Carly Simon, Nile Rodgers, Wynton Marsalis among musicians urging reworking tax credit to keep music industry in New York

ALBANY - Grammy-winning musicians Carly Simon, Nile Rodgers and Wynton Marsalis are making a last-minute plea for the state to rework a production tax credit designed to help keep the music industry in New York. With the April 1 state budget deadline fast approaching, the three artists are among 14 industry veterans who signed on to a letter calling on Gov. Cuomo to personally intervene. Other signers include long-time David Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti and singers Gloria Gaynor, Gary "U.S." Bonds, and Suzanne Vega. THE MAGIC SHOP IN SOHO HOSTS ONE LAST RECORDING SESSION “The exodus of talent ... is continuing at an alarming pace,” the letter says. “If we wait much longer to address this issue, the only musicians calling New York their home will be the ones plying their trade in the NYC subway system.” The Daily News has reported that a production tax credit approved for the music industry last year was worded in such a way that few, if any, are eligible for it. The letter from the Recoding Academy New York Chapter asks Cuomo to create a new tax credit specifically geared to the music industry, which in the past year has seen at least three studios in New York City close or be put up for sale. “Over the past 15 years, New York has experienced a precipitous drop in music production as aggressive programs in California, Texas, and even Canada have lured away thousands of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and other professionals,” the letter says. It also notes that Cuomo during his time in office has provided help to different industries in New York, including those that produce wine, craft beers, cider and Greek yogurt. “We want our great state to be the place where our artists produce and record their music,” the letter says. “And for those who left us because Nashville or L.A. was more welcoming, Continue Reading

Carly Simon reveals details about passionate night spent with Warren Beatty — and the bombshell her psychiatrist dropped on her the next day — in new book

Carly Simon keeps no secrets in her new memoir, "Boys in the Trees," in which she reveals the carnal pleasures she enjoyed with famous lovers including Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Mick Jagger. "Warren was such a professional, the pressure points he knew about stirred a tremor in me," she writes. "Warren seemed to have just created a brand-new manual on how to make love." Simon's star was only just rising in the early 1970s when Beatty came onto her at the Troubadour in Los Angeles where she was opening for Cat Stevens. She knew he was a player. But it wasn't until he showed up at her New York apartment at midnight and ravished her 'til dawn that she learned the man was in a league of his own. The next morning she spilled all the details of her most excellent night to her psychiatrist when he suddenly dropped a bombshell on her. "Under the circumstances, I can't withhold this …You are not my first patient of the day who spent the night with Warren Beatty last night,” Simon recalled in the book. It was only 11 a.m. and Simon was just his third appointment of the day. Simon, 70, confirms that the second verse of "You're So Vain" ("You had me several years ago when I was still quite naïve") is about Beatty. She refuses to disclose who the first (the Yacht guy) and third (the Lear Jet guy) verses refer to. The other shocker she drops in the book is that Bianca Jagger called James Taylor the night before his wedding to Simon to tell him that his songstress was having an affair with her husband, Mick. Fortunately, Taylor couldn't take in all that Bianca was muttering because of a bad connection and her accent. Still he defended Simon, saying she had told him about it and, "it's not what you think." Simon admits she had spun him only a "version of the truth." She and Jagger had a sexually charged earlier meeting at a Hollywood party, but it wasn't until Continue Reading

Simon Cowell ‘can’t stand’ Jennifer Lopez, reveals near hookup with ‘American Idol’ co-host Paula Abdul in biography

Simon Cowell pondered wooing fellow “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul for a night of passion — until he considered the morning after.Paul McCartney and ex-wife Heather Mills: “He can have sex . . . and buy her presents, but you don’t marry her.” * On Jennifer Lopez, now an “Idol” judge: “I’ve never met her, but I can’t stand her.”Kylie Minogue’s sister Dannii, his obsession with “X Factor” judge Cheryl Cole and his love of lap dances.William Hung.John McEnroe in a London hotel lobby.Randy Jackson invited Cowell to step outside after the boisterous Brit insulted one white contestant, calling the person a “monkey.”Singer Carly Simon, in a recorded speech, joked to revelers at yet another party that her song “You’re So Vain” was inspired by Cowell.Terri Seymour recalled that Cowell’s vast collection of lotions, bath salts and other beauty products left no room for her makeup in their bathroom. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Best of the Rest: Carly Simon laughs off rumor that 1972 song ‘You’re So Vain’ is about David Geffen

