen's ring size was a woman's size 7½ in late
The ring set we found was a very unique, one of a kind, engagement
ring. A ¾ karat (.75 carat?) diamond that was a one of a
kind piece. This was the first diamond cut by a gem cutter that
would later be famous because of the ring we found. The ring had
a certificate of authenticity as well. I believe the gem cutter's
name was Bartholdi and he had cut the diamond a certain way as any
diamond over a certain size has a flaw. With a special setting
that he designed, the diamond would actually magnify the light through
the defect causing a super brilliant shine when seen. As I had
said with a growl in my voice after seeing that ring, "Sparkles...
Sparkles... Sparkles". Later, many other gem cutters learned the
secret of enhancing the flaw to make a brighter light, but this was the
first diamond ever actually cut that way (and like said, a certificate
of authenticity to go with it).
And at the family get together I think on June 1, 1979, Karen and me
announced to everyone that we had eloped before the party. It
went off really well until after the party and Karen and me met with
great half uncle Jack Carpenter (about 300 pounds without a neck so to
speak). It was a tradition of the oldest Carpenter male to give a
speech to the suitors of the Carpenter women. Jack gave me that
speech (as well as a few other men Karen had dated over the
years). The speech went something like, "She's my niece and if I
ever catch you (can't remember now) with her I am going to cut your
balls (nuts?) off with a knife." or something like that. And then
I surprised her Uncle Jack as I said back something like, "If I ever do
something like that to her I hope you use a dull rusty butter knife and
make it as painful as possible. I actually wasn't acting or
anything. I really do love her but unfortunately as you've
probably noticed I'm still too young." And then I believe her
Uncle Jack said something like, "I'm going to hold you to that and when
you get old enough if you still wish to marry my niece and she still
wishes to marry you, I give you both my blessings." But great
uncle Jack had asked for "the papers" and of course, there weren't any
so I messed up and I squealed. But then too as great gramma Susan
said, "I may be blind, but I can still find your bottom Jack".
But the men were allowed to be men in the Carpenter family so long as
the Carpenter women didn't object.
241. What were Karen's favorite hobbies?
Karen's favorite was "shooting the
breeze". Karen loved to just sit and talk with people.
Every one is different and talking with others is how you find this out.
Karen loved playing baseball and
Karen loved being outdoors. The fresh air and frolicking and all
that. Wide open spaces. Cartwheels. Hand
stands. The works. Pup tents not that mobile home
stuff. Back to basics. She also loved her TV shows too so
as long as someone taped those for her when she got back, Karen would
be fine with getting away from it all for a little while anyway (a
weekend possibly). Camping, sitting by the campfire singing songs
and roasting marshmallows (that she would feed to me and others) and
shootin' the breeze. Yeah, she could last about a weekend before
missing her "creature comforts" of a room with a TV and air
conditioning and all that. After a couple days, the bugs can find
someone else to eat.
Karen loved needlepoint and
crocheting and knitting and cross stitch. Karen loved to sew and
"shoot the breeze" while she was sewing.
And yup, Karen loved to cook
too. As Karen called them, "my concoctions". Karen liked to
experiment here and there. Karen always loved being different.
Karen liked watching TV but she
also had started getting into reading books again. There are some
things that just can't be done on TV shows and such.
Karen loved jokes and practical
jokes and pranks. Karen wasn't much for being too serious as that
tends to make people (including Karen) grouchy and cranky. Karen
liked being child-like but mature enough not to be childish.
Karen always tried to keep busy
doing something. Mostly work but when not working she had many
hobbies too, to help fill in the time.
242. Did Karen know how to yodel?
Yes, Karen knew how to yodel
perfectly. You can hear a sample of Karen kind of yodeling on
"Prime Time Love" from the "Voice of the Heart" album. But yes
Karen could yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady,
yodel lady who - with the best of them (and probably even better than
243. Is it true that Karen's mom couldn't say "I love you" to
Karen? (Note, this answer will contain adult content and adult
language and as the Carpenters were Adult Contemporary artists it had
to happen sooner or later I guess)...
Yes, it is true but if you'll
notice they never asked the big question, "Why?" as in "Why couldn't
Agnes do such a thing?"
As far as another yes, yes, Ev
used to give Karen a hug and a kiss on the cheek and an "I love you" to
Karen whenever Karen left as Karen's mom couldn't do such a
thing. And again, "Why couldn't Agnes do such a thing?"
As far as why... It used to
be known as 'The Generation Gap' where the meaning of things for one
generation might be changed and different for the next
generation. That is the case here. Karen and me had a
discussion about this after Ev Wallace had stopped by in January
1979. To explain (next paragraph)...
As far as Ev Wallace and Agnes
Carpenter, they were the same generation but both were raised
differently. Agnes was raised with the word love to mean 'making
love' whereas Ev was raised with the word love to mean 'caring'.
Even though Ev and Agnes were about the same age, they were
raised differently. Even though the same age, there was also a
Generation Gap between them. Beware of ANYONE that tries to tell
people that all people think alike or are the same. The 'old
school' (Agnes) thinking was that love
associated with sex as caring already had the word caring associated
with it so why double that. But really would you rather just have
sex or make love. Be honest. The 'new school' (Ev) thinking
added the meaning of caring to the word love. Old school, love is
associated with sex; new school, love is associated with caring.
Yes, think about this here. Does someone having sex with someone
mean that they care about that someone? The answer to that
question is actually no. The truth about what happened was that
"the powers that be" wanted to take caring out of having sex. So
the word love was changed to mean caring and the sex connotation was
dropped. Yes, having sex with someone without caring was the
reason behind the change in the word love's meaning. So yes,
actually the 'new school' way of thinking is a bit messed up. The
old school way of thinking was that saying "I love you" was a key
for "I want to have sex with you" which is a far cry from the 'new
school' thought of "I care about you". But what is wrong with
just saying "I care about you" instead of "I love you"? Nothing,
and actually it makes more sense to say you care about someone.
What about the phrase "making love"? Precisely. The powers
that be didn't want 'the peasants' making love anymore. During
the 'old school' days, you almost never heard the word sex, but almost
always heard the word love. The 'new school' days it is almost
always the word sex instead of love. Which leads to...
In the old days, parents cared
about their kids and loved their spouses. Nobody seems to care
anymore in the new days. Think about it. The word meaning
change was deliberate and intentional. Back when in the old days,
"I love you" meant you wished to have sex with someone and care about
them and make love with them. Do you see how the blurring of the
meaning of the word love took caring out of the equation of having sex
with someone. There is a huge difference in thinking between love
meaning sex and love meaning caring. The Generation Gap between
Ev and Agnes and many others as well. And yes, "it screwed things
up". Caring is the actual word that means
caring. Why did they change the meaning of the word love to
include caring when caring was already a word by itself? Yes, the
difference is the sex connotation of the word love compared to the word
caring. Yes, in the old days people rarely heard the word sex; in
the new days people hear the word sex all of the time. Divorce
rates went through the roof and caring went out the window taking the
word love with it. Caring means caring. Love means
love. Sex means sex. Who were the "powers that be"?
The Christian churches? You mean... Yes, it was
intentional. "Love thy neighbor" could be a bit awkward.
But with the church trying "Jesus Saves" and "Jesus cares about me" and
"God Cares", they had more of a following with "Jesus Loves Me" and "A
Loving God" and love, love, love that the church just started using the
word love a lot more as it appeared to attract more people to the
church. But some still kept with the old school love meaning
too. Yeah, a bit of confusion with the word love even to this day.
So to finish answering this about
WHY Agnes would not say she loved her daughter... I see a bit
missing on this as you would think that a therapist would wish to ask
that question that just begs to be asked here of "Why won't you say you
love your daughter?" Yes, a very revealing question there isn't
it. And if you notice, it never got asked or if it did they must
be very embarrassed by the answer that Agnes (mom) would have given for
that question. And the answer as Karen had told me was that her
mom loved her dad with all her heart but she cared about her daughter
and her son but did not love them as she loved only her husband, her
one true 'love', the man she married. And yes, another one, but
don't they mention that mom never said she loved her son either.
Karen mentioned that to me that her mom never said she loved her son or
her daughter but mom did care very much about both of them and they
both knew it and that mom loved dad with all her heart. Mom went
to work at the local aerospace place to help pay for the piano and
drums for her kids. Mom cared. Mom and Richard were the
ones telling Karen she needed to go get help for her eating
problems. And the ones that were supposed to be helping just
created more problems (which brings up this next paragraph)...
But yes, it was the therapists and
not Karen that created that mess and Karen was the one that got stuck
cleaning up a mess on top of her having anorexia and colitis and
arrhythmia and... And well, Karen told me about the time that her
and her brother were in a therapy session with their mom and the
therapist asked Richard to say he loved his sister and asked Karen to
say she loved her brother. And they did. This was what set
up a long talk between Karen and her mom after that session. But
during the session of course, mom couldn't say she loved her daughter
or her son (surprise). But after the session and when they got
home... Karen said when they got home her mom just went outside
and grabbed a shovel, a couple garbage bags and a bucket and started
digging in the garden out back. Karen went out and asked her mom
what she was doing and her mom told her that she was digging a hole for
Richard. Mom told Karen that mom didn't blame Karen and that men
are like that and that she was sorry that Richard had done that to her
(Karen). And Karen asked her mom, "Did what?" and her mom just
said, "You know" and then Karen told me for the next two to three hours
Karen had a talk with her mom about how the meaning of the word love
had changed and meant caring now as well and was not just about
sex. Yeah, Karen had to have a talk about sex with her mom.
