"Karen Carpenter's Second Life" article
New York Times
October 6, 1996
by Rob Hoerburger

A review.

People are asking, "What is so wrong with this article?" so... .

For starters here, the first paragraph has people believing that Karen had a secret hiding place for a cassette tape of her solo album behind her stuffed animals, Disney memorabilia and I Love Lucy tapes.  Karen actually had a silver briefcase where she kept her important papers and such and a secret hollowed out Bible stash where she kept her secret stuff (what are the odds of someone breaking into a Bible?).  If Karen had actually had a tape copy of her solo album, it would have been kept in her briefcase or most likely in her music room with her other tapes and not 'hidden'.  Did she actually have a copy of her solo album on cassette tape?  More than possible, but I don't ever remember seeing it if it existed or her telling me she actually had a copy (which is very possible as Rod Temperton had a habit of making copies of stuff for Karen including pre copies of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You", "She's Out of My Life" and "Off the Wall" which I do know of Rod giving Karen unofficial copies of those songs on tape to Karen around June 1979).  Karen did tell me that Phil Ramone had the actual tapes for her solo album and that she was worried that Phil might try and sneak off and release those tapes behind her back.

The next paragraph is hogwarsh (hogwash) as Karen would say or poppycock as Richard would say.  Read the note Phil Ramone had placed in the credits for Karen's solo CD.  Get to the part where it says "IT WAS INCONCEIVABLE).  Better yet here...

TO COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the love and adventure of Karen’s solo project, people should know that we made a conscious decision to experiment with music and styles that were not in the Carpenters’ albums.  We wanted their fans, as well as a new audience, to hear one of the greatest voices in a different surrounding.  We knew some things were trendy and that the intimate songs would express her love of all music.

IT WAS INCONCEIVABLE to those of us involved with the project that a rumor might spread regarding the end of the Carpenters.  That truly was beyond the realm of possibility; Karen loved Richard and the music they made together.  I’ve always related to Richard’s arrangements and composing with deep admiration and we remain friends.

THE LOVE OF BILLY JOEL’S BAND – Rod Temperton and the other players, who had the best time working with her – gave Karen Carpenter’s work in New York a sparkle that can be heard on this album.  Karen and the rest of us who worked on this project understood the decision to wait on the release.

AS YEARS PASSED, both Richard and I wondered when it might be released.  Together we stand proud as this was a piece of work that meant so much to Karen.  It was truly a labor of love.

I HAVE NOT REMIXED or done anything to the tapes.  These mixes, the material and style are the way Karen approved them.  The bonus track is unmixed and was one of several that might have been finished.

I MISS HER TERRIBLY – but I know she’s watching with a smile.


So, um, yeah, really Rob?  This was not meant to be "Karen's exit visa" in Phil's own words here.  And these words are Karen's sentiments as well.  A big reason as to why Karen didn't release that album was because of the publicity concerns of fiction writers trying to say that Karen was planning on leaving her brother and the Carpenters just like Rob did in this article.  Good job Rob.  Thanks for proving Karen's point about why she shouldn't release that album back in 1980 with this article you made up (with the help of Frenda and Itchie) in 1996.  And a special note here as what Frenda says is not from Karen but Frenda's opinion as the solo album was not in any way, shape or form Karen's "emancipation proclamation".  It is obvious that Frenda has opinions about the solo album, but glaringly obvious that Frenda never talked with Karen about those opinions and that Frenda's opinions are Frenda's opinions and not based on anything Karen said to Frenda.  It is very obvious here that Karen never mentioned a solo album to Frenda.  So obviously Frenda never experienced that 'hidden tape' story that the author made up in the beginning.  As what Phil states as well, the reason why she wanted to release the album was because Karen felt that she had let the other people down that had worked hard on her album as noted in THE LOVE OF BILLY JOEL'S BAND part.  But after what you wrote there Rob, do you understand why Karen didn't want that album released?

