Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter by Randy L Schmidt

Overview by Adrian "Thee Ace Man" Downing, III


First off the title, "Little Girl Blue".  That is not Karen Carpenter.  The original song was a song written in 1935 titled "Little Boy Blue".  I know Karen was a tomboy, but...  Karen was usually a very funny and joyous person to be around, not a depressed person that was 'blue' so to speak.  Starting off on a bad foot with me so far.

Foreward by Dionne Warwick.  Dionne has a way with words at times and this is definitely a wonderful start to the book.  There are a couple personal stories that Dionne talks about and Dionne pays a wonderful tribute to her good friend Karen.  Definitely worth reading here.

Author's note section.  Definitely needed for later on.  A start with Randy talking about seeing "The Karen Carpenter Story" movie when Randy was a teenager.  The movie actually was not that detailed and contained quite a bit of fiction as well.  I talk about that movie elsewhere (why repeat).  Then Randy does a talk about the restrictions and such placed on other writers (Ray Coleman and Barry Morrow).  This kind of sets a tone that Randy feels that Karen's family has been hiding things from others.  The problem that I see after this is that Randy is kind of displaying an almost contempt towards the Carpenter family at this point.  When someone has contempt, they are not going to be objective.  That starts showing in this as without other input, Randy is kind of writing blind here.  Randy states that without Richard contributing, that other avenues are opened up, but without the inside information from someone that was actually close to Karen and the more important part of Karen felt that she could trust them, those other avenues can be a bit off without having additional input from someone that knew Karen well enough to provide the extra information as far as how close someone actually was or was not to Karen, herself.  Karen kept most of her private life as a secret from others.  That is the big problem as there are some that claim being close to Karen but were not actually as close to Karen as they would wish you to believe.  I see a couple names pop up already in Phil Ramone, Karen (Ichiuji) Ramone, Terry Ellis, and Frenda (Franklin) Leffler who was I believe divorced and was just Frenda Franklin at the time of this book writing (around 2010 to 2012).  And a strike here against Randy as Mister Phil (Ain't I just the legendary cat's pajamas for winning an award) Ramone I believe was quite a ways behind Richard and Karen Carpenter in the getting awards and accolades department.  And already, instead of having more questions as the introductory paragraph states, Randy apparently feels he is going to be getting answers instead of "more questions".  But are these the correct answers?  Always consider the source and if that source may have a secret or two themselves that they are trying to hide from others...  As far as Frenda Franklin here, what is quoted about Frenda saying about Karen is accurate as far as Karen being a great influence on others.  What is not accurate is that Frenda tended to repeat things to others so Karen never told Frenda any of Karen's secrets honestly.  Karen referred to Frenda with me as "the Town Crier" and Karen told me that anything she told Frenda was only what Karen wanted others to hear as whatever Karen told Frenda, Frenda told everyone else, the Town Crier, hear ye, hear ye...

As far as Frenda here, from what I remember hearing (which is very little) but mostly from what I am seeing in this book, Frenda was / is a very shallow person.  With shallow people, image is everything but not much personality depth.  Karen Carpenter had a very deep country bumpkin type personality with a shallow concept of image.  Frenda had / has a much different view of the world than what Karen had.

The Prologue.  A mess here as something wrong already.  Randy is not digging deep enough and was not around to ask why would Agnes (Karen and Richard's mom) say such a thing as "I want you to know I did not kill my daughter" spoken to writer Barry Morrow by Agnes sometime around 1984.  Second guessing from others and not asking around.  This can simply be answered by those that were around and growing up in the 1930s around the Great Depression and the thought of that time of "If a child passes away before the parent, they are a bad parent."  That explains this.  I believe Agnes (mom) was born around 1915 or 1916 and she grew up hearing this when she was younger.  It was different times and especially during the Great Depression, there were some sayings that were later discounted, the bad parent saying being one of them.  It was very common for people to blame the parent if a child passed away before the parent passed away.  This book states that this appears odd that Agnes would say such a thing.  But looking at what has been said since about Karen's mom, Agnes, and realize that Agnes was warranted and accurate in saying what she said about being accused.  I already see Randy (author) and others looking to set out on a witch hunt here.  Not a good start (outside Dionne's wonderful Foreward).  And then more wrong conclusions here as like said above, Frenda was not really that close to Karen or her family as Karen didn't trust Frenda to keep a secret.  And thusly, like with Thomas Burris, Karen never told Frenda any secrets.  And as such, this Prologue explains a lot as to why the movie "The Karen Carpenter Story" is a bit off and not quite accurate and fairly vague (especially the last half hour).  Nothing really revealing there in that movie.  (Speaking of revealing here) Yes, Karen's mom was referred to as "The Dragon Lady" as at the time, Karen had been babysitting a neighbor boy that was about 5 years old and you know how little kids repeat things.  "The Dragon Lady" originally started out as a story that Karen made up for this neighbor boy and also later became a code name for others when talking about Agnes (mom) in public so that others (including a 5 year old) did not know who they were talking about.  Dragons are very strong creatures and nearly invulnerable except for their tender, well-guarded hearts as was told in Karen's original story that she told to this boy.  "The Dragon Lady" could definitely breathe fire at times if she ever thought that someone was going to possibly harm either of her children or possibly make them look bad to others.  Do you see the difference between talking with someone that was actually close to Karen and someone that Karen was just around and wasn't that close to them?  That is why Randy and others didn't have the rest of "The Dragon Lady" story here.  That story was not meant to state that Karen's mom was mean but that mom was very strong and very protective with a tender heart.  Witch hunt.  And then more about the making of "The Karen Carpenter Story" movie which is a nice backdrop to start, however, already, there was a reason why stuff was changed and taken out like with "The Dragon Lady" reference as without the tender heart story behind that reference, the reference gets taken out of context.  But after all, the witch weighs the same as a fat duck, so she must be a witch.  And that is continued with Gibb's synopsis of portraying her Karen character.  For the record here, from Karen herself, Karen's anorexia stemmed from her feeling that in order for Karen to feel herself as being attractive to others, Karen felt she had to be straight as a board like a little girl and no curves.  The Carpenter women, themselves (Karen and I were around the Carpenter women in June 1979 during a family get together), were proud of their 36-26-42 figures or "Crisco, fat in the can" as the Carpenter women called it.  That image that Karen had of herself had nothing to do with Karen's family or friends or career or personality traits or such for that matter.  That image that Karen had of her feeling she had to be "straight as a board" was what caused Karen to have her anorexia problems.  It was a perception and behavioral issue and Karen feeling that she had to be "straight as a board" to be considered attractive to others is what is known as a 'trigger' now in psychiatry and psychology but was unknown (except to Karen and myself) back in September 1978 when Karen and I figured this out after Karen and I had a talk about her past life regressive therapy.  That past life regressive therapy pretty much proved that there was not some mystical 'past life' stuff that was karma carrying through from one life to another or whatever the thought was at the time.  Nothing that came up in Karen's past life therapy had anything to do with Karen having an habitual eating disorder throughout eternity or whatever was believed at the time.  Karen started having those thoughts when she was a teenager before she developed as Karen would see the boys ask out the skinny girls on dates.  And Karen and I were the ones that first figured out this 'trigger' stuff that I believe they use now (behavioral modification is what I believe it has come to be known as now), but they did not know about that trigger stuff back in 1978.  So when they say "They didn't know much back then about anorexia" believe it.  They didn't know.  Karen and I were figuring out more than these 'experts' were figuring out.  So all that family this and that is just bogus honestly and it was not helpful to Karen at all as most of that stuff was not true.  But enough digressing here, Cynthia Gibb's explanation is a bit off but that was what was believed at the time (and many are still that naive now).  Karen's anorexia stemmed from when Karen was younger and felt that in order for her to be considered attractive by others, Karen's body had to be as straight as a board.  What Cynthia Gibb talks about is a belief at the time, but not a truth.  And like Richard said too, "I don't know, if I did I'd say." which is true.  The genetic part isn't true to my knowledge however as the other women in the family (Carpenters, Lynns, Tatums, Rudolphs) didn't seem to have problems with anorexia, but still a thought.  But it is an accurate description from Cynthia Gibb about her thoughts on how to play the Karen Carpenter role.  And it is also accurate as far as script changes and such as there was extra information missing which made The Karen Carpenter Story off a bit.  Also, there was just so much misinformation as there were a bunch of partial stories (like the Dragon Lady story) that were kind of misleading when taken out of context.  And at the end of the Prologue, drama and all drama is fiction (did not happen, not true) like the final scene in The Karen Carpenter Story movie.

So we get to Chapter 1, California Dreamin'.  Randy did get some details as far as Harold Bertram Carpenter and some of the family lineage, but there is a bit more there than what was mentioned (but not really needed I guess as you will see here).  Anyway, Thomas and Susan (Seal) Carpenter had their first child when Susan was 13 years old.  Oops.  Thomas and Elizabeth Ann (Sherlock) Carpenter had a son named George Bertram Carpenter who was Harold Carpenter's father.  Thomas was already married.  Double oops.  Thomas was caught with his pants down (with as Susan called her, 'the Shameless Hussy') and the marriage with Elizabeth was annulled.  Thomas and Susan (Seal) Carpenter also had two more daughters, Rose and Florence Carpenter, and two more sons, Joe and Charlie Carpenter.  I met the Carpenters (including Susan [Seal] Carpenter) June 2? 1979.  On Harold Carpenter's mother's side was Elmer Lynn and Emma (Briggs) Lynn who had a daughter Nellie (Lynn) Carpenter that married George Bertram Carpenter.  Elmer and Emma also had sons George and Howard and daughters Martha 'Matilda', Gertrude and Hazel (I remember meeting Gertrude and Matilda in 1979, not sure about George, Howard and Hazel).  The Lynns were born and grew up in Wellsville New York which is about an hour from where I live in Corning New York.  The Carpenters were born in Surrey UK and George married Nellie and they were missionaries in China when Harold then Richard then Esther were born.  George and Nellie moved to Surrey UK and had daughters Geraldine and Guinevere (Guinevere passed away in 1978 in Australia).  Harold's brother Richard married a woman named Mary (I met uncle Richard and aunt Mary as well).  With the five kids, George and Nellie moved to Ellis Island for several months and then moved to Wellsville New York USA afterwards.  Nellie developed pleurisy and passed away in 1927 and after Nellie passed away, George remarried a lady named I believe Wefta? B[censored]k (I know the actual last name but keeping it secret here.  Dmytro B[censored]k had passed away and Wefta B[censored]k was a widow and married [lived with?] George Carpenter who was a widower).  George passed away in either 1941 or 1942 so neither Richard nor Karen ever knew their dad's actual mother and father but I know Karen had met her step grandmother Wefta?.  Another thing, both Nellie and Wefta had red hair.  George Carpenter loved women with red hair.  And those with red hair always have freckles too.  As you see also indirectly from what Randy wrote in his book, Gertrude (Lynn) Stoddard married Frank Stoddard (and as I said before, I met great aunt Gertrude in 1979 at a Carpenters family get together for Susan [Seal] Carpenter's belated birthday and Great uncle Jack Carpenter and his wife's anniversary party).  Yes, a very lively family tree on dad's (Harold's) side.  When Harold and Agnes had a son they named him after Harold's brother, Richard Lynn Carpenter.  For part of Karen's story...  Thomas Carpenter's mother's name was Sarah Anne (Nash) Carpenter.  After an incident between Harold, Agnes and the seat in a Nash Rambler automobile in late mid 1949, Karen Anne Carpenter's middle name was conceptualized (or conceived if you prefer).  But not sure on any story about Karen's first name, but this was the extra stuff not there in Randy's book and outside Karen's middle name and the red hair and freckle stuff, yeah, this information is a bit long and tedious to deal with so probably better left out.  Agnes's side with the Tatums (father) and Rudolphs (mother) is a bit easier to follow I imagine.  Karen had told me that either her grandmother or great grandmother Rudolph spoke dutch and Karen learned to speak dutch / german from her. A little tidbit here about when Karen was growing up and a secret that Karen kept from most people.  When Karen was little and growing up in Connecticut they had a house full with mom and dad and cousin Joanie and Richard and Karen.  When the weather outside was bad, sometimes Karen would do things with her imaginary friend (I think Karen said her name was Lucy, possibly Emily though).  Karen knew there wasn't anyone else there and it was just pretend as Karen was so used to having people around that she didn't really know how to do things by herself on her own.  So Karen and Lucy would play house together or play cards or such if others were busy.  Karen always believed in having an imagination and Karen knew that Lucy was just imaginary and didn't exist but Lucy was still a lot of fun to be around at times when Karen was younger.  And as Karen got older (even into her thirties), sometimes Karen would pull out her stuffed animals and play by herself too.  It was just pretend and nothing serious or such.  Sheesh.  All in good fun as like Karen said about herself, "I like being different" or "I think normal is overrated".  And why Karen kept it secret was because it wasn't about loneliness or anything like that, but about Karen using her imagination.  Many 'grown ups' are so caught up in being serious and Karen always enjoyed 'having fun'.  Seriously having fun?  So as most people know, Karen loved to joke around a lot and not really 'grow up' so to speak.  Richard was grown up enough for both of them anyway.  Some people just like twisting things so badly into something which is completely the opposite of what is being done or experienced which is why most people 'hide' stuff anymore.  Someone always trying to make mountains out of mole hills instead of enjoying the scenic wonder that mole hills can offer.  Chapter 1 brings us through the story until the move to California in 1963.