Talk about awkward. Karen also said that if it hadn't been for
her talking with her mom and assuring her mom that her and Richard had
never had sex together that her mom would have beat Richard over the
head with the shovel and buried him in the back yard on that day after
that therapy session. But yeah, that
therapy was really helpful to the therapist's pocketbooks but Karen
only had extra problems and never got any actual help from
therapists. Karen told me, but I don't think that others ever
really knew half of that mess that therapists put Karen through with
Generation Gap nonsense and such. You would think that a person
trying to get therapy would have less problems and not more. But
I understood why Karen wasn't too fond of that therapy stuff. It
'nuts' or 'cuckoo' or any of that kind of stigma or whatever attached
to therapy and such, it was
just that Karen got tired of having to deal with all the added nonsense
from a bunch of apparently over educated and under common sensed crack
pots that were creating more problems and not helping Karen at
all with her anorexia problem. As Karen called it, "The Looney
Bin" and she was
right. But Karen told me that they never asked her questions and
always assumed stuff and her therapy was always just a huge mess.
I still see the mess there to this day.
And with that 242A. Is it true that Karen's mom never hugged Karen?
No. Actually Karen's mom, after
the February 1978 session, gave Karen an "I'm probably never going to
see you again" hug which Karen said she would have rather not hugged
her mom than get that hug from her. But that is another 'twisted
tale' like question #242. Karen told me about that February 1978
session and the ones that talk about that from the other side, not
Karen's side, don't have anything from Karen about that as many have
noticed. What actually happened was Karen was in her therapy
session and the therapist brought Karen's mom in the room and then said
to her mom, "Hug your daughter" without explaining why or anything,
just "hug your daughter". Then the big mistake of "if you don't
hug your daughter then you don't care about your daughter" and Karen
just ripped right into the therapist and dropped the 'f bomb' on that
therapist right in front of her mom while yelling and crying at that
therapist stuff like, "How f***ing dare you try and tell my mom she
doesn't care about me because of some f***ing hug? Who the f***
do you f***ing think you are talking to my mom like that? My mom
has always been there when I needed her and who the f*** do you think
you are saying sh*t like that to my mom you mutherf***ing son of a
b*tch. You a**hole. You mutherf***ing a**hole... F***
you, just f*** you all to Hell you overpaid worthless piece of
sh*t..." (not exact words here but hopefully you get the
point. Karen told me she dropped the f bomb on him but she also
told me that she was so p*ssed off that she didn't remember what she
actually said to the therapist other than the f bomb came out).
to Karen, Karen was not the least bit sad that her mom didn't hug
her. At least without hugging they couldn't accuse Karen and her
mom of being lesbians too on top of all that other nonsense. It
was just a mess there which was why Karen didn't talk about her therapy
publicly. There was never anything nice to say about therapy
other than Karen learned that therapy sucked and wasn't working.
See also questions #10, 11, [sic] 54!!! [end sic] & 67.
the truth is that
Karen was never ever sad that her mom didn't hug her, but Karen was
p*ssed off and dropped the f bomb on the one that started that hugging
back in February 1978.
As far as myself after over 40 years of the nonsense and seeing others
not own up to mistakes (question #Next to next to next to last), I can
honestly say they were a**holes and they will continue to be a**holes
in my book until I can see some actual honesty and long overdue changes
from them. That faulty profile stuff that doesn't match is just
crazy. Karen was an INFJ-A personality and it is impossible for
someone with an INFJ-A personality to fit that anorexic profile.
That profile is for an extrovert and it is impossible for an introvert
(like Karen and many others) to fit that anorexic profile.
Introverts are internal and do not rely on the opinions of others (an
extrovert) like that faulty profile requires.
243. Did Karen's family control Karen?
Another long one I imagine
When I first met Karen on September 6, 1978 she had told me that at the
ripe old age of 28 that she had run away from home. The truth was
that she had actually just picked up and took off without telling her
family (mom, dad, Richard) where she had gone. But why?
Actually it wasn't because of being controlled but it was because Karen
needed to get away and try something different and Karen did NOT want
anyone to try and talk her out of it. In February 1978 there had
been the big problem at the LA mental health clinic and with Richard
saying "I quit" on September 4, 1978 after the Vegas show, Karen was
looking to try something different and get away from LA and show biz
for a little while at least. So she moved in with her step cousin
Wendy B in a small area in New York State and tried a 9 to 5 type job
(actually 7 am to 3 pm roughly with weekends off) as she felt the need
to keep busy with something even though taking a break to try and sort
her thoughts out. She also used an alias as well as a wig and
such. But Karen knew that if she told her mom, dad or Richard
where she was going, they would have bugged her to stay in Downey with
them and they would let her have any freedom she wanted. But
Karen felt like she was having more of a mid life crisis thing going
on, so she felt the need to get away and do something completely
different to see if she really was happy being the singing half of the
Carpenters or maybe her destiny might lie elsewhere. How do you
know unless you try something different? So Karen got away and
tried something different.
As far as 'control'... As
far as with Richard, Karen and Richard always worked together as equals
and there isn't really a control factor in equality. Equals are
equal and not really superior or inferior to each other. Equals
work together with their strengths and try to minimize their
weaknesses. That was Karen and her brother, Richard. As far
as Karen and her mom and dad (the folks), growing up, Karen had always
had a habit of trying to make friends with the troublemakers, so to
speak. But the thing is that Karen wouldn't have her family bail
her out or such and pretty much took care of herself. If others
picked on her brother, Karen would intervene as Richard wasn't one to
stand up for himself. If someone picked on her brother, Karen
would go after the one that picked on her brother and tell them to
"knock it off or else I'll beat the living daylights out of you".
So the family would worry about Karen possibly getting in over her head
picking fights and such. Karen was very stubborn and head strong
like her mom. And yes, both Karen and her mom were a lot
alike. Richard and his dad were fairly laid back and they were a
lot alike as well.
But as far as with Karen while I
was around Karen (September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979) I noticed how if
someone seemed to be trying to control Karen, Karen would use her
family as a way to avoid being direct with someone that might be trying
to control her. "An easy out" as it used to be called. When
I was around Karen from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 I never saw
her mom or dad (her mom did call once though) and I remember only
seeing Richard like 4 times during that time. Karen would get
homesick and fly home during her work breaks and such and Karen and her
mom always talked over the phone together but it wasn't forced or
such. Karen would get very homesick and hearing her mom's voice
would help somewhat. Karen had always been surrounded by family
when she was growing up and after she had grown up, she still was
surrounded by her brother and family. Even though touring and
such, Karen would get homesick after about 3 to 4 months on the
road. Karen was just so used to being a home body and she had
never really stayed over at a friend's house or such while she was
growing up. Karen wasn't controlled, but she really wasn't used
to being on her own even though touring and on the road and such.
Karen was a home body and liked being home. Karen wasn't actually
suffocated or such, she had just always had her family looking out for
her and being there with her and for her. And if Karen wanted to
have a family on her own, then Karen figured she needed to get herself
some space from her immediate family which was why she 'ran away from
home' so to speak at the age of 28. But I saw that Karen was
never really forced to be home by anyone, Karen was just a home body
and she was just so used to her routines with her mom, dad and
brother. And with routines, what different? Was Karen ever
going to find a husband that had the same routines as her family?
Of course not as everyone is raised differently.
But to try and finish here, when
around Karen I had noticed that Karen would use her family as an excuse
to avoid being confrontational with someone she felt was
controlling. Stuff like, "My family won't let me do that"
and "My family wants me to come home" and such even though it was Karen
there and not her family. It was a convenient crutch for
Karen. Karen's family would give her advice and such, but as far
as actually controlling Karen, Karen wouldn't let anyone control her,
just like her mom. Karen was just like her mom.
There was a big blow out between
me and a guy named Max around mid May 1979 and after that blow out I
understood about Karen. Max had actually been trying to control
Karen. Max had filled Karen's head with a bunch of stuff and
Karen had fallen for it for quite a while. But then it got to be
too much and Karen started saying that her family wanted her to come
home. Note, Karen's family hadn't been wanting Karen to come home
and had thought Karen was doing better where she was. But Max was
threatening Karen that Max was going to have her fired from her job and
all kinds of stuff to try and keep Karen under his control. Karen
was NOT used to someone controlling her as she felt lost with all the
nonsense Max had been pulling. So as I saw things happening, I
stepped in and intervened. Things came to a head and Max ended up
literally and figuratively having his back up against the wall.
The boss noticed as well and stepped in as well. Max's bluff got
called out and the boss stepped in also. Karen had actually
called her family before the blow out and had told her family that
things weren't going so well and that she would be coming home (she
wasn't being forced to come home). After the blow out, Richard
came out to get his sister but after the blow out, Karen wanted to stay
where she was again. So all kinds of stories from Karen.
And that was how I learned about Karen and 'control'. When
someone was trying to control Karen, Karen would make up stories to try
and cover things up. Her family this and her family that when it
had really been Max and not her family. Max was a big guy (around
6'7" and about 300+ pounds) and the boss was about 6 foot tall and
maybe 160 - 170 pounds and me the little pipsqueak at about 4'9" tall
and about 100 pounds soaking wet. The pipsqueak slammed Max up
against the wall and put a huge dent in the wall and then Max had heard
later how the pipsqueak's dad had cleaned the boss's clock before when
they were younger. Max didn't want to mess with either the boss
or the pipsqueak again so the control nonsense stopped. Richard
flew out and Karen explained (with more stories of course and not that
much honesty) to Richard that she wanted to stay there and not go back
home. But Karen's family ALWAYS supported Karen but also ALWAYS
let her make her decisions and her successes or her mistakes as well.
But Karen and me had a talk about
'control' before (Somewhere between March and April) that Max stuff had
happened in mid May 1979. I had mentioned to Karen about knowing
when someone was trying to use someone that the one trying to use the
other person would try to isolate the one being used from others.
Max had been trying to isolate Karen for a while. And Karen and
me both agreed that the biggest signs of someone using or controlling
others was the lack of honesty and that the one being used would feel
lonely around the one doing the using. As Karen and me also
agreed, "It's no fun feeling lonely when you're around someone."
Karen told me that she had never felt lonely around her family.
Around Max and several others, yes, but around her family, no.
