At the risk of making a complete fool of myself, I must admit that of all the names that appeared in the liner notes of the records I’ve bought or listened to over at friends’ houses, hers escaped me in all those years. Why that is, especially since she played on so many hit records, I don’t know. Maybe musical tunnel vision of some kind. Whatever.
But now that my Facebook buddy Charles Hoernemann, an accomplished guitarist, composer, long time studio cat and recording artist and engineer himself, introduced me to her, I can’t seem to get enough of her. Or let me put it differently: She is the first person (in music) I never met and whom I’d love to meet. Next to the wealth of music she contributed to and the legacy she shares with us, I get a vibe from her that I wish I had been around in my “formative years”, as they’re often called. And not only as a musician or music educator, but as a person, too. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone speak with such authority and integrity on all matters music (and the people involved), but also outside of music. To me, she is the perfect example of the expression “down to earth”, while at the same time having managed to preserve an aliveness and heartbeat I unfortunately haven’t come across too often in my life. If I had had someone like her as a music teacher at around, say, age 20, I guess, my life might have taken a much different course from what it actually took (and that one ended in a complete desaster, to be all honest). But I don’t intend to make this about me other than saying: Watching this is true inspiration on all levels – and in buckets so.
The interview lasts for over an hour, but she always gets to the point of the questions asked quickly, spikes up the footage by throwing in lots and lots of hands-on examples on both the guitar and the bass and effortlessly walks us through 60-70 years of music history, while sharing personal anecdotes to back up her own history. In terms of education as well as inspiration, I can’t think of spending a better 70 minutes on the web. Carol Kaye. Wow. And thank you!