For decades, there has been speculation about the real identity of the person who inspired Carly Simon’s 1972 hit “You’re So Vain.” Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger (who sang back-up vocals on the song) and actor Warren Beatty have usually been named as the most likely to be the inspiration for the song. Both men are ex-lovers of Simon, who has refused to publicly reveal who really inspired the song.
Now, a new unauthorized biography book about Simon is claiming that Jagger is indeed the inspiration for “You’re So Vain.”
The book “More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon” is written by Stephen Davis, the same author of the 2001 unauthorized biography “Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones.”
“More Room for a Broken Heart” details the 1971 affair between Simon and Jagger. At the time of the fling, Simon was engaged to future husband James Taylor, while Jagger was married to his first wife, Bianca. (Simon and Jagger got divorced from their spouses years later.)
The U.K. newspaper Express reports:
It was the early Seventies – a time of riotous excess, sexual abandon and indulgent hedonism. The Rolling Stones had survived Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards’ arrest on drug charges in 1967, guitarist Brian Jones’s drowning in his swimming pool in 1969, and later that year their disastrous free concert in Altamont, California, where one fan was knifed to death and three died accidentally.
Rock icons were living like there was no tomorrow and Jagger was taking advantage of groupies with reckless enthusiasm. “Mick s**** many,” conceded his Nicaraguan fireball of a wife at the time, Bianca Jagger, with generous equanimity, “but has few affairs.” Jagger and Bianca wed in 1971 and had barely been married a year when he met Simon, already a star in her own right. Simon was engaged to James Taylor having dumped Warren Beatty to be with him.
Taylor had ended his own long and highly publicised affair with folk singer Joni Mitchell to be with Simon, whom he had met at a Carnegie Hall concert in New York earlier that year and wanted his old drinking companion Jagger to meet his beautiful girlfriend. She had the look Jagger found irresistible: lush lips, broad cheekbones, a wild mane of hair – in other words a female version of Mick Jagger.
A suspicious Bianca intercepted a love note from the Rolling Stone to Simon, according to the new biography of the now 66-year-old singer just published in the US, More Room In A Broken Heart, by Stephen Davis. She also uncovered another “provocative” letter from Simon to Jagger. According to Davis, Bianca exploded with Latin rage and called Taylor to reveal: “My husband and your fiancée are having an affair.”
At their villa in the South of France Bianca stormed into Jagger’s closet and ripped all his shirts to shreds – with her teeth. She is said to have told friends: “There’s a certain American singer I’d like to tear to pieces.”
The Rolling Stone superstar, now 68, who normally refused to be a backing singer, had sung behind Simon on You’re So Vain giving Bianca additional reason to suspect an affair. Jagger returned home to find himself locked out. When he finally talked his way in he allegedly found Bianca waving a revolver and was lucky to escape alive.
“Mick was involved with so many women behind Bianca’s back but it seemed that he was starting to get bored until he met Carly,” said Rolling Stones business associate Richard Dunn. “Carly’s wit and sophisticated air rejuvenated Mick’s spirits.
“Mick had become used to dating all kinds of bimbos and it seemed that he was getting bored of the whole thing. Carly challenged him and didn’t go gaga over Mick the way all the other women did. If Mick had not been with Bianca I’m sure that Carly would have become Mrs Mick Jagger.”
Another acquaintance, Martin Smith, says: “Carly was so confused she didn’t know what to do. She loved Taylor but had trouble resisting the fun and excitement that accompanied Jagger wherever he went. With Taylor, life was a bit too slow and too predictable for Carly. She needed adventure. Jagger made her feel as if she was living her life right out of a movie …
By the time Simon released her 1972 album No Secrets, featuring You’re So Vain, her fling with Jagger had ended, according to the book. He told her that he did not love her and saw no future in their relationship. Jagger returned to Bianca, leaving Simon to patch up her fractured relationship with Taylor. That’s why You’re So Vain is said to be a final slap in the face to Jagger as their romance ended.