Carly Simon has faced her fear of flying before. In 1971, she forced herself to board a plane bound for Los Angeles to attend her first-ever show in Troubadour, where Cat Stevens opened. In 1989, she made another significant trip there, this time for the Academy Awards, featuring the song “Let the River Run” from working girlAnd It won Best Original Song. And this fall, she’ll be returning to Los Angeles for the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where she’s finally inducted after being eligible since 1996.
“This first thought,” I do not believe it. “It must have been the house of pies I just walked into,” says Simon, 76. “Someone bought me a space on the Walk of Fame, so I got confused. Really, I was blown away. I thought they must have been wrong.”
Simon calls from her home on Martha’s Vineyard, where she has just undergone chiropractic treatment to replace her second knee, as well as a massage. “It’s a long healing process,” she says. “Some people don’t like massages at all. Fortunately, I love them.”
Talk to Simon RS About entering the Hall of Fame, the upcoming movie adaptation of her 2015 memoir boys in treesand the fiftieth anniversary of no secrets.
Congratulations on the Hall of Fame! This is insanely late. I mean, I’ve been mad for years because of this.
What a surprise oh my gosh! I was pissed off earlier, when I was more in the public eye and thought I was going in. But I forgot to want it, or feel like I deserve it, or feel anything about it at all.
You have a theory that you were disqualified for? [RS founder and Rock Hall co-founder] Jan Weiner was angry at the scene in excellent Where I tossed a drink in John Travolta’s face. It’s a great scene in an otherwise horrific movie.
I knew Jean before all the years he was in charge, and didn’t understand why he was so strange to me, or why he didn’t communicate with me in some way. Not necessarily to put me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but somehow reach out to me and say, “I have this new thing called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. You want to come see it?” Anything. But anyway, that’s been my theory for a while. It didn’t hold much water, even for me.
People tend to have a lot of feelings about themselves, and not all of them are positive. In my case, I thought, “Well, that’s confirmation that I’m not very good.” I realized this when I first started writing songs. I sent my demo to Jerry Ragovoy, who was a record producer and wrote “A Piece of My Heart”. Lee wrote back, “I just don’t know who you are. I don’t know if you’re a rock ‘n’ roll singer or a blues singer or a Broadway singer or a folk singer. I can’t put you down, and therefore, I don’t think the audience will have an easy time to be able to communicate with you. And it made sense to me, even though it bothered me.
Do you consider yourself a rock star?
Oh yes. When I first started working with Richard Perry and made [1972’s] no secrets He said, “You are more of a rock singer than a folk singer.” When I made the album, I felt like this was kind of a stretch, but it wasn’t hard to expand. Mick Jagger also told me he thinks I’m a rock and roll singer.
Rock and roll is a loose term these days. Dolly Parton is on your side in the Hall of Fame.
Well, it was huge. She tried to pull it off because she didn’t feel like she deserved to be in rock ‘n’ roll. But I think the term is used more loosely now. It’s more of a cross feel about music in general.
Slim Shady – Eminem – is not exactly a rock ‘n’ roll singer, but there are elements of his style. Certainly the same with Eurythmics. In fact, she worked on track with Dave Stewart [1994’s “Halfway ‘Round the World”]. He is a creative, creative, and timeless musician [Lennox] Is also. Her singing can go anywhere. She always reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe’s music. Like the song “Jennifer”. Orange hair, green eyes and purple dress. That was one of the first songs that Annie taught me about.
Are you a fan of other recruits, like Duran Duran and Lionel Richie?
Oh, I love Duran Duran. I got to know them in the mid-’80s – it was the only concert my kids wanted to go to. Lionel Richie, I had a profoundly positive reaction to him. I’ve always loved the “All Night Long” video made by a friend of mine, Bob Rafelson. That song has it all. It just makes you want to move in, and I love the Latin feel. “Easy” Commodore. They must also be recruited.
Do you think you will perform in the Hall of Fame?
I don’t know. I wouldn’t put myself on stage and scare myself from hell.
I saw your most recent performance – “Let the River Run” at the Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall in 2018 – and loved it.
It was so much fun. It’s so awful, I feel like I can’t walk the stairs. This is a real challenge for me now. I think about that performance at Carnegie Hall, and I think, “Oh my God, I can move easily then. Why can’t I do that now?” It’s annoying to me.
Do you have any idea who you want to recruit?
I mean, I would love it. But who is the choice of your dreams?
Cat Stevens, Robbie Robertson. These two guys were instrumental in my first solo light. Ruby produced the first recording she ever recorded, which was a song [Bob] Dylan rewrote my name to me titled “Let Me Follow You, Baby.” [Dylan manager] Albert Grossman brought me and Ruby together. I just fell in love with Ruby from the start.
Then, when I made my first solo debut, it was the opening for Cat Stevens. I got to know him and we became good friends. That would be a great possibility. I wouldn’t have dared to wish – unless you don’t put it in place, there’s little chance of that happening. But listen, I’m just amazed that I was recruited, and with this particular group of people. I never thought I’d be with Eminem, you know?
How do you think you will feel when you stand on the podium and accept the honor?
Angie, I have no idea. When I got the Oscar, I had no idea what to expect. I just thought, “If I take one step at a time, I’ll take two steps to get on the plane. I’ll have Harry Winston’s people come in with jewels, and I’ll pick out special things to wear for the occasion. I’ll have to know what to wear, and I’ll have to figure out what to do with my hair.” So little things got in the way that took my mind off the big moment. I don’t like planes.
You have always had a fear of flying. Even in 1971, you tried to quit The Troubadour Show by saying you’d only perform if Ross Kunkel was the drummer. But he said yes already, and you had to fly to Los Angeles
This is correct. It’s why I played Troubadour in the first place. It’s a big part of the reason why I ever succeed. All of these things were surprises to me, because since I was a kid, I’ve been very shy about being in front of others, except for my mother. She was the only safe person for me. But Ross has no idea how important he is in my life.
If you’re done performing, I’m sure he’ll drum for you.
Or maybe I could take the drums and he could sing.
How often are you asked to go on tour?
I don’t think it was in mind for a while. Certainly not for the past four years, because once he broke his hip…that was a real setback for me. I’ve been asked to show up a lot. Getting around is something completely different. You gotta get back in shape, you gotta get a band. I haven’t had a final band for a long time.
Do you have any plans to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of no secrets This fall?
They put it on vinyl and do a complete relaunch. Jack Holzman is behind her. He is the man. If there was one person I would be most credited with getting to know what I could be in the commercial music world, it would be Jack.
You recently confirmed that your diary, boys in treesis adapted into a resume.
Yeah. The director is actually chosen by us. Simon Curtis is his name. He just did Downton Abbey, which will be released this week. They don’t have a girl to play Carly yet. Maybe they could ask Robbie Robertson if he would.