But what I learned was that Karen
would tell people that her family didn't want her doing whatever to
avoid being confrontational with someone that was actually acting
controlling towards her. So when someone says that Karen said her
family was controlling her it raises my suspicion about the person
saying that Karen said her family was controlling. I knew Karen
to use her family as an excuse to say no to someone being controlling
without being directly confrontational with the controlling
person. A form of defensiveness they call blame shifting now; I
guess. And after mid May 1979 if something happened I would joke
with Karen and say, "Well, what did your family do now?" as the joke
between us was that Karen's family wasn't even around and not really
involved with anything let alone controlling anyone or anything.
So like with Thomas Burris being controlling, "What did your family do
now?" as even though Karen and Thomas were there but Karen's family
wasn't there on June 18, 1981, it must have been Karen's family's fault
just like with Max. But I have only ever known controlling people
to be sneaky and very manipulative. Sneaky and manipulative does
not sound like Richard or Agnes or Harold Carpenter. As far as
being sneaky and manipulative, yup, Max, Thomas Burris, and can you
guess some more here (you can toss in some book writers and movie
writers here too if interested)? But also note, a child should
not be in control of an adult under ANY circumstances. So yeah,
when living in Connecticut, Harold and Agnes should have had control
over Karen and Richard. As Karen and Richard got older, they got
their own places (Lubec Street and Avenue of the Stars). So yes,
the real problem seems to be a bunch of warped fiction writers and
others that will apparently believe about anything told without
questioning it. Harold and Agnes lived on Newville Avenue,
Richard lived on Lubec Street (1973+) and Karen lived on Avenue of the
Stars (1975? / 1976+) and Karen and Thomas lived at Newport Beach
(1980) and at one time Karen also lived in an apartment in her
apartment complex next to Casey Kasem (?) and they had their own
places. So the question begs to be asked as if Karen and Richard
lived on their own, then how in the blue blazes was Agnes able to
control them when they lived on their own? That's a real (your
brains are in your head not your) butt scratcher there ain't it?
244. Did Karen know karate?
Karen had told me that she knew a
little bit about judo but I can't remember for sure now if she took
lessons or not. I think she learned a couple moves from one of
the security guards but unfortunately Karen isn't around anymore to ask
to be sure on this if she took lessons or not. As far as karate,
I am pretty sure not, but as far as judo I am just drawing a blank on
that now so I will have to stick with "I don't know for sure on that
one". I am fairly sure not, but not positive. This is one
of several where Richard would know about this more than me.
245. Did Karen prefer baseball or softball?
Karen and me talked about this in
March / April 1979 and her answer was baseball because the ball is
smaller and a lot easier to handle.
As far as sports, Karen liked all
sports as it keeps you physically and mentally active. She did
not consider golf or bowling or such 'sports' as Karen considered a
sport a direct competition between people. Now if you were
allowed to block bowlers or golfers somehow from taking a shot then it
would be a sport. But Karen considered bowling and golf and such
as activities and not really a sport. A sport for Karen needed to
be confrontational. Offense and defense. There's no offense
or defense in golf or bowling (keggling) or such but they can still be
fun to play and still help keep you busy and active. Hoping I
remembered Karen's perspective properly with this.
246. Did Karen have body dysmorphia?
First, body dysmorphia is a term
where someone feels their body is the opposite of what others see and
the weight scales show. Someone that is obviously overweight
seeing themselves as slim or someone slim seeing themselves as being
obese (overweight, a beached whale). In September 1978 when I
first met Karen she weighed 94 pounds. In October 1978 Karen
weighed herself and she weighed 104 pounds and called herself "a
beached whale" not because of her body, but because of the 104 pounds
instead of 94 pounds.
With that, at times Karen would
have body dysmorphia but at other times not. Around me, Karen
seemed more worried about the weight number itself than her actual body
shape or size. When Karen had got up to about 136 pounds she
didn't seem to weigh herself much or that often. It seemed like
when Karen weighed around 100 pounds or less that she would focus more
on the weight number than her actual body shape or size.
So a rough call here as at times I
did see Karen have body dysmorphia, but also when I noticed that about
Karen it seemed to be more about the weight number itself than about
actual body appearance. At other times I would see Karen not
really weigh herself and not really have an opinion about her
weight. And Karen saw herself as a beached whale at 104 pounds,
but she really did not appear much different at 104 pounds than she did
at 94 pounds. But without a number, Karen didn't seem too
concerned about her body shape or size. Sometimes Karen would
have body dysmorphia while other times not. It kind of came and
went depending more on her weight number than on any mirror image of
herself or such. If at 104 pounds and not having weighed herself
much, she wouldn't think much about her body size or shape and
such. But if she had been weighing herself a bit and she had that
weight number, she would think of herself as too fat even though she
would not consider herself too fat while at 136 pounds. So that
is why I feel it kind of came and went. Not sure what may or may
not have been triggering it outside a possible thought process
situation as it seemed like the weight number itself didn't seem to
matter as much as how she was feeling about herself at the time.
But when feeling emotional about her weight, she would weigh herself
more but if not worrying about her weight, she just wouldn't care about
the weight number. I had been doing a thing where I would change
the subject if she kept talking about her weight number a lot.
After a little while, Karen wouldn't really bring the number up
much. But then somehow, Karen would start getting fixated with
talking about the weight number and again I would try and get her to
focus more on how she was feeling or other stuff besides "some silly
number" (as I would tell her). I never really knew for sure what
her trigger actually was for that weight number fixation, just that it
would come and go at different times.
The rough part is, as usual, Karen
is not around to verify things anymore. My possible thoughts are
that the weight number problem may have possibly been triggered by
Karen's difficulty at times going to the bathroom with her colitis
(enlarged / swollen intestines). At the time, I didn't really
keep track of when Karen did or didn't take a dump so to speak.
But like said in the previous paragraph, it didn't seem to be triggered
by the weight number itself. And with that, hopefully I got the
information as accurate as possible so maybe others can possibly figure
it out too. I did get her to change the subject, but I never
thought to ask her why she would get on that subject of worrying about
her weight number. So I'll never really know for sure here just
that I know I didn't ask her so I know she never answered. My
fault as I really should have asked.
247. How many gold records did the Carpenters receive?
That is an almost impossible
question to answer as the Carpenters were worldwide and received many
awards in many different countries. There is a listing in the
back of "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book of the confirmed silver,
gold and platinum awards from the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, The
Netherlands, Denmark, South Africa, Hong Kong but there are more being
added every year so a definite number is not really officially
available. As far as platinum record awards, around 38. As
far as gold records, 4 video gold and I counted 74 gold records (but
there are more likely more than that as there are some listed as
platinum but do not have a gold or silver award listed with them and a
record would need to go silver [UK] before gold and gold before
platinum, however, some records sell so fast that they bypass silver
and gold and go straight to platinum upon issue). Great question
and the answer I feel is "a lot and it just keeps growing more all the
time" as the Carpenters catalog just keeps on selling over the years
and many more years to come yet (and digital media sales being added in
248. What was Karen's favorite type
of movie to watch?
Aha, a trick question here.
When going to a theater or just sitting in front of the TV, Karen's
favorite type of movie was romance. And the 'trick' is?
Well, you need to watch those kind of movies with a boyfriend or
such. And with Karen, she would be too busy smooching and such
and would have to ask someone else what the movie was about
afterwards. Romance movies and shows were Karen's
favorites. She wouldn't actually watch them though if she could
249. You stated Karen had a list, do you know what Karen said she was
looking for in a guy?
I kind of remember but it was a
long list and with it being a long list I might forget a couple things
(so this is probably close but probably not exact here). But
Karen was looking for...
...A guy with a good sense of
humor. ...A guy who was financially self
sufficient (at least a millionaire). ...A guy who was
Charismatic. A guy that had a commanding presence. ...A guy who was about 3 to 5
years older. ...A guy who did not get angry
easily. ...A guy who liked practical jokes. ...A guy who was about six feet
tall, blond hair and blue eyes. ...A guy with broad shoulders. ...A guy with a nice firm butt. ...A guy without facial hair (no
mustache / no beard). ...A guy that had street
smarts. A guy with common sense. ...A guy that played
baseball. A guy who was athletic. ...A guy that was handsome. ...A guy that was interesting and
had a lot to talk about. ...A guy that wasn't a spoiled
sport. A guy that didn't throw tantrums. ...A guy with dimples. ...A guy with wavy hair about
shoulder length in the back. ...A guy that was a handyman. ...A guy that knew how to make
gizmos and gadgets work or could at least figure them out. ...A guy with a medium build,
muscular but not overly muscular or wimpy looking. ...A guy with a deep, calm,
soothing voice. ...A guy with 'some' body hair but
not overly hairy. ...A guy that didn't drive like a
maniac. ...Don Quixote (a guy with a good
imagination and his own hopes and dreams and such). ...A guy that wasn't embarrassing
(brash or abrasive). ...A guy she could trust.
...A family man. A guy who wanted kids and a family.
...A guy that was good with kids. ...A guy who wouldn't cheat
accuse her of cheating. ...A guy that was protective but
not controlling. ...A knight in shining armor. ...A guy that didn't put words in
her mouth or tell her what she could or couldn't do. Not bossy or
overbearing. ...A guy that liked being
different. ...A guy that she heard bells,
harps and / or violins with.
...A guy that wasn't too fussy.
...A guy that was romantic.
...A guy that was good with animals as animals are a good judge of
...A guy that loved to cuddle by a fireplace.
...A guy that wasn't arrogant or snooty. A guy that was down to
earth and humble.
...Mister Right, not Mister Right Hook.
...A guy that was mature but still child-like not childish. A guy
with an open mind and open heart.
...Not being put on a pedestal or in an ivory tower or such.
Karen could take care of herself and her husband should do the same.
...A guy that wouldn't chicken out.
...A guy that wasn't a slob or lazy.
...A guy that kept his promises.
...A guy with a nice smile.
...A guy that would leave the toilet seat down but also clean up after
...A guy that liked eating at home.
...A guy that didn't have a wandering eye.
250. Was Karen "the jealous type"?
Yes. Definitely. Karen
would get extremely jealous of her men when she was seeing them.
