"YOU HAD me several years ago when I was still quite naïve. You said we made such a pretty pair and that you would never leave/ But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me."
Who of a certain age doesn't know those lyrics from Carly Simon's ironic and infamous song -- "You're So Vain"?
It was a parlor game for decades trying to figure out to whom Carly was referring -- Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, or other carelessly cruel male beauties of the time? She never quite said -- clever girl.
The Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-winner would marry James Taylor -- at the time a very hot number -- and they would have two children before divorcing. Looking back, Simon might have been anticipating her relationship with Taylor when she wrote "You're So Vain."
In any case, Carly's landmark album, No Secrets celebrates its 40th anniversary soon. A special version of it will be released. It will include (of course) "You're So Vain" and "The Right Thing to Do." There will be bonus tracks and alternate takes.
Simon was, and is, a great storyteller. Her work is intimately confessional, and musically top-notch. She continues to be active, vital and creative. She has survived cancer. And, keeping with the times, Carly is on Twitter now. But she remains, still, rather reticent, personally. She'll never really tell who the "hero" of "You're So Vain" was. Always keep 'em guessing. Carly did auction off the secret name for charity. The winning bidder was Dick Ebersol. He promised never to tell, either.
Funny to recall how "edgy" and controversial the cover of Carly's No Secrets album was back 1972. She wore a big floppy hat, discarded her bra, and looked, rather charmingly, like Mick Jagger -- which was not at all a bad thing! (Jagger actually sang backup on "Vain." So he was perhaps quite vain, quite flattered, or it wasn't him.)
Nobody does it better, as Carly herself crooned, to the music of Marvin Hamlisch and the lyrics of Carole Bayer Sager. That was the theme to the 1977 Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Clyde's upscale spot is attracting a cool crowd of just folks and well-known types such as actor Mark Ruffalo, who's been in quite a few times.
The place is managed by the blonde and beautiful Jennifer Jordan, formerly a 20-year veteran of El Rio Grande, the restaurant right downstairs in my Murray Hill apartment.
On the 27th, Jennifer is throwing a super pre-Halloween bash at Clydes. It's $10 at the door. Free vodka for an hour and a cash prize for best costume. I don't know what the theme will be -- zombies in jock-straps? -- but it's sure to be fun. Call 212-842-1110.
But, with Hollywood on my mind, I recall that when I was young not only did I know the names and "glamorous" lives of the stars, I even knew the names of all the men who ran the big movie companies. I knew Darryl Zanuck ran 20th, Louis B. Mayer was a god at MGM and Harry Cohn was the czar of Columbia Pictures. I'll bet you can't name any studio head today.
Except maybe Harvey Weinstein who lives in New York and keeps controlling the Academy Awards.
Whether anyone wants to admit it or not. (He is not just a mogul, he a filmmaker with vision. Less Louis B. and more Irving Thalberg. And if you don't know that reference, look it up!)
Harvey has put his company, his movies and his stars on the map year after year, ever since he
and his brother Bob brought Shakespeare in Love to the U.S. (Ah, but I recall their first great triumph, Queen Margot.) Almost every Oscar season they have a big blockbuster that elbows people aside in Hollywood. (There was a brief fallow period for the Weinsteins after they lost Miramax to Disney, but -- they recovered!)
Harvey's latest is a movie called The Master. Although this didn't end up earning tons of money for its recent opening -- still in limited release -- Harvey took out super-duper ads and juggled numbers that made it seem like it was a "record breaking smash." It is impossible to fault Harvey's business brilliance and know-how.
Whatever the box-office returns, this movie, by controversial director Paul Thomas Anderson, features fabulous acting by Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman. They are all incredible.
The movie itself seems to examine the magnitude of cults, taking some glancing blows at EST, Scientology and other belief systems. But it is not an exposé of Scientology. It concentrates on the fascinatingly bizarre relationship between Hoffman as the (maybe phony) cult leader and Phoenix as his definitely troubled acolyte.
Whatever you think you think about The Master, be sure to see it. It has baffled some reviewers. But when Oscar rolls around next March, you will have wanted to have seen Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. When these actors are nominated, for The Master, you'll know why. (As to the "why" of the movie itself -- I leave that to cinephiles who will argue/adore or detest director Anderson's vision.)
Harvey will have his tuxedo on in case he has to go up to get an Oscar.
And he probably will.