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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Carly Simon to Reveal Subject of "You're So Vain"

Aired August 4, 2003 - 19:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it is one of those burning questions of the 1970s. Singer-songwriter Carly Simon topped the charts with "You're So Vain" 1973 with the line "You probably think this song is about you." So just whom was Simon singing about? Could have been any of her former beaus. Simon is coming clean, apparently, on the identity of the song's inspiration.
Today we asked around to see if people had any ideas on the I.D. of the man with the apricot colored scarf. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would think personally I would think it was about Warren Beatty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mick Jagger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warren Beatty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mick Jagger.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So apparently -- this -- I mean, this is a question that's lingered for, like, 30 years. We're going to ask author and columnist E. Jean Carroll, one of our favorite guests, who is with us now.

E. Jean, nice to see. Or, E., as I...

E. JEAN CARROLL, "ELLE" COLUMNIST: Well, it's been rumored for years, Anderson. And I am going to break the code.

COOPER: Oh really?

CARROLL: Because I saw this person seruptiously placing a silent bid tonight on his cell phone. Do you know who it is?

COOPER: Uh-uh.

CARROLL: It's "New York" magazine's hottest of the hot, Anderson Cooper, anchor. So you're going to belie that rumor? You are not...

COOPER: Yes. I was --- yes. I'm vain, I admit, but it was not me.

CARROLL: OK.

COOPER: But, I mean, there are certainly a lot of suspects out there who it --it -- I mean, everyone says, like, Mick Jagger. He, I guess, sang -- helped sing backup on the song originally.

CARROLL: Well, we have the evidence of the song. He could definitely walk into a party. He could definitely dip his hat strategically over one eye. He would definitely wear an apricot scarf. But he could not kabot (ph).

COOPER: He could not what?

CARROLL: Kabot.

COOPER: I don't even know what a kabot is.

CARROLL: As you watch yourself kabot -- as you watch yourself dance. I's a minuet.

COOPER: Ah.

CARROLL: So he's not -- I'd say no on Mick.

Anyway, he sang backup on the song and so that would be -- he would have to be pretty....

COOPER: All right. Now apparently she's going to reveal the identity at a fundraiser. Someone has to sign a confidentiality agreement and she's actually just going to whisper it in their ear.

CARROLL: Oh, bosh.

COOPER: Now a lot of people say it could be Warren Beatty. A lot of -- and apparently he called her up and said, Thanks for, you know, writing a song about me.

Well, he's a hat dipper (ph) and he's also an apricot scarf wearer and he also...

COOPER: Is he prone to wearing apricot scarves?

CARROLL: Oh, come on.

COOPER: I was not aware about that.

CARROLL: ...Wife of a close friend. Could be Warren. Warren's running strong.

COOPER: Now I didn't realize, I guess, Cat Stevens is in the running. I guess she apparently dated Cat Stevens. This was before -- when he was Cat Stevens.

CARROLL: Cat Stevens -- he's Greek, so he could walk on to the yacht. And he did give away the things he loved, right? He gave away everything and became another person.

COOPER: Sure. Yes.

CARROLL: So it could be Cat. But the clouds in my coffee, I'm not sure. He gave up coffee, didn't he?

COOPER: What does clouds in my coffee mean?

CARROLL: I think it's Juan Valdez.

COOPER: Lord, you scared me there.

CARROLL: It's Juan Valdez.

COOPER: Well, the other name that keeps popping up is Kris Kristofferson.

CARROLL: Oh, well, the hat dipped strategically over one eye could be the cowboy hat. But he's a good old boy, so I don't know about the apricot scarf.

COOPER: So what's theory? Who do you think it really is?

CARROLL: Seriously?

COOPER: Yes.

CARROLL: Serious answer?

COOPER: Do you think it's one person?

CARROLL: Yes.

COOPER: You do?

CARROLL: I think it's her first love. I think it's the man that broke her first heart and I think it's probably the man she lost her virginity to and I think it's the love of her life.

COOPER: Who is this?

CARROLL: No one -- none of these guys...

COOPER: I don't know. Who is it?

CARROLL: I don't know. It's a secret. I don't know who it is.

COOPER: I thought you were about to say the name.

CARROLL: OK. It's her first love.

COOPER: Because why? Because that colors everything one does in -- from then on?

CARROLL: Yes, every song you'll ever write, after you fall in love with the guy, the man. You write every song about him.

COOPER: All right, E. Jean Carroll -- because other people said maybe it's a composite of all these people.

CARROLL: Composite. Well, then if it's a composite with the apricot wearing and hat strategically dipped, it's got to be those...

COOPER: It could be everything.

CARROLL: Well, the five guys from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

COOPER: Maybe so. All right. E. Jean, as always, fun it see you. Thank you very much. We're going to go now.

CARROLL: I'm sorry to hear that.

COOPER: All right.

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