No wandering eyes and watch who you talk to and such or you'd hear
about it from Karen.
251. Three-ring circus of friends? Can you elaborate on that?
Question #12 continued...
On February 3, 1983 near the end of our long phone call Karen had given
me permission to "blab" as she called it. With that permission,
yes, I can elaborate on Karen's three-ring circus of friends (with
To be in Karen's inner circle of friends, Karen would tell a person a
secret and if that person kept the secret, they stayed in Karen's inner
circle. If they told that secret or 'blabbed' (blabbermouthed?)
then they would be moved to Karen's outer circle of friends and no more
secrets. Most people were in Karen's middle circle without
secrets being involved. Karen believed in forgiveness and did not
believe in hating anyone. So Karen felt she had only friends and
not enemies in her three-ring circus of life. At the center of
the circle was a word called trust. Most of Karen's boyfriends
were in her middle circle as well. But for examples here...
Mom (Agnes Carpenter) was in Karen's inner circle. Karen and her
mom had a lot of secrets that they kept between themselves.
Karen's mom was where Karen got the idea of the three-ring circus of
friends idea from. When on tours with her son and daughter, mom
had noticed that at times it would be like a circus around Karen and
Richard. So Karen had a "three-ring circus of friends".
Dad (Harold Carpenter) - not positive but fairly sure inner
circle. The reason why is because I am not sure if Karen and her
dad ever actually shared a secret between themselves or not. I am
nearly positive inner circle but there is an outside chance he may have
been in the middle circle as Karen never mentioned if her and her dad
ever shared a secret between themselves. So I am 99.9% sure that
dad was in Karen's inner circle but it is just that Karen never
mentioned if she shared secrets with her dad like she mentioned about
her mom, brother and cousin Joanie.
Cousin Joanie was in Karen's inner circle. While growing up,
Karen and Joanie shared a few secrets together. Karen always felt
of Joanie as being a big sister to Karen when Karen was growing up.
Richard (brother) was definitely in Karen's inner circle but actually
just behind their mom in the secrets department. Believe it or
not, Karen had more secrets she shared between her and her mom than she
did with her brother. The blow out noticed around the Werner
Wolfen incident in January / February 1983 was actually about Karen
telling her brother not to mention her health problems to others or
Richard would be put in Karen's outer circle too. Luckily,
Richard hadn't really revealed a secret there or else, as Karen was
always very strict with if she asked a person to keep a secret and they
didn't keep that secret, NO MORE SECRETS and outer circle. No
Werner Wolfen was I believe middle circle like Ev Wallace below.
Lawyers are supposed to keep things confidential anyway.
Mush (Karen's albino malamute / samoyed) was Karen's ringleader in her
innermost inner circle. Karen could tell Mush anything and Karen
never worried about Mush telling anyone else. Mush always knew
everything about Karen and always kept it private.
Mark and Mary Rudolph were in Karen's inner circle. Not sure
about any actual secrets there (which is a good thing) but I know Karen
always trusted Mark and Mary.
Evelyn (Ev) Wallace was in Karen's middle circle. Karen and Ev
didn't really share secrets together and it would have been awkward
with Ev doing the Carpenters newsletter and such if Karen had Ev in her
inner circle, so Karen tried to keep Ev in the middle circle.
John Bettis was in Karen's middle circle as far as I ever knew.
Feeling like the career got in the way of romance and such wasn't ever
a secret or such. But like all, it was always between Karen and
whoever (myself included) and Karen was always the one who knew if
there was a secret between her and someone else or not. If Karen
asked John to keep a secret and he kept it, then he was in her inner
circle but I do remember that Karen hadn't really shared secrets with
John but they would talk each other's ears off at times.
Olivia Newton-John was actually in Karen's middle circle until around
March 1979 when Karen and Olivia shared a secret and Karen moved Olivia
into her inner circle. The secret was that Karen had guessed who
a famous actor was that had tried to get Olivia but Olivia wasn't got
by this famous Hollywood bad boy (page 57 in Olivia's "Don't Stop
Believin'" autobiography). I know that Olivia was still in
Karen's inner circle when Karen passed away.
Dionne Warwick is an interesting one. After an incident in 1979,
Karen did trust Dionne but also Karen did not want to take a chance of
having to move Dionne to the outer circle if there had been another
mishap (which Karen being unfoundedly [is unfoundedly an actual word?]
jealous was what had started the mishap). Dionne never told of
the mishap nor did me nor Olivia. So Karen had Dionne as probably
the only one that was technically in Karen's inner circle, but Karen
kept trying to keep Dionne in her middle circle as a precaution.
So Dionne was technically the only one that was between Karen's inner
circle and middle circle of friends. A very special person as
both Karen and Dionne were 'old souls' and they both had a lot of
wisdom to share with each other. Karen was probably more worried
that she might blab than Dionne blabbing (blabbermouthing? Hey,
where are the grammar police when you need them?) was the reason for
Karen trying to keep Dionne in the middle circle. There was a
secret (or two or more?) there though between Karen and Dionne.
Rod Temperton was I believe the only one that Karen had moved from her
inner circle to her outer circle then to her middle circle.
During the beginning of the solo album, Karen and Rod had many secrets
that they kept between themselves. But then Rod had been keeping
a secret from Karen and with that, Karen wasn't sure if she could trust
Rod anymore so she moved him to her outer circle. In mid May 1979
over the phone, Rod had confessed the secret to Karen that Phil had
asked Rod to keep secret. With that, Rod and Karen still had
their secrets that they kept together but to keep from a possible mess
as Rod was caught between a rock and a hard place between Karen and
Phil, Karen moved Rod to her middle circle after Rod had confessed the
secret he was keeping as to why Phil gave away the songs. The
secret was that Phil Ramone had lost a bet with Quincy Jones about the
1979 Grammy Awards and because of that bet, Phil owed Quincy three
songs. That was the reason behind all the double talk from Phil
about "He's Out of My Life", "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall".
Karen's boyfriends (question #6) - I believe all but two of Karen's
boyfriends were in Karen's middle circle and those two would be Thomas
Burris in Karen's outer circle and Adrian (not John Adrian but me) in
Karen's inner circle. John Adrian was in Karen's middle circle as
were the rest as far as I ever knew.
Frenda Franklin (Leffler) was in Karen's inner circle until around
March 1979. Karen had been staying with her step cousin Wendy in
New York State (not the city) since September 1978 and Karen had told
Frenda about Karen having anorexia but had asked Frenda to keep quiet
about it. When Karen went back home in March 1979 Karen noticed
that a few people in Karen's middle circle had heard about Karen having
anorexia and it pointed to Frenda being 'the leak'. After March
1979, Karen had moved Frenda out to her outer circle of friends and
Karen did not tell Frenda any of her secrets after March 1979.
Yes, I know Frenda was chosen as Karen's Maid of Honor at her wedding,
but I'll get to that with the Thomas Burris discussion here
shortly. There was a different reason than what others knew about
for why Frenda and not someone else as the Maid of Honor. From my
Itchie and Frenda were best friends with each other would be
accurate. Also from
my knowledge saying that Itchie and Karen or Frenda and Karen being
best friends would not be accurate as both Itchie and Frenda were in
Karen's outer circle and best friends weren't ever in Karen's outer
circle but were in Karen's inner circle. And a head's up here but
I know from Karen that Karen had never talked with Frenda about doing a
solo album and also that Karen had always hidden from Frenda, Itchie
and Phil (and several others) that Karen knew her brother was seeing
Mary Rudolph (secretly since about late March / early April
1979). Frenda heard about that stuff from Itchie and others after
Karen had passed away and not from Karen and it shows in the stuff that
Frenda said later on. Had "the Town Crier" actually known from
Karen about the solo album and Richard seeing Mary, then everyone else
would have known too before Karen passed away. Like I stated,
Frenda was in Karen's outer circle starting in March 1979 and Karen did
not tell secrets to those in her outer circle and the solo album and
her brother seeing Mary were secrets that Karen kept from Frenda before
Karen passed. And also I guess Frenda didn't realize that for
Karen to 'go solo' with Phil and Itchie Ramone, Karen would have needed
to dump her manager, Jerry Weintraub, and Jerry's assistant, Ed
Leffler, Frenda's husband, to actually go solo and leave her
brother. I never met Frenda, but I
can see that she didn't appear to be the brightest penny in the
barrel. Karen never disliked Frenda as a person or a friend but
Karen could trust Frenda on some things but Karen couldn't trust the
Town Crier to keep her big blabbermouth shut so no secrets was all.
Melba Franklin (Frenda's mom) was in Karen's inner circle. Yes,
that was a bit awkward and several times Karen tried to sneak around
Frenda to talk to her mom, but Frenda would show up so Karen would kind
of clam up after Frenda showed up. And after problems with
Frenda, Karen kind of moved Melba to her middle circle as Karen
couldn't seem to talk with Melba without Frenda being there.
Thomas Burris was always in Karen's outer circle. From day one
where Thomas had said that he had never heard of the Carpenters, Karen
always felt Thomas wasn't being honest so he was always in Karen's
outer circle. For why Karen married Thomas, question #19 and for
why Karen wanted to divorce Thomas, question #155. But Karen and
Thomas were supposed to be engaged for a year but Thomas started
pressuring Karen to move the wedding up so Karen did. Originally,
Karen was actually planning on having Olivia be her Matron of Honor (if
Olivia had accepted and Olivia would have been Karen's Matron not Maid
of Honor) but with Thomas being so pushy and such, Karen
decided to pick Frenda instead. Yes, Karen trusted her husband
about as much as she trusted her Maid (not Matron) of Honor.