And the third paragraph, oh boy...  No, Karen was not talked out of releasing that album actually.  At that meeting, according to Karen on June 12, 1981 when I talked with her about it, Richard and Jerry Moss had been talking to Karen about musical content (lack thereof actually, no hits) but it wasn't actually musical content that was behind Karen's decision to shelve the album, but it was actually publicity concerns (as Phil noted) as to why Karen made the decision to shelve that album.  So what Richard and Jerry Moss talked about wasn't really the factor that Karen had for shelving that album.  Richard and Jerry didn't really talk Karen out of releasing that album as the decision that Karen made wasn't based on anything that Richard or Jerry even said or talked about.  During the meeting, Karen told me that she actually just spoke out and asked Jerry and Richard if she could shelve the album and Jerry said "yes" so Karen shelved the album at that moment but did not discuss why, just that she did not want that album released.  On June 12, 1981 Karen told me this "Releasing that album would have been the biggest mistake of my career as my recording contract had that image clause in it if you remember and that album could have definitely jeopardized my contract and my career with A&M Records because of all that sexual content stuff Phil  had me do.  That album would have probably wrecked my image and my career.  I love being the girl next door.  I'm a romantic at heart as you know.  I don't want to change that and I'm not looking to be seen as another sleaze bucket.  There's enough of those out there as it is and I'm not looking to be just one more notch in some slime ball's belt."  Karen also added, "I still love that album because it holds many memories for me of that time in my life and besides a couple of those frogs I kept, it is about all I have left of you and the times we had.  There are also memories of working on that album too and people and places and things like that, but that album was just lackluster musically and was more Phil than me.  I was glad I did that album as it represents a period of time in my life, but I was even more glad that it never got released as it just wasn't me and I feel it would have set the woman's movement back a hundred years.  I still remember all the talks we had about that big can of worms and although I have fond memories of it, I am glad that that can of worms never got opened.  That was such a mess."  This was Karen's real reason for shelving that album but also the leaving the Carpenters possible rumor was mentioned by Karen as well as another reason.  Karen had told me that until after she had done an interview with Rolling Stone magazine on March 17, 1980 that Karen had been thinking musical content and such like Richard and Jerry Moss mentioned.  During that meeting where Karen shelved the album, it had clicked with Karen that the press would be all over the album and trying to use that album to spread a false rumor that Karen was going to be leaving Richard.  It also clicked that Phil had been emphasizing the musical content while minimizing the lyrical content to that music.  During that meeting where Karen shelved the album, it all clicked together for Karen as far as the publicity mess of a 'break up' that was not going to happen but also a possible publicity mess of possibly wrecking Karen's "girl next door image".  Karen had worked so hard to help give women the image of being more than just sex objects and the lyrical content on several of those songs was definitely not the "girl next door".  Also, during the early recording sessions (May 1979), Phil had been telling Karen that "Rock with You" was a song that had too much sexual undertone and that A&M would never approve of such material while also telling Karen later on (as Rock with You was actually one of the first songs worked on for Karen's album) that songs like "Remember When Loving Took All Night" and "My Body Keeps Changing My Mind" were fine.  Honestly.  Karen knew about the "image" clause in her contract with A&M as did Phil Ramone and after the double talk from Phil plus the fact that Phil had a bad reputation that he couldn't keep a steady clientele and so Karen felt that Phil was just stringing Karen along and trying to get Karen to violate her image clause on her recording contract so that Karen would get released / fired from A&M and be stuck with Phil and another label.  Karen loved working with her brother and her singing career and the fact that A&M were like a family and not all about business like Jerry Moss and Phil Ramone and those types.  So, yes, KAREN shelved that album willingly as it was just a huge mess (can of worms as Karen and I called it).  This wasn't a 'forced' decision by anyone except Karen and Karen DID NOT WANT THAT ALBUM RELEASED!!!  NO!!!  It was just a mess on so many levels.  The only positive of that album seemed to be having the name and voice of "Karen Carpenter" attached to it.

As far as the album actually being released in 1996.  Karen was against that solo album being released as it was, but Karen actually never stipulated anything about her wishes about the album if she passed away.  Karen had actually thought about trying to redo a couple tracks (like "My Body Keeps Changing My Mind") to try and take the edge off a little as Karen was against women being seen as just 'sex objects' (maybe something like "Your Swagger Keeps Changing My Mind" which still has that sexual undertone to it but in a different way but probably something else most likely).  But Karen did not want the album released while she was alive without trying to alter some things to keep that "girl next door" image going and avoid anything that might infer women being seen as being sex objects.  But Karen never said anything about her wishes on that solo album if she passed away.  A loophole.  And with that, as Richard has said, it was released for the fans.  Karen didn't see it as a horrible album, but it was a bit too rough around the edges for her liking and still needed a bit of work here and there.  I know Michael Jackson had a big hit with "Rock with You" but maybe, without Phil, that song could have been tried again and added in.  Same as "Off the Wall" and "He's Out of My Life" too.  But time was cut short.  The album was released in 1996 and was released in the form that Karen had approved before the album was shelved by Karen.  Had Karen lived to see that album released, that album would have definitely been overhauled and tracks redone and such.  However, Karen wasn't around to do that in 1996, so the album was released as it was when it was rejected and shelved in 1980 by Karen.