Chapter 2.  An added story here (like in chapter 1 above).  After they moved to Downey, Karen met a few kids here and there but it was a bit awkward being 'the new kid' and adjusting and such.  Karen loved to play baseball and as we know, the better baseball players have nicknames.  A little while after moving to Downey, one of the kids in Downey came up with the nickname of 'Pudge' for Karen and Karen loved it.  Karen wasn't Richard's "little sister" now and all that, Karen started out in Downey as Pudge.  When Karen started her freshman year at Downey High, the baseball guys would ask Pudge if she wanted to play baseball after school and such.  When they moved to Downey Karen was a little over 4 foot tall and weighed about 120 pounds I believe.  Around her senior year, Karen was taller but had also gained weight too weighing in at about 145 pounds then (age 16 / 17).  But Pudge was a 'cool dude' and a lot of fun to be around and loved to play baseball with the guys.  As Karen was a tomboy, she enjoyed being thought of as "one of the guys" so to speak and the guys usually came around to ask Pudge to play baseball with them and such.  Of course the girls she met in her classes knew her as Karen, but the cute guy baseball players knew her as Pudge.  Karen also learned to play 'matchmaker' as the cute baseball playing guys knew Karen so certain girls would ask Karen if Karen could fix them up with (whatever cute guy baseball player).  Karen became kind of popular after her freshman year started at Downey High School.  Yes, Carlton Fisk was a "copy cat" as Karen would say when he used Karen's nickname.  Karen got the nickname Pudge in 1963 a while before Carlton caught for the Boston Red Sox, but Carlton was a catcher and Karen loved to pitch.  The major leagues were not going to sign a girl to play baseball, but at least one Pudge made it to play in the majors so Karen was OK with Carlton borrowing her nickname for a while.  After this, Karen started her habit of giving everyone and everything she could a nickname (except using "little sister" or "older brother" as a nickname of course).  Nothing really needed to be changed or corrected in Randy's book here that I am aware of yet, but as being someone that knew Karen personally, I know there is a bit missing here.  So, so far I am just adding in extra 'stories' that I know about as an added bonus to maybe help this get a little more personal like I feel Karen would want this to be.  Another side note here too, Karen told me in 1978 that she had picked up a case of athlete's feet at her Connecticut middle school and that showering after gym class in high school would aggravate her athlete's feet and her feet would start itching and burning at times during other classes.  So at the beginning of her sophomore year in 1964, Karen had talked with someone that told her that if she joined the marching band that it would count as gym class.  Karen joined the marching band and also joined the school choir to get out of Geometry (Karen wasn't much for math either as math was rigid and Karen liked using her imagination).  Oops, The Richard Carpenter Trio or 'The Dick Carpenter Trio'?  I remember hearing Dick Carpenter Trio as I believe Richard thought the name Dick made him sound older at the time.  Excellent getting Frankie Chavez to talk here.  To answer a question, Karen did have a crush on Frankie at one time but Frankie also did have a girlfriend at the time too.  The crush faded after a little while with Karen after she got to know Frankie better and Karen realized that outside of playing drums and such, that Frankie and Karen didn't have much else in common with each other.  They both loved playing the drums though.  Karen considered it a 'puppy love' on her part after their first couple months and it was kind of her first crush or whatever you want to call it.  Karen and Frankie were never boyfriend and girlfriend which is as Frankie stated in the book.

Chapter 3.  From college days to almost A & M.  The formative years.  Nothing really to add and nothing to change either.

Chapter 4.  A & M Records.  OK, added bonus here, Herb Alpert asked Karen to call him 'Uncle Herbie' in private as Herb Alpert thought of A & M Records as more like a family atmosphere, so Uncle Herbie.  And with that being said, Karen and Herb Alpert were good friends but not romantically interested in each other honestly as Herb had a wife.  Uncle Herbie, not that Love Bug car movie Herbie, but Uncle Herbie.  The 4 B's - The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees and Burt Bacharach.  This was from Karen to me in 1978.  As this chapter was around 1969 and 1970, The Bee Gees weren't as well known then.  Just an update here and not meant to be a correction or such.

Chapter 5.  Rising stardom here.  A side note as in not covered was an interview that Karen and Richard did around 1971 or 1972 I believe in the UK where the interviewer told Karen and Richard they were "off the record" but weren't.  Karen and I talked a little bit about this incident around late 1978 / early 1979.  During this interview the interviewer talked of new acts and Mott the Hoople came up (this became known as the 'Mott the Hoople' interview).  Richard and Karen commented that it wasn't their type of music and that the Carpenters were doing things that were melodic and such where Mott the Hoople was 'punk' and non melodic and such.  The interview was kind of chopped up and some stuff taken out of context and other stuff was edited to sound like something else.  A big mess ensued with Mott the Hoople's manager contacting Sherwin Bash and like said a big mess.  After this incident, Richard and Karen both agreed that they would not say anything that could be taken as negative publicly.  And of course that fueled the 'goody four shoes' image of Richard and Karen even more.  But there actually wasn't a feud or such between Karen and Bette Midler off camera.  As far as on camera, that was Bette and Bette was honestly just making off color jokes was all and Karen never took any of that stuff personally or seriously in all honesty.  But Bette was trying to distance herself from being considered a 'goody two shoes' publicly and Karen always understood that and why, as Karen was part of 'goody four shoes' and at times that image had people believing things that weren't true (Richard would smoke on occasion and on rare occasions, Karen would drink alcohol too and such, but 'goody four shoes'...  Virgin white and abstinence and all that which was a bit overboard and wasn't accurate, but that seems to be what the media is all about, always being extreme and nothing ever seems to be 'normal' or 'middle of the road' so to speak.  All or nothing [and nothing is boring, so all at all costs].  Good or bad.  Nothing in between.  The story over truth wherever possible in the media).

Chapter 6.  I see something coming up near the end of chapter 6 that reminds me of the 'Dragon Lady' talk that Karen and I had.  And I see a quote there by hairdresser Maria that reminds me of that talk.  Karen's mom was referred to as "Dragon Lady" after a story that Karen told a boy that was about 5 years old that Karen babysat.  There was another referral of "Two-headed Dragon Lady" that Karen and her mom used for Karen's hairdresser Maria at this time.  The quote I saw has to deal with the fact that Karen said to me (around 1978 / 1979) that Karen had accidentally found her hairdresser with her brother but didn't say anything to anyone about it at first.  But as Karen kind of said to me, "It seemed kind of fishy that I was Richard's sister and she wasn't personal with me.  So I started asking her some personal questions about my brother, you know about the fact that my brother likes his pillow fluffed a certain way and that kind of stuff and Maria didn't seem to have the first clue about anything personal about my brother.  His favorite type of music, books, that kind of stuff.  The only thing she seemed to know was that Richard's bank account had 7 figures.  She caught on and asked me to butt out of it and mind my own business.  She was probably my best hairdresser and such, but when she tried to tell me that Richard was a big boy and that I needed to butt out of it and mind my own business, it became a challenge to me.  You know how I like challenges.  She was a gold digger.  And until she said that I was just going to tell my brother to have some fun and wear a condom as there are enough gold diggers in the world, but after she told me that Richard was a big boy and that I needed to butt out of it and mind my own business, that was it for me with her."  Karen then told me that she told mom about it and mom didn't want Richard blaming Karen as Karen and Richard were on tour together and brother and sister, so mom told Richard that she (mom) was the one that found out about Richard and the hairdresser.  Mom then issued the ultimatum that Maria needed to go.  Maria went.  Karen also said to me, "In all that I forgot to ask my brother if he had any feelings for her and I lost my favorite hairdresser because she was good at that, but I was just all caught up in battling the Two-Headed Dragon Lady and I didn't stop to think about how my brother felt about her."  I heard this from Karen and Karen and Maria and mom had kept this 'other story' from Richard as it was an awkward situation and big deal if they blamed mom about this so long as Richard didn't try to blame Karen.  So anyway, catch an 'official' type version of that discussion in the "Yesterday Once More" documentary.  The thing is that I prefer the 'official' version myself as it leaves you kind of guessing.  The version that Karen told me and after seeing that quote here in Randy's book as well as that "Yesterday Once More" documentary, I can see it, plain as day when Maria and mom each talk separately and then Richard there without a clue by his mom.  That 'crocodile giggle' and such by Maria in the "Yesterday Once More" documentary is just priceless.  But yeah, lesson here, if you are dating someone that you care about, you are usually going to want to care about their family too including his sister.  Then you see the "Karen and I became friends - sort of - but I never really took the initiative to become very personal with her..." quote in Randy's book by Maria in Chapter 6 here.  Yup, that about sums it up there.

Chapter 7.  A short discussion in this chapter leading to kind of trying to talk about Karen's apparent lack of a love life I guess you can call it.  But definitely short here and missing a bit (Nicky Chinn, others) and what is talked about almost sounds more like a guessing game by the author.  Nothing really definitive here outside a Karen / David Alley discussion where David is a junior in high school (David was actually five years older than Karen, oops, a 29 year old junior in high school?  Wow.  Stuff happens I guess) and just like the Alan Osmond talk, very vague here and possibly misleading.  No talk with David direct (as David was working for Richard during the writing of this book and unable to comment) and no talk with Alan direct (I don't know why either, deadline for printing production and no reply maybe?  Alan and a few of the Osmond brothers talked a little about Alan and Karen in the "Yesterday Once More" documentary, but it almost sounds like Randy doesn't believe it here, or?).  Like I said, pretty vague discussion here.  For something more detailed try these relationships.  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 (1964?).  Note. looking at Karen's time line of boyfriends Mark Harmon (acquaintance?), Bill Hudson (acquaintance?), Jerry Vance (late 1960s), Gary Sims (1969?), Jerry 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), Mike Curb (1973 - 1974), Terry Ellis (1975), John Adrian (1976 - 1977), Steve Martin (1977), Tom Bahler (1978 - 1979),
Tony Danza (1978? and maybe 1979-80?), Thomas Burris (1980 - 1983), and a couple others I know about but leaving off here (at least 2 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.  As far as what didn't work...  Nicky Chinn would put words in Karen's mouth.  Alan and Karen didn't have enough time together because of their schedules but also Alan was a Mormon and Karen was Methodist/Baptist.  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 or Richard (true love).  Mike Curb was kind of a work conflict too and Mike chose someone else a year or two later anyway.  Terry Ellis was a work - Chrysalis - and a compatibility issue as well; a mess.  Tony Danza was a case of Tony was younger and Karen wasn't comfortable with that.  With Steve Martin there wasn't any harps or violins or wedding bells or any zing so to speak for either of them so they just agreed to go separate ways with no hard feelings or such.  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 more than one.  In the UK, an affair is seeing someone out of wedlock.  Karen and John were having an affair by British standards but not by USA standards that I am aware of and when 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.  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).  Karen told me she had 'sympathy sex' with Tom to try and help Tom try and get over his ex-girlfriend.  Tom wrote the song "She's Out of My Life" about Rhonda 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 of course Tom Burris (1980 - 1981 technically but 1983 officially) which is a post and a half all in itself.  And then a couple other guys that I'm not mentioning because of time frame and also who they are.  But, um, for some odd reason, Randy missed a lot in this discussion.  Little Girl Blue?  Whatever.  Stick with the story I guess.