You're so wrong! Carly Simon is disputing reports that she wrote her 1972 hit "You're So Vain" about record label legend David Geffen. "What a riot!" says the singer, who supposedly whispers the name "David" in a remake of the tune. "Nothing to do with David Geffen!" Geffen isn't the first guy to be suspected of vanity - Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson and Warren Beatty have all been named as possible subjects of Simon's song. www.showbiz411.comClay Aiken is talking about his journey out of the closet - and what took him so long to open the door. "I was waiting like so many folks are waiting - for change - [but] I realized the time for waiting has passed," says the former "American Idol" star, who announced in 2008 that he's gay. Aiken has no regrets. Says the singer: "The power of truth and living honestly is very liberating." www.eonline.comJohnny Depp is breaking his own rules. The actor normally doesn't watch his own films, but he's making an exception for his latest, the Tim Burton-directed "Alice in Wonderland." "I just prefer to walk away with the experience of the [filmmaking] process, and that's plenty," says Depp. "But I want to see ["Alice"] because it's Tim at his utmost. He's really gone far beyond on this one." www.contactmusic.comOn the road. The crooning cast of "Glee" is embarking on a seven-date tour. "This has been such an extraordinary year for 'Glee,' and I can't think of a better way to finish up the first season than performing live on stage with the cast," says star Lea Michele. The gang hits Radio City Music Hall on May 28 and 29. www.billboard.comWith Carson Griffith Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Carly Simon revisits her hits on new album ‘Never Been Gone’ and spills about a past love

Carly Simon wrote and sang some of the best-known songs of the '70s, from the snarky "You're So Vain" to the yearning "Anticipation." Now, 30 years on and coming off a soured record deal that has landed in court  the singer-songwriter has rerecorded her classic hits for a new label on an album that arrives this month, "Never Been Gone." But there's a twist: Simon reinterpreted the old songs to reveal fresh meanings, all shaped by the passage of time. The new versions of these songs have more mystery and depth. One obvious example is "Anticipation." This time you emphasize, and repeat, the line "We can never know." Why did you do that? What really propelled that was my friend Mindy Jostyn's death four years ago. Mindy was my musical director. I remember knowing that she didn't have very long to live. At a concert in Miami, I looked over at her during "Anticipation" and sang the lines "Tomorrow we might not be together" and "We can never know." She died 10 days later, of cancer. She was a young woman. with two great kids, and she was also married to my best friend, Jake Brackman [Carly's frequent co-writer]. So that song really is about Mindy now. When I first sang the line "These are the good old days" in the '70s, it was said with bravado. Now when I sing it, it's the final cast. It's fascinating that you sing the song "Boys in the Trees" with your daughter (by James Taylor) Sally. That song was always about a conversation between women about men. The significant phrase in the song is "And the silent understanding passing from daughter to daughter," which is the same thing as "mother to daughter." When I wrote that Sally was just 5. I've always thought that song was about my mother passing down this information to me. Now I'm explaining it to my daughter. Of course, you also have a version of your first big hit here: "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be." It must have been such a surprise that the song became a smash, since Continue Reading

Carly Simon sues Starbucks over poor promotion of album ‘This Kind of Love’

Carly Simon is steamed at Starbucks, charging that the coffee chain's lukewarm promotion of her 2008 album doomed it to ice-cold sales.The toothy "You're So Vain" singer is suing Starbucks over "This Kind of Love," which she contends wasn't properly promoted before its price was slashed."By doing so, Starbucks stigmatized Ms. Simon's album as an album that could not be sold at full price," Simon's suit in Los Angeles Superior Court charges.Starbucks fired back that the album left a bad taste in customers' mouths - even after the chain boosted promotions in New York and Boston. "Unfortunately, sales continued to lag as the title received tepid response from music consumers," Starbucks said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Chinese whisper: New recording of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ offers up ‘David’ as inspiration

The world is experiencing an identity crisis over the inspiration for Carly Simon's 1972 hit "You're So Vain." Simon recorded a new version of the tune for her latest album, "Never Been Gone," in which the name "David" can be heard as the recording plays backwards.  The singer, who has remained mum for the past 38 years over the subject's identity, told Uncut magazine that the name refers to a former lover. "There's a little whisper — and it's the answer to the puzzle," she told the UK publication. London's Sun newspaper jumped on the clue, reporting Friday that "David" referred to record producer David Geffen. The tabloid said that Simon resented Geffen at the time for promoting folk singer Joni Mitchell over her. But Roger Friedman's ShowBiz411 column for The Hollywood Reporter attacked the Sun for being factually incorrect. "David Geffen had nothing to do with Carly Simon in 1972," he wrote. "He ran Asylum Records. She was on Elektra." Simon's publicist also took issue with the Geffen theory. "The man's first name is David, but it could be one of many Davids," she told CNN. Over the past 38 years, front runners for the "vain" title have included Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson and favorite Warren Beatty. The latter actor has said he believes the song is about him. Two other Davids, Cassidy of "The Partridge Family" and Bowie, have been dismissed as other clues point away from them. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Carly Simon talks about ‘This Kind of Love’