And now, after some writer named Rob has put the cart before the horse in this article, what happened to cause all this mess anyway?

Glad you asked as only two people knew the full story of what had happened to cause this mess, Karen and the guy writing this article.

Karen had a mini stroke in late 1977 and one half of her face was paralyzed for a short while.  On occasion, Karen's one side of her face would freeze up.  Richard was worried about his sister and was trying to get away from touring and more into TV shows and such which were closer to home.  Karen and Richard were both looking to try and get a break but things had been booked but only about a year in advance so they tried to lighten the load after Karen had a mini stroke and Richard had been shaking a bit here and there from his addiction to quaaludes.

It started on September 4, 1978 in Las Vegas as after the show Richard had told Karen, "I quit" and Karen asked, "Do you mean it?" and Richard had said, "Yes.  I can't do this anymore."

So Karen snuck off and moved in with her step Cousin Wendy B in New York State on September 4, 1978.  I met Karen on September 6, 1978 (but I did not know her as Karen Carpenter at the time).

Around mid October 1978, Paul Williams showed up (and I found out she was Karen Carpenter) and Paul showed up to have Karen sign her and Richard's new recording contract with A&M Records.  Karen and Paul talked and Karen did not sign the contract at that time.  Karen did not tell Paul this, but there was a clause in that new contract about a 'new album' and with Richard 'quitting', how could there be a new album if Richard had quit?  Well, actually, Christmas Portrait was going to be released, but Karen hadn't thought about that.  Also, the single, "I Believe You" came out just after Paul and Karen met in mid October 1978 too.  Paul left and the contract was not signed by Karen on that day.

In the second full week of December (beginning December 11) 1978, Jerry Weintraub showed up in New York State with Richard too.  Jerry had booked the Carpenters on "The Bruce Forsyth Show" for the Christmas Special.  Richard was in no shape to perform.  Richard was shaking so bad and he got a glass of water to take pills with and nearly the whole glass of water had shaken all over the floor before Richard took his pills.  Richard left the room at one point.  Jerry, Karen and I were standing there and I believe Jerry tossed a silver dollar into the air and it was called by Karen and if it was heads then Karen did the show without Richard and tails the show was cancelled.  The coin fell off Jerry's wrist and Jerry picked it up off the floor and put it under his one hand and on his other wrist.  Then Jerry said to Karen, "I'll make a deal with you.  I'll give you anything you want if you'll agree that this coin is heads and you do the show."  Karen then asked if Jerry would agree to let Richard have whatever time Richard wanted off to go to a rehab and get his quaalude addiction dealt with.  Jerry said it was a deal and then Jerry pulled his hand away and the coin was on tails.  Anyway, Karen took off for the week from her step cousin Wendy's and did the show but also, on December 12, Karen and Richard met in Topeka Kansas and Richard did the pre-admission to Meninger's clinic and then Richard went back to California and Karen flew back to London to finish taping the Bruce show.  My nickname is Ace and during the show Karen asked Bruce to work in saying my name, Ace, which Bruce did to try and help Karen relax a little more as Karen wasn't so much nervous about doing the show without Richard, but Karen was nervous because Richard had been in such bad shape before Karen left to do the show and Karen was hoping her brother was going to be all right.

Richard entered Meninger's clinic in Topeka Kansas on January 10, 1979.  Karen was still primarily living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State.

As noted in Karen's diary in red pen (as Karen was using a two-sided teacher's pen with black and red ink, and the black side had run out, so Karen was not one to waste anything and used the red side in her diary), 'confrontation about album'.  Well, if you haven't noticed yet, there is not any discussion about a solo album as the idea for a solo album had not yet been thought of.  So 'confrontation about album'?  Well, it was over the phone (Karen in New York and Richard in Topeka) and it was about a discussion about that new recording contract.  Jerry Weintraub had called Richard about the new contract not being signed and Richard called Karen about it and Karen brought it up to Richard about that "new album" clause and Richard was a bit upset but understood and told Karen not to worry about that new album clause and to sign the contract.  This was on Wednesday January 24, 1979.  I am pretty sure that I saw Jerry again on January 26, 1979 and on that day Karen signed the new contract in front of Jerry Weintraub and myself.

