Carol Kaye: I Never Really Wanted to Do Studio Work
SKF NOTE: In the early 1980s, when I spoke with musician Carol Kaye, I felt incredibly fortunate. I still feel that way. I was working to put together a history of rock drummers that, at times, was tough to piece together. This was pre-internet and a time when drummers were just starting to gain recognition for their pivotal role in music history. Ron Spagnardi's Modern Drummer magazine helped in that regard in a big way.
This is a transcript from the early 1980s, I'm sure, of Carol Kaye's half of our interview. I transcribed none of my questions. My interest at the time was in what Ms. Kaye had to say. I would remember what questions I asked. So in the interest of time, I limited my manual typewriter transcribing to Carol Kaye's comments.
Ours was a phone interview taped to audio cassette. I was in my office at Modern Drummer. Carol was in California in, I believe, her home. I don't remember specifically how she and I met, or the circumstances leading up to this interview. I might have been given Carol's name and number by another musician. But I think I found her phone number on my own.
As with some of my other background interviews, Carol has some intriguing stories about Motown recording sessions. And we learn more about session drummer Jesse Sailes. Then Carol speaks about working with Phil Spector and other hit -- she calls them "biggies" -- records on which she played either guitar or bass.
I was unable to fact check every one of Ms. Kaye's memories. But I was able to fact check many of them -- and found no conflicts. Maybe some other writer or blogger has already solved the various Motown session stories. And maybe Carol Kaye's remarks here include a missing piece or two of the puzzle.
Carol Kaye: We were recording in a studio above a garage. Armin Steiner's garage. We did an awful lot of records there for about two or three years. And the first drummer I worked with was Jesse Sailes. He told Motown about me because I'd worked a few other kind of record dates with Jesse. He's a Dixieland drummer who plays with Teddy Buckner out at Disneyland now. He had done an awful lot of Motown.
After that came Earl Palmer. And then they used Paul Humphrey on a very few of them. It was mostly Jesse Sailes first and then Earl Palmer later. Earl played on some of the biggies like Bernadette and Love Child.
Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals Click Here to Read the Full Carol Kaye Interview
Edited by Scott K Fish, 02 February 2016 - 07:48 AM.