Chapter 8.  Oh boy, kind of misleading here (especially if you read what I wrote up in Chapter 6 above).  Randy, the author, does not seem to realize that Agnes did not know that Richard and Maria were seeing each other at the time in Mexico.  Maria was Karen's (and the band's) hairdresser, so it was hidden by Richard and Maria.  You had Richard's room, Karen's room and then Maria's room.  OK, and Sherwin and Bobby Bash, the manager and his wife (which where was daughter Randy Bash too) were there too.  Seriously, if Richard and Maria were publicly seeing each other then WHY would Maria need a separate room on the other side of Karen and not by Richard or even better Maria and Richard in the SAME room with mom and dad staying in Maria's room (hint, hint)?  Karen even told me that up until the end of Maria's employment when Karen almost walked in on Richard and Maria accidentally, Karen didn't even know (and Karen and Richard usually told each other everything) but Karen had been having suspicions about it.  The 'sneaking around' between Richard and Maria had been going on for quite a while.  Randy, the author, makes it appear like everyone had known all along about Richard and Maria which was just not true.  Everyone had suspicions though after Mexico.  Then Richard and Maria were caught after Mexico and that was that shortly afterwards.  Yup, either Richard's girlfriend or the hairdresser, but not both.  Maria couldn't choose both so she chose neither so Maria was truly in love with Richard.  And while this is going on, Karen is supposedly trying to get to know David Alley, a junior in high school (even though 5 years older than Karen?) that is part of the crew.  And while this book is being written, David is an assistant to Richard Carpenter and unable to comment about all of this.  But is the reader here supposed to be gullible enough that Richard is openly seeing the hairdresser while Karen is openly seeing a junior in high school (who is 5 years older than Karen, oh well?) with mom and dad and their manager around?  An employer dating an employee is a 'conflict of interest' for both the employer and employee.  So with this story here, both Karen and Richard have some 'dating' problems apparently.  It also does not appear to be Karen or Richard, but the ones they are dating.  And I can see a big problem with a 24 year old and a junior in high school and keeping it quiet.  I can also see a guy seeing his sister's hairdresser wanting to keep it quiet too.  But after a while decisions need to be made and when made, David and Maria apparently walked away, well, kind of anyway.  And then we get into opinions about mother daughter, father daughter, mother son and father son relationships.  And it becomes "I have a feeling..." but nothing definite there from others.  In 1978 and 1979 and 1981, I didn't have a feeling after talking with Karen, I knew.  I would ask, but I would also listen too.  From Karen, herself, I heard that Karen really was close to her mom, but Karen didn't want to be praised and pampered and spoiled and all of that like her older 'babied' brother (and Richard didn't want to be the 'babied' one either, but someone had to be the 'favorite' and Karen wanted to be 'the black sheep' so Karen volunteered Richard to be mom's favorite and if Richard didn't like it, then Richard's tomboy sister would meet Richard on the playground after school and Richard wasn't going to like it.  As mentioned elsewhere, back in school, Karen was actually the one that would defend Richard from 'bullies' at school.  Richard wouldn't fight back [that Christian stuff again] but Karen would).  And Karen knew too that I didn't want to be 'spoiled' or 'babied' either and Karen and I actually talked about that and people using people and all kinds of stuff.  Everyone has their opinions and saw this and saw that, but outside myself, Richard, mom and possibly Evelyn (Ev) Wallace, I don't really see anyone actually talking with Karen about it.  Second hand guessing here.  Was Karen starving for attention or acceptance from her mom?  Hell no.  If Karen had a problem, Karen and her mom would discuss it privately and not make a big scene.  Karen was not one to like being the center of attention and such.  Mom knew that which is why mom and Karen would discuss stuff in private with Karen and Karen would discuss stuff in private with mom.  Secrets.  How do I know?  I asked and I listened and I actually talked with Karen and I paid attention to what she had to say about stuff rather than 'second guess'.  And with that, Karen and I were both child-like as neither of us were much for that 'growing up and being serious and getting your ducks in a row' and all that when we met.  But an odd thing as after Karen and I got to know each other better, we each found someone we could be serious with, but still have fun too while being serious.  Grown up, but still child-like.  Grown ups always get cranky and upset when being serious.  Not much fun when someone is cranky and upset.  Being serious while still having fun being serious.  That was Karen and me.  And in contrast in this chapter, Mike Curb talks about Karen and this talk is a good read here and fairly accurate too.  After sidetracking quite a lot, the chapter ends on decent notes from Mike Curb and then good friend, Ev Wallace.  I am noticing a trend here with the author of big, huge writings trashing Richard and his mom while those that talk favorably of Richard and mom get short blurbs here and there if they are lucky.  I am seeing signs of favoritism from the author here towards individuals that really weren't that close to Karen and not as much from those that were close to Karen and even Karen, herself almost seems to be getting blocked or discarded.  Then some pictures.

Chapter 9.  OK, following the trend of Chapter 8 here, a big mess at the start.  First, toss that New York Times stuff out the window (unless suffering from a toilet paper [TP] shortage).  Not even close.  Apparently, a guy that never actually knew Karen is an expert on some false idea that Karen only wanted two things in her life.  HOGWASH (actually, HOGWARSH as Karen would have a kind of Pennsylvania Dutch accent while saying that word) as Karen would usually say or POPPYCOCK as Richard would usually say.  That is utter nonsense here about that New York Times article.  Karen was part of a wonderful family and wanted to have a wonderful family of her own too that was another part of that family she already had.  Karen was also diagnosed with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) after hospital stays in 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1982 too.  While hooked up to an EKG machine (and kept from the public) Karen's heart never beat steady and doctors and caseworkers constantly bugged Karen about getting a pacemaker.  Karen was against being kept alive by a machine and as Karen would say to them, "My heart doesn't beat normally which is the way God made me and if God wanted me to be another way, He would make my heart beat normally without help from a machine.  I am the way God made me and no one is going to change that except God Himself." in so many words.  Yes, when I saw Karen hooked up to an EKG machine in mid May 1979, the machine sounded like a game of Pong without anything steady in the beeps, bloops, blips, bleeps, pauses and so on.  Karen had been at the hospital over 8 hours and wasn't on any medications or such and her heart just did not beat regularly for the entire time I was there.  This was probably some kind of birth defect or such with Karen's heart, but no one had ever been able to find any physical defect and scans and tests had been done and nothing could be found outside Karen's heart just not beating regularly (in rhythm).  So outside a family of her own (with a child to be a part of her that would carry on so to speak) to add to and share with the family that she already had, Karen always wished that she had a heart that beat steady.  Those are Karen's actual two things that she explained to me that she was hoping for and wanting in her life (not her voice belonging to her or her mother's love and such nonsense.  Pure drama and pure fiction in that article).  So that New York Times article is not accurate and is written in 1996 which was quite a while after Karen had passed away.  Opinion, but not fact.  And again, the author of this book giving this big, huge space to those that aren't actually close to Karen and are just second guessing someone else without even really knowing that someone else.  Rob Hoerburger?  Yes, starting out with another mess just like the last chapter.  Sheesh here, Karen controlled her own voice and mom controlled mom's love.  Richard controlled this stuff?  Control?  Holy sensationalistic clap trap Batman.  Not even close in this article from a guy that wasn't even close to Karen or her family; imagine that.  Train wreck, no survivors, move along, so...  Karen weighed 91 pounds in September 1975.  After the 1973 to 1975 tour schedule, the entire Carpenters band had dropped weight and was eating very erratically at best.  Sherwin Bash again too (after short blurbs from Carole Curb and Richard), wasn't he the manager that overbooked all this stuff so that there wasn't any time in there to eat and such?  Carole said Karen looked great as did Richard (and not mentioned but so did mom too) and so all this from Sherwin about Karen apparently not getting attention and such?  Really?  At around 110 to 120 pounds they were saying she looked great but she kept losing more weight.  And then in September 1978, Karen and I talked about stuff and this was brought up and Karen realized that it started when Karen was in high school and that Karen noticed that the guys would ask out the skinny girls so Karen had it in her own head that in order for her to be considered attractive publicly, Karen's figure had to be 'straight as a board' and not curvy.  The Carpenter women (which Karen and I met with in early June 1979) had measurements around 36-26-42 as they called it, "Crisco, fat in the can" and it was a Carpenter woman trait to have that hour glass type figure with a large bottom.  But the media then (as well as now too) kept pushing this little girl without curves image and it was just stuck in Karen's mind that way.  But yes, more second guessing here by Sherwin and as usual, all this space devoted to those that were not really that close to Karen as being more important (and using more space) than those that were close (including Karen herself).  Still messy and possibly getting messier here.  I mean we get that short "Well this is good too" from Agnes which appeared to be trying to help Karen, but a whole paragraph of blow hard speculation from Sherwin Bash.  Ah, Ev Wallace is back and a January 1975 article in Reader's Digest (with an excerpt).  Hoping maybe the train might get back on the rails here.  Terry Ellis provides some great insight.  Yup, kind of like Chapter 8 again with starting out terrible then getting back on track again.  Oops, almost, small blurb by John Bettis bringing up this 'control' stuff again.  Derailing again with John then Cherry (Boone) O'Neill and Cherry not realizing that it is about how Karen feels attractive and not really about 'being in control' which was Cherry's situation, but not really Karen's situation.  Karen was a tomboy that could beat the living daylights out of her brother and her brother knew it.  That's control.  Karen had control.  As far as mom, "respect your elders".  Karen and Richard were usually on the road most times.  Their living quarters were usually hotel rooms and security guards and such most of the time.  Live where?  Being on the road was 'home' while touring for both Karen and Richard.  And honestly, if you (the reader) haven't noticed that to be a part of Karen's or Richard's lives, you would need to become a part of the family and not someone out to make a name for themselves or such.  Settling down and being a part of a family and the family being a part of you, not "I'm with superstar; worship me" or "I'm a superstar; worship me".  And as far as the attention and control stuff, that wasn't the problem and at the time that was all the therapists and such knew.  Karen's family encouraged Karen to get help many times, but it ended up being a disaster as the profile of an anorexic fit Cherry (Boone) O'Neill but not Karen Carpenter.  I thought the stuff Karen told me at first was a joke, but I see it all around the internet still and honestly, Karen did not fit that profile of an anorexic.  And more honestly, that therapy stuff was a mess and did not help Karen at all.  The only ones that ever dug deep enough were Karen and me.  The others made assumptions (like you see in this book and elsewhere) that were very wrong and as Karen told me about her therapy, "about all I hear is the name Karen come out of their mouths and then what they say doesn't make sense or sound like me at all".  Karen was never one looking for attention honestly.  With the Carpenters, Karen had more attention than she wanted most times.  Karen enjoyed being 'the black sheep' as well and liked being different and not fitting any mold or such.  There wasn't anything 'hidden' with Karen or her family, but therapists and such making false assumptions created a huge mess and did not help Karen's situation at all.  Karen was honest and looking for help and the therapists and such kept trying to say that Karen was hiding some dark secrets and such that just were not there.  And even worst, blaming Karen's family for newspaper articles that said Karen was chubby and not even getting to the bottom of the fact that Karen's anorexia stemmed from Karen thinking that in order for people to think Karen was attractive, Karen felt she had to look as straight as a board and not have any curves.  That wasn't the family's fault either.  Karen never felt unloved or such either.  Karen enjoyed all that had happened with the Carpenters and her brother and had thought it was more like a fairy tale.  So a huge pile of 'psychobabble' to sort through here that makes little to no sense compared to reality.  Karen was actually in her right mind but the way the therapists and such have twisted reality so many times has me realizing that it was the therapists and such not in their right minds.  Misdiagnosis as bad as I have seen from therapists and such when dealing with Karen is just horrible.  Then a good thing here with bringing in the discussion about Neil Sedaka to save this.  Also, the end of the chapter talks about Karen's collapse in September 1975.  There were many factors there and unlike earlier here, this wasn't sidetracked by mind readers and such.  Like Chapter 8, Chapter 9 ends on a good note too after starting downhill again.

Oops, and before this side note here, I have read that New York Times article from October 6, 1996 by Rob Hoerburger and I can honestly say that that article needs to be put at the bottom of a trash heap somewhere.  That article references discussions with Itchie Ramone and Frenda Frankiln and ends up being a total disaster.  Apparently the editors and such at the New York Times were asleep at the time that article came through as it is full of speculations and almost no substance.  In other words, a tabloid type article that is nearly all subjective and almost nothing objective.  That article is just shameful from a journalism standpoint and belongs in something like The National Enquirer, The Sun or such.  That article is literally littered with assumptions, suppositions and second guessing by Itchie and Frenda that aren't actually supported.  There are occasional mentions of Ray Coleman's book with stuff trying to be pulled out of context to support this article.  That Times article is just a mess and like I said as it was mostly subjective (opinions) instead of objective (matter of fact) and belonged in The National Enquirer or The Sun or other such type of tabloid publication.  Later in this Little Girl Blue book, Frenda talks about a period between November 1982 and February 1983 and tries to state that she thought Karen was seeing Tom again and trying to make her marriage work and all that which is obviously a wrong assumption as if Karen was actually looking to get back with Tom during that time then why did Tom sign the divorce papers by February 3, 1983?  Also, a mention of Itchie being around Karen and Frenda as well when Itchie lived on the East Coast with Phil while Karen and Frenda were on the West Coast from November 1982 to February 1983.  So yeah, a huge mess coming up later on here in this book sparked by Frenda and Itchie who also sparked a huge mess with the Rob Hoerburger New York Times article in October 1996.  It's not the authors, but those sources and you would think people would learn at some point.  Karen had told me on June 12, 1981 that after she had caught Thomas in several lies that she decided to have Frenda as her Maid of Honor at her wedding as Karen trusted Frenda about as much as she trusted Thomas and Karen didn't want Thomas actually knowing who Karen trusted and who Karen didn't trust as Karen felt it to be awful fishy that Thomas wanted to get married sooner than one year.  And of course after getting married, stuff started getting reposessed as Karen figured out the real reason why Thomas wanted the wedding day moved up and it sure wasn't for 'love'.  So as far as Thomas Burris knew, Frenda and Itchie and Phil Ramone were Karen's best friends apparently while Karen was telling Thomas she didn't trust people like Mary or Mark Rudolph or her brother Richard either which was the complete opposite of reality which is where Thomas Burris, Frenda Franklin, Phil Ramone and Karen (Itchie) Ichiuji actually came from, the complete opposite of reality.  And for those that thought that Karen's wedding was unreal, they were right in more ways than one.  Karen had always wanted a big wedding but a secret was that Karen was still in love with another guy that she met on September 6, 1978 and that other guy felt that Karen and him should elope without a big wedding as both Karen and him were both down to earth and not ones for big fanfare and such.  Karen had her big wedding and was married before she turned 31 like she wanted and Karen also had a big mess afterwards too.  Patience is a virtue as impatience usually leaves a big mess afterwards.  And yes, everyone knows about how Thomas had lied to Karen, but yes also as Karen hadn't been honest and up front with Thomas either and both of their lying caught up with both of them after only a few months of being married (by the end of November 1980).