Karen and I had a private joke about Jerry and we would sit there at times and just twiddle our thumbs in honor of how Jerry Weintraub kept complaining about being idle as a manager.  During February 1979, Jerry read that new contract and came up with an idea of asking Karen to do a solo album.

Before asking Karen about it though, Jerry had mentioned the idea to Alpert and Moss and Alpert and Moss were fine with it so long as A&M would release it.

Karen and Richard were both trying to take time off and now Jerry was trying to get this "new album" idea going to give himself something to do besides "twiddle his thumbs".  Jerry mentioned it to Karen and Karen was against her doing a solo album as Karen had sacrificed her time off before for the Bruce Forsyth Show and why didn't they ask Richard to do a greatest hits album or solo album and such and leave Karen out of it and let her have time off.  Richard's rehab was a six week program and over with in February 1979.  After the program, Richard moved into the Lubec Street house as the program recommended a change of scenery to Richard.  Karen was still in New York State with her step cousin.

This next part is interesting as Karen got a call from her mom and I was there for that call.  Mom (Agnes) had sent Richard to the store to get groceries and called Karen up.  During this phone call which was in late March or early April 1979, mom told Karen that she had heard that after Richard got out of rehab that Richard had been seeing Mary Rudolph but trying to keep it quiet (you know how moms always hear and seem to know about these things).  Anyway, mom had heard that Karen and Richard had been having a disagreement and that Richard was wanting the time off so he could spend it with Mary (while trying to hide it from mom of course, but secretly mom knew, shh).  Mom also asked Karen to agree to do 'whatever' and that as Karen would be doing 'whatever' as a favor for Richard that whatever Karen wanted in return for that favor that mom would guarantee that Richard would agree to whatever Karen wanted in return.  Karen and I also joked with mom over the phone as mom had said, "You kids can't pull the wool over my eyes" and I asked Karen, "So is that why you are knitting that wool hat?  Sounds like you need to work on some baby booties too."  And Karen was like, "That's also why I'm knitting that scarf too for the eyes in the back of mom's head."  And mom shoots back, "You better make that scarf extra thick as those eyes in the back of my head are pretty strong you know."  And we laughed.  Karen was so happy after that phone call as she was tired of her brother meeting all of these 'gold diggers' and that Mary was an adopted cousin (and the story about the car crash in the papers that led to Mary being adopted and such) and that Karen was hoping that Richard and Mary would get together and have "the pitter patter of little feet around the house" and "auntie Karen" and such.  After the secret phone call with her mom, Karen agreed to do a solo album so that hopefully her brother would get better acquainted with Mary.

After agreeing to do a solo album, it was actually Eddie Kramer that showed up and talked with Karen about doing a solo album in either late March or early April 1979.  I was there as well as Eddie came out and met with Karen and talked about it.  Eddie and Karen both realized that they would both be "like a fish out of water" as Eddie was used to artists that wrote their own material and Karen was used to working with her brother.  During the talk Eddie also told Karen about how he usually inspired his artists by giving them the "raison d'etre" or reason of being, purpose speech.  Within a day after Eddie's visit, Karen had a melody of "I wanna uh with you" stuck in her head that would last until the first Thursday in May when Rod Temperton saw and heard Karen do her "I wanna uh with you" song and dance.  Yes, that melody Karen had was the basis for Rod coming up with the song "Rock with You" based on ideas he got from Karen.  But anyway, with the fish out of water stuff (Karen was a Pisces), Eddie recommended Phil Ramone and gave Karen one of Phil's business cards.  Karen had met Phil before.  Eddie also gave Karen a few warnings about Phil and the biggest warning was about the fact that Phil would get his clients to live with him for a little while on the basis of "getting to know you" but Karen needed to be careful and hide anything from Phil as Phil's clients tended to have their dirty laundry start appearing in public in the tabloids after Phil started producing them (like later with 'Billy Joel wife beater' and that kind of stuff).