Thomas was never
honest with Karen and Karen likewise. Yes, the marriage was a
mess and it was both Karen and Thomas that couldn't be honest with each
other. On I believe June 18, 1981 Karen gave her step cousin
Wendy permission to tell Thomas a couple of Karen's secrets and on June
18, 1981 Thomas found out that Karen had been about as honest with
Thomas as Thomas had been honest with Karen. But Wendy had only
told Thomas a couple secrets and with that short talk, Thomas realized
that he really didn't know squat about his wife like he thought he
did. The mirrors and smoke screens shattered for both Karen and
Thomas on June 18, 1981. But yes, Karen had always had Thomas in
her outer circle so when someone tries to say that Thomas knew Karen's
secrets, I know that didn't come from Thomas as I know from personal
experience on June 18,
1981 that Thomas knew better than to say he knew Karen's secrets.
After being married, Karen was hoping that Thomas might have become
more honest and open with her, but it was actually the opposite and
Thomas became even more secretive and so did Karen become more
secretive with Thomas. It was just a mess on many different
levels. Also, Thomas seemed to know about a couple of Karen's
secrets that Karen had never told him (like how she felt that the guy
she should marry was the guy who got her back for all the pranks she
pulled on others - with that, Karen had told me that at a restaurant,
Thomas had pulled the 'dribble wine glass' trick on her but it had
wrecked her new pants suit whereas before then I had pulled the pencil
line down the middle of her face trick with Olivia and Dionne there but
the pencil mark wiped off without wrecking anything and I had got her
back in 1979 so to speak before Thomas' prank in 1980). Karen
figured it was probably
Frenda that had supplied info to Thomas back when Karen and Thomas were
dating. Karen hadn't figured that out though before she married
Thomas. I actually hadn't been told before I pulled the pencil
mark trick but I found out from Karen personally afterwards that she
had always prayed to God that her 'true love' would be the guy that got
her back for all her practical jokes she had played on others.
I had been that guy but stuff happens. Thomas preferred to be
called Thomas as he felt it was more
distinctive, so usually Karen called him Tom, but if Karen was upset at
him, she would call him Tommy.
Mike Burris, Tom's son, as far as I knew was in Karen's middle
circle. Mike probably witnessed a couple things between his dad
and Karen, but I know Karen didn't really confide anything secret with
Mike. In June 1981, Karen referred to Mike with me as "spoiled
brat" as a reference here. Mike was 18 years old when Karen and
his dad got married. And even though a spoiled brat, so to speak,
Mike was more of a friend to Karen than his dad was. Karen said
that Mike wasn't a totally bad kid, but his dad got him anything he
ever wanted and never said "no" to him. As Karen saw it, it
wasn't Mike's fault that he didn't know the meaning of the word no.
Phil Ramone was always in Karen's outer circle as Karen never trusted
Phil. Karen always tried to hide any secrets from Phil.
Phil never knew any of Karen's secrets as Karen was always worried and
was warned about Phil trashing his clients in the tabloids in order to
increase record sales using 'free publicity'. Phil had Karen's
album tapes and Karen had worried that Phil might sneak off and release
them behind her back without her permission. With that, Karen
felt she had no choice but to have to be around Phil or Itchie to make
sure that her solo album didn't get released without Karen's
permission. That was a mess like Karen's marriage was a
mess. As Karen and I called it, "A Can of Worms".
Karen Ichiuji (Karen Kamon on the "Flashdance" credits, Itchie Ramone)
was also always in Karen's outer circle. Saying Itchie and Frenda
were best friends with each other is probably accurate. Best
friends are not
people that are in someone's outer circle so saying they were best
friends with Karen is not accurate. Like Phil, Karen never
trusted Itchie and after several other incidents, Itchie was probably
the farthest one out on Karen's outer circle. And for some odd
reason, Itchie never told Frenda Franklin that if Karen had actually
'gone solo' so to speak then Karen would have had to have got rid of
Jerry Weintraub and Frenda's husband, Ed Leffler, as her managers in
order to go solo and sign with Phil Ramone as her producer. Yes,
Itchie was that special kind of friend where as they say "with friends
like that, who needs enemies?" Well, maybe Itchie was tied
for farthest out with this next guy (but maybe not)...
Steven Levenkron was definitely in Karen's outer circle. Karen
told me that of the people she had met that Steven was the most
manipulative even more so than Thomas Burris. Karen said that he
was nothing like his book and often wondered if someone else wrote that
book (maybe his wife Abby?) or such. Karen told me several
incidents that happened including what happened on her intial meeting
for Levenkron's Clinic between her, Itchie and Levenkron (all three
together in the same room when Karen's purse was dumped and Itchie knew
better but never said a word and backed up Levenkron and his deception
as Itchie knew the pills weren't Karen's pills and that Karen never
took Synthroid, but...). From what I heard from Karen about what
happened between her, Levenkron and Itchie and from what I saw that was
made public by Itchie and Levenkron, then neither Itchie nor Levenkron
will ever rest in peace but hopefully they get reincarnation else they
hopefully love the smell of barbeque (Bar-B-Q?) throughout
eternity. Yes, what Karen told me happened was THAT BAD about
Itchie and Levenkron. From what I know and from what I have heard
and seen, Karen was right about these two. Thomas Burris was
probably more of a friend to Karen than either Itchie or Levenkron ever
were. These two were THAT BAD.
What about the guys in the band and such... as far as I ever knew,
Karen was very close with the guys in the band but to avoid possible
problems I believe they were all in Karen's middle circle of
friends. The band was always like a family and with the way they
saw the press behave, the family stuck together and let Karen and
Richard do the talking rather than face flak by the press too like
Karen and Richard got. They were free to talk but didn't after
seeing how they treated Karen and Richard. Would you talk after
seeing others being called "the toothsome twosome" and such? The
press were (and in most cases are still) not too fond of honest and
people and the band as well as Karen and Richard were honest and decent
Herb Alpert (Karen told me that Herb had asked her to call him uncle
Herbie at one time because Herb always felt like A&M was a family)
I am fairly sure was in Karen's middle circle of friends. They
could have possibly shared a secret though, but probably not and best
left between them if they did.
Jerry Moss was the businessman at A&M and was in Karen's middle
circle as well. Businessmen aren't known for being warm and
affectionate but Jerry realized that with the numbers that Karen and
Richard brought in that Herb had made a great decision and Jerry had
almost made a mistake back in the beginning.
Sherwin Bash was probably in the middle circle of friends.
Ed Leffler was probably in the middle circle of riends.
Jerry Weintraub was in the middle circle of friends. Yeah,
business people don't usually make inner circle as that would probably
mess up the business end of things.
As far as I knew, Paul Williams was in Karen's middle circle.
I am pretty sure John Denver was in Karen's middle circle as well.
I am also fairly sure that Burt Bacharach was in Karen's middle circle,
but like with everyone, if Karen shared a secret and the secret wasn't
blabbed, the inner circle. And Karen was the only one who knew
for sure if someone was in her inner circle or not. Karen had
given me inside information however on certain people. As far as
Burt, no inside information, so either middle or inner circle and most
likely middle as Karen didn't see Burt that often. Kind of like
with Petula Clark later.
Frank Bonito was inner circle as Karen trusted him.
Carol Landino was inner circle at one time but it wasn't anything Carol
did or didn't do but it was because Karen and Carol lost contact for a
while that they didn't share secrets after they got older.
Debbie (Vaiusa) Cuticello was definitely inner circle. But like
with Frank and Carol, after the family moved out to LA and such, they
had lost contact with each other. Had Thomas been more
trustworthy, Olivia or Debbie would have been Karen's Matron of Honor
(not Maid). Karen trusted Debbie so definite inner circle
there. And because Karen felt Debbie was trustworthy, she tried
to keep Thomas, Itchie and Frenda away from Debbie as best as
possible. Karen could never trust Frenda or Itchie unlike Debbie,
Debbie's family (Vaiusa), Carol Landino or Frank. Karen
definitely didn't want me around Frenda or Itchie either if it could be
helped. Karen never trusted Frenda or Itchie or Thomas so Karen
was never honest around them as they were never honest with Karen.
Carole Curb was probably in Karen's middle circle. She was the
sister of Mike Curb, an ex-boyfriend. If there was a secret there
between Carole and Karen then maybe inner circle but it seemed like
with Karen's boyfriends, Carole was in Karen's middle circle.
Cherry Boone (O'Neill) was in Karen's middle circle. See question
#145. Karen didn't really know Cherry that well. Cherry
didn't really know Karen that well either.
Pat, Shirley and Debby Boone were in Karen's middle circle too.
At one time Karen kind of considered Shirley as almost a second mom to
her. Karen always loved the way Debby sang "You Light Up My Life"
and the fact that Debby sang it about God. Karen was so proud of
Debby winning a Grammy Award for that and felt Debby earned and was
very deserving of that award. Karen made a special point to stand
next to Debby during the promo for the 25th Annual Grammy Awards show
in January 1983.
Petula Clark was in Karen's middle circle. Karen liked Petula and
was always grateful that Petula had dragged Karen out of the meeting
with Elvis but Karen's and Petula's schedules really didn't leave much
time between them for get togethers and such. Karen had always
admired Petula's singing career and being her own person.
Dorothy Hamill I believe was in Karen's middle circle too. But I
could be wrong as well. Like I say, if Karen shared a secret with
someone and they kept that secret, then they were in Karen's inner
circle. That was always up to Karen who Karen let in the inner
circle and who wasn't.
Kristy McNichol I believe was also in Karen's middle circle as well.
John Davidson I believe was also in Karen's middle
circle as well.
Ella Fitzgerald I believe was also in Karen's middle
circle as well.
Suzanne Somers I believe was also in Karen's middle
circle as well.
Yes, I believe most were in Karen's middle circle of friends which
would be a very long list here.
And finally, Adrian 'Ace' Downing, III (the other Adrian), me, was in
Karen's inner circle as well. As far as what secrets I knew,
you're kidding right? If not kidding, it would be a long list
here and take up a lot of space. My personal secret with Karen
#128 about her past lives. But then the secrets grew after that
in Sepember, October 1978 and onwards. Others knew, but what do
you say when someone (me) can't be mentioned publicly and can't talk
publicly? Maybe someday, hey, what about now...
