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Author Topic: Bassist Carol Kaye Slams "Ms. Maisel" Homage  (Read 2329 times)
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« on: January 03, 2020, 10:56:07 PM »

https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/wrecking-crew-bassist-carol-kaye-slams-mrs-maisel-homage-i-am-not-a-cartoon/ar-BBYAn2D?ocid=spartandhp
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 11:51:27 PM »

Ha, shocking, shocking.   
CK is an incredible musician, and I love her Pet Sounds/Smile era work, but anyone making a movie or TV show (biographical or fictionalized) is crazy to think that CK going to be flattered to be depicted in their movie or TV show.  She's pretty much on record as hating all portrayals and depictions of her.   Fans here will remember how much she hated her portrayal in the "Love and Mercy" biopic.  IIRC, in that one, she took extreme offense at how her character dressed as well as a scene in which she was portrayed as a slightly confused by Brian's compositional techniques.  It was kinda weird, as her wardrobe in the movie closely resembled the actual clothes she can be seen wearing in mid-60s studio photos. To the rest of the world, it may have looked like a harmless scene intended to depict how innovative Brian was, but that's now how CK took it.
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 12:00:58 AM »

I thought she looked spot on in the film.
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 01:30:12 AM »

I never hear of Hal Blaine being "her long-time enemy". What is that about?
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 02:11:24 AM »

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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 07:25:41 AM »


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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2020, 07:31:01 AM »

I never hear of Hal Blaine being "her long-time enemy". What is that about?

In recent years, she'd become critical of Hal's take on their collective history, especially his use of the term "Wrecking Crew" in his autobiography. Much to Hal's surprise, I might add - up to that point, he'd had nothing but good things to say about her, even kiddingly writing that he'd often thought he should have married her, they were so good together musically.l
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2020, 07:57:46 AM »

I never hear of Hal Blaine being "her long-time enemy". What is that about?

In recent years, she'd become critical of Hal's take on their collective history, especially his use of the term "Wrecking Crew" in his autobiography. Much to Hal's surprise, I might add - up to that point, he'd had nothing but good things to say about her, even kiddingly writing that he'd often thought he should have married her, they were so good together musically.l

Wow, that is really sad. She doesn't sound like a well person. And I say that without meaning any disrespect. What an amazing legacy though.
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2020, 04:25:31 PM »

She’s always been a crank. I remember her blowing up on the blue board more than a few times.
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2020, 07:52:48 PM »

Life’s too short, especially at 84, to sweat the small stuff. Some people have never learnt it’s fine to take life less seriously and laugh at yourself occasionally. You gain a lot more respect that way.
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 01:52:29 AM »

I never hear of Hal Blaine being "her long-time enemy". What is that about?

In recent years, she'd become critical of Hal's take on their collective history, especially his use of the term "Wrecking Crew" in his autobiography. Much to Hal's surprise, I might add - up to that point, he'd had nothing but good things to say about her, even kiddingly writing that he'd often thought he should have married her, they were so good together musically.l


Hm, ok. Kinda strange imo, but she will have her reasons.
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 03:37:26 PM »

Not surprising, I guess, given that she always seems to take issue with any depictions of her.

I watched Mrs. Maisel and immediately recognized that Kaye was the inspiration for that character. I guess they got a few things wrong, like didn't Kaye play regular guitar on the road and only switch to bass when she became a studio musician? But this is not Carol Kaye-- It's "Carol Keen." So I suppose they can do whatever they want.

I can see where some things would annoy Kaye. There's a conversation between Keen and the main character where she gives Midge (the main character) advice on how to handle one night stands on the road.  And I did get that she would be annoyed about the Love and Mercy scene where she's confused about Brian's arrangement. I understand that the point was to show that he was ahead of his time, but why show it by making a studio pro look like they don't understand Brian's music, and especially, why have the only woman be the one who is confused?

