Carly Simon‘s memoir isn’t really the stuff of tabloids. And the stories in it are from thirty and forty years ago. Still, the romance of Carly and James Taylor, and their marriage, was the stuff of rock and roll legend.
And now we find out more precisely how it all came apart. In “Boys from the Trees,” which is officially published tomorrow, Simon reveals more or less what happened. First of all, it was indeed drugs. But we knew that. Taylor was a drug addict for a long time. The fact that he’s still here, and so healthy, is remarkable. The world would be a colder place without him.
But Taylor was (and is) a rock star. Back during his marriage to Simon, well think Justin Timberlake. Or better yet, John Mayer. (Makes you wonder if we’ll hear the John Mayer stories in 20 years.) When rock stars are hot, fidelity is not hi.
The real cause of the breakup of the Simon-Taylor marriage was his cheating. He cheated with a back up singer, whom Carly acknowledges but doesn’t name. (I know the name but what’s the point now?)
Taylor had a mistress named Evey (not sure if that’s her real name). He lodged her in a studio apartment he kept for practicing, and rehearsing on the Upper West Side. He was still living at home just a few blocks away with Simon and their two small children. The marriage was already estranged to the point where Carly was seeing someone (Scott Litt, who went on to produce REM’s hit albums including the song “Losing My Religion”).
What ensues his sad and hilarious at the same time when Carly leaves James with the kids — he was unaware– and decides to confront Evey. (She’d had a local locksmith make her a set of keys.)
She writes: “Why was I planning to face down my husband’s mistress in their West Seventieth
Street love nest? Because I wanted Evey to see that I was not a
character in a story James was telling her, not some phantom abstraction,
but a real person, and a nice person, too. I wanted her to respect James’s
and my marriage, our children, our life together.”
The scene in the apartment is priceless, as Evey tells Simon all the things Taylor has made up about her to justify the affair. Simon winds up in the bathroom and then can’t figure a way to exit the whole ordeal.
At last Evey spoke, her voice deliberate. “Jamie and I have the same trines in our charts. We dig each other. You don’t get him.”
The whole thing, you must read. (You can’t put it down.) A heartbreaking end to what the public saw as a fairy tale marriage.
PS Apparently the audio version of Carly’s book — which she reads– is scored with all new music. Can’t wait to hear it!