And a side note now on Karen's anorexia.  Even today people assume that the anorexic is 'starving for attention' and such which was never the case with Karen.  Getting or not getting attention was not a trigger for anorexia for Karen.  After thinking back now, the main trigger we found was Karen feeling that she was 'fat' because her body was not 'straight as a board' like when she was younger.  But that would be triggered after...  One of the underlying triggers for Karen was lack of sleep.  Karen felt that she couldn't get any sleep with a full stomach, so if Karen was lacking sleep, Karen would stop eating since she felt she couldn't sleep if she ate something before going to sleep.  Another underlying trigger was public performing as Karen felt for her to sing well (with having 'butterflies' in her stomach, nervousness), Karen had to sing or perform on an empty stomach.  As you notice, none of these triggers had anything to do with getting attention or a lack of attention.  So all of this blame the family nonsense is just that, nonsense.  Karen was not crying out for attention or such and that mentality from therapists and such was not helping Karen at all.  During 1975 with the overbooked touring, Karen was not getting enough sleep and without sleep, Karen was not eating as she felt she could not sleep on a full stomach.  With less sleep, Karen ate less hoping that she would sleep better.  On top of that in 1975 was Karen feeling that she could not perform on a full stomach.  So without much sleep and a hectic touring schedule, Karen wasn't eating in late 1974 to around September 1975 when Karen collapsed.  Others (including myself later on) have and had been focusing on eating as Karen wasn't eating, and with that people started thinking 'dieting' and 'losing weight' as after all anorexia is an 'eating disorder', right?  Actually wrong in Karen's case.  That stuff of attention and like that may explain Cherry (Boone) O'Neill and many others, but not Karen as like I have said many times, Karen was not one that liked getting attention.  Karen actually wasn't dieting but was not eating well as she was not getting enough sleep and performing which sleeping and performing were triggers that in order for Karen to sleep or perform, Karen had to have an empty stomach.  The dieting and losing weight stuff was superficial and an 'effect' not as much as a cause of Karen's anorexia.  Karen feeling that she had to be 'straight as a board' to be considered 'attractive' to guys since Karen was in high school was more of an after effect and not really a cause.  When Karen got too skinny, that was when the "I'm attractive" stuff would kick in.  The "I'm attractive" stuff was what was keeping Karen losing weight after the sleeping and performing stuff had Karen not eating to lose that weight.  The not eating was actually because Karen was performing and not sleeping right and after Karen started losing weight from not eating, Karen would start feeling like she was more attractive because her figure would be nearly 'straight as a board'.  Karen's "bad" habit developed as...  A performance would be at 4 PM, Karen would either eat a light lunch or most likely skip lunch and then perform at 4 PM.  After performing, Karen would possibly have a light dinner or more likely just skip dinner so that she didn't have a full stomach while trying to sleep.  But it wasn't the performing or the sleeping, but that there wasn't enough time before, in between or afterwards for Karen to eat properly.  Other band members and such were having similar problems as well as with travelling and such factored in, there really wasn't enough time to eat, sleep and perform without 'performing on a full stomach' at some point.  After Karen was thin, that was when the "I'm skinny and attractive" stuff would keep her losing weight.  On top of that, like I said, Karen felt that in order to perform or sleep, she needed to have an empty stomach.  That was where the bulimia (sticking your finger down your throat) came in as Karen would eat, but then before sleeping or performing, Karen would stick her finger down her throat so that she had an empty stomach before performing or sleeping.  Habits.  Karen originally developed the bad habit of sticking her finger down her throat after realizing that she needed to eat, but after eating, she needed an empty stomach before she performed or slept.  The "body image" stuff would kick in later as a way of her mind justifying being so thin.  I saw and figured out all of this stuff after being around Karen from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979.  Karen and I had discussed the "body image" stuff several times but we really had not focused much on the sleeping and performing stuff.  Karen was actually sleeping and not performing much from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 which was why that stuff didn't come up much between us.  Also, with the body image stuff came the ideas of children as when Karen was young, she was straight as a board.  "All children are cute and pretty" so to speak.  That was where the 'straight as a board' mentality in Karen's thoughts was reinforced.  If Karen was straight as a board then she was like a child and since all children...  It was a vicious cycle.  And speaking of cycles (menstruation), as Karen would lose the weight, her 'visitor' (cycle) would stop.  Are you understanding what was actually wrong with Karen now?  Which is why this digression on my part now.  Karen did not take thyroid medications or other types of pills like that.  Karen would take an aspirin for a headache or a Pamprin or a Midol for her cycle, but Karen was wanting to have an empty stomach.  X-LAX is a piece of chocolate, not a pill.  Thyroid medications and such do not clean out the bowels or the stomach.  Karen told me herself on February 3, 1983 during a phone call that those thyroid pills and such from Itchie and / or Levenkron had been planted on her and I knew myself that Karen never took that kind of stuff as it had nothing to do with her stomach or bowels being empty.  And then that red jogging suit that was taken out of Richard's closet by a paramedic with the Antivan or whatever that was dated 1/10/83 (dated exactly four years after Richard first went into Meninger's on 1/10/79) was in the pocket of the red jogging pants on February 4, 1983.  And then rumors and others twisting reality to make a 'best selling (hopefully)' story...  Someone had an 'agenda' about what they felt an anorexic should be like and so Karen being a 'celebrity' and a probable source of publicity, some things were 'faked' to push this person's false ideas and stories.  Sensationalism as exemplified through PT Barnum and others.  Karen Burris?  You needed identification to pick up prescriptions back in the 1980s and I as well as others know that Karen didn't have any identification for a 'Karen Burris' as Karen was always "Karen Anne Carpenter" legally.  Really?  Not my 'story'.  Only three people in that room when the pills were brought out and Karen knew those pills weren't hers, so that left Karen (Ichiuji) Ramone and Steven Levenkron as the source of those pills being planted on Karen Burris (whoever Karen Burris was in reality, whether Itchie or Levenkron) in 1982.  Hint, if Karen was trying to hide or such, she wouldn't use 'Karen Burris'.  Back in September 1978 to June 1979, Karen used the identity of her step cousin, Wendy S B[censored]k, to hide with, as Karen Burris would be a bit obvious, wouldn't it in 1981 or 1982?  And yes, there are quite a few Karen Carpenters too, so is it the 'real' Karen Anne Carpenter?  Anyway, no, that therapy stuff was way off base and not helping Karen at all, that is why I try to stress to people, "Don't believe it.  It's fiction.  It wasn't like that."  So many stories and so little honesty from therapists when it comes to Karen Carpenter and the anorexia problem.  They didn't come anywhere near helping Karen and until they come clean, others will not get help either.  The therapists and such assumed rather than ask Karen about what was going on and so a huge mess based on assumptions that were horribly wrong when all the therapists and such had to do (which I did) was ask.  Karen had nothing to hide honestly.  A freaking thriteen year old (myself) apparently knows more than a bunch that make up stories after they never bothered to ask questions to see if that misinformation that they made up was actually true or not (my guess is that made up = not true, and is your guess as good as mine?).  The therapists made up a bunch of stories based on a profile.  Others have also tried to twist things to fit this profile as well.  I asked and got a bunch of answers.  A thirteen year old.  Imagine that.  Each person is different as what was going on with Karen Anne Carpenter was NOT what was happening with Cherry (Boone) O'Neill by a long shot.  But if they change stories around and try to bend the truth passed its breaking point, you get this complete mess that helps no one as is evidenced in all these 'stories' around Karen Carpenter to try and make Karen Carpenter's story match that of Cherry (Boone) O'Neill's and others's stories.  And until the smoke screens and such stop with therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists others will not be helped either as "in order to honestly help someone, you need to be honest".  And honestly, I see a bunch of people jumping on a dishonest bandwagon behind a bunch of quacks that get a lot of attention in this book, while others that were closer to Karen, including Karen herself, that refute this bandwagon get tossed to the side or refuted themselves to promote the masses.  Now back to the Prologue here.  Why is this writer and others trying to falsely blame Agnes (mom) [and Richard too]?  Why would mom say such a thing about being falsely blamed back in the Prologue?  Really?  Honestly?  There is some information in this book but unfortunately the 'spin' on that information is digging a deep grave and starting to make this book appear more like an oversized roll of used toilet paper as there is appearing more 'mind reading' by those that claim being close to Karen, but if they were so close, why didn't they ask Karen instead of making assumptions later on?  And why wouldn't Richard want to be involved in this kind of stuff?  No one listens to Richard anyway as Richard is honest too, like his mom, dad and sister, and myself (and a few others that aren't assuming here) but what good is honesty going to do in a situation like this?  There is money and 'fame' to be made from compiling stories.  Just my opinion.  My two bucks worth here.

Chapter 10.  Ah, the Terry Ellis story here.  Well, when Terry Ellis states that what Frenda Franklin says and Terry wanting Karen to join Terry's (partly Terry anyway) record label, Chrysalis, as a solo artist, Terry is correct in stating that he was not thinking of taking Karen away as a solo artist.  The Carpenters were A&M's biggest seller and as you read, Terry was impressed with Richard as well and how well Karen and Richard worked together.  Terry didn't want to break up the act but I can see where he would want to try and get both Karen and Richard to join his (and his partner's) label.  So a bit of a sidestep there by Terry on what Frenda said but accurate I feel.  Karen, solo, without Richard would be a mess.  As far as Agnes seeing Terry as a threat... kind of obvious here as Karen and Richard both had great careers with A&M Records.  Why would Agnes be worried about possibly jeopardizing those careers with a possible new label when Karen and Richard had always done well with A&M?  I would be concerned as well.  As far as Terry being a threat?  Has the writer of this book been hiding under a rock for his whole life (unlike Thomas Burris that only hid under a rock for about a decade)?  I think I mentioned that already.  Yes, a threat.  And as far as what Karen told me back when, Karen said that she just snuck out of Terry's house and broke up with Terry over the phone.  Karen's relationship with Terry was just a big mess to deal with, so Karen tried to break it off as cleanly and quietly as possible.  Karen didn't care about any details or reasons or such of Terry and her breaking up, she just wanted the mess to end so she ended it and snuck out.  Karen's mother, family or friends were not behind the Terry breakup by Karen.  Karen decided on her own as it was just awkward on so many levels between Terry and her.  Two different worlds that really couldn't come together.  It was either Terry's world or Karen's world and Karen loved her world and the way her world was so it ended.  So hypnotic?  Nope.  No hypnotism, Karen was a tomboy and not a jet setter so to speak.  Terry should have seen that, but love can be blind sometimes I guess.  And like Terry kind of said (and Karen kind of said but they didn't say it as such), it was like a whirlwind romance at first and after the wind left the sails, the ride was pretty much over.  From Karen, herself, it wasn't about anything in particular, but nearly everything was different between them and with all the differences, how do you explain that in a million words or less?  So Karen just snuck out and left Terry as a talk would have been too long in person with all the different reasons as there were just so many differences between Terry and Karen as far as lifestyles and such.  Really, Karen liked eating a TV dinner in front of a TV where Terry liked to dine out at a posh restaurant and such.  Two completely different worlds.  As far as what Karen wanted, she wanted a guy of her own and that guy to be part of her family too.  That really wasn't Terry Ellis by a long shot.  Terry was a businessman and not really the 'guy that was a part of a family' type and... (come on, try to finish Terry and Karen's differences in a million words or less.  I quadruple dog dare you).  Nice section ending and a fairly large chapter here.  I know a few extra stories as far as Karen and John Adrian and Steve Martin and Tony Danza and such.  Speaking of Steve Martin... 
Karen brought up her dating Steve Martin.  Karen was like, "We tried, but it just didn't work out between us.  We got along and cared about each other and all that but it just didn't work out."  Karen also talked about Steve's "You don't know Jack" skits and how Steve had kind of embellished slightly about his meeting Karen's great uncle Jack Carpenter, but only slightly.  But Karen also said that they were together and got along, but there just wasn't anything special there.  Karen was like, "When I meet a guy I usually get harps or violins or wedding bells or such and I just never got that with Steve and Steve didn't have that with me either.  There just wasn't any zing there so we both just agreed to break it off after about three weeks I think it was.  We never had any hard feelings or such towards each other.  It just didn't work out between us.  He's a nice guy but there just wasn't any real chemistry there between us."  And then Karen was like, "With you, it was wedding bells at first, but more like a whole symphony orchestra now."  And I was like, "Me too.  Wedding bells at first and then Beethoven's 9th, Ode To Joy?"  And Karen was like, "Yeah, I've been trying to think of the name of that."  And then we both started going, "Da da dum de da da dum de da da dum de da..."  And of course some people started walking passed the room and looking at Karen and me kind of funny like usual.  A plus is that three months after Karen and John Adrian broke up, John got married to someone else.  So note here, starting in September 1978, Karen's diary entries for 'Adrian' were not for John Adrian, but for a guy who's first name is Adrian and the same guy who is writing this page / article.  Good enough here.  As usual, the stressing of 'control' which appears to be a constant theme in this book.  So a few tangents here.  Karen was looking for a guy that wasn't threatened by her stardom or whatever.  Karen had a very strong personality and she was looking for someone that had a very strong personality too.  Someone that could make decisions and stick to those decisions.  Actions speak louder than words.  As Karen and I later called it, "We don't make promises; we say what we mean and mean what we say."  I believe it was around March 1979 when Karen (and me partly) came up with the name Kristi Lynn.  There is a bit of a story behind that as well.  Of course Karen and I talked about naming kids and of course Adrian IV for a boy and Karen Junior for a girl (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.  During that day I made it a point to stop by her room 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."  We thought 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].  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 name].  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 later on] 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 good.  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).

