What’s Goin’ On

Throwback: 'You're So Vain'

This week in 1973: Carly Simon is No. 1


When "You're So Vain" topped the pop charts 45 years ago this week, you probably thought this song was about Warren Beatty, Carly Simon's one-time lover. Or James Taylor, her newlywed husband at the time. Or Mick Jagger, who sang backup.

The guessing game, which lasted for decades, also included former flames and flings like David Bowie, record label impresario David Geffen, and David Cassidy at the peak of his "Partridge Family" stardom.

In her 2015 memoir "Boys in the Trees" Simon, now 72, finally revealed that Beatty was indeed the inspiration for the second verse, when she was "still quite naïve" and saw clouds in her coffee. The other verses are more like an ode to a mash-up of men she's known.

"There's not an iota of hate in it," Simon says of her signature hit, which was No. 1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. "There may be much more of an iota of feeling hurt or rejected…. I was definitely a romantic and my hopes were dashed. That led to the song."

And boundless speculation.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images