To note, I was there at the 100K meeting in June 1979 with Karen, Rod, Phil, Itchie and Itchie's toy poodle.  That 100K meeting was a result of Karen not heeding Eddie's warnings and Itchie finding pictures that Karen used as bookmarks and Itchie trying to use those pictures to write a bad article about Karen for the tabloids.  The article was rejected and because of that rejection, the article and pictures were given to a gentleman who was the assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury (assistant sir Nicholas Born for the Archdeacon Bernard Pawley at the time) and after a meeting with Phil and Itchie and this assistant, the assistant, sir Nicholas Born, had a visit with both Karen and me.  After Phil had been arrogant with sir Nicholas and comments like "Who do you think you are, I'm Phil Ramone." and stuff like that, sir Nicholas asked if Phil was a friend of mine and Karen's.  Sir Nicholas also commented on Phil's hands being slimey too.  After Karen and I said "not particularly" about whether Phil was a friend or not, sir Nicholas levelled what became known as 'the ultimate injunction' against Phil Ramone and all of Phil's bank accounts were frozen, his credit line removed, not allowed to buy or sell real estate, nor allowed to buy or sell stocks or bonds.  Phil's water, gas, electric, garbage and such services were all shut off and it was a huge mess for Phil as the only way out requires, da dun da, money and a lawyer.  Rod Temperton and Itchie lent Phil the money which is what led Phil to ask for that extra 100K to pay Rod and Itchie back after the ultimate injunction mess.  During the meeting I kept telling Karen, "You need to get rid of him (Phil) and get a real producer" and Rod was so nervous that he left the room because if Karen did get rid of Phil, Rod would have been out of roughly 50K.  And yes, this little 14 year old at the time jerked Phil's chain pretty good and when Phil mentioned "a hundred grand", Karen agreed after both Karen and I had jacked Phil, Itchie and Rod up pretty good.  Karen knew about 50K for Rod and about 20K I think it was for Itchie, so Karen figured the 100K was Phil's rock bottom asking price.

Oops, sorry, I forgot, this is supposed to be about Rob Hoerburger's article in the New York Times dealing with Karen's solo album.

Yikes, and this is after only the first sentence in the third paragraph about the falsity of Karen being talked into abandoning her solo album just before Karen cancelled the release in May 1980.  Yes, this is actually a very terrible article and what I posted above is actually only a tip of the iceberg about what I know and what I was involved with as far as Karen's solo album.  Well, actually, if you noticed above, this was really Jerry Weintraub's idea that Karen kind of got stuck with.  Karen was actually talked into abandoning the album by herself as the talk others gave really didn't influence Karen's decision to shelve that album.

Through this next set of quotes and such (as I am trying to keep from getting way too long here) I have to say, please do better research.  These upcoming quotes are a mess as this whole article is a complete mess.  But anyway, if anyone can get a hold of that original full news clip that aired just after Karen passed away in February 1983 then it would be much appreciated by I think everybody.  I actually saw that broadcast and I remember it very well.  In that broadcast Phil had stated that Karen had said over the phone, "Do you mind if I curse?" to which Phil supposedly said, "You're a grown woman; say whatever you want." and then Phil said that Karen said, "That was a great f***ing album."  Now, the reason I asked about the full clip is because after that is a part with Rod Temperton stating how he felt that what Phil said did not sound right and that Rod wouldn't mind listening to that supposed tape as Rod would know for sure if that was Karen's voice or not.  Yes, before that quote too that Rob used (that's a bit off) I also need to add that the original clip had Phil saying that he had recorded the conversation and had it on tape.  Note, no one has ever heard that tape and that tape has never materialized and as you can probably tell now, that news clip has been chopped up several times since 1983.  Also, the reason why Rod Temperton spoke up is because Rod (and me) knew Karen very well and number one, KAREN USED THE WORD CUSS, not curse, as cussing was bad words and cursing was wishing ill will on someone.  Number two, Karen rarely used the f word as she hated that word.  Number three, Phil F***ing Ramone used the f word all the f***ing time.  For the record also, Karen had told me on February 3, 1983 that she had called up Phil and Itchie on February 2, 1983, so at least the date is right unlike some others that have even started messing up the date on this too.  Yes, it was February 2, 1983 for that Phil F***ing Ramone phone call and I can confirm that at least.

And then the fiction interwoven of a casette tape going back on a shelf into hiding after Karen passed away.  So, yes, this is already a part fiction story as is evidenced by the writer using the illusion of this magical cassette tape that appears and then gets hidden.  Yes, the fiction gets much worst and not just by the author.

So introductions over and we get to the start of a story of a writer that has a lot to learn about reality.

That next paragraph, oh boy.  Um, er, "If you have nothing nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all; what you do in your house is your business." - Karen Carpenter.  "Agreed" - Me.

The next paragraph is just as trashy as the previous one.

