Carol Kaye Responds to “Mrs. Maisel” Homage
If you’ve been watching the latest season of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” you may have noticed a new character who seems quite familiar. That’s because the fictional Carole Keen is based on real-life bass hero Carol Kaye, who played bass on countless hits from the ’60s. “Keen” is a character that represents Kaye’s life, even down to her cat-eye glasses.
While the character appears to pay homage to the session ace, Kaye doesn’t see it that way. Kaye made her views clear in an interview with the New York Post:
“It’s a Hollywood, silly fluff piece [that has] nothing to do with me or my history. They took a few things out of my book and created a character that’s not even me at all,” she said. “A lot of people are saying, ‘That must be you. I love it!’ But I am not a cartoon — and my life is not a joke. Nobody contacted me. I didn’t know a thing about it. I thought that was pretty bad — kind of like slander.”
Kaye is known as the First Lady of Bass for her groundbreaking work in the L.A. recording scene. She started session work in 1957 as a guitarist, switching to bass in 1963 when a bassist missed a session. She went on to record numerous hits for artists like The Beach Boys, Steve Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, and more. She also recorded on the soundtracks for Mission: Impossible, M.A.S.H, Shaft, and Bullitt. She is currently retired, though she stays active on social media and still teaches lessons. Her autobiography, Studio Musician: Carol Kaye, 60s #1 Bassist, Guitarist, was released in 2017 and is available on her website.