It came from an airplane flight that I took with Billy Mernit, who was my friend and piano player at the time. As I got my coffee, there were clouds outside the window of the airplane and you could see the reflection in the cup of coffee. Billy said to me, 'Look at the clouds in your coffee'. I liked the phrase and used it to illustrate the "illusion" of having a relationship with the subject of the song.
And I never took him seriously. He was great fun and very, very, bright. But noooo ... as a boyfriend.
A lot of women like somebody who's that smooth. In the beginning Warren was pretty good at pretending he was only smooth on the outside and a bowl of jelly on the inside. But he doesn't do that secondary act very well now. Carly Simon
People have been questioning for a long time, who it's about - I mean, who I wrote the song about.
It always strikes me as funny. That people would be THAT into what I was thinking about, that's the greatest ego trip anybody could have....that they would be THAT interested in what you were thinking about when you wrote a song.
And for that very reason, of course, I can never give it away. Carly Simon
Hardly objectionable! I think it's a very attractive man. I think it's a very complicated man who is obviously concerned with his image, but obviously worthy of my love or my interest. I don't LOVE just anyone. You know, he's gotta have a certain amount of character. If he was only vain it would be boring, but there's a lot more to him. He hob knobs with the underworld. Carly Simon
I guess it was kind of chance in a way. I was in London, it was 1972 and he happened to call at the studio while I was doing the background vocals with Harry Nilsson. Mick said "Hey, what cha doin'?" and I said "We're doing some backup vocals on a song of mine....why don't you come down and sing with us? Harry sort of bowed out saying "The two of you have a real blend - you should do it yourselves." And that's how it happened. Carly Simon
You're So Vain was just a series of lines in a notebook for a long time. There was you're so vain you probably think this song is about you, and you walked into a party like you were walking onto a yacht. And then one day I figured out 'Hey, these two lines could be about the same person.
The apricot scarf was worn by Nick....there's nothing in the words that refer to Mick
I don't see why I ever would. What would it advance? I wrote that song in the days when people kept confidences to themselves, whereas now, people expose them so easily and readily for the benefit of their next movie sale.
While Carly Simon was on a plane to the UK to support her new CD Never Been Gone, one UK tabloid stated in a headline (that made it appear that Carly had announced this to them as fact) their belief that You're So Vain was about David Geffen. In reality, it was just their wild guess. Regardless, the press and social media sites spread this original rumor & mistake as fact - all over the globe - in a matter of hours.
The rumor came about because there is a word being said on the new version of You're So Vain, which they assumed was "David" and then jumped to the conclusion that it was David Geffen. In fact, Carly had never even met David Geffen before she wrote You're So Vain. She didn’t meet him until they worked together in 1974.
Sheila Weller (writing for Vanity Fair) contacted Carly in London when her plane landed, and got her response: " I said “Ovid” [emphasis ours] both front- and backward together on the CD, and it came out sounding like 'David’ to some, I guess. But I meant it as an allusion to metamorphosis, and that this group of songs was rechanneled into a different cockroach. Kafka? Coffee? Clouds? I know it’s boring, but that could be good! "
Carly Simon also has made many other rebuttals to this rumor, including this one to the Daily Mail:
What a riot! The song has nothing to do with David Geffen. Carly Simon
Carly Simon performing You're So Vain in 1987 from her Live From Martha's Vineyard DVD
Back when You're So Vain reigned # 1 on the Billboard Charts in 1973, there was no such thing as a 'music video" to accompany a single song release.
In 2010, Carly Simon and Iris Records ran a contest which asked fans and filmmakers to create the first and only concept video to accompany her iconic hit. They were provided with "green screen" footage of Carly singing the song, and were told they could use either the original recording of You're So Vain or the newly recorded version from her Never Been Gone CD. This wining video incorporates both versions.
While there were quite a few excellent videos submitted, Brett Bisogno ultimately won Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain' video contest and a Grand Prize of $10,000. He also had this winning video premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival..
You're So Vain video contest winner - 2010