CARLY SIMON. "This Kind of Love" (Hear Music) It's never too late to find your soul mate. Thirty-five years into her career, Carly Simon found the sonic equivalent in the sultry sway of the samba. For the singer's new album, "This Kind of Love," Simon lays her amber tones over the fleshy undulations of Brazil's most popular music. The match proves a heart-tugging ideal. Simon's deep, androgynous alto - one part Lauren Bacall, another Suzanne Pleshette - pairs perfectly with the knowing pleasures of these Brazilian beats and chord structures. Yet "This Kind of Love" hardly finds Simon simply offering covers of songs by the likes of João Gilberto and Caetano Veloso. Much like Paul Simon's Latin American explorations on his "Rhythm of the Saints" CD, Simon took the outlines of a foreign sound and married it to her own fortes: folk-pop tunes and lush arrangements. Jimmy Webb wrote those arrangements, which employ thick strings that never weigh down the tunes' delicacy. Simon's sambas may be sumptuous, but they're never corny or drenched. Achieving that balance rights a career that had lately been wobbling. Eight years have gone by since Simon's previous album of original material (2000's "Bedroom Tapes"). In between, she issued two albums of covers, a frequent tic of the past. Unfortunately, Simon's latest weren't her most engaged. "Moonlight Serenade" (2005) took a rote run at the standards. "Into White," in 2007, snored through retreads of their contemporary equivalents. By contrast, "Love" has both the personal touch of Simon's finest observations plus some of the most involving melodies and unusual arrangements of her career. In the song "Island," complex harmonies braid around Simon's vocals and elaborate the Brazilian chord progressions. In "Hola Soleil," Webb's rich strings provide a dense counterpoint to the fleet beat. In "People Say a Lot," Simon even raps (!) - or at least speaks in rhythm - while the arrangement Continue Reading


Carly Simon seems to have found a doctor who makes house calls. The songwriting legend, who has long lived apart from her husband, Jim Hart, is said to have become especially close to a handsome M. D. she's met on Martha's Vineyard. "It's becoming the talk of the island," a spy tells us. Sources say the distinguished physician is about 10 years younger than the 61-year-old Simon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. Simon's rep denies she's anticipating a new romance, insisting: "Carly and Jim are still together. " The rep confirms that the spouses (below) have seen little of each other in the past few months. "They've always had two residences - one in New York and one in Martha's Vineyard," says her spokeswoman. "Because of various family commitments on both sides, they have not been able to spend as much time together this summer as both would have liked. " Simon married Hart, a poet and businessman, in 1987, four years after her divorce from singer James Taylor. "I liked Jim immediately," she once recalled. "I found him to be a fascinating character. " But over time, they've come to lead separate lives. In 2004, she admitted that they had not lived together in more than a year and saw each other rarely, though they constantly spoke on the phone. "We still adore each other," she told ABC's Lynn Sherr. "Maybe we'll actually find some way of living under the same roof together in a different environment. Say it's a very atypical marriage. " Talking about the marriage, "Carly's pain is visible," Sherr noted. The following year, Simon acknowledged, "I suppose there's a lot of questioning going on with me about our relationship: what I want, what he wants. We're at a place where we're trying to figure it out. " Maybe she finally has. SIDE DISH GHOSTFACE KILLAH may be out $50,000 after he apparently got spooked by a deadline for his memoir. A Manhattan judge has ordered the Wu-Tang Clan member Continue Reading

Legendary singer Roberta Flack wants to sell her apartment at the famous Dakota building for $9.5M

This Dakota legend has left the building. Legendary songstress Roberta Flack has put her apartment at the famed Upper West Side building on the market for $9.5 million, the Daily News has learned. A potential sale would mark the end of an era for Flack, who has lived at the building for nearly 40 years and once counted John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Leonard Bernstein and Lauren Bacall among her neighbors. Bacall’s apartment also recently came on the market, for $23.5 million. ‘This is a rare chance to acquire a historic residence, in a legendary building, from an iconic Star,” said listing broker Steven Minichiello of brokerage Town Residential in his official description of the property. The period-style apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, four fireplaces, arched windows, historic moldings and a flowing floorplan. The master bedrooms face the street, while the dining room and kitchen look onto the courtyard, where Lennon was famously shot. In New York City real estate circles, the famous co-op building, at 1 W. 72nd St., is known for its star-studded residents but also for its hoity-toity board, which famously rejected celebrities such as Carly Simon. Flack, who has several Grammys to her name, is best known for hits such as "The first time ever I saw your face" and "Killing me softly with his song." Continue Reading