May 2, 2008 / 5:04 PM / 12 years ago

Carly Simon stays silent about who was so vain

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Now that the identity of “Deep Throat”, the secret source in the Watergate case, has been revealed, there is really only one lingering mystery from the 1970s.

Carly Simon arrives at the Museum of Television & Radio's annual gala in New York, February 8, 2007. REUTERS/Chip East

Who was songwriter Carly Simon singing about in her 1973 song “You’re So Vain”?

“I have told people,” Simon, who has just released a new album “This Kind of Love,” said in an interview.

She may have told a few friends, but millions of people still speculate about the person who “walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht.”

The man whose horse won at Saratoga, and who flew a Lear jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun.

Simon’s fans want to know if it was Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson, or perhaps another man she was close to.

Simon, 62, said she has never been interviewed without being asked to identify the mystery person with the big ego.

“Everyone always asks me. I don’t know why people are so interested,” she said. “Tell me, you must know.”

She admits she uses a lot of specific incidents in the song.

“When I had the line ‘You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you,’ that was definitely about one person. The rest of the descriptions basically came from my relationship with that person.”

Simon’s song was a No. 1 hit at a time when America was embroiled with Watergate — the political scandal following the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters that ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation.


For three decades, people have argued about the identity of “Deep Throat,” whose insider guidance was vital to The Washington Post’s coverage of Watergate.

In a 2005 Vanity Fair magazine article, the family of Mark Felt, an FBI official, revealed he was the celebrated figure.

So, isn’t the guessing over “You’re So Vain” a little like Deep Throat?

“Deep Throat was important; this is not important,” Simon said in reply to the question.

What is important for her now is the new album of Brazilian-influenced songs that she wrote.

“I’d been thinking Portuguese, because there are so many Portuguese people on Martha’s Vineyard,” she said of the island off Massachusetts where she spends much of her time.

“I wanted to get myself more into a samba mode of mind,” she said of the album, which was produced by legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb. “I fell in love with Brazilian music after seeing the movie ‘Black Orpheus.’”

Later this year she will be touring Britain with her son Ben, whose father is singer James Taylor.

In addition to her new album, Simon has been in the news thanks to the best-selling book “Girls Like Us” by Sheila Weller. It is about Simon and two other singer-songwriters, Joni Mitchell and Carole King.

“There are quotes about me and it’s kind of like hearing what people said about you behind your back. So I shy away from that,” she said about the book.

“I did read a little bit about me and some of it made me very sad,” she said, explaining that it was painful to read about people who have left her life.


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