More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon

More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon

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by Stephen Davis
     
 

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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. Her music has touched countless lives since her debut in the 1970s, yet her own life story has

Overview

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. Her music has touched countless lives since her debut in the 1970s, yet her own life story has remained unpublished-until now. 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. More Room in a Broken Heart candidly covers everything her fans want to know, including:

  • Growing up with her father, publishing mogul Richard Simon
  • The Bob Dylan turning point that launched her career
  • The real story behind "You're So Vain"
  • Carly's severe stage fright (she's the only musical guest to pretape an SNL segment)
  • Romantic involvements with Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, and Cat Stevens
  • How Carly and James Taylor went from being pop music's reigning couple to independent souls living at opposite ends of Massachusetts
  • Surviving breast cancer
  • Her recent financial and spiritual crises

    Along 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 and her loyal fans, who know that nobody does it better than Carly Simon.

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.)
From the Publisher
“[A] revealing page-turner of a biography.” —More.com

“Stephen Davis reveals the fault lines in the life of an artist who, despite her popular success, has never received the critical respect accorded other singer-songwriters of her generation.” – Washington Post

“Rendered out of love and respect for Simon and her legacy…Shines” – Boston Globe

 “A sympathetic and breezy account of Carly Simon's life and (many) loves.” – Star Tribune

“A revealing look at the singer's hit songs, famous friends (Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty), rocky marriage to James Taylor, and struggle to hold on to stardom in late middle age.” – O Magazine

“Revelatory” – PW

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101554258
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/10/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
525,048
File size:
722 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“[A] revealing page-turner of a biography.” —More.com

“Stephen Davis reveals the fault lines in the life of an artist who, despite her popular success, has never received the critical respect accorded other singer-songwriters of her generation.” – Washington Post

“Rendered out of love and respect for Simon and her legacy…Shines” – Boston Globe

 “A sympathetic and breezy account of Carly Simon's life and (many) loves.” – Star Tribune

“A revealing look at the singer's hit songs, famous friends (Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty), rocky marriage to James Taylor, and struggle to hold on to stardom in late middle age.” – O Magazine

“Revelatory” – PW

Meet the Author

Rock journalist Stephen Davis is the author of five other music tomes, including the New York Times bestseller Walk This Way (coauthored with Aerosmith) and most recently LZ-'75, about Led Zeppelin's legendary 1975 tour. He lives in Boston.

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More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
JimNMA More than 1 year ago
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.
beadbabe More than 1 year ago
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.
CaliRoberts More than 1 year ago
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 sheets.....by 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.
DH127 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This account came across as false. There are lots of tedious and banal details that imply first hand perspective but there are no direct quotes. Whose account is this? There is smoke screen and confusion over such questions as the Carly/Mick relationship. Why bother to go there if you can't definitively report what was between them. It is sensationalistic manipulation at Carly's expense. This book offers no real insight into who Carly is. Do not accept this passive aggressive or mean spirited attempt to portray her as a slut with daddy issues. This author chose to crucify rather than celebrate. Aside from the dishonest depiction, the
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.................
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