But overall, I think Kaye takes everything way too seriously. The upshot of having the "Carol Keen" character is that some people are being inspired to research her (or at least Google whether there were actually female musicians touring with famous singers in 1960. Midge Maisel is a woman in a field (comedy) dominated by men in 1960, and so is "Carol Keen." Why not draw attention to the challenges women faced when they stuck their necks out? I wish Carol Kaye would at least appreciate that. Oh well. I'm sure she didn't accomplish all that she did without having a strong personality.
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 04:53:21 PM »

<<I understand that the point was to show that he was ahead of his time, but why show it by making a studio pro look like they don't understand Brian's music,>>

Well, this did apparently happen once with Tommy Tedesco, where he didn't understand how a certain progression of Brian's would work...until he heard it with the vocals, then it made sense to him.

<<and especially, why have the only woman be the one who is confused?>>

Yeah, that's a very good point, especially since it was a man who questioned it at the actual session!  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 09:46:52 PM »

At the risk of being slammed, I wonder if anyone involved in the making of the movie even considered that scene would upset Carol or in fact other woman. I go to the movies for the story, not looking for offence.
Until pointed out above, I hadn’t even thought about that scene as possibly upsetting any group. But being a male, what would I know.... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 11:48:22 PM »

Not surprising, I guess, given that she always seems to take issue with any depictions of her.

I watched Mrs. Maisel and immediately recognized that Kaye was the inspiration for that character. I guess they got a few things wrong, like didn't Kaye play regular guitar on the road and only switch to bass when she became a studio musician? But this is not Carol Kaye-- It's "Carol Keen." So I suppose they can do whatever they want.

I can see where some things would annoy Kaye. There's a conversation between Keen and the main character where she gives Midge (the main character) advice on how to handle one night stands on the road.  And I did get that she would be annoyed about the Love and Mercy scene where she's confused about Brian's arrangement. I understand that the point was to show that he was ahead of his time, but why show it by making a studio pro look like they don't understand Brian's music, and especially, why have the only woman be the one who is confused?

But overall, I think Kaye takes everything way too seriously. The upshot of having the "Carol Keen" character is that some people are being inspired to research her (or at least Google whether there were actually female musicians touring with famous singers in 1960. Midge Maisel is a woman in a field (comedy) dominated by men in 1960, and so is "Carol Keen." Why not draw attention to the challenges women faced when they stuck their necks out? I wish Carol Kaye would at least appreciate that. Oh well. I'm sure she didn't accomplish all that she did without having a strong personality.

Just a few thoughts.

First, Carole Kaye accomplished all that she did in the music business because she was a phenomenal player with a terrific sense of time and feel as well as tone, and a guitarist/bassist who could read both chord charts and actual notated parts with ease and skill. No one got into that business who wasn't at the top of their game, and specifically no one who couldn't deliver the goods was as involved in recording soundtracks and scores for film and TV like Carole Kaye. A strong personality helps, sure, but ultimately she did what she did because she was among the best in that field, and IMO one of the best of all time.

That's why I hate to see her torn down personally as some have done in the past, including members currently banned from this forum who seemed to never miss a chance to take a personal shot at her. That's not cool. Argue all day about some of the issues with her in the past, and yes some of it is both sad and confusing especially for fans of her work, but her discography and body of work as a musician should also be appreciated (and respected) for what it is and what she did in the music and film business.

I don't know if the specific scene in L&M was showing confusion as much as the reaction of a trained musician when seeing a part written in one key while the chords seem to be in another, prior to running down the tune and hearing what was scored out. It's not uncommon now or then for a musician to ask questions or even doubt what they were given to play. And the scene in L&M was not the Tommy Tedesco quote referenced specifically as is being discussed in another thread, but rather a scene with the Carole character and Brian on Wouldn't It Be Nice. I think the Tommy quote may have been misused in referencing that film scene.
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2020, 06:05:08 AM »

Not surprising, I guess, given that she always seems to take issue with any depictions of her.

I watched Mrs. Maisel and immediately recognized that Kaye was the inspiration for that character. I guess they got a few things wrong, like didn't Kaye play regular guitar on the road and only switch to bass when she became a studio musician? But this is not Carol Kaye-- It's "Carol Keen." So I suppose they can do whatever they want.