Chapter 11.  1976 to 1978 and the talks about "A Kind of Hush" and "Passage" albums and declining record sales.  There comes that time when people move on to other things.  Not mentioned, but this was a time of great creativity for Richard and Karen.  They both felt things were getting stale in the studio.  I like comparing Hush and Passage to The Beatles' Rubber Soul and Revolver as they did about the same thing for The Beatles and The Carpenters.  Trying to find a new direction to keep from getting 'stale' in the public eye.  Then The Beatles came up with the 'story' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band while The Carpenters decided on an album of Christmas stories.  A huge growth musically for Richard and Karen, but like when they started out, the audience just wasn't ready for that growth.  Side note, Passage is still my favorite Carpenters album as it showcases their versatility.  The problem was that everyone expected sappy love songs and sorrowful odes from them.  This is a nice chapter talking about 'the decline' years.  Richard and Karen were still kind of burnt out from years previous and were looking to change and do things differently so it was actually a time of musical growth for Karen and Richard, but the record buying public just wasn't buying it.

Chapter 12.  Oh boy, this chapter is a mess.  I first met Karen Carpenter on September 6, 1978 and Karen and I spent a LOT of time together between September 6, 1978 and June 22, 1979.  Karen had taken off after Richard said, "I quit" and Karen had kept where she went hidden from even Richard and her mom and dad until they found out where Karen was around late September 1978.  Karen was trying something different to get away from the hustle and bustle of the music biz.  Karen had moved in with her step cousin Wendy S B[censored]k on I believe September 5, 1978.  Karen got a job working 7 am to 3 pm (many times Karen and I stayed after till about 4 pm just talking about stuff and not really 'on the clock') in New York State (not New York City).  Karen weighed 94 pounds when she moved in with her step cousin.  By the third week of September 1978, Karen was up to 104 pounds but Karen's job was also on the third floor and every weekday, Karen would climb three flights of stairs with a shopping bag full of knitting needles and books in her hands.  Karen weighed 104 pounds of muscle and had toned up a lot by mid September 1978.  Anyway, on January 24, 1979, Karen was with her cousin in New York State as that is a Wednesday.  Karen was supposed to sign her new recording contract back in mid October 1978 but didn't.  Richard confronted Karen about it and the fact that Karen wasn't going to be getting royalties from the Christmas album and such without a contract.  There was a clause in the new recording contract about doing an album and with Richard and Karen both taking time off and Richard "quitting", Karen was a bit worried about that clause.  Jerry Weintraub flew out to New York State and Karen signed the contract in late January 1979.  But the diary entry for "confrontation about album" in Karen's diary had nothing to do with Karen's solo album as Karen's solo album was not even thought of by Jerry Weintraub until late March 1979 at the earliest.  And yes, Jerry Weintraub's idea not Karen's idea.  Karen was wanting time off and was staying with her cousin Wendy and originally said no to the idea.  It wasn't until after a phone call by Karen's mom while Richard was out getting groceries around late March or early April 1979, that Karen agreed to do a solo album.  Mom had told Karen that Richard was seeing Mary Rudolph as the reason why Richard wanted time off.  With that, Karen told me that she was tired of her brother seeing these 'gold diggers' and that Mary wasn't a gold digger.  Karen also told me the story of Mary Rudolph in a bit more detail than what others have heard.  But yes, definitely, Mark Rudolph's mom was only pregnant with a son once and Mark and Mary were not twins.  Also how back when, one of Mary's parents had passed away in a car accident and Mary's other parent was in a wheelchair but had passed away about two or three years after the car accident from complications from the accident.  Mary Rudolph was adopted.  As far as Frenda, well, Karen was worried that Frenda would blab about Richard seeing his 'first cousin' but leave out the 'adopted' part.  So Karen tried to talk to Frenda as little as possible about that situation.  Karen didn't want Frenda to know that Mary Rudolph was adopted as Frenda would usually spread that kind of information rapidly.  Yes, Karen hid a bit of information from Frenda (The Town Crier) but Karen also considered Frenda a friend (but without being able to trust Frenda with secrets, not a close friend).  The original idea for a producer was Eddie Kramer and Eddie was the one who recommended Phil Ramone as a producer (with some personal warnings to Karen about Phil).  I was at the meeting with Karen and Eddie when Eddie stated that he would be like "a fish out of water" as Eddie was used to artists that did their own material just like Karen would be like "a fish out of water" without her brother.  I also heard Eddie Kramer give Karen the raison d'etre (reason of being, purpose) speech to Karen which shortly after Karen came up with an "I wanna uh with you" melody that around early May 1979, Rod Temperton and Karen turned that into the "Rock with You" song.  And yes, both Phil and Itchie Ramone had a lot to hide as far as what actually went on with Karen's solo album.  Phil also had Rod sign a paper that Rod was not allowed to publicly talk about Karen's solo album (without Phil's permission).  And it is odd too, but elsewhere, Phil Ramone states that he started Karen's solo album with Karen around May 1, 1979 (which was during one of Karen's week long breaks from her job in New York State).  Friday February 16, 1979 was a couple days after Valentine's Day and I know Karen was in New York State on Valentine's Day 1979 as I gave Karen a long-stemmed red rose on Valentine's Day that year (Wednesday).  Karen was with her cousin Wendy on Friday February 16, 1979 until after 3 PM, so Karen seeing Phil Ramone on February 16, 1979 had to have been after 9 PM (if it happened).  Karen used to drive her car from New York State to New York City (about a 5 hour drive) and then pretend that she got off a flight at the airport and leave her car in the airport parking lot.  Airport security was a bit different back in those days.  Phil found out about this 'trick' around early June 1979 after he traced a couple phone calls on his phone bill back to where Karen was working at the time in New York State.  I was there during the extra 100K meeting with Karen, Rod Temperton, Phil Ramone, Karen (Ichiuji) Ramone, and Itchie's toy poodle around late May or early June 1979.  The solo album idea was not until after late March 1979, so if Karen had seen Phil on February 16, 1979 it wasn't about doing a solo album at that time.  Oh boy, then 'Levenkron'.  Tuesday, March 27, 1979 was during spring break and Karen having a week off from her 7 to 3 job.  April 30, 1979 was also during another week long break from Karen's job.  I believe either May 1 or 2, 1979 was the official first day of Karen's solo album.  And truthfully, Karen was NOT ever wanting or wishing to leave her brother or the Carpenters.  In fact, after what actually happened during the solo album, Karen never wished to do another solo album again (Karen and I discussed this during our February 3, 1983 phone call and how Karen always had her husband Tom say "NO!" to any offers of a solo album, but Tom never knew why Karen said no, but Tom also heard some of these amounts offered yet Karen never told Tom why she refused which means that Karen never told Tom about any details of the Phil Ramone solo album) after that mess.  And a kudos to the author here but it was only a short blurb and pretty much hidden amongst the other nonsense here, but Randy mentions that with a bad review of Karen's solo album that the bad review would fall upon the producer of that album.  Exactly.  That was what Karen was figuring and Karen saw it as a bad album as did Alpert, Moss and Richard as well (and honestly, Richard did say it sounded like sh*t during that meeting which after the decent material had been sidetracked and all that, Karen was hoping that others saw it as sh*t and gave it bad reviews and give Phil a 'black eye' publicly and... but then Karen thought too, what if it sold despite being sh*t and rather than take a chance of it possibly selling as many albums that sounded like sh*t still sold anyway and Karen didn't want to take a chance of that album possibly selling at all.  And so shelving that album was the best decision and also a difficult decision for Karen as if the album did not sell at all, there wasn't a chance of people bugging her to "go solo" or Phil getting praises if the album sold [which Karen didn't want Phil getting praises either as that album was NOTHING like it started out being which was honestly all Phil's fault].  Karen had all these great ideas and a lot of input and a lot of help and some great songs and such all lined up and Phil just sidetracked all of that right from the start and Karen was not happy about that at all).  There weren't any 'hits' there which help sell an album.  The only thing the album really had going for it was the name, Karen Carpenter, and Karen's reputation as a great singer.  The album really ended up being a collection of outtakes and leftovers from what the album started out with.  Not really Karen Carpenter, but more "A Can of Worms" which had Karen still been around, the album probably would have been renamed to "A Can of Worms" if it had been released while Karen was alive.