And after finals comes graduation for most and there was another
category that Karen called "the unmentionables" so I never knew for
sure if Karen ever had anyone in this category. And the reason
why "the unmentionables" was if someone had done or tried to do
something really bad to Karen or those close to Karen, they didn't
exist and since they didn't exist they couldn't be mentioned.
After Karen saw how her mom hated dirt, Karen never wanted to hate
anyone or anything. If it didn't exist, nothing to hate so no
hatred. That simple (a Karen Carpenter trait). Karen's rule
would be if she ever ran across someone in this category
that she would walk right away and not acknowledge they existed.
The closest one I knew about to this category was Thomas Burris if
Thomas had tried to block the divorce or other such stuff, Thomas might
have been put on this list. But Thomas had signed the divorce
papers and he had not really tried to block it or stretch it out or
such so he did not make it to the unmentionables. And with this I
feel the need to list Karen's most trusted (inner circle) in order,
which the top three were Mush, her mom and Richard in that order.
With Thomas signing the divorce papers, the three least trusted (outer
circle) by Karen in order were Itchie Ramone, Steven Levenkron and
Thomas Burris. Karen always felt that Itchie Ramone was trying to
ruin her career to try and force Karen to have to work with Phil
Ramone. Karen had caught Itchie backstabbing her a couple times
(a nasty tabloid article that was rejected, several incidents that
happened at the Levenkron Clinic [the initial meeting, Karen's supposed
private family meeting that Itchie knew about, the argument where
Itchie moved out but didn't answer Karen's 3 questions to name a few of
several] and of course Phil Ramone holding onto Karen's solo album
tapes even though Karen had paid for the production and such,
and...). As far as Steven Levenkron, Karen said he was just plain
evil and couldn't be trusted to be honest about anything and was even
more manipulative than Thomas (which was quite a feat that Steven
accomplished there and from what Karen told me, yup, he accomplished
it). And as far as Steven's phone calls after Karen left the
didn't want Steven to stop wasting money on useless long distance phone
calls so Karen never asked Steven to stop calling her and Karen was
kind of hoping Steven would stay on the line long enough and call often
enough to bankrupt himself eventually. The same for Thomas Burris
as being evil like Levnkron but Thomas got brownie points at the last
minute by signing the divorce papers was all as otherwise Thomas would
have topped the list had he tried to stretch it out or tried to get as
much as he could get out of her. But yes, Karen had only had
friends in her three-ring circus of life that anyone ever knew
of. Enemies did not exist.
252. Was Karen hiding something by always joking and clowning around?
Yes. Karen was actually
hiding the fact that beneath her child-like antics of always joking and
clowning around that deep down, Karen was too mature and too thoughtful
for most people to handle. The guy writing this page has the same
problem. When someone behaves too mature (like Richard) people
tend to avoid people that are too serious as it usually leads to
arguments and lectures and such which aren't any fun. So to take
the edge off of being serious, being child-like with joking and
clowning around to hide the massive amount of maturity that most people
can not handle. Karen honestly did not have any sadness and was
always grateful for the wonderful experiences (both good and bad) that
she had throughout the years. But through those wonderful
experiences, Karen had become an "old soul" and had wisdom beyond her
years when being serious. To hide the "old soul" Karen (and me)
would behave child-like to hide that massive amount of knowledge,
experience, intelligence and wisdom that would scare people away.
To explain here, Karen had become a household name in a short period of
time but also Karen had accomplished many things to become that
household name, through experience and wisdom. On my end, at the
eight years old I had dealt with having met the Archdeacon of
Canterbury after an incident that started the "Merry Xmas" and "Keep
Christ In Christmas" movements and at age ten I had met a former
baseball star, Jimmy "Cool Papa" Bell, who was a major league baseball
talent scout and at age 12 I had given a guy ideas that led to the guy
getting the job of president of the National Transportation Safety
Board (around February 1978) which aren't normal experiences for people
at any age either. Karen and me had both matured at a very early
inlike many who never mature at all. So to hide the massive
amount of maturity, exactly, child-like joking, pranking and clowning
around to keep from being too serious and scaring people away.
253. What type of wine did Karen prefer?
Karen's favorite alcohol was Dom
Perignon Champagne as the bubbles tickled her nose. "Recent
vintage, not that old stuff".
As far as wines, it depended on
what Karen had to eat before. A dry chablis preferable if I
remember correctly. Karen was pretty flexible on most stuff and
not too picky usually. If out at a restaurant, Karen would
usually ask the waitor to recommend dry or sweet or even duet or
such. Afterwards, let Karen sniff the cork and you could pick her
up off the floor later. Karen did not really drink alcohol that
often so she didn't really have a tolerance to it. But champagne
or wine as beer was too gassy and bitter while 'the hard stuff' Karen
just didn't have the tolerance for. They didn't have wine coolers
back then. Karen would have probably enjoyed wine coolers more
than a bottle of wine and could have sniffed the cap instead of the
Next to next to next to last. Do all people make mistakes?
Yes, all people make mistakes in a
process known as learning. No one has ever learned anything new
without making a mistake or more to gain that knowledge. The
problem is that some people profess themselves to be experts.
Experts are people that don't make mistakes. Therefore experts
are just figments of their own imaginations. The only expert on
Karen Carpenter passed away on February 4, 1983.
Next to next to last. Where is that article that said "Karen was
This is actually a very interesting
question. Rather than take my word for it, try and look at what
happened with someone around this question. Billboard magazine
even stepped in on this one. Then the story changed again.
The truth is that no one knows when, where, with whom, or even how this
came about as the stories about this question just keep getting
changed. Was it an article? Was it a passing comment?
(According to my research, I found out that this actually started from
something mentioned in the movie "The Karen Carpenter Story" that upon
further examination was found to have not actually happened which was
why Billboard magazine stepped in and...) Like stated, the
stories on this have changed a few times now but it is
really not worth my time or effort to research on this any
further. Why? It would be a bit ridiculous to think that
something that insignificant as a single statement like that would
cause someone to become mentally unhinged from it. Leave it to
fiction and tabloid type writers. But the other thing is
that those around the one that the controversy is based around tend to
behave like a pack of rabid animals whenever anyone questions the
of this guy. There was actually a very long and involved answer
before and after I reviewed that answer, yup, not worth my time but
others can do as they wish with this.
Next to last. What is so wrong with the books and movies about Karen?
As far as those Autopsy
shows and such, toss 'em as they never even scratch the surface of
Karen's autopsy which was why I was asked to work on doing this page as
a reference as to how much is missing from those shows karenlastdays.html .
"Carpenters - The Untold Story" book, "Yesterday Once More" (1996)
documentary, "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" (2021) book, "The
Carpenters : Up from Downey" (July 4, 1974) Rolling Stone magazine
article. The information in these hold up fairly well as you
learn more about Karen and life in general (but nothing is totally
Not recommended are
"Goodbye To Love" (2016) movie, "Little Girl Blue : The Life of Karen
Carpenter" (2010) book, "Karen Carpenter's Second Life" (October 6,
1996) New York Times article, "Some Kind of Lonely Clown : The Music,
Memory and Melancholy of Karen Carpenter" (2015) book, "The Karen
Carpenter Story" (1989) movie or for a better answer, anything so far
that tries to deal with Karen's anorexia is not accurate. That
also includes those shows that talk more about Karen's anorexia than
her autopsy as well. Karen
never fit that anorexic profile and as a result, EVERY one of those
books and movies that tailor to that anorexic profile are always WAY
OFF and always lead to confusion about Karen and no actual answers
which is why that stuff is not recommended by me. Stuff being
taken out of context is a big problem in all of these. Also,
there is stuff left out of these which is why after you run across the
stuff that was left out, many of the stories told about Karen in these
not recommended books and movies and such fall apart. One of the
major misses in these is Richard's motorcycle accident in January
1973. Another one of the major misses is Richard saying "I quit"
on September 4, 1978 after that Las Vegas show and Richard
quitting. And feel free to look at 'question # After thought'
coming up shortly for some real doozies (all of the rumors that are
just false rumors started with this stuff as well as the stuff that
makes no sense when facts are presented like the major misses I just
mentioned). That anorexic
profile fits Cherry Boone and her "Starving for Attention" book, but is
actually the complete opposite of Karen Carpenter. And when
reading or watching something about Karen, when they try and make Karen
sound like Cherry, it goes in the dumpster with the rest of its
kind. But if you are not one for wasting money like that, then by
all means file that not recommended stuff in your fiction library
between "Butt" and "Cheeks" for when the need may arise during a toilet
paper shortage. The information in these fall apart
fairly easily as you learn more about Karen and life in general (but
nothing is totally imperfect either). They also fall apart when
you see the full interviews instead of the chopped up snippets that are
misleading in these things (books and movies and such). If you
can tell the
difference between someone saying something like 'according to
Karen...' (which isn't in these books) and 'according to what I know
and have heard about anorexia...' then by all means try and read this
stuff. For most, however, better to avoid stuff that is
subjective and speculative (not recommended) opposed to stuff that is
objective (recommended). For others that didn't avoid, yes that
stuff gets messy and really illogical when the stuff that is missing
from those books and movies gets found out (like Richard's motorcycle
accident and Richard quitting and Richard's Quaalude addiction and the
autopsy report on Karen is a bit off and on and on as you discover
there is more that is missing than what is included in these biased
books and documentaries that appear to be more about trying to prove an
illogical theory about an anorexic profile than being about Karen
Carpenter. There are also others that will accept nothing but a
sad story about Karen too even though Karen was never a sad person in
real life. Everyone has their moments but a sad moment with Karen
was actually rare as Karen was usually clowning and joking around most
of the time).
Oops, and another thought here on this. As far as Karen, the
person, the closest I have seen to that is watching the fictional
character Mona (Angela's mom) on the TV show "Who's the Boss?".
