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More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon [NOOK Book]


A love song to an American icon: the first full-length biography of Carly Simon, from an acclaimed music journalist who has known her for decades

Carly Simon has won two Grammys and an Academy Award, and her albums have sold more than forty million copies. She has touched countless lives and is considered an icon in 1970s music, yet her own life story has remained a mystery. Tapping private archives, family interviews, and a forty-year ...
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More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon

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A love song to an American icon: the first full-length biography of Carly Simon, from an acclaimed music journalist who has known her for decades

Carly Simon has won two Grammys and an Academy Award, and her albums have sold more than forty million copies. She has touched countless lives and is considered an icon in 1970s music, yet her own life story has remained a mystery. Tapping private archives, family interviews, and a forty-year friendship with the legend herself, Stephen Davis at last captures Carly Simon’s extraordinary journey from shy teenager to superstar, covering everything her fans want to know, including:

The real story behind “You’re So Vain” Romances with Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, and Cat Stevens Surviving breast cancer Her recent financial and spiritual crisesAlong the way, Davis vividly takes readers back to some of the most powerful eras in American music history and delivers a tribute worthy of the artist. The updated paperback edition includes two brand-new photos, as well as a note to the reader and selected sources.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rock and roll biographer Davis was granted Simon’s full participation and approval for this involved, revelatory but restrained and courteous look back at her full, rich life as a singer and folk-rock icon—and as a result the work often sounds gooey and promotional. Davis knowledgeably fleshes out the early folk scene, when the Simon Sisters, Lucy and Carly—daughters of the co-founder of Simon & Schuster, Dick Simon, and private school–educated young ladies in matching dresses from Riverdale, N.Y.—won their big breakthrough in 1964 playing “Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod” on the national TV show Hootenanny. When Lucy got married, Carly Simon took off on her own, and despite crippling stage fright, fear of flying, and a residual stutter, managed to secure a record deal with Jac Holzman at Electra, in 1970. In a burst of creative collaboration with lyricist Jake Brackman, she proved from the get-go that she was a talented songwriter, marketed in the 1970s as a kind of feminist troubadour, with hit after hit, attracting famous boyfriends like James Taylor, soon to be her husband, and winning a Grammy in 1972 for Best New Artist. Later her music would be dubbed “shrink couch rock,” but her achievements over the decades are remarkable, plentiful, and well earned. Chronicler Davis has an inconsistent habit of starting chapters in the present tense, but he possesses a fluid, natural style, and there are promised photographs (not seen) by Carly’s brother, Peter Simon. Agent: David Vigliano. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
The story of singer-songwriter Carly Simon's rise to stardom. Journalist and self-described fan Davis (LZ-'75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour, 2010, etc.) provides an unauthorized but intimate glimpse into the life of a musical icon. The daughter of publishing mogul Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster), Carly grew up in a household filled with American royalty, including composer George Gershwin and baseball icon Jackie Robinson. The guests were representative of Carly and her father's two shared interests, music and baseball, the former of which encouraged at least two Simon sisters to enter the music business. Yet beneath the family's star-studded exterior remained many deeply rooted problems, including the Simon parents' infidelities, creating what Carly later described as an "atmosphere of erotica." While music remains the focus of Davis' book, the author pays equal attention to the tabloid-like details of the Simon family's home life, as well as some of Carly's better-known love affairs, including her 9-year marriage to fellow musician James Taylor. Simon's tumultuous marriage to the drug-addicted Taylor--which produced two children but ended in divorce--provides the fodder for much of the latter half of the book. Told in strict chronological fashion, Davis' straightforward reporting accurately recounts Simon's surface story but will leave some readers questioning just what complexities might linger beneath the surface. A competent retelling of one woman's successful--though personally troubled--emergence into the 1970s music scene.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101554258
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/10/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 476,882
  • File size: 705 KB

Meet the Author

Rock journalist Stephen Davis is the author of five other music books, including the New York Times bestseller Walk This Way (coauthored with Aerosmith). He lives in Boston.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Part I

Lady of Spain 25

The Pianist 30

Mrs. Simon and Schuster 36

Summertime 40

Behind Closed Doors 46

The Artful Dodger 52

Idylls of Stamford 57

The Ronnie Material 65

All Shook Up 72

High School Musical 79

A Death in the Family 87

Carly Cares 94

Ambition and the Dylan Energy 100

The Simon Sisters 105

Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod 114

Hootenanny Saturday Night 121

Carly and the Vandellas 128

Swinging London 135

The Female Bob Dylan 142

Indian Hill 151

Play with Me 156

Fear of Flying 164

Part II

A Girl Called Elektra 175

Electric Lady 179

That's the Way I Always Heard It Should Be 188

Setting Yourself on Fire 196

The Troubadour 204

Silver-tongued Devil 214

Sticky Fingers 221

How About Tonight? 229

Poor Moose 238

Apple Corps 246

Rain and Fire 253

"Love from Carly" 263

Best New Artist 269

On Beaver Pond 277

Son of a Gun 283

Don't Let Me Be Lonely 317

A Piece of Ass A State of Grace 322

Hotcakes 328

Mockingbird 336

Slave 341

Where's Carly? 351

Another Passenger 357

The Spy Who Loved Me 365

Things We Said Today 375

Why'd You Tell Me This? 382

The Gorilla in the Room 388

We're So Close 398

Hot Tin Roof 406

Stardust 416

Blood Everywhere 425

Forever Locked Inside 434

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2012

    Fabrications and lies; not approved or authorized by Carly

    DO NOT buy this book thinking that it is a true biography or has Carly's approval in any way or form.