Chapter 13.  OK, here we go.  First, Karen worked her 7 to 3 job from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 so Karen moving in with Phil and Karen (Ichiuji) Ramone was not until after June 22, 1979.  Karen's solo album actually started I believe May 2, 1979, so from May 2, 1979 to at least June 22, 1979, Karen had a few week long breaks and Karen would travel on weekends to New York City sometimes.  The 5 hour drive was kind of rough on Karen but she managed.  Karen was bound and determined to finish her job and she did with missing only one day, a Monday I believe, in mid May 1979.  As far as Karen and Itchie being best friends, nope.  As far as Karen and Phil being best friends, nope.  As far as Karen and Rod Temperton being good friends, yup.  Karen and Rod had several secrets between themselves and Karen and Rod also had a habit of coming up with nicknames for people and things.  For the solo album, Itchie's nickname was actually Snitchy as anything you told Snitchy, Phil knew.  Phil's nickname was A**hole as he always seemed to be full of sh*t.  Phil and Itchie's place was known as "The Compound" and Snitchy and A**hole were the gestapo.  Rod and Karen's big inside joke was "Let's make a break for it".  As Rod and Karen were prisoners, Rod's nickname was Number Two as Rod felt he got crapped on and Karen's nickname was Number One as Karen got p*ssed on.  After an incident with Paul Simon, Glenn Berger's nickname became 'Spaz'.  Rusty (Russell Javors) and Lib (Liberty DeVito).  Rod had signed a paper which did not allow Rod to talk publicly about Karen's solo album.  During a couple phone calls in mid May 1979 and with talking with Karen herself, I knew about Rod's involvement and the actual truth behind the songs "Rock with You", "Off the Wall", "She's Out of My Life" and "Burn This Disco Out".  For the record here, Phil Ramone sidetracked three songs from Karen's solo album and had Rod sabotage Karen's recording of two of those three songs.  I don't know for sure if Karen ever did a demo of "Off the Wall".  But for the actual stories here (as the only ones to know these stories were Karen, Rod and me)...  I mentioned before about the start of "Rock with You" after Karen had a melody of "I wanna uh with you" stuck in her head after the meeting with Eddie Kramer in either late March or early April 1979.  One day Karen was either setting the table or doing dishes with Rod at the kitchen table and Karen started doing the "I wanna uh with you" song and dance.  Rod was like, "That's kind of got a beat to it, what brought this on?" or something similar and Karen told Rod she had met a guy but the guy was only 14 years old and wouldn't physically touch Karen as he (I) didn't want Karen getting accused of anything and Karen also told Rod about her 7 to 3 job and Rod came out with, "Have you two ever thought about becoming Jewish (the legal age in Israel is 13)?" and then Rod was like, "Well, let's see if we can come up with a song to soften this guy up a bit for you."  Karen had the original Rock with You melody and with the story Karen gave, Rod came up with "Darling (maybe Baby or Boy even, not sure now but I did see the original lyric sheet that was laminated just in case Rod spilled his coffee again, I just can't remember for sure now that original first word, but the whole song was written in early May 1979) close your eyes, let everything get into you, don't try to fight it, there is nothing that you can do, relax your mind, lay back and groove me the line..."  Phil made sure that Rod sabotaged every take of the song so that Karen never had a full demo of that song, only outtakes.  As Rod told me (and Karen), if Rod wants a paycheck, Rod has to do what Phil wants, so Rod was asked to sabotage Karen's recordings as Phil had other ideas.  "She's Out of My Life" was mostly written by Karen's short term boyfriend, Tom Bahler (it was not meant to be a lasting relationship and Karen had sex with him just to try and help him get over his girlfriend he had just broke up with.  Sympathy sex as Karen called it.  This song was written about his recent ex-girlfriend, not Karen) and I believe Karen just added a couple touch ups with I believe the word "cavalier" and the bridge part of "Love needs expression", I believe, but not sure on that as she may have just said that she loved the bridge part and not really did anything with it.  It was just a short term relationship and the song was NOT written about Karen.  The "Off the Wall" song was written by Rod Temperton after a long phone call that Rod, Karen and I had just before Rod left for LA to meet with Michael Jackson.  Rod wrote the "Off the Wall" song on the plane ride from New York to LA.  The song was actually written by Rod about Karen Carpenter and was mostly based on an incident at a pub between Rod, Karen and Debbie Gibson (not the singer) where Rod had been hitting on Debbie and Debbie was calling Rod, Roddy Woddy and as a practical joke, Karen pulled a cue stick (which Rod thought was a baseball bat) off the wall and started chasing Roddy Woddy around the pub with Karen pretending to be a jealous ex-lover of Roddy Woddy.  During the phone call, Karen introduced me as the guy she talked about (Rock with You) and Rod and I had said off the wall several times and a tune just started developing in Rod's head before Rod left for LA and Rod said that he wrote that song on his plane ride to LA.  As far as "Burn This Disco Out", as the plane landed, the people on board the plane noticed a building on fire and that building happened to be a local disco.  So after the plane landed, Rod came up with the song, "Burn This Disco Out".  "Burn This Disco Out" had nothing to do with Karen.  I am not sure if Karen ever did a take of "Off the Wall" but the song was written by Rod about Karen (and the pub incident).  But from the start, three songs were taken away that became hits for Michael Jackson and helped kickstart Michael's solo career, while Karen was left with not much.  But "Rock with You" was really the closest Karen came to actually writing a song but Karen wasn't good at writing music, so Rod wrote it based on ideas from Karen about Karen meeting that special guy that she 'wanted' to rock with, but because of my age, we couldn't without Karen getting in trouble.  But that was why "I want to rock with you" instead of "I'm going to rock with you" as Karen and I both wanted to, but we couldn't and didn't.  But Karen's solo album started out with great songs by Rod and an idea from me of a "romantic versus physical love" theme to the album.  Karen also had an idea of linking songs together so that each song told part of a larger story.  I was also going to start seeing what I could do as I had an idea for a song called "Dreams Come True" at the time but Karen told me not to even bother because Phil would probably sidetrack it to someone else if I wrote it.  So Karen's solo album started out to be an almost sensational album, but then got sidetracked by Phil and after that, it was almost a case of Karen, Rod and I almost sabotaging her album to make Phil look bad publicly.  It was great at the start, but after stuff was sidetracked, it became just a big mess.  And yes, Phil and Itchie (KK) had a lot to hide publicly.  And when people have stuff to hide, yup, stories that don't quite add up.  Originally Karen figured Rod was the one behind sabotaging Rock with You and Off the Wall and She's Out of My Life as Rod would make more money off of singles commisions from Michael's releases, but unlike Phil, Rod had a conscience and actually Rod felt Karen should be the one to do those songs (and Phil was paying Rod anyway) but as Rod was under contract with Phil, Phil made money on the single commisions too.  After around early June 1979, Karen ended up paying an extra hundred grand to Phil to get ripped off more.  Karen definitely did NOT ever wish to do a solo album ever again after this mess.  And Karen had been getting over her anorexia at the start of her solo album.  With the 7 to 3 job, Karen had set times for sleeping and Karen wasn't singing (performing) so she didn't need to keep an empty stomach.  But after June 22, 1979, things changed I imagine.  Only I would remember that there were two things to cause Karen to get into her anorexia and those two things were performing (singing) on an empty stomach and sleeping on an empty stomach.  The third extra thing was Karen performing publicly (television or concert) as Karen would get the "to be considered publicy attractive a girl needs to be straight as a board" image in her head.  If Phil booked a lot of studio time then Karen might eat but she would be looking to get rid of what she ate to be able to sing or sleep on an empty stomach.  So bulimia and laxatives to get the food out of her stomach one way or the other.  Karen actually told me about her collapsing at the Ramones's place too and Karen told me that it was the fact that she didn't want Phil or Itchy to know about her arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and that the doctors had been begging Karen to have a pacemaker installed (and Karen did not want to be kept alive by a machine and if God wanted Karen to have a heart that beat steady, Karen would have a heart that beat steady; if God wanted Karen to have a heart that did not beat steady, that was what Karen had as if God wanted it to be different, it would be different).  And as far as Phil and Itchie knowing Karen well, nope.  So mind reading that falls short at the end.  As far as Karen shelving the "can of worms" as she called her solo album (Karen and I talked about this on June 12, 1981 after we'd been away from each other for almost two years)...
Karen was the one who made the decision to 'shelve' her solo album.  Karen had help making that decision, but contrary to popular belief, Karen was the one who made the decision to not release the album.  The help came from an interview that Karen did for Rolling Stone magazine on March 17, 1980 which got Karen thinking about possible publicity concerns (possible rumors starting about Karen leaving the Carpenters to go solo) instead of just Karen thinking about music content like she had been.  The solo album idea was originally from the Carpenters' manager, Jerry Weintraub, and a manger's job is to make money for and from those that they manage, not "twiddle their thumbs" as Jerry Weintraub called being idle.  Karen was NOT devastated emotionally or such for not having that album released.  Karen was NOT wishing to pursue a 'solo career'.  There were possible publicity problems with the release of the album (rumors of Karen 'going solo' which were never true, personal stories being told about Karen working on her solo album possibly getting bad press attention, Karen meeting Thomas Burris around this time, many reasons), which Karen knew about, which is why Karen decided to shelve the album.  The album was not actually important to Karen and was NOT "her ticket to freedom" or whatever.  Karen loved and was happy making music with her brother and the Carpenters.  Karen was not looking to be a 'superstar' or 'diva' or whatever the media was wishing Karen to be.  Karen had an emotional tie with the album as it reflected a period in her life, but musically Karen knew the album was very lackluster and not really important to her musical career, however, with songs like "Rock With You" and "Off The Wall" and "He's Out Of My Life" being ripped away from her and all of that while making the album, the album honestly made Karen very proud and content to be working with her honest brother and the Carpenters group.  Karen gained personal experience with the album, but that experience was what helped Karen appreciate what she had with the Carpenters and left Karen not wanting to go out on her own or such.  Karen shelved the album herself willingly as there were just too many possible problems to deal with publicly if the album had been released.  Karen was honestly hoping the album 'flopped' so that people would leave her alone about "going solo".  The real problem was what if the album had been successful despite being lackluster musically.  That was the idea that Karen had for making the decision to shelve her solo album; Karen did not want to take a chance of the album possibly being successful and people bugging Karen after that to 'go solo' (especially "the press").  Alpert, Moss, and Richard supported Karen in her decision to shelve the album as it was not an easy decision for Karen to make.  If you get a chance, actually read what was written by Phil Ramone and Richard Carpenter in the credits for Karen's solo album and then read what I wrote here.  Karen decided to shelve the album as Karen noticed the media gearing up to try and publicize the solo album release as being something that it was never meant to be.  Karen was NOT wishing to ever leave the Carpenters or her brother.  Karen shelved the album.  (And a side note here about Karen using the word "cuss" not "curse" and about the only times I remember about Karen saying she used the 'f word' was when Karen was yelling, screaming, hollering and crying at therapists and such when the therapists and such tried to tell Karen that Karen's mom did not care about Karen, so that "pardon me for cursing, but that was a great f***ing album" comment by Phil Ramone after Karen passed away doesn't sound accurate in more ways than one and should have been labeled as such [as a note to fiction writers looking for a story rather than reality].  Thank you so much to Rod Temperton for trying to speak up on Karen's behalf back then in 1983 and shame on certain book authors and others for not questioning this statement by Phil as Phil was well-known for cussing while Karen was not known for cussing if it could be avoided.  Cursive is a type of fluent writing where people don't have to lift their pens or pencils off of the paper or cursing is also an act of wishing ill will on someone else.  Cussing is bad words.  Freaking, shoot, dang, darn and such are one thing as a b*tch is a female dog, while f***ing is another thing entirely and those that have been through it prefer love making in all honesty.  Just a head's up here).  And also, for those that heard, yes, Karen did cry after she “pulled the plug on the can of worms” as she put it.  And Karen told me on June 12, 1981 that the reason why she cried is because she felt that she had let down the other people that had worked hard on her album by not releasing that album.  Any other reason stated for Karen crying about her album not being released is pure fiction.  And yes, Karen's voice was a major part of "the Carpenters's sound" but Richard did honestly tell Karen that the album sounded like sh*t (Karen confirmed this with me on June 12, 1981, so, yes, Richard did say this and Karen was actually almost wanting to release the album after Richard said that as Karen was hoping it would give Phil a 'black eye' publicly, but with Karen's name attached, the album probably would have sold just based on that alone and Karen did not want to take a chance of that album selling and others bugging Karen to 'go solo' after that mess with her solo album and the songs being taken away and... just a mess as I remember.  Karen enjoyed doing something different and meeting new people, but musically the album started out awesome and became a leftover mess of what should have been instead of what actually was.  That was Karen's memory and new theme of her solo album, leftovers).  As far as Michael Jackson, I only remember Karen saying that Michael called Karen up to thank her for letting him use her songs.  I don't ever remember Karen saying that she met Michael (but it could have been possible).  I believe Rod told Michael a bit of the stories behind those songs and as such, I thought Michael understood about possible publicity problems and content problems and such and that if Michael released them, those problems would disappear and at least those great songs would get released.