All of the documentaries and movies and such about Karen are just too
short and you could try, but it would be just too short to give an
accurate depiction of Karen the person in an hour or so. But by
watching Mona on the "Who's the Boss?" show, you can see what is
missing about Karen in the documentaries and such. That "old
soul" and wisdom and such that Karen had that is very apparent in the
TV show but usually lacking in the documentaries and such about
Karen. Sadly, many of the documentaries and such try to depict
Karen as someone that was lost and confused and sad which was not Karen
all. Karen always had her wits about her and was never a pushover
or such and was usually clowning and joking around. And like
Karen, the Mona character is "different", her
own person like Karen was.
Last. What is "brainwashing"?
Brainwashing is the act of
repeating stuff over and over again hoping
that people believe what is being said is truth after seeing and
hearing it so many times.
Brainwashers also have a bad habit of
bullying others into agreeing with them and also trying to project
their thoughts as being the thoughts of others and that all others
always agree with them. Putting their words in other people's
mouths so to speak. A very dishonest
Those that brainwash do not want people asking
questions especially the "why doesn't this sound right?"
question. Brainwashers try to get people to believe that they
have all of the answers, but many times they don't and just assume and
second guess and make stuff up and hope they don't get caught.
The sure sign that I have found for a 'brainwashing site' about Karen
Carpenter will be a post, sooner or later, stating how people need to
not be "disrespectful of Karen" which is a code phrase from these
brainwashers that they will hassle, harrass, badger and ban anyone that
about Karen's brother or her family. These posters and these
sites are crazy and insane and are loaded with content that is
disrespectful of Karen and her family. Honesty is not their
strong point as those that have been brainwashed can't have anything
that goes against what they want to think and want others to think
regardless of if it makes any sense or has any basis in reality.
Yes, a complete lack of any common sense. Like who in their right
mind would believe that someone else knows more about someone than that
someone knows about themselves. Yes, brainwashing always leads to
insanity to those who fall for it. Blind obedience. Do what
we tell you to do and think what we tell you to think or else.
Believe only what we tell you to believe and don't ask too many
questions. Not because you aren't allowed to ask questions, but
because after a while you will start to realize that the answers that
you will be given fall apart when facts are presented (like in the
following 'After Thought' section).
you have this profile of a sex slave abductor that is a loner that
lives out in the middle of nowhere while in reality you have an actual
slave abductor working as a bus driver living in downtown
Cleveland. Profiling (stereotyping) is probably the most ignorant
idea I have ever witnessed.
And with that you have Karen singing
lead and background vocals and playing drums while Richard sings
background vocals and plays the piano / keyboard (Wurlitzer?).
Definite working together there but apparently they were competing
against each other according to a profile that makes no sense.
How can someone playing the drums be competing against her brother
playing the piano?
And from Karen, Richard was the favorite and
Karen was the black sheep as favorites have their ducks in a row and
black sheep like to let their ducks wander. Favorites put the
round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes
which is why they are favored. Black sheep put the round pegs in
the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they
don't fit you just need to use a bigger mallet. Karen never
wanted to be the favorite and loved being the black sheep. As
Karen would say, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over."
Karen and Richard always
worked together and since Richard was the 'favorite' then he was the
one that would get asked to cover for the black sheep or else the black
sheep would rat on the favorite to mom and dad and such. Whoever
stated that Karen wanted
to be a 'favorite' falsity obviously never talked with Karen about
that. The favorite was Richard's job and the black sheep was
Karen's job. Favorites follow the rules and are like everyone
else whereas the black sheep tend to bend rules passed the breaking
point and are different. But anyone that actually knew Karen knew
that Karen loved
being the black sheep that was a bit different than everyone else and
was not the least bit interested in being a
Karen always loved being the underdog. People
don't root for the favorite, they always root for the underdog (black
sheep). Karen was never interested in being 'the favorite'.
As Karen would say "Hogwarsh (hogwash)" or Richard
"Poppycock" or me "Nonsense" or nearly everyone else "Bullsh*t".
Brainwashing. A huge mountain of nonsense is still just
nonsense. It is what it is.
After thought. Why doesn't this sound right?
Excellent question that can have
many answers as that same question may get asked over and over while
reading certain books or watching certain films and / or clips and
especially in Karen's autopsy report.
Nobody's perfect, but when stuff starts sounding strange, not right,
not making sense or
very contradictory to itself then what? Like this page has been
doing, ask questions... And as this page demonstrates, when
people try and make up stuff, when people ask questions about it, that
made up stuff starts falling apart.
Questions like, "What did Karen weigh when she started her solo
album?" Over 120 pounds. Question, "What did Karen
weigh during her photo shoot for her solo album in February
1980?" About 80 pounds. See how the solo album helped Karen
with her anorexia?
And Richard was in rehab from January to March 1979 for his Quaalude
addiction and Phil Ramone didn't start producing Karen's solo album
until May 1979 so Richard was still in rehab apparently and Karen was
sneaking around to do her solo album with Richard still being in rehab
according to stories I've heard about it. Richard was out of
rehab in March 1979 and Karen and Phil didn't start the album until May
1979 so no, Richard wasn't in rehab when Karen started her solo
album. What sneaking around? Richard knew. But
as part of the reason behind Karen doing a solo album was because
Richard had quit, Richard tried not to be involved with Karen's solo
album and except for a couple small events, Richard really didn't get
involved with Karen's solo album and left the decisions and such up to
Karen. Question #187.
How could Karen leave her brother
after her brother had already said "I quit" and he actually left on
September 4, 1978? If Richard quit the Carpenters on September 4,
1978 then there wasn't anything left there for Karen to leave.
Karen did a solo album because her brother was the one who left, not
Karen. It was Richard and Karen and Karen and Richard, the
Carpenters. Without Richard, no Carpenters. Without Karen,
no Carpenters. Richard was the one who quit because his Quaalide
addiction had got so bad that Richard would just start shaking
violently at times and he just could not keep going on like that, so he
quit. So how could someone think that Karen was wanting to leave
her brother and the Carpenters when her brother had already quit and
left on September 4, 1978? Sounds pretty bass ackwards to me.
In a book, Frenda and Itchie are seen as being best friends and being
around Karen until the very end. But in reality, Phil and Itchie
had found out that Itchie was pregnant with their first son but
doctors had told Itchie that Itchie needed to take it easy and no
travelling or heavy exercise or such (I think I heard from Karen that
they discovered it was a tubular pregnancy). Itchie had not been
Karen for at least the last couple months as Itchie and Phil were in
Pound Ridge NY on the east coast while Karen was in Downey CA from
November 1982 until she passed in February 1983. Phil and Itchie
were unable to attend Karen's funeral as Itchie was still bedridden
with her pregnancy on February 8, 1983. Some author wants people
to believe that Itchie, Frenda and Karen were "friends til the end" but
in reality, Itchie and Karen weren't around each other for at least
around the last 3 to 4 months Karen was alive.
And why didn't Rod Temperton do anything more with Phil Ramone after
Why didn't Rod comment much
publicly on Karen's solo album? What about the Off the Wall,
She's Out of My Life and Rock with You songs?
How could their mother be controlling Karen and Richard while Karen and
Richard were out on the road or in recording studios all the time?
Did Karen ever want to be 'the favorite'? Heck no, who came up
with that crazy darn fooled idea? Surely not anyone that really
knew Karen. Karen loved being the black sheep and wasn't the
least bit interested in being 'the favorite'. Favorites follow
the rules which is why they are favored by others whereas black sheep
try to bend the rules passed the breaking point whenever
possible. Karen always loved being a black sheep and the underdog
and was never the least bit interested in being the favorite.
Didn't their mom work too after they moved to Downey? Yes, she
did which is why I really scratch my head on how someone could think
that their mom had all this time on her hands to be controlling over
her kids when she didn't really have that much time available.
After Karen and Richard became millionaires in late 1970 to early 1971
then mom didn't have to be working and Ev Wallace (that mom worked
with) was brought in and all that. But according to Karen to me,
their mom was worried about feeling useless and unneeded as she had a
very strong work ethic and felt "Idle hands are the Devil's
work". But also try and think that it would be a bit awkward with
kids telling their parents what to do instead of the other way
around. Karen wasn't much for "being normal" anyway, but still
try and imagine how it would feel being an adult and having kids giving
you orders on what you can and can't do. Yeah, sounds pretty
backwards and awkward to me too. Kids telling their parents what
they can and can't do just doesn't sound like a good idea to me (and
didn't sound like a good idea to Karen either. Not
because of her mom or any of that, but because it sounds so bass
ackwards and an idea like that needs a serious reality check.
About the only reason a child could be placed above their parents was
if the parents [both] were unable to function physically or mentally on
their own. As anyone with any common sense realizes that trying
to put children above their parents [that aren't mentally and / or
physically incapable] is a recipe for disaster in any household.
Parents need to stay parents and if it is actually that messy
psychologically [or whatever term used here] then the children [in
their twenties and thirties?] need to move out on their own, not be
above their parents. And Richard and Karen had moved out on their
own (but not because of anyone being overbearing, but because Richard
and Karen were older, successful and mom was hoping for a bunch of
grandkids which you don't get grandkids from kids that hang around
their parents instead of finding someone to settle down with of their
own choosing). Mom and dad [the folks] on Newville Avenue;
Richard on Lubec
Street; Karen on Avenue of the Stars. Trying to say that parents
should be dependents and subservants of their children is just plain
bass ackwards and
is a complete f*** up logically).
Since Karen was a millionaire and
of age, why didn't she just move out on her own? She did actually
in 1975? / 1976 and got a condominium on Avenue of the Stars. She
loved home on Newville Avenue though with her old room and her mom and
dad. Richard was living on Lubec Street too, so he was out on his
own as well. Around 1973, Karen and Richard had got the house
together on Lubec Street originally for their parents, but their
parents liked it on Newville Avenue. Karen and Richard trying to
live together on Lubec Street hadn't worked out too well so Richard
of took over Lubec Street and Karen moved back home for a short while
until 1975? / 1976 when she got her condo, question #185.
