February 26, 2010

Now that at long last no one cares, Carly Simon reveals that the "you" who probably thought that song was about him was...

... David Geffen.

(Via Throwing Things.)

36 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

So she was jealous about Joni?

She should have just kept quiet.

AprilApple said...

Dang. I was hoping for Warren.

Shawn Levasseur said...

In a way it probably was still about other guys, who were so vain they thought the song was about them! :)

wv: curionas - that empty feeling after a curiosity has been answered, and found not to be as interesting as it was as a mystery.

Scott said...

It must be frustrating for a woman to be infatuated with a gay guy.

Julie said...

I think it is possible that Carly Simon has only revealed one member of a composite. From the relevant wiki page: "In 2004, Simon told Regis Philbin, "..I've given out two letters already, an "A" and an "E." But I'm going to add one to it. I'm going to add an "R,". The "R" doesn't match up. And, "Stern, recalling that Simon had told him who the song was written about, claimed that Simon said it was a "composite of three people".

Mark O said...

She's an American Woman.

ricpic said...

David Geffen looks like a cigar store Indian.

Jenny said...

Didn't some guy donate a hefty sum to charity to be let in on that secret a few years ago? I'd be ticked if I were that guy. Maybe I am misremembering.

Irene said...

@Mark O And Joni Mitchell is Canadian.

Emilie Babcox said...

It always seemed like a logical puzzle, anyway. "You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you."

It IS about you, if you're the one who is so vain. So you guessed correctly, and it's kind of a compliment that she wrote a song about you, and that lots of people will be trying to discover your identity. It's an insult that ends up being somewhat gratifying, I would think.

Lyssa Lovely Redhead said...

Now will she please explain the line about how she "used to dream there were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee"? Why, and what does that mean?

That always bothered me more than who "you" was.

Ann Althouse said...

"Now will she please explain the line about how she "used to dream there were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee"? Why, and what does that mean? "

I think those clouds were the reason why "words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe." Suffice it to say, back in the 60s a lot of people spent a lot of time staring into cups and hallucinating.

Pogo said...

"Clouds in my coffee" may just be a poetic reference to cream or Coffee-mate.

That would be a boring dream, though once I dreamt about a totally white room with a white table and chair, white plate and utensils, and green peas.

That was a damned boring dream, I tell ya. When I got up I was mad about it; what a waste of good sleep. I'd rather have had a dream about Bea Arthur.

Well, maybe not.

TMink said...

Geffen started out in the mail room. He would get to work at 5 am and steam open the letters so that he could rise in the company. It worked. He kept getting to work early to steam open the mail for years after leaving the mailroom.

He sued Neil Young for making un-Neil Young like records.

He lost.

Trey

Pogo said...

I always wanted to fly my Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun because of that song.

Because indeed I am where I should be all the time.

But when I'm not, I am not with some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend.

Worse, I do not have an apricot scarf and one eye in the mirror, and I have never knowingly watched myself gavotte.

Ah, well.

Coffeemate it is.

SteveR said...

My horse naturaly lost.

Irene said...

"Clouds in my coffee" may be another jealous reference to Joni Mitchell.

Robert Cook said...

I always assumed the song was about her father, publisher Richard Simon of Simon & Schuster.

edutcher said...

AprilApple said...

Dang. I was hoping for Warren.

I'd heard it definitely was him. Given his rep as a lady killer, it would make sense. What would be interesting is why he would pick her (she's rather plain) as opposed to her sister, Joanna, who is/was quite a knockout. Dad's money, one presumes.

Given some of the info about Geffen here, I think she may just be messing with everybody.

Will Cate said...

Joni Mitchell's song "Free Man In Paris" (1973, Court And Spark was also about David Geffen, in first-person voice.

El Pollo Real said...

Geffen waxes nostalgically about Mitchell here: Link.

wv = "schyd" Olde English spelling of the infamous brown marks.

Kinsey Holley said...

I'm a wee bit too young to be a true Boomer, and I was in middle school when all these people were on top of their game, so I never realized - damn, Yousef Islam was kinda hot back in the day. I don't really like Cat Stevens' music, but he was awfully pretty, wasn't he?

I think Carly is a more talented songwriter than Joni. I realize most people would disagree.

Mark O said...

@Irene

You're plenty smart on both sides.

Mark O said...

By the way, it is Warren. She just won't admit it now. It's better to be thought of as a fag hag (he "had" her) than only one of say 13,000, give or take a few.

Is that you, Wilt?

The Crack Emcee said...

It could've been about almost anyone in the 60s, so it was probably better this way.

Made 'em all squirm.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Geffen started out in the mail room. He would get to work at 5 am and steam open the letters so that he could rise in the company. It worked. He kept getting to work early to steam open the mail for years after leaving the mailroom."

Ah yes, talent, that's what this business was built on.

Maybe not. Maybe, instead, it was built on reading other people's mail.

Some things can cause me to hate life more than any of you can imagine.

Y'know, like living.

Mark O said...

David Geffen may have read other folks' mail, but it was more important that he was Ahmet Ertegun's boyfriend.

That's what makes this "confession" so silly.

The rest is irrelevant.

jag said...

Sinced David Geffen later disclosed his homosexuality, is it possible he was never really "so vain" as simply uncomfortable sexually and looking for a way out?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

This may not be so cut and dried.

Update: Everyone Owes David Geffen an Apology
"Rumors indicating Geffen was the subject of the song surfaced after Simon revealed that on a recently recorded version of the song, she recites (backward) the name of its inspiration. One of these names is David. However, ShowBiz411 also spoke with someone who worked on the production of the song who says that Simon also says two other names: one that’s unintelligible, and “Warren,” an obvious reference to 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding."

Ralph L said...

I think Carly is a more talented songwriter

She writes only the words or the tune, but I can't remember which one it is.

Joe said...

I just heard this song yesterday on the way home from work. I was once again struck how it make no sense.

"You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you"

But it IS about him, so how can he be vain?

Bob Ellison said...

Joe's comment hits it. But that's why women are strange.

Omaha1 said...

about the "clouds in my coffee", the line was, "I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee."

It is a reference back to the line that "all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner."

"Clouds in my coffee" is analogous to something fleeting and insubstantial, possibly vaguely unpleasant, as the "coffee" might be cloudy due to grounds suspended in the brew or other impurities. Probably more relevant in the days of percolators, before Mr. Coffee and paper filters.

I could care less who was so vain but the song has some good biting lyrics, the insults are very subtle.

Chase said...

As a long time die-hard fan of Carly Simon - I spent countless hours admiring her on the album cover "No Secrets" - I find her today to be so sad. Her last visit to the Letterman show was that of a woman with too much of a face lift and a voice that is completely gone, including her pitch. She appeqrs to be grasping at hanging on to whatever fame or standing she can grab.

Carly - it's time to let go. If the phrase "rest on her laurels" applies to anyone, it should be you. No one can take away the tremendous body of work you've contributed, culturally and musically - except you. Please don't destroy any of it by going where you don't belong.

showbiz111 said...

Yes David was such a hetero stud muffin before he "changed". Such a laugh. Maybe Carly is looking for a music deal and is trying to butter up Geffen to get a sweeter deal.