Then an apparent quote from Frenda Franklin (who was married and then divorced with Ed Leffler, both Sherwin Bash's and Jerry Weintraub's assistant manager).  Read above.  No Frenda, this was not meant to be Karen's emancipation proclamation as if Karen had actually been looking to leave the Carpenters, she would have gone to another label.  Note also, Karen had a problem with Frenda in 1979 as Karen had told Frenda a secret before about having anorexia and around March 1979 after Karen had gone home for a short bit, others seemed to know about that 'secret'.  Around March 1979, Frenda Franklin had been moved from Karen's "inner circle" of friends to Karen's "outer circle" of friends.  After March 1979, Karen did not tell Frenda any secrets.  Frenda's mom was still one of Karen's closer friends however which made it fairly difficult as Karen trusted Frenda's mom but not Frenda.  Karen would try to sneak at times behind Frenda's back to see Frenda's mom.  And yes, Karen trusted Thomas Burris as much as she trusted her Maid of Honor during her wedding.  Let that sink in as Karen didn't trust Thomas either.

Next paragraph, actually Karen had done the Bruce Forsyth Show in December 1978 without Richard, but that's just nitpicking I feel on my part.

Oh boy, um, this guy doesn't know Karen at all.  Karen voiced her opinions many times publicly about how she wasn't for the woman's liberation movement and all kinds of stuff.  The July 4 1974 Rolling Stone article is loaded with stuff from Karen and Richard and how Karen and Richard worked together with each other. .  It is true that Carpenters fans in the 1970s did get ostracized and picked on at school and such.  And yes, you saw that, "musical white bread"?  Definite tabloid fodder here.  Like I said, this writer guy keeps going from bad to worst.

Oh boy, more mess again from this guy.  Again to clarify here, moving from behind the drums to front stage occurred from 1971 to 1972 and Karen wasn't actually forced but understood the decision as if Karen felt she was in the audience, she would have wanted to know who was singing too.  In exchange, they added in a drum solo (duo actually with Cubby) section to the show.  Also note, Karen's anorexia was not really until 1978, but a few things happened in 1974 to 1975 and Karen was around 120 pounds during and after the 'drum transition' which disproves that "moving her out from behind the drums" junk.  But Karen started having problems in 1974 and then 1975 as Karen had rules of not eating 4 hours before performing (nervous stomach) and 4 hours before sleeping (restlessness) and with the messy tour schedules and such from 1974 to 1975, Karen had been having eating problems (as had the rest of the band including Richard).  After several different problems, Sherwin Bash was released in 1975 and Terry Ellis was brought in for a short while as manager and then Jerry Weintraub was brought in in January 1976.  Sherwin was the traditional rock band type manager whereas Jerry was more of a television and such type manager.  Richard was trying to move the Carpenters more to TV with a larger audience and away from the touring and hectic schedules and such which is a big reason why Sherwin was let go and Weintraub brought in.  But no, Karen's anorexia was not brought on by bringing her out from behind the drums.  That stuff happened in 1971 to 1972 and Karen's collapse wasn't until September 1975.  Chalk up another mess by this article author that doesn't seem to research his material very well and tends to make stuff up and pull things out of context constantly.  And how would Frenda know what Karen and her mom did or didn't do in private without Frenda around (which was often)?  But the end of this paragraph is just a disaster beyond biblical proportions.  First Frenda with "Karen's mother never told her she was a good singer." which if you watched that documentary (I believe "Yesterday Once More" 1996 and if you watch the 1983 Good Morning America show where Harold talks as well later on, you'll notice that Agnes is not doing so well in 1996 as Harold had passed away in 1988 I believe.  Agnes passed away in 1996.  Ev Wallace isn't doing so well in this 1996 documentary either), Karen's mom says that Karen was a good singer in that "Yesterday Once More" 1996 documentary.  But that next carp takes the cake with "If anorexia has classically been defined as a young woman's struggle for control, then Karen was a prime candidate, for the two things she valued most in the world -- her voice and her mother's love -- were exclusively the property of Richard. At least she would control the size of her own body."  This is absolute garbage.  For starters, if Richard controlled Karen's voice then how was Karen able to do a solo album with Phil Ramone?  Yoohoo, Rob Hoerburger, this article is about Phil Ramone doing a solo album without Richard which if Richard was actually controlling Karen then solo album?  It's really obvious here that Rob has no clue what he is writing or doing here.  Blatantly obvious.  Richard was out of rehab in February / March 1979.  Karen controlled her own voice as mom controlled mom's own love, so as sphincter say what?  As sphincter say huh?  This is just plain poppycock, hogwash, nonsense and undeniable sensationalistic BS by an imaginative no talent hack writer.  Repeat after me, "it is impossible for one person to control another person's emotions."  Fact.  It can't be done.  People can try to manipulate others, like this no talent hack writer is doing by praising others while bad mouthing Karen's family, but people can not actually control others.  People can control puppets and such, but other people?  Come on.  Get real.  In Karen's and my own words here, "I don't want to be the favorite as favorites put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes whereas a black sheep puts the round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they don't fit, just use a bigger mallet."  Also, "Favorites tend to do what everyone else does and have their ducks in a row which is why they are favored.  Black sheep tend to let their ducks wander and are different which is why I like being a black sheep.  I like being different."  Really Rob?  Yup, just file this thing in your fiction library between "butt" and "cheeks" for when there's a toilet paper shortage and the need arises.  This is that bad and that far removed from reality.  But then too, for an article supposedly about Karen Carpenter, where is Karen anyway?  You would think that there would be something from Karen to justify any of this, but alas (poor Robrick, I knew him well Harrassio), this junk just can't be justified.