Was Evelyn Wallace tone deaf? Yes, she was. Ev could hear
people talking and such but she couldn't tell one voice from another
(even male vs. female). Most of the time when Harold, Agnes,
Richard or Karen talked with Ev, they would try and do it in private
away from others. They would also try to make sure that Ev was
looking at them so that Ev knew who said what. If in a group or
such, Ev could get lost trying to figure out who was talking without
seeing their lips move. Ev had 'imperfect pitch' aka tone deaf so
to speak. Ev could hear what was said but couldn't really
differentiate who might be saying it.
And Karen weighed 78 pounds when she entered Levenkron's Clinic in
January 1982. Karen took a break in April 1982 and weighed about
89 pounds during the Beechwood 4-5789 video that was done in April 1982
after Karen had been around her mom, dad and brother for about two
weeks. Then in September 1982 Karen was admitted into Lennox Hill
hospital weighing 77 pounds (82 pounds on the scales minus 5 pounds of
clothing). Levenkron's Clinic definitely helped Karen's anorexia
as is evidenced by the weighings and such. Didn't Karen get up to
about 89 pounds around her family though? Why am I being told to
believe that Karen's anorexia problem was supposedly because of her
family, but oddly, Karen seemed to gain weight around her family and
then lose it around Levenkron and Itchie? Butt scratch for me on
I don't know how someone playing drums and singing is competing against
her brother playing piano somehow, and no one has ever been able to
figure out how yet. People have been able to figure out how
Cherry Boone lost singing the song "You Light Up My Life" to her sister
Debby (as when Debby sang that song, she gave that song a heart and a
soul) but have yet to understand why Cherry couldn't be happy that her
sister had won a Grammy for the way she sang that song. Karen was
always proud of her brother's accomplishments and Richard was always
proud of his sister's accomplishments too. How many Lead Sisters
are there anyway? How many awards and gold records and such did
both Karen and Richard have? And yes, Karen and Richard had many
shared experiences but I've never heard Richard ever get upset about
his name not appearing in Playboy magazine while his sister got
accolades for her drumming there. Speaking of which, yeah a bunch
of questions appeared somewhere about that Playboy Bonzo / Karen stuff
that has been talked about since the 1970s. What really happened
anyway? Believe it or not, Karen did actually mention something
about it to me back in 1978 to 1979, but I can't remember what it was
we talked about now. But this Playboy / Bonzo stuff became
question #207 later.
Was Karen like her dad?
Actually, no. Karen was like her mom and Richard was like his
dad. Richard was the one that would be fairly laid back and
such. Karen had a very stubborn streak in her like her mom.
Richard and his dad were kind of awkward athletically whereas Karen and
her mom were both very athletic. Richard was not one to fight or
get into arguments or such and was very laid back like his dad.
Karen and her mom were not ones you wanted to get into an argument with
because either one of them would dare you to argue with them, they
would ask the other person to agree to promises which regardless of how
someone may think the argument turned out, after those promises were
made, Karen and her mom would win the argument, hands down. Karen
and her mom were both ones that could be very confrontational with
others, whereas like said, Richard and his dad were fairly laid back
and very rarely confrontational. And try to remember also that
while growing up there was actually cousin Joanie, Richard and Karen
and it wasn't just Karen and Richard. There were three kids and
not just two until Karen was about 11 or 12 years old when cousin
Joanie got married and moved out of the house. It wasn't really
just Richard and Karen until they moved out to Downey. Cousin
Joanie was a bit older than Karen and Karen always thought of Joanie as
being like a big sister to Karen while Karen was growing up. But
people kind of forget that while Richard was growing up, he kind of had
an older and a younger sister and Richard wasn't really "the eldest
kid" until Joanie had moved out. And to find out how much of an
influence Joanie may have had on Karen, people would have had to have
talked with Karen about that or known Joanie and Richard and Karen and
mom and dad ("the folks") too. Yes, some things should remain
private just because (when people make up stories, they usually miss
some stuff that wouldn't be missing if some things weren't kept
private like family secrets or not repeated very often like Richard's
1973 motorcycle accident and such)...
I heard a rumor about... is it true?
(1) A wild party involving Karen and a sex orgy ... false.
(2) Karen and her brother having sex ... false.
(3) Mary Rudolph not being adopted ... false.
(4) A tall lanky man in a suit running down the street after Karen
passed away ... unconfirmed, could be true but if true it was not
Richard or anyone else involved with the Carpenters.
(5) Richard was at the house when Karen passed away ... false, Richard
was at Lubec Street and not at Newville Avenue until after Karen was
being taken away in the ambulance.
(6) Richard, mom (Agnes), Alpert and Moss blocked the release of
Karen's solo album ... technically a false true as they (except Agnes
who had no say in it anyway) did block the release but only because of
Karen's wishes read #7.
mom (Agnes), Alpert and Moss forced Karen to shelve (not release) her
solo album ... false. (7) It was Karen's wishes to not have
her solo album released ... true.
(8) Karen using ipecac syrup within days or on the day she passed away
(9) Karen taking pills before she passed away ... according to the
(10) Karen having sex with any woman ... false.
(11) Richard making some secret deal (bribe, whatever) to get Thomas
Burris to sign the suppression order ... false.
(12) Anyone claiming to know more about Karen than Karen knew about
herself ... false.
(12A) Anyone claiming to know more about Richard and mom (Agnes) and
dad (Harold) than they know about themselves ... false.
(12B) Anyone claiming to know more about me (or anyone else) than me or
(them) know about myself / (themselves) ... always false and a sure
sign of a tabloid type writer (fiction).
(13) Karen being dragged around the house after she passed away before
the ambulance showed
up ... false.
(14) Thomas Burris knew Karen and her family's secrets ... false,
Thomas has never said such a thing and he can talk in private.
(15) Karen was wishing to leave her brother and the Carpenters ...
false, Richard was actually the one who left and quit the Carpenters on
September 4, 1978.
(16) Karen weighed 84 pounds when she passed away ... false, Karen
weighed 108 pounds when she passed away.
(17) Richard and mom (Agnes) have covered some things up ... another
false true, as
they have never covered anything up dealing with themselves and only
covered a few things up to try and protect others (including Karen),
not themselves, as some things had legal problems and weren't allowed
to be publicly talked about and also some things were a bit messy and
with the way the
truth gets twisted by tabloid type writers, some things are better left
unsaid and not talked about publicly (if you wish, you can find a few
of them here on this page karencarp.html
(18) Karen sang the song "Superstar" about Alan Osmond ... false, The
song Superstar was written by others (Bonnie Bramlett & Leon
Russel) and the Carpenters recorded the song in 1971. Karen did
not meet Alan until around 1973.
(19) Karen's heart exploded ... false.
If Karen were alive, would she
have any advice to give to others? Yes, be yourself.
Speaking of which, yes, one of Karen's biggest pet peeves she had was
someone trying to tell her what she could or could not do, say or
think. In a word, bullying. That would set her off
instantly and like her mom, off the
broom handle she would go so that she could grab that broom and beat
someone else over the head with it or more likely stick it in an
orifice where the Sun don't shine. Karen lived by a set of rules
and principles but Karen was the one who developed those rules and
principles; no one else. Others trying to say that other people
made Karen's decisions also did not know Karen. Karen would get
very feisty and defiant with those that tried to tell her what she
could or could not do, say or think (especially Thomas Burris after a
short while being married to him. Oh boy, did those two ever
argue. And try not to let others fool you either, Karen started
most of those arguments between her and Tom). That included the
Women's Liberation Movement (question
#118) too. Karen was not much for bullies as bullies are the ones
that try and tell others what they can or can not do, say or
think. Karen's answer to bullies was a phrase, "Stand your
ground." Don't let others walk all over you but don't walk all
over others either. Boundaries.
And a parting thought here... instead of trying to group everyone
together why not let everyone be themselves, Karen Carpenter
included. From my talking with anorexics (Karen especially) I
have found that there are probably as many varying causes of anorexia
as there are anorexics. Some have health problems and some have
mental problems. Some may have both. No one knows until
someone asks. I have talked with a few that had colitis and also
a few that had stomach ulcers and at least one that had tonsilitis and
a few others that had food allergies and were afraid to eat. I
have also talked with some that
had body image problems and others that did not. There does not
to be a one size fits all with anorexia. There are many reasons
why someone may stop eating and the only way to find out is to
ask. Ask questions. And only through asking questions and
waiting for a response from someone else can honest answers be
Trying to say all anorexics are exactly alike is about like saying all
snowflakes are exactly alike. The only thing universal between
anorexics is having a low body weight
at some point. Anorexia is not a club to join, it is a problem
and like with all problems there are always different causes and
different solutions based on the causes of the problem. And the
only way to find the cause(s) is to ask questions. Hey look, a
question and answer page (see above [top of page] ^^^).
And for those that noticed, true, none of this personal stuff was ever
into the lyrics of any of the Carpenters music or such. Karen's
saddest day according to her, was when her dog, Snoopy, passed
away. Karen's dog, Snoopy, never played guitar that anyone was
of. With that being said (typed?), I agree with
the thoughts of others of "can we get back to enjoying the wonderful
music that the Carpenters made without all that other nonsense?"
Just asking for several friends.
It may sound a little goofus, but Adult Contemporary tuba went nowhere
too on the singles charts. Still a great song though.
So how much do you really know about Karen? And yes, it is
impossible for someone to know more about someone else than the someone
else knows about themselves. That was why questions were
invented. To get to know someone better. Try it sometime.
And yes, point blank. I feel that if those that never knew Karen would
stop making up these nonsensical and sensationalistic stories all the
time and others trying
to blindly believe them that Karen wouldn't have had any of those
problems that others that never knew her have made up for her.
For me, this page is not about being right or wrong but is about being
honest and as accurate as possible about what I may or may not know
about Karen. And
from my observations and experiences, those that are dishonest feel
that they must always be right and can never be wrong.
Also from my personal experiences, all honest people can make mistakes
from time to time but always try to be as accurate as possible,
mistakes included. Accurate mistakes? THINKE (Take Heart In
Not Knowing Everything).
And a big thank you to the Carpenters' fans' communities
for many wonderful ideas.