'You're So Vain,' David Geffen, says Carly Simon ... maybe
There's been a lot of speculation over the years (38, to be exact) about who was SO vain that it spurred sing/songwriter Carly Simon to write a song declaring it to the world. Possible guesses have included exes like Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson and Warren Beatty. Well, who would have guessed that the object of her accusations is the (now openly gay) music industry mogul, David Geffen?
At least that's what U.K. tabloid The Sun, is reporting.
According to The Sun's article, after Simon and Geffen (the head of her record label, Elektra, at the time) split, Simon is thought to have resented the efforts he put into promoting Joni Mitchell. Interesting side note: Geffen is also the subject of Joni's song, "Free Man in Paris."
When questioned about the subject of her song, Simon has claimed that it was a "composite" of various people in her life. The Sun will have you believe that she changed her tune in time for the release of her new album "Never Been Gone" (out since October 2009), where if a re-recorded version of her 1972 hit is played backwards, you hear her whisper the name, "David."
A rep for Simon confirms with EW that the singer does, in fact, whisper "David" backwards on the re-worked version. But her rep adds, "It's just a clue. There are a lot of Davids."
(One person who may know: NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol, who several years ago paid big bucks at a charity auction to learn the identity of the subject of the song.)
So maybe we're one hint closer to an answer re: the 38-year-mystery, but it looks like we'll have to wait on an absolute confirmation. And if the mystery man really is David Geffen, perhaps Simon is smart to keep it to herself.
"David will do anything for you if you're his friend," Howard Rosenman, a movie producer and friend of Geffen's, once told the New York Times. "But if you're his enemy, well, you might as well kill yourself."
Yikes. We're guessing that since Simon just released a new album, she'd like to stick around for a little while longer.
In related news, another mega music exec and Simon's former manager, Tommy Mottola, might be stepping into the "American Idol" spotlight soon. The co-owner of Casablanca Records is rumored to be on the short list of possible replacements for the seemingly irreplaceable Simon Cowell.
Which led The Dish Rag to the brilliant (at least we think) conclusion that perhaps David Geffen might be the perfect "Idol" replacement for Cowell. In many ways, he's a Cowell clone. He obviously knows music. There would surely be rumors about sexual tension between him and Ryan. And here's the kicker...at Cowell's 50th birthday party in July 2009, several of his guests (including fellow "Idol" judge Randy Jackson) sang Carly's "You're So Vain" to the notoriously over-critical and often self-aggrandizing judge.
You're welcome, "American Idol."
[UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter is now saying "You're so Wrong" to the British papers that broke the David Geffen theory on Friday morning (Feb. 26).
Per THR, the British papers got the idea that David Geffen could be the subject of Simon's "You're So Vain" from a blog by Brandon Kim, posted in November 2009. Kim reported that Simon was peeved at Geffen because he ran her record company and gave preferential treatment to Joni Mitchell.
But according to THR, David Geffen ran Asylum Records in 1972. Simon was on Elektra, which Jac Holzman ran during the time Simon's album containing "You're So Vain" was released. Asylum merged with Elektra the following year, and at that point, Geffen became the big boss.
But at least Kim got one thing right...kinda. A friend of Simon's says, "Carly was upset that Geffen paid more attention to Joni, but that was well after 'You're So Vain.' He is not the man in the song."]
Well, thanks a lot, Kim.
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