Oh boy, this next paragraph is pure trash and made up of nothing but complete lies.  Read above about how Karen's solo album actually started.  Karen tugged at Richard?  HOGWARSH, POPPYCOCK, NONSENSE, BULLSH*T!!!  I was there with Karen when all that solo album stuff started.  Jerry Weintraub started it, not Karen.  Karen was actually hoping for Richard to say no and he didn't.  Had Richard ever been against Karen doing a solo album, Karen would have never done it and it wouldn't have existed.  Someone take this writer's typewriter away and give him an appropriate toilet scrub brush instead.  Maybe if this writer cleans up enough carp, he'll stop spreading it around like this.

And oh Satan (this writer obviously doesn't seem to believe in that other guy, God or whatever His name is)... first Phil Ramone was not silver maned during Karen's solo album and that carp in his hair tended to make his hands greasy and slimey from my own personal experience with Phil.  The writer does get one thing right here finally after being so wrong all the time.  It was actually Phil's idea, and not Karen's, to do all that bump and grind sexual type music stuff.  And yes, Phil had a problem with keeping a steady clientele as Phil's clientele tended to have tabloid and personal problems after Phil would drag their names through the mud in the tabloids and then the artist would go elsewhere after their personal lives would be shattered for some reason.  And yes, actually, Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Kiss) was the producer first thought of and not Phil Ramone.  So, as Karen and I joked about it, originally Jerry Weintraub was looking to make Karen to be the next guitar legend like Jimi Hendrix and Ace Frehley (Eddie Van Halen was just starting out about the time of Karen's solo, Alex Van Halen would be later noted as the thirteenth drummer able to do "monotone".  Note, drums are not designed to play sustained notes, but if a drummer can get the sticks to move fast enough, the sound of a sustained 'whole' note and beyond can be obtained).

Then the next paragraph explains again (so far one of the few factual parts here in this article) where it was Phil's idea and not Karen's idea to do the more sexual type oriented material.  But also, for the record here, Rod Temperton actually wrote the song "Off the Wall" about Karen based on an incident at a pub with Karen, Debbie Gibson (not the singer) and Rod where Karen grabbed a cue stick off the wall and started chasing Rod around the pub with Karen joking around and pretending to be a jealous, ex-lover of Rod's or should I say "Roddy Woddy" as Debbie called him.  Rod wrote "Off the Wall" on his plane trip out to Los Angeles to work with Michael Jackson in mid May 1979 (also taking along the songs "Rock with You" and "She's Out of My Life" along with "Off the Wall" and giving those songs to Michael Jackson, thus setting the mood for the "Leftover Can of Worms" album that Phil was making for Karen after giving away all of Karen's choice material).  Karen and I talked with Rod over the phone just as he was packing and getting ready for the plane ride to LA in mid May 1979.

Oh boy, um, we got a guy writer that enjoys seeing seven naked gay guys singing "Close To You" that also sees Itchie Ramone as being glamorous.  Hopefully the writer of this article here (Rob Hoerburger) sees what I've written and calls what I've written garbage or junk or whatever, because let's face it, Rob Hoerburger "doesn't know sh*t from shinola" apparently.  But hey, we're shooting for a fantasy world here I guess.  Why not.  Go get 'em Rob.  Tell 'em like the opposite of what is happening like Richard controlling Karen by having Karen do a solo album without Richard.  What a dipswitch.