I can see where some things would annoy Kaye. There's a conversation between Keen and the main character where she gives Midge (the main character) advice on how to handle one night stands on the road.  And I did get that she would be annoyed about the Love and Mercy scene where she's confused about Brian's arrangement. I understand that the point was to show that he was ahead of his time, but why show it by making a studio pro look like they don't understand Brian's music, and especially, why have the only woman be the one who is confused?

But overall, I think Kaye takes everything way too seriously. The upshot of having the "Carol Keen" character is that some people are being inspired to research her (or at least Google whether there were actually female musicians touring with famous singers in 1960. Midge Maisel is a woman in a field (comedy) dominated by men in 1960, and so is "Carol Keen." Why not draw attention to the challenges women faced when they stuck their necks out? I wish Carol Kaye would at least appreciate that. Oh well. I'm sure she didn't accomplish all that she did without having a strong personality.

Just a few thoughts.

First, Carole Kaye accomplished all that she did in the music business because she was a phenomenal player with a terrific sense of time and feel as well as tone, and a guitarist/bassist who could read both chord charts and actual notated parts with ease and skill. No one got into that business who wasn't at the top of their game, and specifically no one who couldn't deliver the goods was as involved in recording soundtracks and scores for film and TV like Carole Kaye. A strong personality helps, sure, but ultimately she did what she did because she was among the best in that field, and IMO one of the best of all time.

That's why I hate to see her torn down personally as some have done in the past, including members currently banned from this forum who seemed to never miss a chance to take a personal shot at her. That's not cool. Argue all day about some of the issues with her in the past, and yes some of it is both sad and confusing especially for fans of her work, but her discography and body of work as a musician should also be appreciated (and respected) for what it is and what she did in the music and film business.

I don't know if the specific scene in L&M was showing confusion as much as the reaction of a trained musician when seeing a part written in one key while the chords seem to be in another, prior to running down the tune and hearing what was scored out. It's not uncommon now or then for a musician to ask questions or even doubt what they were given to play. And the scene in L&M was not the Tommy Tedesco quote referenced specifically as is being discussed in another thread, but rather a scene with the Carole character and Brian on Wouldn't It Be Nice. I think the Tommy quote may have been misused in referencing that film scene.

Just to clarify, I wasn't at all saying Carole Kaye wasn't a fantastic and skilled player. But I think to get to a high level at just about anything, you need both talent AND a strong personality, or "grit," as they say in Freakonomics. In no way would I want to diminish Carole Kaye's skills as a musician. I'm sure ALL of those session players had both talent and grit, as did Brian. It's quite possible that as a woman, Carole had to fight a bit harder, giving her the thick skin to stand up and speak out against what she perceives as an unfair depiction. That's all I was saying.

I watched Mrs. Maisel and I don't see where she's being torn down. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I wasn't there and don't know the details of Kaye's life. Maybe they got a lot wrong.

I remember the L&M scene showing confusion, but I haven't seen the movie since it was released. I'd have to watch again. But I do remember sitting in the theater and wondering what the real Carol Kaye would think of this depiction of her.
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2020, 06:45:55 AM »

Despite all her successes and acclaim, CK seems like a very angry and frustrated person with a huge chip on her shoulder. She seems very resentful and bitter and doesn’t seem to care about inspiring others - especially not younger women.

I feel bad for her because it’s clear she’s facing some emotional turmoil and has been holding on to a lot of anger for a very long time. I just hope she’s enjoying her life and is happy considering her age and health. Her talent has made so many people happy, yet it seems she ignores that and focuses only on the negatives.
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2020, 07:43:28 AM »

Defend her all you want, but we could post literally decades of her attacks on people (including me -- why? because I posted on one of the newsgroups about an instrument cable I use that I tried after a recommendation on her web site -- I would *only have heard of it* because of her web site -- and she proceeded to tear me a new one because she would NEVER recommend said cable because it was crap), literally having a lawyer send threatening letters to people (and said lawyer actually apologized later), trashing Melinda ("wifey-poo"), and name-calling. It doesn't make her less talented, but it sure doesnt' make her look like a sweetheart.
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2020, 09:00:28 AM »