Chapter 14.  Oh boy, the Thomas Burris stuff.  I remember meeting Tom (he preferred being called Thomas as that was his legal name and sounded more distinctive, and with that being said on June 18, 1981 Karen preferred calling him Tom or 'Tommy' if she was really upset at him) and I remember at first that Karen's cousin Patti had told me
during French class in 1980 or 1981 that Karen had got married.  After the Carpenter family had seen Karen and I together at a family get together in June 1979, the family at first thought it was Karen and me finally tying the knot.  Then the name Thomas Burris which had the family kind of worried as they had seen Karen very happy at the get together and the stuff with Tom was a bit sudden and unexpected as even Patti told me, "she still loves you you know" to which I replied, "I know but I'm still too young."  The family wanted Karen to be happy, but the radar went up as it was just so sudden as it was only about a year since they had seen Karen and I happy together.  Someone else?  Why the rush to get married?  Five months?  A self confession on my part as well here.  Karen had sent a limosine to pick me up on the day she was getting married.  Karen's plan was that she would leave Tom at the altar and her and I would go off to Virginia and get married.  The problem was that we had moved on February 23, 1980 and the guy that bought our old house sent the limo driver away saying that we had moved and he wasn't about to tell the limo driver where we had moved to.  Karen didn't know we had moved until I told her on June 12, 1981.  The biggest reason Karen married Tom was because I wasn't there at Karen's wedding and because I didn't want Karen being accused of stuff, I had not been keeping in contact with her either.  I was only 15 when Karen got married (hence Virginia, however, I could have had my parents do an 'emancipated minor' type paperwork had the need arose.  100% had my mother and father known I was seeing Karen, they would have done whatever possible to make it happen.  Not because of Karen's "superstar" status or such, but because my mom's side of the family was loaded with tomboys and would have loved having Karen be part of the tomboy family as Karen would have fit right in.  My mom being a big Karen Carpenter fan didn't hurt much either but I honestly never told my family that I even knew Karen).  Karen told me a bunch of details about all this and after reading some of the stuff written here, some stuff doesn't match.  Karen told me that Tom had told Karen that he was a widower and that Karen met Tom's ex-wife either three weeks or three days before the wedding (I am nearly certain three days, but not positive except that Karen said the wedding invitations had been sent out before Karen found out about his ex-wife not being dead).  Karen raised the roof on Tom after that as imagine talking to a corpse that was very much alive.  The stuff here by others has me thinking that Tom told others one thing and told Karen something else or that others had heard stuff from Tom that was different from what Tom had been telling Karen.  Karen definitely told me on June 12, 1981 that Tom had been telling Karen that Tom was a widower and Tom had a son from his dead wife (Tom hadn't told Karen that he was still married either).  Another note, it was on the day of Karen's wedding that Itchie called up Karen on the phone and then Itchie handed the phone over to Tom and Tom told Karen, on the wedding day, that Tom had a vasectomy.  Tom never said he would get it reversed as Tom's excuse was that he felt Karen getting pregnant might wreck her singing voice and her career.  So anyone trying to say that Tom offered to have it reversed is probably hearing that from Tom as Karen said that she offered to have it reversed and every time Tom beat around the bush (trying to get the money to have it done) but came out with it would possibly wreck her singing career either after getting the money or after realizing that Karen wasn't going to fall for "Tom saying he was getting it reversed but pocketing the money instead" any more.  As far as Richard and Mary Rudolph, Karen and I had that talk around late March or early April 1979.  Karen was tired of Richard meeting gold diggers and Mary wasn't a gold digger.  Karen also knew that Mary was not a blood relation and Mary was an adopted first cousin.  Karen would get upset about others finding out about Richard and Mary as Karen and mom knew the adoption story but didn't want that information being made public (hence not wanting Frenda or Itchie to know as then everyone else would know, well kind of as the 'adopted' part would get left out by Frenda or Itchie.  Frenda and Itchie really weren't too fond of Richard or Agnes [mom], so any dirt they could get their hands on about Richard or Agnes whether real or imaginary...).  So I know Karen used to get upset about people thinking that Richard was seeing his first cousin instead of realizing that Richard was with an adopted first cousin, hint.  The big reason why Karen even did her solo album was so that Richard could spend time with Mary, so I know from Karen herself (especially the look on Karen's face and Karen talking about "the pitter patter of little feet") that Karen was all for her brother being with Mary, but publicly it was a possible nightmare as others don't realize that yes, Mary Rudolph really is an adopted first cousin and not a blood first cousin.  Karen didn't want people bugging her about Richard seeing Mary as most people didn't know that Mary was an adopted first cousin and Karen knew there would be insinuations from certain people about that (and Karen didn't want the adopted part being public knowledge on Mary's behalf as Karen knew what happened with Mary's parents and such and tried to keep that stuff secret from others mostly for privacy for Mary).  And 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 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).  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.  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'.  Oops.  And to note too, Richard was the one that was good with dates and times and such.  Sometimes Karen would get her time line of events mixed up if she didn't have her diary or such right in front of her as a reference.  As another reference here, I never kept a diary or journal at all so sometimes I could forget something or possibly a detail or such here and there too including time frames.


Chapter 15.  Oh wow here.  To fill in some blanks.  Karen and Tom and Tom's son (I guess his name is Mike from this book, but Karen only ever referred to him as 'spoiled brat' to me) came out and stayed with Karen's step cousin Wendy S B[censored]k from June 12 to June 21, 1981.  During this time, Karen's cousin Patti Carpenter graduated from high school in 1981 and Karen and I and Karen's great uncle Jack Carpenter and a few of the other Carpenters were on hand for Patti's graduation ceremony.  Karen came in to the high school on Friday June 12, 1981 and had me paged by the secretary, Lois Crandell, to the office.  Karen was all decked out and weighed probably about 90 pounds with a short black skirt, tight top, black stockings and just did not look like Karen at all as she looked almost like a hooker dressed up like that.  When I got to the office, Karen tried to stop me before I talked with Lois (who used to rent the upstairs apartment at my parent's old house) and Karen was like, "Don't you recognize me?  I'm the one who had you paged.  It's me Karen."  And I was like, "I thought you looked kind of familiar, but you're dressed like a slut so you kind of threw me off a bit."  And then Karen said "I guess with the way I'm dressed I had that coming to me".  And then Karen and I both said at the same time, "It is you.  How've you been?" and that was how I knew it was Karen for sure as Karen and I had a habit of saying the same thing at the same time with each other.  Jinx.  On June 12, 1981 Karen and I talked a great deal about what had happened as far as the marriage (and why she got married) and we also talked about the fact that Karen's marriage was over with but Karen had to wait at least a year as with California law, a couple had to be married at least a year to file for divorce unless you could prove that you were in physical danger.  Karen told me the events that were leading to the divorce as well as the marriage was pretty much over but Karen was figuring it to be a messy divorce with Tom probably trying to get whatever he could out of Karen so that Karen could get a divorce from him.  Rather than trash on Tom here, I am choosing to just say that yes, the marriage was over about three months after being married.  Several events had happened and there just wasn't any use as Karen was done with Tom.  When Karen and I attended Patti's graduation, Karen and I were up top of the stadium and Tom and his son and Karen's step cousin Wendy were about twenty rows or so down towards the bottom of the stadium.  Tom didn't even come near Karen and Karen and I were surrounded by kids that both Karen and I had known from during the week at what became known as 'the couples hangout' at the high school (Karen and I started 'the couples hangout' as during that whole week, Karen and I cuddled up together under the trophy case at the high school and the other couples just started hanging around us and we all started talking and sharing stories and such which started the hangout.  Before the graduation and Tom yelling out, "Hey look, it's Karen Carpenter!" and getting mobbed, the couples from the couples hangout only knew Karen as just Karen or Honey, not as Karen Carpenter).  But Karen told me about the details of her marriage, but also details about what had gone wrong too.  Karen and I also talked about her shelving her "can of worms" (solo album) and that Karen hadn't been doing well as far as her eating habits again.  Karen was probably about 94 pounds at the most on June 12, 1981.  By June 18, 1981 Karen was up to around 110 pounds thanks to her step cousin's home cooking and such.  Karen sat on my lap for a bit during the graduation ceremonies so I know for sure Karen was at least around 110 pounds before she left in June 1981.  And like I am saying, rather than talk bad of Tom and list all that stuff I feel better saying that it was over between them and no chance for a reconciliation or such.  Karen was just worried about it being a long drawn out divorce as she figured Tom wouldn't sign a divorce.  With all the lying and such between them, there wasn't any love lost or emotional ties or such with Karen.  And the reason I am not ragging or ratting on Tom here is that on February 3, 1983 Karen had told me that Tom had signed the divorce papers and that Karen was going to sign those papers around 9 am the next day and then after meeting a friend, Karen had plane tickets to come out and get me and plans of us eloping in Las Vegas later on then us getting back to California and seeing her family and then Olivia on February 5th as well as probably several others over the next few days (which after Karen, Itchie, Phil, Rod and me met around June 1979, seeing Phil and Itchie would either be a "big surprise" or more likely, Karen would have left me home alone and went by herself as Phil, Itchie and I did not get along at all before).  And after Patti's graduation, Karen and I promised to not contact each other until after Karen's divorce was final so that Tom couldn't try to accuse Karen of adultery or such.  Karen said that she had called Tom up and told Tom that if he signed the divorce papers that Karen would give him a million (but Karen never said a million what).  Tom signed the papers but afterwards Tom told Karen that he didn't care about and she could keep the million whatever it was (Tom knew the million wasn't a valid offer so to speak as Karen didn't say a million what) and that if she wanted the divorce that badly that he would just sign off and be done with it.  And honestly, Tom had not really been around Karen for about a year before Karen passed away, so trying to blame Tom (or anyone else including family or doctors or therapists or health clinics or stress or...) is not being honest here.  So Tom signed and Karen told me about it on February 3, 1983 (and we talked for probably at least a good half hour or so) and Karen and I also talked about the Levenkron Clinic and details about that mess as well as a few other things (including Itchie and Levenkron and 'sowing her wild oats' and...).  But anyway, this chapter is kind of about the messy marriage stuff.  Mostly Frenda and Itchie, so a bit of second guessing, a few events, but not much substance or details given as far as Karen and Tom's problems, just that Karen and Tom were having problems and Frenda and Itchie were supportive of Karen.  Another add in on my part, I met Tom Burris on June 18, 1981 and at first Tom was a bit aggressive and started to grab and drag Karen across the floor.  I was originally sitting down next to Karen when Tom came in and as Tom started dragging Karen (but Karen was still on her feet) I stood up against the wall.  As I stood up, Karen had the "oh sh*t" look on her face and said to Tom, "Let me go.  I need to talk to him.  If you let me go I promise I will go with you."  And Tom let go and Karen and I talked a short bit and then Karen left with Tom.  About 10 to 15 minutes later, Tom dropped Karen back off at the school and said that he would pick Karen up around 3 pm I think it was.  When Tom came back to pick Karen up, Tom was all apologetic and such after I imagine cousin Wendy had told Tom some stuff (I had almost imbedded a guy named Max into a wall about two years before and Max was about six and a half feet tall and over 300 pounds and Max's dad was a former world champion boxer, but that wasn't mentioned by Tom, however Tom had said that Wendy had told Tom about my saving Karen's life story from around mid May 1979).  The third time I saw Tom was at cousin Patti's graduation but we didn't talk then.  Tom yelled out, "Look, it's Karen Carpenter!" and I believe Tom's son stood up and pointed to Karen and me and then a mob of people came around and the hangouts and me formed a perimeter around Karen and asked people, "What's the password?".  The password was "I don't know" and if they didn't guess that, we told them what the password was.  We didn't mind people seeing Karen it was just that Karen knew a few of these people so it gave Karen a chance to talk a little bit with those that she knew.  I remember Karen saying to one lady, "You don't remember me do you?  I used to walk my dog by your house back in 1978 and 1979.  We were neighbors.  Wendy is my cousin and I lived with her back then.  How've you been doing these last couple years?" and the looks on several people's faces was priceless as Karen knew a lot of people in the area and they were kind of shocked that Karen went undetected all that time before.  Karen had a great time even though Tom knew that Karen didn't like being mobbed or the center of attention, but Karen had a great time catching up with people (including her great uncle Jack Carpenter and his wife which was when Karen wasn't sitting on my lap anymore - and Jack laughed about it too and said that Karen and I still had his blessings).  It worked out OK despite Tom trying to make a bad day for Karen, but Karen turned it around as a chance to catch up with people she hadn't seen in about two years.  Karen's cousin Patti had been held back a year and had almost given up on school and Karen had encouraged Patti to try her best and not give up on herself.  It wasn't in the program, but after cousin Patti got a standing ovation while receiving her diploma, Patti gave an unrehearsed speech at her graduation which was a moment to remember for both Karen and Patti and me and many others too.

Chapter 16.  Interesting as far as the synthroid disclosure here.  Karen had a different story which checked out (note, with the name of 'Karen Burris' in 1981 Karen would not have been able to claim those pills as Karen did not have identification for a Karen Burris).  Karen also stated as far as the 'pill stories' that only Karen, Itchie and Levenkron were in the room during the dumping of Karen's purse and supposed pill confiscation on the initial meeting (which was the original story I heard) and Karen knew the pills were not hers.  Another story of Itchie apparently found pills of Karen's in the apartment and turned those in to Levenkron (and as Karen said, those weren't her pills) and now this added story too of Karen bringing in a prescription pill bottle from August 1981 which if you think about it, 10 pills a day from August 1981 and Karen didn't show up at Levenkron's clinic until January 1982?  Really?  That must have been some huge bottle there, don't you think?  And that prescription lasted a hella long time too at ten pills a day for how many months?  Is this that same fiction author Steven Levenkron (note not doctor or MD or PhD but author) that made up that story "The Best Little Girl in the World"?  Oo too, biggy here which explains something to me.  Itchie said that Karen told Itchie something about the meeting with Karen and Richard and mom and dad.  I wasn't quite sure before of what Karen told me about this but now I think I remember.  First, as far as what Itchie said, nope, Karen didn't tell anything to Itchie about the family meeting with Levenkron so that meant Itchie and Levenkron were sharing information that is supposed to be private.  But honestly, Karen didn't trust Itchie or Levenkron.  Karen also told me that her and Itchie had got into an argument and Karen confronted Itchie about several things which Itchie couldn't answer (the family meeting information being just one of several) and without an answer, Karen couldn't trust Itchie at all anymore.  So close friend?  Nope.  Karen had been actually just trying to help Itchie out after the Flashdance movie and the 'Manhunt' sequence and Itchie possibly getting a bad reputation after playing that antagonist character in the movie (Karen Kamon in the credits).  Karen had the 'goody two shoes' image and if Itchie was hanging around Karen then Karen was figuring that the press wouldn't play Itchie as an actual villain or such.  The photo op stuff has worked, but however, it also backfired as Itchie was not exactly a 'goody two shoes' person.  Another reason too was that Karen was worried that Itchie or Phil might try and sneak off and release Karen's solo album behind Karen's back.  Karen did not want that album released and all that "going solo" stuff as Karen did not want to 'go solo'.  And also Richard had said to Karen, "In business it is good to keep your friends close but your enemies closer so that you know what they are up to."  And as you read, Itchie didn't really have anything personal there outside saying a couple things about Tom Burris and a couple things about Levenkron (which Burris and Levenkron really weren't friends either.  I know that Karen and Tom were married, but...)  Levenkron let information slip to Itchie.  Itchie had never been that honest with Karen (the solo album and the Levenkron stuff).  Karen didn't trust Itchie since around May 1979 and by 1982 it was just passed the breaking point there.  Karen wouldn't tell Itchie anything personal after that (sometime in 1982 was the confrontation between Karen and Itchie and it was after the 'turning in pills that Itchie knew weren't Karen's pills' and the family meeting information that Itchie shouldn't have known about, both.  I know Karen did call Itchie and Phil on I believe February 2, 1983 actually to give Itchie one last chance to confess which Itchie didn't do.  So on Karen's "clear the deck" control freak user list there was Phil and Itchie Ramone, Steven Levenkron, Tom Burris.  I hadn't met Steven Levenkron, but after seeing me again, I am very sure that Phil, Itchie and Tom would avoid Karen from then on after seeing that I was with Karen).  Anyway, this is a discussion on the treatment by Levenkron and Karen's stay at Lennox Hill.  Not mentioned was Karen's arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) as any time Karen was hooked up to an EKG, the EKG sounded like a game of Pong being played without anything very steady.  I feel the arrhythmia was something Karen was born with and a kind of 'birth defect' but nothing physically wrong with Karen was ever found.  Pacemakers were offered, but Karen always refused based on what God gave her.