To note, if Karen had been actually in control here, "Rock with You", "Off the Wall", "He's Out of My Life" would have all been Karen Carpenter solo album tracks.  But according to Phil, "Rock with You" was too sexual, whereas "My Body Keeps Changing My Mind" wasn't.  Phil "Double Talk" Ramone.  Great resources and references here by Rob.  Pound Ridge NY?  OK, right on the border with Connecticut.  A little ways out from New York City and much closer to CT than NYC.  While starting her solo album Karen told me that Phil lived in Connecticut, but looking at this, I think I may have misheard or misremembered as Pound Ridge is right on the border there and possibly Karen said "near" Connecticut instead of "in" Connecticut.  Hey, possibly chalk one up for Rob here.  But you usually don't learn new stuff by agreeing with others, but by disagreeing.  But after looking up Pound Ridge NY on the map, I think that is where Phil was and not in Connecticut.  My bad.  One demerit, negative brownie points and all that.  Oh, the shame of it all (not really, as we all make mistakes, but dang Rob, you still got me beat by like a zillion here so far.  I'm impressed).

And actually, Richard wasn't involved with Karen's solo project much.  I can kind of understand why Richard declined for this.  I would have declined too under Richard's circumstances.  Not because of what was written or who was doing the writing, but because Richard really wasn't involved with Karen's solo album and what do you say in a case like that?  I don't know.  I wasn't there.  Beats me.  Whatever.  Huh?  How should I know?  I guess.  I don't quite remember it like that but since everyone says I'm a dictator just write whatever you feel like writing for a change; don't let me stop you from writing what you feel like you need to write; after all I'm just a mean old dictator like everyone says even though I try to stay out of it but regardless I'll get falsely accused of stuff and be made out to be the villain by a bunch of [insert many, many, many, many... warranted and fully earned expletives here]...

As far as myself, I've seen how others chop stuff up and take things out of context and such.  No thanks.  I'll stay with what I've been doing.  I can only imagine the hack job that they would try to pull with me, like they have done with so many others.  Again, no thanks.

And just so people know before I cut this off here - Rod and Karen had secrets between themselves during Karen's solo album.  I wish to share those secrets now with you.  You see, when Karen did that (Phil's?, Weintraub's?, definitely not Karen's) solo album, Karen was under constant surveillance and was not allowed out of sight of Phil, Itchie or Rod Temperton.  As a result, Phil's house was known as "the Compound" and Phil and Itchie were "the Gestapo".  Karen and Rod's big private joke between them was "Let's make a break for it" whenever Phil and Itchie weren't right there.  Phil's nickname was "A**hole" as he was always full of sh*t and Itchie's nickname was "Snitchy" as whatever Itchie knew, Phil knew.  Since Rod and Karen were prisoners, Rod's nickname was "Number Two" as Rod got crapped on and Karen's nickname was "Number One" since Karen got p*ssed on.  After Glenn Berger blew up at Paul Simon (and Karen said that Paul was just giving ideas and suggestions that Paul originally had while doing Still Crazy After All These Years) that they would refer to Glenn as "Spaz".  My nickname was originally "Karen's Protector" as Rod felt a presence that wasn't there kind of watching over Karen but Phil overheard Karen and Rod saying that and Phil thought they were talking about him.  As Rod said, "Good thing that I hadn't thought of Mister Perfect as Phil would have thought we were talking about him too."  So I went from "Karen's Protector" to just "Ace" or "That Boy".  I wasn't actually present during the recording and such but Karen, Rod and I had talked a couple times over the phone plus that 100K meeting.  Most of the time I was in New York State in the same area as Karen's step cousin Wendy and hearing from Karen what a mess that whole solo project was in so many details.  The "Can of Worms" as we called it as it was just nothing but a big mess.

And because I got so tired of the junk in here, I need to cut this off.  Really, this article belongs in the fiction library between "butt" and "cheeks" for when a toilet paper shortage arises.  I see nothing useful here outside a quote by Rod Temperton and what was mentioned about John Bettis and Pound Ridge NY.  That's about it here.  And I really wish that Rob had been able to read what Phil Ramone wrote for Karen's solo album credits before doing this article.  This is a continual disaster on so many levels and not worth anyone's time or effort to bother with this kind of trash.

And for a reference here, the only reference this article should be used for is the reference a puppy needs for some place to urinate or defecate upon while being potty trained.  Any other use or attempted use for that Rob Hoerburger, New York Times, October 6, 1996 article is not recommended.