Part 19: Friendship? Feb 7, 2008 2:43:50 GMT -5
Post by Rick Henry on Feb 7, 2008 2:43:50 GMT -5
Friday November 16, 1979
Now at the Melrose Café, which is decorated with frilly curtains and classical music playing quietly in the background, Alison let’s Karen know that she felt out of place.
“Karen,” Alison said, “Everybody’s dressed so nice and clean and look at me. I look so lowlife.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Karen ensured her.
“And my hair is all ratty,” Alison continued.
“The ratty look is in style,” Karen chuckled. Alison smiled at this comment.
Karen and Alison spent the next two hours sharing their life experiences.
Alison was envious of Karen’s life, being a superstar who is loved by millions.
“It’s not all that,” Karen said, “being famous. I don’t have a life. You’d think I’d have a life, but I don’t. I have to wear goofy hats and sunglasses everywhere I go.”
Karen points at the sunglasses she wearing right now. “I hate sunglasses. I hate all glasses they feel awkward on my face. But that’s the little stuff. I’m always on tour or recording or filming something. When I’m working I work 12 to 13 hour days. I’m always working. It’s hard for me to maintain a relationship. I’ve had like ten boyfriends in the past ten years and the longest lasted maybe 6 or 7 months.”
“Ha! I can top that,” Alison said, “In one year alone I had five boyfriends. Some of them even overlapped.”
“I guess you have me there,” Karen replied.
My last boyfriend,” Karen continued talking, “Really hurt me. Patrick Benjamin is his name. He broke up with me when he found out I was pregnant.”
“You’re pregnant?” Alison exclaimed.
“Yeah,” Karen frumpled with a chuckle, “Yeah, Karen Carpenter is going to be an unwed mother.”
“I’ve been there done that,” Alison responded, “Three years ago I got pregnant with Seth’s baby. When I told him he went into a rage and pushed me into a wall and started choking me. He called me names and insisted that I was cheating on him and that’s why I was pregnant. But, I never cheated on him.”
“Oh no,” Karen sighed.
“I ended up aborting that baby when I was about four months along. They told me I couldn’t do it, but I found someone who did it for me. And after all that I still wanted to be with Seth. I thought I loved him. It finally ended when he got some other chick knocked up. He left me to play house with her. He said he wanted to be a father and that she was having his kid. I really lost it then.”
Tuesday November 20, 1979
With the major exposure from the new Meryl Streep/Warren Beatty blockbuster Karen’s new single “Midnight” enters the Billboard chart at a remarkable #31.
The song is in heavy rotation and is being played on every Top 40 station across the U.S.
“Midnight” also got a little extra exposure when Karen made an appearance on Solid Gold to perform the song.
The b-side of “Midnight” which is Karen’s playful remake of “Boogie Nights” is also getting airplay on dance music stations and some fair airplay in dance clubs and has entered the Dance Music charts.
Here are the current chart stats for the week of November 20, 1979
“Midnight” #31 (debut) and #10 (Adult Contemporary chart)
“Boogie Nights” #29 (Dance Music chart)
Love Makin’ Love To You” #11 (last week was #5) and is now in it’s 12th week on the chart.
Karen Carpenter (the album) is at #7 (was #5 last week) with a total of 15 weeks on the chart.
With two songs in the Top 40, one song on the Dance Music Chart and 1 album in the Top 10; Karen Carpenter is the biggest selling female artist in the U.S. right now.
In other parts of the world her solo album is doing extremely well.
Karen’s album has reached #1 in Japan, Holland, South Africa, Hong Kong, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand and Germany.
As well as reaching #2 in the UK (it stayed at #2 for 8 weeks), Sweden, Ireland, France, Colombia, Mexico, Iceland, Australia, Greece (this was a big surprise) and Israel.
Karen’s solo album is the biggest selling album to feature Karen’s voice since 1975’s “Horizon”… this is a major comeback for the voice of Karen Carpenter.
Wednesday November 21, 1979
Since Karen isn’t touring right now she’s making a point of keeping in better contact with her friends. She’s on the phone everyday with a different friend Debbie Cuticello, Olivia Newton-John, Phil Ramone (Karen loves talking with Phil… he always has something great to say). But it’s Alison and Frenda that Karen sees the most.
Today Karen spent the afternoon shopping with Frenda. They drove to The Beverly Center, this is one of their favorite shopping centers and Karen just loves Macy’s. Frenda is always trying to get Karen to try different styles and colors. Which is good as Karen has said she really doesn’t have an eye for fashion.
Karen needs a new outfit for the taping of the A&M New Years Television Special. She’ll be appearing as a solo artist and will perform “Midnight” and “Boogie Nights”. Richard will make a short cameo appearance to perform an updated rendition of “we’ve Only Just Begun” with Karen. The show will be two hours long. Other guests will include; Herb Alpert, Styx, Peter Frampton, Brothers Johnson (Louis Johnson will play bass for Karen when she performs her songs on this program), Pablo Cruise, Chuck Mangione, Gino Vannelli, Peggy Lee, Lani Hall, Rita Coolidge, Paul Williams, The Police, Joe Jackson, Squeeze, Burt Bacharach and Quincy Jones.