Chapter 17.  Blood sugar level of 1110 or a hyperosmolar diabetic coma was what Dr. Edwards saw as the cause of death.  What I feel is the saving grace of this book.  And then autopsy report review and the fact that the emetine was not recently ingested.  A last chapter about Karen's passing.  Not a bad chapter but still emetine as a cause of death when the emetine is not in her blood but just in her liver which means that the emetine wasn't recent but...  really not a bad chapter here.  Yeah, OK, next Chapter.

Epilogue.  A talk about 'after passing' releases dealing with Karen Carpenter.  Movies, books, albums, CDs, international releases.  The aftermath of the aftermath.

All in all this book captures a lot of different sources dealing with Karen Carpenter and tries to tie them together in an effort to create a story.  Others have opinions as does the author himself.  With Richard not wishing to directly contribute or oversee, there are some things that slip through, but the slips are documented as to where those slips come from for reference.  The problem becomes that really this book is not that deep as it is claiming elsewhere.  Many superficial interviews and excerpts and stuff from various sources.  But with what I have added as to what I wrote above about missing stories and some misinformation as well as my actual insights from actually knowing Karen personally and without myself being silenced or badgered or bullied in any way, I many times felt that the author, Randy L Schmidt, was looking to bring in outside sources that claimed to be inside and 'best friends' but when you look passed the claims here, where is the actual personal information to support those claims?  Where are the 'personal' talks from Itchie or Frenda of what Karen told them happened?  As you read through what I wrote above here, I did hide writing the dirt about the breakup between Karen and Tom, but neither Itchie nor Frenda seem to know what happened there other than the marriage fell apart, but not anything about any personal events or such relating to that failure.  There is very little actual personal information about Karen, herself, in this book.  There is also very little revelation as to Karen's condition and such either.  In the beginning of this book there appears to be a heavy leaning towards blaming Richard and Agnes Carpenter for Karen's early passing as well as an interwoven tapestry of those that blame as well.  But this book really lacks personality, Karen's personality.  Where is Karen?  As you read what I wrote above here, I added personal stuff and some stories as to what happened, but also, as a close friend, I would ask Karen about stuff and not 'assume'.  That was how I got the information (within a week or two in September 1978) about Karen and what was causing her anorexia.  I just asked her and we talked.  Karen told me about how she couldn't sleep on a full stomach and how she couldn't perform publicly on a full stomach and then Karen talked about how when she was younger that she noticed how all the guys asked out the skinny girls and that Karen would start feeling that in order for her to be considered attractive publicly, Karen felt like she had to be straight like a board and without curves like a little girl.  How tough was that?  Yet do you see that mentioned in the book by all these close people and therapists and such?  Why not?  But yes, they didn't know much about anorexia back then and if you read through, it wouldn't help them much now either as all they had to do was ask but they obviously didn't ask.  They made all these guesses and assumptions, but never asked.  Karen told me why her and Thomas were all done on June 12, 1981 and the reasons why at the time.  I just didn't write that here as I feel Thomas Burris (and many others too) have been hated enough by angry mobs, but yet really, Thomas wasn't really around Karen for about a year before Karen passed away so it is his fault?  There is one slight reference of arrhythmia in the book, but if you notice, I mentioned it a lot as the focus appears to be on anorexia and trying to label that as the cause, but from what I knew from Karen, Karen had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) probably almost from birth but Karen didn't really know it until 1975.  And with all those that visited Karen in the hospital (outside Richard and mom and dad) why didn't anyone except me notice how out of sync the EKG machine beeps were?  Like I said, it was like a game of Pong with nothing really steady there.  I saw Karen in the hospital once and I also was with Karen when the doctor came in and talked with Karen about getting a pacemaker and how Karen had already had an answer for the doctor without even thinking about it as Karen had been asked enough times and knew the drill and had the answer to a difficult question of "Would you like to have a pacemaker installed?" which Karen's answer had nothing to do with her family or music career or such, but to do with her belief that if God wanted her to have a good or bad heart it was God's choice and if God was unhappy with how it was going, He could fix her heart if that was what God wished.  Karen did not wish to be kept alive by a machine which you see that all through Randy's book too don't you.  Really, there is a lot of guessing and supposition in Randy's book and not really any answers.  If you read above, I supplied some answers finally.  And another answer I avoided above was yes, Karen exercised.  The exercising was not actually a side affect of anorexia but was Karen trying to deal with her arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) problem as Karen's heart just stopped in 1975 when Karen weighed about 91 pounds.  And think about that touring schedule they talked about and think about how Karen told me that she wouldn't perform publicly or sleep with a full stomach.  It wasn't dieting but the schedule that didn't leave enough time for travel, eat, sleep and perform which to perform, Karen wouldn't eat before performing and to sleep Karen wouldn't eat before sleeping.  And then travel to the next show on the next night or a second show on the same night even.  Karen wasn't dieting, but Karen wouldn't sleep or perform on a full stomach, and with so much travelling and performing and trying to sleep too, eating just went out the window for Karen.  The arrhythmia was not a side affect of anorexia but was separate as if the arrhythmia was an anorexia problem, the arrhythmia would go away if eating properly and such.  The arrhythmia never left.  Karen's heart never beat steady which was why Karen used to exercise to make sure she had a heart rate and that her heart didn't just stop.  Karen always hoped the exercising would help correct her arrhythmia, but it never did.  The exercising was for her heart rate and arrhythmia and not Karen wanting to lose weight or such as exercising gains muscle, and doesn't really lose weight.  Karen knew that.  Like I told Karen in 1978, "...I am going to drive myself crazy trying to figure out how someone can lose ten pounds of muscle and since you're already a beached whale..."  Karen fired a personal trainer as they built muscle through exercising instead of Karen losing weight like Karen was wanting to do.  So reread Randy's book and then read this again.  Yes, it's a lot of reading there, but do you see what's missing in the book?  Yes, for supposed close friends there, I really don't see much personal information about Karen Carpenter being given just mostly speculation about what others think and not much from Karen, herself, personally.  That is the difference from collecting speculations and theories about a person and having insights on that person.  After reading all that and all this if you are still looking for more insights (and more complete information) then feel free to visit my other page at which contains a time line of my information about Karen and also a link to another page on that time line with more personal information about Karen Carpenter and those around her.  If you want, that Time Line page is an overview page and the detailed information can be found here .

As far as this book, my problems are...  The hype as far as inside information, but when read, there is nothing really personal there about Karen.  You get Frenda going "Karen stayed at my house" and then nothing personal as far as Karen saying anything personal to Frenda as far as what was going wrong between Karen and Tom, just "Karen stayed at my house" and I was very supportive and she said she hadn't seen Tom but I knew she saw Tom, but nothing personal there from Frenda as to what was going on between Karen and Tom just that they were having problems.  And as far as Itchie, how did Itchie know about Karen's private meeting with Richard and her parents at Levenkron's clinic?  You get a sense of Itchie having some things to hide as far as explanations.  Also, I know Itchie called Karen up on the phone on her wedding day and handed the phone over to Tom so that Tom could tell Karen about his vasectomy but it was not stated as such by Itchie.  Sidetracked story and not quite accurate and that was what I expected from Itchie.  Hiding.  I knew Itchie had stuff to hide and I also know some of the stuff that Itchie was hiding.  Itchie made it sound like she was sorry for bringing in pills or whatever to Levenkron, but there was more that Itchie didn't say that I knew about.  How did Itchie find out about Karen and her family's meeting with Levenkron when the meeting was supposed to be private?  So a false confession there as I know there was a lot more to it than Itchie let out here.  Karen Carpenter was not the kind of person that would be upset at a person for being honest.  There was a lot more to that pill story than what Itchie told as is evidenced by the evidence discussed of a pill bottle dated August 1981 with the name Karen Burris on it.  And what about the initial meeting with Karen, Itchie and Levenkron where Karen's purse was dumped?  Not mentioned.  If I could find out if Itchie or Phil was a part shareholder in Levenkron's clinic, that might help explain some of this, but I don't know for sure.  I do know that Itchie is hiding stuff here and as usual (with Phil or Itchie) stories that just don't sound right and stuff missing.  If Karen found out a person had told someone one of her secrets, Karen just wouldn't tell that person any more secrets (as is evidenced here with Itchie and Frenda [and Tom Burris wouldn't know anything anyway, but I did notice that some people had told information that Tom had said and acted like Karen knew which just showed that Tom lied to people a lot and would tell one person one thing, another something else, and Karen something else entirely without Tom even being able to publicly talk here, which thank you Richard for having Tom sign that suppression order as had Tom talked it would have just made a bigger mess with Tom trying to 'cover his tracks' and such] and on the other hand would be Karen's mom, Richard, Olivia and me).  But these are actual details that I know of from personal experience here which taint an honest review on my part as I have inside information.  And with that inside information, I know quite a few things that are publicly known that were intentionally left out that negate this 'story' that the author is telling.  Intentionally hiding pertinent information is a sure road down the fiction super duper nincompooper highway with me.  Yes, this definitely ends up being a story and not really an actual biography about Karen.  Way too much information left out intentionally.

As far as if I had been just the average Joe Reader here I would have been going, OK, they say they know Karen but there isn't anything personal here to back that claim up.  I know that Itchie and Frenda were around Karen.  Where's the stories and explanations to back up a claim of someone personally knowing someone.  I just see, Karen showed up, stayed a while, then left and Karen and Tom were having problems but WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS?  WHAT HAPPENED OTHER THAN KAREN SHOWING UP AND STAYING THERE?  And crickets can be heard in the background (no Buddy Holly though)...  Randy definitely did put a lot of effort into trying to get as much information as he could but his sources kind of got the better of him I feel.  Karen knew many different people but Karen was also on the road a lot and in the studio and such so people knowing Karen but not knowing her that well personally is to be expected I guess.  Richard had said that he has said about all he feels he needs to say about Karen which is kind of true (outside a couple secrets which if said wouldn't be secrets now would they?).  And as Randy said too at the beginning, that by Richard not talking that opened up other avenues.  And as it shows, those other avenues were dead ends as far as in-depth or personal information.  There wasn't any inside guidance available here.  Even if I hadn't known Karen, I don't really see anything that in-depth or personal to work with here.  Dionne's Foreward is great though as she did have a couple personal stories to share and her insight is superb.  But as far as personal stuff here about Karen, Karen is actually missing from almost all of this book and others seem to be trying to 'steal the spotlight' so to speak to the point of is this book actually about Karen or about how great others think they are because they were around her at one time or another?

Another point of interest here is that there are several video advertising blurbs (a couple of them originating from the island of Cypress) out there that try to say that there are things written in this book that are not in here.  Randy L Schmidt has stated to me that many of these blurbs he did not authorize.  Be careful thinking that an advertising blurb is the same as actually reading the book.  I have seen a few of these advertising blurbs myself and they are bad and I can tell they are false from the beginning.  If someone actually reads this book and then sees one of these unsupported ads, they will be scratching their head as the stuff in the ad does not match what is actually written in this book.  All the more reason for me to write a long review here to help point out what is actually in this book and where it is in this book instead of just skimming along.