People have been asking Carly Simon to tell them who inspired “You’re So Vain” since the song was a No. 1 hit in 1973.
“You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte.”
I’ve always loved Carly’s sexy-hippy ’70s style.
You can read more about Carly in the book Girls Like Us.
Someone inspired me to write this post, but I’m not going to tell you who it is. I will say that it’s not Warren Beatty. I have to put that out there or else Warren will be calling me nonstop. When I don’t pick up the phone, he’ll start texting me, “I know ur blog is about me.” He’s pesky that way.
It's mostly Warren Beatty, but this was also the time when she was falling in love with James Taylor – so it's a nice mix of the two…
There was an article in a Vanity Fair last year about Carly, Carole King, & Joni Mitchell that really broke down the inspiration for the tune. It sounded like a lot of it came in fits & starts – something about a cup of coffee on an airplane which led to "clouds in my coffee"… etc.
That – and Mick Jagger just "showed up" at the studio while recording and sang the background track for shits & giggles…
I always loved that Mick Jagger was one of the usual suspects. Most people don’t even know he sings on the song in the first place, but once you point it out to them they can’t help but hear him in the background on subsequent listens. And that is actually what makes me think the song is about him.
Sharon Rose says
Hi there-LOL, a great post and she does look soo fabulous!
this blog is about you, haha…
speaking of blogs, can you possibly put me on your blogroll again? thankyou
oh — that warren beatty.
Carly Simon is gorgeous and talented so I try to dislike her.
miss cavendish says
Well you *do* have the same initials. Is that some weird code or something? 😉
You’re So Vain is probably about Willie Donaldson..The song was written before she was married to James. Google Willie Donaldson. Carly was engaged to him when she was a mere 19 years old and Mr. Donaldson ended the engagement after Carly got home from England to plan the wedding! OUCH! “You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive!”
Check out Carly’s new album THIS KIND OF LOVE! It’s great!
What a life she must have led.
I've always been enchanted by her.
I checked out Dictionary.com, and found this little note about "gavotte"
1690–1700; < F < Pr gavoto a mountaineer of Provence, a dance of such mountaineers, appar. deriv. of gava bird's crop (prob. < pre-L *gaba throat, crop, goiter), alluding to the prevalence of goiter among the mountaineers
I love You’re So Vain, but listen to it and it is stuck in your head all day.
Someone gave me “Girls Like Us” but I found it so badly written I could not read it. How is she? I heard that she had some health problems, but has performed occasionally in the past few years.
I actually love that we’ll never know who it’s about. So little true mystery in life, ya know? And it just makes the irony cut deeper.
La Belette Rouge says
I have that song on my I-pod. I just recently figured out that Mick Jaegar did back up vocals on it. I will forever believe it is about Warren Beatty. I just cannot imagine James Taylor as vain.
i devour fashion says
Hi Wendy! Thanks for leaving me some luvin’ at my site.
Anyway, I don’t know where to type this at your jewelry site but I’m ogling at those drop earrings. Hmmm, $1200+…this might mean i’ll stop travelling? Oh my! your jewelries are darn gorgeous!
fashion herald says
i had good carly exposure as a kid as all my sisters wanted to be her.
ok, this is getting weird, now my verification is “sperim.”
LBR, Carly did rule James out BUT said he was very vain. Ha!
Cheyenne, thanks very much!
Enc, I just want to say GOITER!
It’s a good song, and she looks fantastic in the pregnant pic–what a glow!
I’m glad ENC looked up gavotte. I had no idea. My ex husband met James Taylor in Houston. He said he was a dick. My ex was a dick too (pencillish to be exact, but I digress)…takes one to know one, right?
TJ Gustave says
love this! she’s so simple but kinda chic.
now both. thanks
Dr Zibbs says
It wasn’t Jagger but he did sing backup on the song.
(Someone from background): DR Zibbs, was it about you?
(looking around)…uh…I gotta go.
Warren Beatty says
Yeah, babe. That’s quite a song. Quite, quite a song. You know – even if it is about me – and no doubt it is – I don’t care. I’m a grown man. I’ve moved on. I’m done. I never look back. I live in the moment. The here. The now. That’s how this bird flies, got me?
Now, Wendy. I love this site you have here. Really excellent stuff. I’m really, really impressed by the work you do. So smart, so funny. So beautiful. Maybe you could share some tips w/ me on this whole blogging business – to be honest – I don’t get it. But the work you do, that’s something I could get into, you see.
Gotta go, babe. keep it realz.
Swell Vintage - Frankie says
Good for bra-less Carly! x
Wendy, I would LOVE to have drinks (if I can get another invite one day) or you’re in London. But, can we have REAL ones??
♥ Marta ♥ says
OMG…. I adore her 🙂
Wendy you are a doll.thank you for the fabulous link to the piece on Donyale. im so intrigued by her so it was a delish read!
love this woman’s style,particularly on the cover when she was preggers.
Darling have a gorge day.
It may have been about me. I was born in 1971 so there is a chance.
Girl Japan says
Mick was as suspect too.. and BTW I am in love with her 70’s style she had going on (although I was not born yet) but the last image, I really adore the maxi dress and so glad they are back this season so I can hide the fact that I was indeed too lazy to shave!
Wendy! I tried to say hi to you at the event but you were surrounded by fashionable ladies!
You looked lovely and hopefully I will get to meet you another time.
I do admit I felt a little star struck! You are like a blogging celeb in my eyes!
I LOVE Carly Simon, I had friends (back in the varsity) who thought I was rather too young to be liking someone like her, gosh talk about people with no taste for the real talent and music!
Hey did you hear about Belette’s Lily?
Oh, Warren. You’re a charmer….I can’t resist you. Take me home!
Oneswelleblog, Agreed. Mildly intoxicating doesn’t cut it.
KT, you got quite a reputation in a very short period of time it seems.
Meghann, I was hiding behind them out of shyness! You should have come over!
Lynn, just catching up on Lily’s situation now. 🙁
You’re so vain–surely you’re talking about that Jacobs guy with the writing all over himself and the suguar-cured-ham-colored thigh. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.
Lynette, “sugar-cured ham” thigh is my all-time favorite description of that nudie picture.
I love Carly, they dont write songs like that anymore.
I love the song but the whole “who is it” layer makes it cooler.