Post by Rick Henry on Sept 2, 2005 2:27:59 GMT -5
Monday March 5, 1979
Phil Ramone and his wife Karen arrived in L.A. just the night before to meet with Karen Carpenter, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.
It's 9:00 a.m. Monday morning Phil, Herb, Jerry and Karen are in the executive office of A&M Records. They are scrutinizing each others' contracts with their attorneys. One contract Karen signed binds her to the agreement that she will record three albums between 1980 to 1989 with Richard as the Carpenters regardless of how successful her solo album is. The same contract calls for her to record a second solo album by 1989.
In the contract Phil presented to A&M Records he names Bob James and Rod Temperton as part of his production team.
After all contracts are signed Karen and Phil met his wife Karen at the Hamburger Hamlet in Beverly Hills. Karen always loved this restaurant for it's Shakespearean quotes on the walls. Both Phil and his wife Karen each ordered a avocado cheeseburger with french fries. While Karen (Carpenter) went all out and ordered the delicious Lobster Bisque. Both Karen's hit it off instantaneously. To avoid confusion they came up with the nickname "Itchy" for Phil's wife Karen as her maiden name is Itchyumi.
Karen jokingly said to Phil, "Now that we've signed our contracts why don't we start working on the album tomorrow."
Phil looked at Karen then toward his wife. "Excuse me girls," Phil said to the Karens, "I need to powder my nose."
The girls just giggled at Phil's silly comment and continued talking as he left the table.
Phil was gone near fifteen minutes. When he returned Itchy commented to Karen, "He's got a lot of nose to powder." All three laughed at that comment.
"Okay Karen," Phil says as he sits back down, "now what were you saying before I left?"
"Well," Karen scratches her head, "uh, oh yeah I was kidding about starting the album tomorrow. But I was only joking around."
"Actually Karen we could do that if you really wanted to," Phil comments back.
"What?" Karen looked puzzled at Phil.
Phil continues to talk, "I just called Bob James. He says he available for the next four and a half weeks. Bob is on the phone to Rod. I know we can get Rod into the studio later on in the week."
"Well, well wait a minute," Karen says with a funny smile on her face, "We don't even have any songs chosen to record. We're just not ready for this."
"You are ready Karen," Phil interjects, "You have the golden voice. I have a few demo tapes with me. You can listen to them tonight or on the plane to New York. It's up to you Karen. If you want to wait until next month to start things that's alright too."
"Really, you've got demos with you?" Karen curiously inquires.
"Yes," Phil responds.
"You know Phil," Karen exclaims, "I need some spontaneity in my life. Richard and I always had things so perfectly mapped out when we recorded our albums. Maybe it's time for a new approach. Let's do it. Let's fly to New York in the morning.