Carly Simon Sues Starbucks Music Label: Real Clouds In Her Coffee
Carly Simon really does have clouds in her coffee now.
The legendary hit singer ” who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘ filed suit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Starbucks’ Hear Music record label. Simon says that Starbucks failed to tell her that they were closing their label in April 2008 at the same they were releasing her new album, “This Kind of Love.”
Hear Music had made a splash releasing new CDs by Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor (Carly’s ex), John Mellencamp and a few others. Simon’s should have been their latest hit. Instead, she says, they abandoned her.
What’s interesting is that Hear Music was never really gone. Indeed, even though Howard Schultz, the Starbucks owner, fired the label’s execs, he merely transferred the music over to Concord Records. Last week, Hear Music announced a new live album and DVD package with Paul McCartney set for late November. They also have a website indicating that they’ve kept putting out Starbuck-centric releases including a greatest hits package by Paul Simon.
For months, Carly Simon tried communicating with Schultz, only to be rejected. She finally contacted famed attorney David Boies, who filed the suit.
Simon explains to the New York Times today that she is not rich, nor a publishing heiress, as some think. True, her father Richard Simon started Simon & Schuster in the 1040s. But the company was sold before Carly was born, and Richard Simon was pretty much swindled out of his own company and fortune. In other words: she needs the money.
It’s not like Schultz doesn’t know about musicians, by the way. He is the first cousin of Kenny G.
The main contention in the lawsuit: that Starbucks/ Hear Music hid from Simon the fact that they were shutting down. The result was that she was left on the hook to promote an album that was set to be marketed, largely, in the Starbucks chain. It was the main reason she’d signed with them in the first place.
Simon is seeking monetary damages from Starbucks, but also her master recording returned to her. This only makes sense. Hear Music completely fumbled the release of “This Kind of Love.” The least they could now is give it back.
Simon tells the New York Times today that “This Kind of Love” was supposed to be her final album. Maybe. But she’s releasing a CD of reworked greatest hits at the end of this month. The new version of “You’re So Vain” (which contains the line “I had some dreams/they were clouds in my coffee”) is sensational. Hopefully, what’s left of “light FM” stations will play it. And Simon will keep writing new albums’ worth of songs for a long to come.