5 Things You Might Not Know About Carly Simon

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Carly Simon SONGS FROM THE TREES Album Cover

Today we celebrate the birthday of a brilliant singer-songwriter: Carly Simon. To commemorate this important date in music history, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things that you may or may not have known about her life and career.

1.    She got her first big exposure by opening for Cat Stevens.

Elektra flew Simon out to California in April 1971 to open for Stevens for a five-night stint at the Troubadour, providing her with her first trip to Los Angles and an experience for the ages. Checking into the Hyatt, she met Kris Kristofferson. After her first performance, she found James Taylor and Joni Mitchell in her dressing room. Yeah, not a bad way to kick off a major recording career.

2.    She once blew her therapist’s mind by telling him that she’d slept with Warren Beatty.

Actually, it wasn’t the fact that she’d slept with him that blew her therapist’s mind. It’s that her therapist said that she wasn’t his first patient that day to tell him that they’d spent the night with Warren Beatty the previous night. “I wasted little time telling Warren,” Simon wrote in her memoir, Boys in the Trees. “I knew he might have something to add or refute. He did howl over the phone. I’m sure he was adding numbers and going over facts in his mind and maybe took out his calculator or calendar. Could he have slipped up? Could this have really happened. All to his credit that he was up for the hilariousness of the situation.”

3.    She and her sister once serenaded Sean Connery.

Whilst on a boat train to Southampton, Carly and Lucy Simon spotted Sean Connery and were in awe, but they weren’t so in awe that they didn’t have a steward deliver a note to his room, inviting him to “come over to our very cozy little room and have a cup of tea or a pre-prandial cocktail.” He took the Simons up on their offer, which led to dinner and cocktails the next day, including a bit of singing from the sisters.

4.    Bob Dylan once “re-wrote” a song for her.

The song in question was “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down,” and Simon attempted to record it with Albert Grossman and an unnamed producer whose identity could probably be worked out with a bit of effort. The session went poorly, however, due to the producer setting the melody too low for her. In her book, Simon theorizes that it may have been “as payback for me not responding to their sexual advances,” but she concedes that she couldn’t prove it.

5.    She had a couple of too-close encounters with legendary entertainers while working for a TV producer.

In dire need of a day job to pay her rent, Simon found a gig as the secretary to a producer on the TV series From the Bitter End. She only lasted a month in the position, at least partially due to the fact that “my shorthand was nonexistent,” but during that brief stint, she also found herself working as a go-fer for the show’s guests.

“My first task: go to Marvin Gaye’s dressing room and see what he needs. When I arrived, Marvin was bare-chested, and when I asked him what I could do for him, he replied that he wanted to see something, and would I mind sticking out my tongue? When I obliged, Marvin lunged at my face, swept my tongue into his mouth, and began sucking on it. I extracted it without inflicting damage. From there, I went into the dressing room of the comedian Redd Foxx. As I knocked and entered, Redd let his famous red fox fur coat fall to the floor, revealing his naked body underneath. Laughing at my startled expression, he gestured me over, but I’d already turned on my heels.”

Well, it might’ve been a short-lived gig, but you can’t say it wasn’t memorable!