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Carly Simon: 'You're So Vain' about David Geffen


Warren Beatty, you’re off the hook. The song wasn’t about you.

Singer Carly Simon, after 38 years, has apparently ended the great mystery of who she was singing about in her 1972 smash “You’re So Vain.”

It was ... medial mogul David Geffen, according to The Sun of London.

The 64-year-old Simon has reworked the song, and included a backwards portion that whispers Geffen’s name, according the paper. Geffen was the head of Simon’s Elektra label at the time,

And she wasn’t mad about a failed romantic relationship, as Geffen is openly gay. Instead, the paper speculates she was resentful of Geffen’s promotion of rival Joni Mitchell.

In 1974, Mitchell wrote her own song about Geffen — “Free Man in Paris.”

Over the years, there has been speculation that Simon wrote “You’re So Vain” about ex-boyfriends Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens or Kris Krisofferson.

Simon has long claimed in public that “You’re So Vain” was merely a composite of people she knew.

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a few years ago, she auctioned off the telling of who the song was about to someone for a charity. the guy who won paid $50,000 (IIRC) and had to sign a non-disclosure that allowed him to only say the guy had an “e” in his name. It did kinda squash the “composite” theory. I was excited for a minute 'cause I thought it eliminated Kris Krisofferson, being that I don't spell very well…


"Dick Ebersol, president of NBC Sports and a friend of Simon, was the highest bidder for a Martha's Vineyard Possible Dreams charity auction offering in which the prize was the revelation of the person that "You're So Vain" was about. After making the winning bid of $50,000, Ebersol was given a private performance of the song at Simon's home and Simon whispered the subject into his ear. A condition of the prize was that Ebersol would not reveal the person to anyone. Ebersol said thatSimon allowed him to divulge a clue about the person's name: "Carly told me that I could offer up to the entire world, a clue as to what she'll tell me when we have this night in about two weeks. And the clue is: The letter 'E' is in the person's name."[6]"

that was 10 years ago. I can't believe I was able to remember so much about such meaningless celebrity trivia. This is so exciting for me 'cause I had an eidetic memory which got really screwed up when I got sick (from the meds) and for me, that was worse than being sick, but I have been working on it, and it seems like it's really getting better. So, really, wow. I'm so fucking happy I could cry.

(I heard this on the radio, btw, my eidetic memory runs toward the verbal more than the visual, it's tape recorder rather than photographic ::grin::)

Thanks for the tidbit! It's nice to have these mysteries solved...

I actually love both of those songs, and sing them loudly and pretensions of competence.

Tho I can't see how 'You're So Vain' really reflects on promotion of a rival. Tho I could see it being about Mitchell with the gender swapped to foster confusion...

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