Defend her all you want, but we could post literally decades of her attacks on people (including me -- why? because I posted on one of the newsgroups about an instrument cable I use that I tried after a recommendation on her web site -- I would *only have heard of it* because of her web site -- and she proceeded to tear me a new one because she would NEVER recommend said cable because it was crap), literally having a lawyer send threatening letters to people (and said lawyer actually apologized later), trashing Melinda ("wifey-poo"), and name-calling. It doesn't make her less talented, but it sure doesnt' make her look like a sweetheart.

Sounds like some other people we know.  LOL

No doubt, the whole situation is unfortunate in many ways, but even moreso in that there truly is a great legacy of musicianship and accomplishments at play in this case which would be a shame to ignore or forget due to the other issues. The resume we're looking at is one of the best among all those musicians when you factor in the film and TV work alongside the sessions we tend to focus on.
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2020, 09:18:59 AM »

The aforementioned scene. Nothing but respect for these musicians by Brian as has often been mentioned by them in interviews.

https://youtu.be/11SYaq4I1ok


Lyle Ritz confirms it was him querying the two different keys (but not what song).Still not worth getting upset about TBH.

https://youtu.be/93lduXoNuCE
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 09:31:33 AM by Pretty Funky » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2020, 09:21:53 AM »

There's also the whole issue of her claiming credit for tracks featuring the astonishing Motown playing of James Jamerson -- a groundbreaking African-American musician who has passed away and not able to defend himself.

Carol, whatever her musical talents, has more than earned whatever enmity comes her way.
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2020, 09:37:14 AM »

The aforementioned scene. Nothing but respect for these musicians by Brian as has often been mentioned by them in interviews.

https://youtu.be/11SYaq4I1ok

Yes, and the whole point of clarification is that the scene above was for WIBN, a session for which Tommy Tedesco did not play, and the scenario depicted in the scene not only has musical merit as it is exactly the A major/D major juxtaposition as we hashed out back in 2013 (and earlier) for that song as outlined in the other current thread.

I *never* saw that scene as offensive, even though Carol did, because as anyone who has ever done a recording session and has been given a part to play on sight will attest, musicians do question parts if something sounds "off", and I've seen it personally as well as have been the writer who has had to correct something on the spot because a musician pointed out a mistake or something that wasn't quite right, just as the scene above shows - even though in the case of WIBN it was what Brian wanted to hear.

Tommy Tedesco's comment or comments had nothing to do with that scene, but that scene itself can also stand as an amalgam of multiple studio scenarios from perhaps a dozen musicians who got a part from Brian during this era and questioned if those were the notes he wanted them to play because they didn't seem to work or fit on paper until they heard the whole thing. Again I point to Barney Kessel and others who have said they weren't sure how it all would work as they were recording parts for Brian, and it was only after they'd hear the track on the radio or on an album in finished state that it made sense.
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2020, 02:22:53 PM »

We're often reminded that our musical heroes are also human beings. So very true. Yet, this cuts both ways. It means we should remember we all have flaws and should be treated fairly. It also means even a supremely talented and accomplished individual can be mean, bitter, cantankerous, and so on. Carol Kaye has earned the reputation she has.

I'm frankly surprised any movies or TV shows are risking a portrayal of her even tangentially. I'm surprised legal counsel didn't instruct the makers of the L&M film to portray a character as far removed from Kaye as possible to avoid her complaints or worse. At which point she probably would have complained that the film ignored her.

I pity the next poor soul that actually tries to tell her in an interview that she's probably not playing anywhere on the finished master of "Good Vibrations." That she played on a zillion other great records, and was there for a bunch of historic BW/BB sessions would not assuage her ire.

And yes, as Wirestone mentioned, she also has claimed credits that others have attributed to Jamerson, who conveniently isn't here to defend himself.