    Please be aware that this is NOT a authorized biography of Carly Simon. Carly had NO input to this book and is furious and upset with the untrue picture Davis paints of her within.

    The book is a collection of uncredited quotes from other sources. The author did little original research of his own - what is the author's own actual contributions are fabrications. He additionally "borrowed" freely from other sources. Authors Sheila Weller (Girls Like Us) and Roger Friedman have both blogged about their concern and unhappiness that their researched and published works have been quoted in this book without citation.

    The author did not interview Carly Simon, her family, nor her friends or ANY musicians or producers Carly has worked with over the 40+ years of her career.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    Don't waste your money

    If you are an intelligent reader, one who expects the truth when you read non fiction, expecially biography's, then this book is not for you. If however you are a reader of the tabloids, with speculations and innuendo's and at times out right lies, then you might want to take this out of the library- but don't waste your money on this garbage. There are serious allegations of plagerism with this book, direct pieces were taken from Girls Like Us, without any credit given to the author. Carly Simon is on record as saying she did not cooperate in any way, despite the twaddle that the author is spewing- indicating that she was on board. Girls Like Us is a much more honest and accurate read.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    Poorly written copy & paste job - don't waste your time or money

    This is a quick and dirty "copy and paste" job from prior books and articles, infused with Davis' inane and mostly derogatory observations of Carly, her music, and the men she's been involved with. If you want to read a bio about Carly Simon, this is NOT the book to buy. Get the best-selling (about to be made into a movie) Girls Like Us instead. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--and the Journey of a Generation Stephen Davis chose not to interview Carly or anyone close to her, even though he had access to do so. Carly Simon has had an incredibly rich and eventful life. Sadly, Mr. Davis manages to make her life story boring. Carly is never developed as a character. She exists only to stutter, write songs and screw men. There is also a very distinct mean-spirited tone to this book. You get the feeling that the author doesn't even like Carly or her music. There is a sense of purposeful belittlement attributed to the men in Carly's life. The author seems to go out of his way to vilify them, for no apparent reason. To purposely put in print lies that serve no purpose in enriching or elaborating on Carly's story, other than to attempt to humiliate these men from her past, makes the reader wonder what is this about? Does Mr. Davis have some score to settle with these men??? It's strange. There is no bibliography because Mr. Davis can't prove where he got his quotes or information. Why? I believe it's because he makes up so much of this book. He certainly takes liberty with quotes that Carly's given in the past. He changes them by adding words to them, so that they now sound nothing like Carly Simon. But he still uses quotation marks, as if these words came from Carly herself. It's quite disconcerting and only serves to undermine the legitimacy of any information in this book. There are many examples of stories he makes up out of thin air. Here is just one: He writes that in the Spring of 1979, John Travolta meets Carly and they become friends. "When his longtime girlfriend, Diana Hyland, died a few weeks later, Travolta practically moved in with Carly and the children." That's really interesting, because Diana Hyland died on 3/27/77 - two full years before the Spring of 1979. The date isn't a misprint, the rest of the chapter is based in 1979. How much of his other stories are untrue? I counted dozens that were just as fictional. Mr. Davis also takes it upon himself to describe each of Carly's songs, and the results are often times (unintentionally) hilarious. Here is what he honestly believes her hit song Jesse is about: "a song about a woman's ambivalent feelings for an incontinent lover who wets the bed and needs fresh the end of the lyrics, she decides to put fresh sheets on the bed." It's very sad that writers can write anything they want about a celebrity. It doesn't have to be true. They are public figures and they just have to take it. Fortunately, we don't have to read it or believe it, and we especially shouldn't reward this type of pseudo-journalism by buying it. I feel sure this book will die an early death, and I won't waste time to go to the funeral. I've wasted enough time reading this poor excuse of a bio.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    Save Your Money

    This is an UNauthorized, UNtrue book that is not endorsed by Carly Simon. Do not be misled by the photos in the book that were taken by her brother. It is a poorly written fabrication of a beloved artist who deserves so much more respect than is conveyed in this nonsense of a so-called "biography". If you are a Carly Simon fan, there is nothing much new or true for you here. Just re-hashed articles taken from other writers and some mean-spirited treatment of Carly and others who have known her by Davis. This is nothing but a sensationalized tabloid article grappling for your cash. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Instead, if you feel you need a new "Carly fix", why not pick up a Carly CD that might be missing from your collection and support the woman that you admire, not the man who wrote this drivel.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Disagree With Other Reviews!

    First off, I think all 4 of the previous reviews of this book were written by the same person. They all sound alike and say the same thing. I don't think the book was that bad, wasn't too impressed with the writing style, but overall did enjoy the story. The author does say its an unauthorized biography, so its up to the reader to believe it or not. I have always been a Carly Simon fan, so I took a chance and read the book. The big question is did I believe it.................

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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