While at the Beverly Center, Karen and Frenda ran into Tony Danza, who happened to be in town for the filming of a television movie he’s co-starring in. The three ended up having lunch in a cozy Italian restaurant inside the Center.
“Ah… looks like you’re just beginning to show little mama,” Tony coyishly said to Karen.
Karen giggled and said, “Yeah, I’ll be shopping for a moo-moo real soon.”
Tony chuckled at her comment and said, “You’d still look great, even in a moo-moo.”
At this point Frenda conveniently excused herself from the table saying that she needed to powder her nose. She got up and walked toward the women’s restroom.
“You know Karen,” Tony started talking, “I really enjoyed seeing you at that party in New Jersey.”
“Yeah,” Karen commented, “Way back in March.”
“Yeah,” Tony said with a sigh in his voice and a sparkle in his eyes, “You were just dazzling and I’ve thought a lot about you ever since.”
“Really,” Karen perked up as she listened to Tony speak.
“Yes,” Tony continued talking, “And I was wondering if you might join me for dinner this weekend. Maybe Friday or Saturday night?”
Karen, now sporting that famous smile was beaming and with a shy giggle she answered, “Why yes, that sounds like fun.”
A few minutes later Frenda came back saying, “Karen, Tony, I am so sorry but I didn’t realize what time it is. I need to get back to pick my son up from school. Karen we’re going to have to leave.
At this Karen and Frenda parted from Tony to drive to the school to pick up Frenda’s son.
Karen told Frenda about her date with Tony.
“Oh, he’s cute,” Frenda said to Karen.
“Yeah,” Karen said, “but he’s not really my type.”
Frenda laughed at that and said, “Well Karen seems like these days nobody’s your type.”
Thursday November 22, 1979
Tony Danza called Karen to let her know that he would not be able to make a date with her this weekend as his mother has fallen ill and is in the hospital. He's leaving town today so he can be with her.
Tony spoke with Karen for near 30 minutes on the phone and told her he really enjoyed lunch yesterday and that he definitely wants to get together very soon. Tony mentioned that he is at the tail end of another film he’s working on called “The Hollywood Knights” and will have more free time in the middle of December.
Monday November 26, 1979
Today Karen drove to West Hollywood to visit with Alison. They made plans to run a few errands and do some shopping. Karen arrived at Alison’s apartment at 10:00 a.m. so they could stop by the Laundromat early enough before it gets busy with the noon crowd. Alison had about one month’s of laundry to do which amounted to three loads. The washers and dryers each cost 50 cents which totaled to $3.00. Alison was short two quarters so Karen made up the difference.
Once they finished at the Laundromat they drove to a nearby Del Taco. Karen had a taste for Tacos with extra hot sauce and Alison had a green burrito.
“I could eat Tacos all day,” Karen claimed as she crunched on the deep fried taco shell.
Alison responded, “I’m a burrito girl myself, with extra cheese.”
They both chuckled at their corniness.
From Del Taco they walked over to Sav-On Drug Store which was in the same shopping center. They both needed toiletries and some of the daily necessities such as deodorant, toothpaste, aspirin, paper towels and they ever important eye shadow and eye liner… the later Karen didn’t need as she said she only uses Estee Lauder… although thought it might be fun to get some blue eyeliner.
While Karen was in the refrigerated beverages section deciding on what to choose, either Lipton’s Lemon Ice Tea or a Cherry 7-Up, Alison broke away to pick up a few things she needed such as some candy bars, she loves Snickers.
“No, problem,” Karen said, “I catch back up with you after I get my stuff, too.”
Several minutes later the two met up again to pay for their items and leave to go back home.
As they walked out of the store they were stopped by the store manager and two police officers. Karen’s heart sunk as she thought this had to do with her abduction a few months back.
The manager looked at Alison and said, “Ma’am, I believe you have several item you haven’t paid for underneath your jacket. I have observed you taking a camera, a bottle of perfume and a candle.
Alison denied this accusation, “I haven’t stolen anything,” she exclaimed.
“ma’am,” the manager responded, “We have you on video tape taking these items.”
Right at that moment Alison broke into tears, “but, you don’t understand I’ve been through a lot lately.”
Alison reached into her jacket pockets and pulled out the bottle of perfume, a hair brush and a small radio. Underneath her jacket was the candle, the camera and a curling iron. She had about $60.00 worth of merchandise on her person.
After she gave back the merchandise the police asked the store manager what he wanted to do.
“I’m filing charges against her,” he said angrily, “Too many people feel they can get away with coming into the store and stealing, well I’m going to send a message to the community. Take that trash away.” With that the police put hand cuffs on Alison and read her, her rights.
A small crowd had gathered around at this point to watch the hoopla. Someone in the crowd commented, “Hey, that’s Karen Carpenter, is she getting arrested?”
Karen watched with a long face and a sadness in her eyes as the police took her friend away.
Tuesday November, 27, 1979
“Midnight” #16 (was #31 last week) now in it’s second week. Also #8 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.