Kaye actually reminds me a bit of Mike Love. Both supremely talented, *and* supremely accomplished in the musical field. Both have so many accomplishments that they would never *need* to claim extra credit or diminish anyone else's accomplishments. They differ of course, because Mike Love more often than not (e.g. outside of some interview settings) manages to be kind and polite with fans, etc.

Kaye has been treated more than fairly by just about any fan/scholar in the BB world I can think of. She's frankly lucky that, time after time, fans and scholars *continue* to preface anything they say about her by pointing out what a great and accomplished player she is. Rarely have I seen anyone just get down to brass tacks and say "I don't care what records you played on, you're being mean to people, often if not usually unjustifiably."

That all being said, I don't think any of this is a big deal. Only music buffs/historians/fans know who she is, and even among that grouping the number of people continuing to listen to her rants have decreased over time. While it's not a bad idea to point out inaccuracies in these films, I think most folks should consider themselves lucky that anybody cares enough to even tangentially portray them (or some variation of them) in a TV show or film.

"Love & Mercy" could have just gone the "Summer Dreams" route of showing the BB's vocal sessions and ignoring the studio musicians.
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2020, 02:44:30 PM »



Kaye actually reminds me a bit of Mike Love. Both supremely talented, *and* supremely accomplished in the musical field. Both have so many accomplishments that they would never *need* to claim extra credit or diminish anyone else's accomplishments. They differ of course, because Mike Love more often than not (e.g. outside of some interview settings) manages to be kind and polite with fans, etc.
 

It's sadly about older people hanging onto perceived slights from decades back. In Mike's case, he was *absolutely* wronged by Murry (and sadly, Brian didn't step in), so he understandably has some legit gripes that left deep emotional scars because he hung onto the anger, and watched those around him get credit for stuff he felt he should have gotten credit for.  Obviously there was some weird emotional stuff going on to begin with which this situation must have exacerbated (case in point, Denny it would seem, by comparison, wasn't holding onto anger of his being omitted from "You Are So Beautiful", although granted that was only 1 song).

It seems in Carol's case, the near exact same thing repeatedly happened to her, just not in a singular band/family situation, but somewhere along the line she was either not credited for something (probably many things) that she *should* have been credited with, and/or for decades didn't get widespread (beyond superfans) public recognition for her contributions to popular music.

In both of their cases, it almost feels like their brains got rewired to such an overcompensational (is that a word?) degree that the pendulum swung waaaaaay too far in the other direction. And now both of these talented individuals are their own worst enemies. It's really, really sad.

Speaking for myself, I'll never take away an ounce of respect for either Carol or Mike's legit contributions, but I will continue to feel bad for what they do to their reputations (and in Carol's case, how she - unintentional as it may be - appears to grab credit from other musicians, thus screwing them over unnecessarily). Nobody should belittle either Mike's or Carol's legit contributions, but it will surely continue to happen as a result of how they've acted for years.

I am no historian, just going on what the research experts say in terms of her saying she's on stuff that she isn't really on - much like Mike overcompensating to grab credits on stuff like a few words in the tag of WIBN. There's a lot in common with their mindsets. Sad, sad, sad. I can't imagine holding onto such a level of resentment as an octogenarian as to get repeatedly publicly hostile over stuff.

But also, on an empathetic note, I will also say that I haven't lived Carol's or Mike's lives. They've been through crazy sh*t that we surely cannot properly comprehend fully, that's a certainty.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 02:59:19 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2020, 06:20:28 PM »

There's also the whole issue of her claiming credit for tracks featuring the astonishing Motown playing of James Jamerson -- a groundbreaking African-American musician who has passed away and not able to defend himself.

Carol, whatever her musical talents, has more than earned whatever enmity comes her way.

In light of the above two posts from HeyJude and CenturyDeprived, where they see similarities between Carol and Mike Love, would you say Mike has also more than earned whatever enmity comes his way? The similarities are pretty close in terms of claiming and/or taking credits that are sketchy if not outright unearned, filing and fighting for frivolous lawsuits and legal actions that go nowhere and have no merit, along with various comments about bandmates and people no longer alive to defend themselves that were mean-spirited if not outright false.

It makes for an interesting parallel.
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