Carpenters Fan Club Newsletter #48 (April 1976)
The long awaited news is now confirmed. The new album "A Kind of Hush"
will be released June 11.
Karen's lilting voice accompanying Richard's beautiful arrangements is super terrific.
Every song is a winner, but my favorite is "I Need to Be in Love" composed by Richard
and John Bettis, and was released as a single on May 21.
The lovely birthday cards you send for Karen's and Mom Carpenter are sincerely appreciated.
They send their combined thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity.
K & R worked on the new album until 3:00 a.m. the morning of their departure for Japan.
Ray Gerhardt their sound engineer had put in long hours with K & R, and was looking forward to some relaxation while they were on tour.
He was also eager to fully acquaint himself with the new Jaguar K & R had presented
him in appreciation of the super engineering work he had done on their albums.
Ray was twice nominated for grammy's, on both occasions for his engineering expertise on Carpenters albums. His relaxation dreams were wiped out when last minute plans included him in the trip to Japan to help Gary with Sound equalization.
A passport was rushed through, and Ray found himself transported from the studio's Mix-3 to an American Airlines 747. The tour was successful and pleasant, including the one with two mishaps that added more humor to the show and delighted the audience. At concert opening, slides are projected on to a screen showing K & R as infants, toddlers, and teenagers, up to the present time, while Karen stands offstage singing "We've Only Just Begun".
At one concert, one of the slides was erroneously shown upside down, and when Karen saw it, she cracked up and laughed so hard that she was unable to complete the songs, and the audience joined in the laughter. Later, at the same performance when she was seated at the drums, the snare drum stand broke and the snare slid kerplunk right into her lap, but the trooper that she is, kept on drumming without missing a beat. Winter weather was reluctant to leave Japan, and during their stay the weather was extremely cold with 98% rain and a little snow.
The huge concert halls where they performed were almost impossible to heat, so electric heaters were set on stage facing the group, in spite of which they were chilled to the bone, but hot baths and massages before retiring prevented them from catching colds. Heaters in their dressing rooms kept them comfortable and warm, but outside the dressing rooms they could see their breath, a rare sight for Southern Californians!
Always on the alert for ideas or changes to improve their show, they videotaped on e of their concerts for later viewing. The President and Vice-President of the Sony Corporation invited themto tour the building where they were shown the latest concepts of the Sound Industry, and presented them with beautiful cassette recorders.
They also toured the National Corporation where Panasonic is manufactured, and Richard was very impressed with the new Tetnics Hi Fi equipment. There he received a very nice turntable. He was also the recipient of a super Panasonic receiver with AM/FM Marine band, short wave, etc; from Tats, their Japanese promoter. It was a cold, windy, rainy day when K & R visited one of the
Japanese Temples, and respecting Japanese custom, they removed their shoes before entering. The icy cold floor almost froze their feet, so the visit was brief. From there they drove to the Ashiaya
Much of their spare time was spent relaxing in their hotel suites watching American TV programs. Mom & Dad had video-taped their favorite programs that they were missing each night while working on the new album. Richard had a special case custom built on rollers, large enough to house their videocassette player and hundred plus tapes while in transit, so American TV rolled right along with them. Four more Gold Records were presented to K & R by King Record Co. "Live in japan", "Horizon", "Only Yesterday" and "Mr. Postman" all earned them each a Gold Record, bringing the total of Japanese awards to 18. "A Kind of Hush" will no doubt earn them another Japanese "Gold" as it was #1 in Japan while they were on tour there. It was being played wherever they went, even in the watch shop where they were browsing. Richard "digs" watches as he does cars! He purchased an extremely attractive seiko L.C.; the very latest in digital watches. It's called a Cronograph and features a quartz crystal, AM/FM indicator as well as date, hour and seconds plus a push button that makes it a stop watch.
The whole group thought it was A-OK and each purchased a similar one before leaving Japan. Fans had showered them with gifts at every concert, presenting them to Karen from below stage while she was simultaneously singing, holding the mike and bending forward to shake hands and accept gifts. Incredible as it may seem, there were no duplications among the hundreds of items they brought home, though 2 wooden crates each 4 foot square by 4 foot high were built to transport them. At concert's end fans rushed the stage causing near riots. Excitement was so tremendous some nights that K & R were not allowed to shake hands for fear of being accidentally pulled offstage and getting injured. Though the language barrier was not a major problem, there were times they experienced difficulty ordering meals. The following is a quote from notes Karen kept to help me in writing the newsletter' "It's now Thursday morning, I've just had breakfast. I ordered 3 scrambled eggs and I got 3 ORDERS of scrambled eggs! I'm very full." Karen learned to speak a little Japanese (which is not the easiest language to learn) to enable her to thank fans for their concern while she was ill and let them know she is fine now. She spoke it fluently, even changing the dialect from city to city. After K & R returned home, mail poured in from Japan, praising and thanking them for speaking to them in their language. Their last day was a time racer which almost resulted in missing the flight home, but for the cooperation and swift action of Shorty, one of the Japanese road managers. A nine hour flight returned them to Los Angeles with fond memories and a tour well done. We held up the newsletter to wait for final information on a Tentative Tour Schedule now available as follows:
May 29 - Fesno, CA - Selland Arena
Jun 10 - 23 - Lake Tahoe, NV - Sahara
July 1 - 7 - Las Vegas, NV - Riviera
July 27 - Edmonton, Canada - Coliseum
July 29 - Minneapolis, MN - Northrup Auditorium
July 30 - Madison, WI - Dane County Auditorium
July 31 - Aug 1 - Chicago, IL - Arie Crown Theater
Aug 2 - Indianapolis, IN - Convention center
Aug 3 - FOrt Wayne, IN - Coliseum
Aug 4 - Kalamazoo, MI - Wings Stadium
Aug 5 - 7 - Toronto, Canada - O'Keefe Center
Aug 8 - Binghampton, NY - Broome County Memorial Auditorium
Aug 9 - Fitchburg, MA - Wallace Civic Center
Aug 10 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Performing Arts Center
Aug 12/13 - Pine Knob, MI - Pine Knob Theater
Aug 26 - Sept 8 - Las Vegas, NV - Riviera
Please be sure to confirm these dates with your ticket outlets in advance to avoid last minute disappointment. In response to numberous inquiries, we regret to inform you, the Dinah Shore "Tribute to the Carpenters" show, has been cancelled indefinitely, but any changes will be announced in a future newsletter.
That's all for now - will rap later - Ev.
Remember no man is a failure who has friends
Clarence the Angel from It's a Wonderful Life
People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel
Carl W. Buechner
Man is the only animal that weeps; for he is the only one that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.