Listen to your Doctor!

Here’s a bit of trivia that falls under the subtitle of Lagniappe for better or worse:

Through high school (when my battle with Lbs. began) I used to take an Rx drug for “weight loss”. I did lose some weight but also gained tremendous abilities to concentrate. Of course, decades later, it’s now a Rx drug for ADHD. Odd how things come around.

The MD that prescribed that drug was named Dr. Walter Carpenter MD and I also remember his wonderful medical assistant and secretary, Mrs. Todd (life is full of coincidence isn’t it). His age at the time was late 50’s but he was a very hip guy.

Published: October 24, 2008 in the NY Times
CARPENTER–Walter T., Jr., M.D., of Huntington, NY on October 23, 2008 in his 97th year. He is survived by his numerous children, stepchildren, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his wife Bunny Hoest Carpenter. Memorial visitation Saturday 2:00pm to 4:00pm with a service at 4:00pm at the A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home Inc., 1380 New York Avenue, Huntington Station. Donations would be appreciated in lieu of flowers to Weill–Cornell Medical College Alumni Office, 1300 York Ave., Box 61, NY, NY 10065.

Side note from Todd: Bunny Hoest Carpenter was the author of The Lockhorns and Laugh Parade among other cartoons.

Well, here’s my side of the story:

Of his “numerous children” was his son the guitarist and singer/songwriter. As part of my therapy (1966-1970), I had to go to see Dr. Carpenter (who, btw, was one of the coolest people I ever knew-long hair, beard, and very hippy-ish. He was a great conversationalist and was really into “the culture of the times”) every 2 weeks for a blood test to make sure I wasn’t abusing the meds or dying from side effects. The drug also affected how your body metabolized certain necessary nutrients, one of which was Vitamin C which I, at one point, was very lax in taking supplements and had some gum problems as a result. Misdiagnosed by my dentist as a gum infection called Vincent’s Infection or… wait for it…Trench Mouth! It was what we now call Periodontal Disease and was cleared up with mega doses over a month’s time of Vitamin C and debridement of junk under the gums. TAKE YOUR C people! OK… FLOSS TOO!

Dr. Carpenter and I would always talk about my intense involvement in music (I usually had some kind of bass and amp in the car in his parking lot during visits) and how I should come over the house “when Jake was around” and jam or just hang out. The doc had a HUGE house in Huntington LI NY which I would sometimes visit for my appt’s when he or I couldn’t make it to his Bay Shore office. I mean HUGE. Anyway, he always spoke of Jake and when Jake started to get famous he would talk about this single or that LP and I could NEVER find anything on LP or any singles. UNTIL, the doc, he was a bit ethereal at times, realized that to him his son was “Jake” with the last name Carpenter, but to the world, he was Jake Holmes! OK, not a household name, right? Well he did have one “hit”, So Close, that did make the charts and some very notable LP’s and performances. So Close, So Very Far to Go. Released by Polydor, it reached No. 135 on the Billboard album chart, and the single “So Close” rose to No. 49 on Billboard’s Hot 100

It is also widely accepted that he is the TRUE author of Zep’s Dazed and Confused! Dazed and Confused? Read on:


Led Zeppelin must have been a little “Dazed and Confused” when it recorded the classic by the same name 41 years ago  — because it sounds just like a folk song — so says the folk singer who’s now suing Zep’s guitarist, Jimmy Page.
I invite you to visit for some audio samples and proof that this was indeed written by Jake, or Jake-ie as his dad sometime referred to him:
This is NOT the only place where this shows up:
A few years after first hearing about Jake, when I had now completely been considered “lost cause” for getting invited to the Carpenter home in Huntington it was too late for me as Jake had moved to San Fran. But in my defense, seriously folks, I was very busy playing in 2 Big Bands, 1 rock band, 2 classical orchestras, 1 choir, a wind ensemble, almost monthly Broadway Show performances (upright and electric bass) at colleges and high schools all over Long Island, and my own rock group playing every weekend, I simply didn’t have the time. ANYWAY…, Dr. Carpenter mentioned that Jake-ie was now doing some “side work” to make money to support his music habit. He was now writing jingles. WHICH jingles?
The ones that I know of are:
  • “Building a better way …. to see the U.S.A.” for Chevrolet (General Motors) (1972)
  • “Be a Pepper” for Dr Pepper (with Randy Newman, 1977)
  • “Be all that you can be” for the U.S. Army (1979)
  • We fly the world” for Pan American World Airways (DATE)
  • “Raise your hand if you’re Sure” for Sure deodorant (197X)
  • “Aren’t You Hungry for Burger King Now?” for Burger King (1981)
  • “America’s Getting Into Training” for Amtrak corporation (1981)[6]
  • “Come to Metropolitan and simplify your life” for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (1981)[7]
  • “Great Moments for You on CBS” for CBS (1982)
  • “Ah ha, we’re sitting pretty, altogether in Schaeffer City” for Schaeffer Beer (198X)
  • “NBC, Let’s All Be There!” for NBC (1985)
  • “Best a Man Can Get” for The Gillette Company (1988)
  • “Come see the softer side of Sears, Roebuck and Company” for Sears (19XX)
  • “With Charmin Ultra, Less Is More” (Cha-cha-cha!!!) for Charmin (200X)
THE MORAL OF THE STORY (picture in your mind the audio from Fractured Fairy Tales from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show’s segment, in the voice of Edward Everett Horton, the narrator of that segment):
Listen to YOUR DOCTOR! And if he invites you to come to his home to come and hang out with his son, the musician… DO IT!
I guess there’s an extended moral, which is to not be too hip, too busy, or too STUPID to take people’s invitations to heart. Open yourself up to new things and maybe you won’t miss out on things around you. Like the chance to have collaborated with a singer/songwriter who was SO good his stuff got ripped off by Jimmy Paige!!


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