“Boogie Nights” moves up to #20 on the Dance Chart.
“Love Makin’ Love To You” #17 (was #11 last week) now in it’s 13th week on the chart.
(Karen currently has the #16 and #17 spots on the Singles Chart)
Karen Carpenter (solo) now in it’s 16th week on the chart is at #14 (was #7 last week).
“Love Makin’ Love To You” is certified Gold and then Platinum both in the same week.
Tuesday November 27, 1979
Karen’s name has been in the media all day with the news of her friend being arrested for shoplifting. She received over a dozen phone calls from her friends (including Herb Alpert and Phil Ramone’s wife Karen) to make sure Karen was okay in all this.
One news anchorman asked the question, “Why is Karen Carpenter hanging around with a criminal from the seediest part of West Hollywood?” This comment raised quite a bit of speculation on Karen’s state of mind. Once again Karen has made the news in a big way this year. Along with her #1 solo album, pregnancy and violent abduction Karen has been a hot topic throughout all of 1979.
Wednesday November 28, 1979
At the prompting of her manager Jerry Weintraub and attorney Werner Wolfen, Karen filmed a short commentary about the shoplifting incident. The commentary was composed primarily by Karen with help from Werner. The clip was filmed at 8:00 a.m. in the living room of her Studio City condominium and was shown on every new program on all three major television networks; CBS, NBC and ABC along with several local networks throughout the entire U.S. and other parts of the world.
This is what Karen said:
“I am not a shoplifter, I was not arrested, I am not a prostitute and I do not frequent adult bookstores. These are all things which the media has been speculating of me. None of these speculations are true. What is true, is that I met Alison when I joined a women’s group that deals with victims of violent crimes. Alison, yes, has had some very rough times, but she is trying to straighten out her life. I’m her friend and I support her in her journey of healing. Alison has also been a source of support for me in overcoming the horrific ordeal I encountered a few months back. She made a mistake and I can forgive her. I will remain Alison’s friend.”
Friday November 30, 1979
Today Karen was approached by People Magazine to do a cover story on her friendship with Alison. This tiffed Karen off a bit and turned down the offer. She felt there had been more than enough press on this already.
Later in the afternoon she went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. While she was waiting in line Karen noticed a headline on the National Enquirer which read, “Karen Carpenter seen with drug-crazed shoplifter”. This enraged Karen. She raced home in a furor to call Werner.
“Werner”, Karen said sternly, “I am boiling mad”.
“What’s wrong Karen?" Werner asked, knowing that when he gets a call from Karen it’s usually some sort of trouble.
“Ewwhhh,” Karen growled, “I just saw the National Enquirer. The front page headline says I am friends with a drug-crazed shoplifter.”
“We’re taking them to court,” Werner responded quickly, “these allegations are untrue.”
“No Werner No,“ Karen spoke, “I’m not stooping to that level and I’m just not up to dealing with the legal system again. But, I do want them to publish and release an official apology no later than Monday.” Karen paused, “And if they don’t then we’ll take legal action.”
“Certainly Karen, I can do that,” Werner agreed.
Saturday December 1, 1979
Last night Alison came back home. She was released without any formal charges against her. The store manager agreed to drop the charges as long as Alison did 3 months of community service.
Early this morning Alison called Karen and asked if she would drive out to West Hollywood so they could talk.
Karen made it to Alison’s apartment at about 10:45 a.m.
“I saw you on the news,” Alison said, “I really thank you for supporting me. This has been really tough on me.”
“On no Alison,” Karen cut Alison off as she was talking, “You’re not getting off that easy.”
Alison gave Karen a confused look.
“Whatever made you think you could get away with this?” Karen asked.
Alison speechless, shrugged her shoulders.
“I mean you are so selfish to think only about yourself,” Karen spoke shaking her head, “Did you think this wouldn’t affect me?”
Alison sat still looking very saddened. This was the last thing she was expecting from Karen. She thought for sure Karen would understand.
“Well it affected me,” Karen scowled, “And I’m not sure that I want to be your friend any longer.”
“I’m sorry Karen,” Alison said quivering with tears, “I messed up. I wasn’t thinking. You’re always giving me things. Always buying me things. For once I wanted to get what I needed without asking for a handout.”
“But, to steal Alison?” Karen said, “There’s got to be a better way.”
“I know, I know,” Alison pleaded, “I am really sorry.”
“Well sorry just won’t cut it. Sorry isn’t enough,” Karen said, “I’m very upset. I’m going to need a few days or weeks to think about this.”
“Okay,” Alison said, “if that’s the way you want it to be.”
Karen still upset walks toward the door to leave, “Okay, I’m leaving and I probably won’t be back.”
“Okay,” alison says as she bursts into tears.
Karen opens the doors just about ready to walk out and she breaks out sobbing, “I can’t Alison, I just can’t do it. I can’t hold this grudge against you. I am mad, I’m very mad. But, I also love you. You’re one of my best friends.”
Karen turns back into the room and gives Alison a hug as they both cry over the near ending of their friendship.