The story of singer-songwriter Carly Simon’s rise to stardom.
Journalist and self-described fan Davis (LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour, 2010, etc.) provides an unauthorized but intimate glimpse into the life of a musical icon. The daughter of publishing mogul Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster), Carly grew up in a household filled with American royalty, including composer George Gershwin and baseball icon Jackie Robinson. The guests were representative of Carly and her father’s two shared interests, music and baseball, the former of which encouraged at least two Simon sisters to enter the music business. Yet beneath the family’s star-studded exterior remained many deeply rooted problems, including the Simon parents’ infidelities, creating what Carly later described as an “atmosphere of erotica.” While music remains the focus of Davis’ book, the author pays equal attention to the tabloid-like details of the Simon family’s home life, as well as some of Carly’s better-known love affairs, including her 9-year marriage to fellow musician James Taylor. Simon’s tumultuous marriage to the drug-addicted Taylor—which produced two children but ended in divorce—provides the fodder for much of the latter half of the book. Told in strict chronological fashion, Davis’ straightforward reporting accurately recounts Simon’s surface story but will leave some readers questioning just what complexities might linger beneath the surface.
A competent retelling of one woman’s successful—though personally troubled—emergence into the 1970s music scene.