Karen Carpenter

drummanic58

Well-known member
Is it just me or do people tend to underrate Karen Carpenter as a great drummer? I mean, the woman could sing in a gorgeous 3 octave range and keep a beat at the same time. John Bonham couldn't do that. Then they made her stop playing. If you look up videos online you can see how flipping happy it made her to be behind a drum kit. She always thought of herself as a drummer who sang. It really sucks that they took her happy place away from her. What a gift she had. She could play some crazy hard time signatures too. If they allowed her to have more input in the music she and Richard would have been a force and a half. Kind of like Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas. Finneas is a production genius and Billie can sing the living daylights out of a song. An interesting side note is that Billie said she always thought Finneas had a better voice than her. Karen didn't think her own voice was that great either.
 

drummanic58

Well-known member
Plus she hung out with this guy in her neighborhood who idolized Buddy Rich. Supposedly Karen once beat out Bonham in a poll for best drummer. This was before she passed away. He thought it was total crap and he said that she'd never be able to make it through a Zeppelin song.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
I remember watching their show and the VERY FEW times they had her play, I thought, "Wow!...She's awesome at drums"
As stated above, her vocal range and voice in general were beyond great as well! And Real!
 

newoldie

Silver Member
Is it just me or do people tend to underrate Karen Carpenter as a great drummer? I mean, the woman could sing in a gorgeous 3 octave range and keep a beat at the same time. John Bonham couldn't do that. Then they made her stop playing. If you look up videos online you can see how flipping happy it made her to be behind a drum kit. She always thought of herself as a drummer who sang. It really sucks that they took her happy place away from her. What a gift she had. She could play some crazy hard time signatures too. If they allowed her to have more input in the music she and Richard would have been a force and a half. Kind of like Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas. Finneas is a production genius and Billie can sing the living daylights out of a song. An interesting side note is that Billie said she always thought Finneas had a better voice than her. Karen didn't think her own voice was that great either.
According to Hal Blaine, who played drums on The Carpenters' recorded songs (and initially, some live tours), Karen was a fine drummer but didn't have the studio chops. So she became the centerpiece and visual front for the group, instead of being just "a drummer who sang."
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm not in the habit of discussing "what could have been" under different circumstances. Speculation is a reshaping of reality, and a considerable serving of wishful fiction is always part of the recipe. As an expression of respect for Miss Carpenter's achievements, I will state merely that her voice was exquisite beyond compare and that her recordings are a gift to anyone with ears. Our heritage of music would be reduced without her contributions.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
She's on the list here, so she was at least better than I am.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Plus she hung out with this guy in her neighborhood who idolized Buddy Rich. Supposedly Karen once beat out Bonham in a poll for best drummer. This was before she passed away. He thought it was total crap and he said that she'd never be able to make it through a Zeppelin song.
As a HUGE Zeppelin fan, I gotta say...rumor has it John didn't make it through more than once.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
According to Hal Blaine, who played drums on The Carpenters' recorded songs (and initially, some live tours), Karen was a fine drummer but didn't have the studio chops. So she became the centerpiece and visual front for the group, instead of being just "a drummer who sang."

Karen not a studio drummer? Whatever. I’ve seen her perform on TV and straight-up KILL it. Hal was full of it on that one.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I knew her as a singer before a drummer. I was quite shocked when I first saw her play and agree she is quite good.
 

drummanic58

Well-known member
Seems like chick had chocks to me:

Her vocal transitions were smooth like butter. Dion Warwick said if you could have touched her voice it would have been like satin. Have you heard that John Lennon story? A music producer friend said he was out with Karen one day and they ran into John Lennon. Neither he or Karen had ever met him before. He says "I just want to tell you love, I think you have the most fabulous voice" and he doesn't introduce himself or anything. He just walks on. Afterward Karen turned to the friend she was with and said "He couldn't have meant it". That was due to her lack of self esteem and confidence.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
At a former job, a co-worker and I would always pick on each other.
Eventually, after several back and forths between us, I would always "finish" by singing to her:
"On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue"

For the rest of the day:
"Damn it, Bob! You got that song stuck in my head AGAIN!"
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Wait, when you say knew do you mean you knew her personally or knew her as a fan?
I was born in the 70s. I was familiar with her singing, but didnt know she also was a drummer until I was like 20. I never knew her personally. Sorry for the confusion.
 
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