The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2022 was announced Wednesday, and among the nominees were several new nominees, including Carly Simon, who has actually been eligible since 1996. Shortly after hearing this exciting and highly anticipated news, she spoke to Yahoo Entertainment/SiriusXM Volume — and unbelievably, the legendary singer-songwriter, who won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1972 and an Oscar in 1989, seemed surprised to receive this special honor. She even offered an intriguing theory, related to her cameo in the 1985 John Travolta/Jamie Lee Curtis fitness craze. Perfectthat could have alienated longtime Hall president Jann Wenner and kept her from passing through the Hall for a quarter of a century.
But now Simon is finally entering the Rock Hall and will soon appear on screen in a different way – and maybe even add another Oscar to her mantel. Here, she exclusively reveals that a biopic, based in part on her 2015 memoir Boys in the trees, is in the works, with hopes of being released in about a year. Read on for details on that; about her first meeting with new Rock Hall chairman John Sykes, who made her one of the first women ever to star on MTV; and about what exactly happened to Wenner on the Perfect set.
Yahoo Entertainment: Congratulations on finally making it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Six women will be inducted this year, which is a record high for Rock Hall. You will be inducted alongside Pat Benatar, Eurythmics with Annie Lennox, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Cotten and Sylvia Robinson. So this is a very special year to enter.
Carly Simon: Wow, I didn’t even know about Elizabeth Cotten. I remember trying to play a guitar part that Elizabeth Cotten played on one of her records. I don’t even know if it was a guitar; it could have been one of those old-fashioned instruments. … That’s so far away.
Another connection is the first two female solo artists to ever play on MTV 00 on its first day on the air, August 1, 1981 † were Pat Benatar and you.
We were the first – isn’t that great? Do you know how I did it? I boldly walked up to the 39th floor of MTV, and there was this very handsome guy. And I said, “Well, he’s got to be the person to see.” And so I walked into his office and it was… [MTV co-founder and current Hall of Fame chairman] John Sykes. And I sat down and didn’t even tell him I was a singer. I think he knew he could have known…
Maybe he does, yes.
So then there was a fire alarm and… [MTV’s CEO] Bob Pittman came running down the hall and said to John, “Quick, we’ve got to get out of here!” So I ran down 39 steps or something to the ground floor with the tape under my arm. John went back up in the elevator, and I took a cab home, but I gave John the tape – it was the video for ‘Vengeance’. Then he called me and I invited him over for coffee or something, and we met, and he was so nice. I can’t believe I forgot he played it the first day!
Another connection I’ve noticed is that the Class of 2022 has two James Bond-themed singers: you, with “Nobody Does It Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me, and “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran. I feel like there was some kind of Bond themed jam at the inaugural ceremony.
What an interesting idea. But I don’t think “Nobody Does It Better” would be a good song for a large group of people to sing. It’s so personal. It’s so intimate. …You know, I had a dream last night that I went to the White House when George W. Bush was the president and he showed me his daughter’s bedrooms, which were right next to each other, and at night I sang ” Nobody Does It Better” in front of the entire dinner crowd in the White House and the microphone wasn’t on. And so it was terrible! And my voice was really hoarse and I couldn’t really be heard. And Laura Bush came over to me and said “You know, I really liked the soft parts. And I was so relieved. I knew she was probably lying, because she probably couldn’t hear me, but what a good dream! And then you call that song today!” I salute my friends, Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch, for writing that song and for actually letting me have it.
You did a fantastic job with it. To be will you be performing at the Rock Hall ceremony on November 5?
I only perform in closets. No, this is not in the cards. I could sing along with somebody else or something like that. … But this is all so brand new. It’s like asking a baby if he’s going to college! All I have to do is inhale and exhale and be very happy with myself today. I just found out. I mean, when I got nominated, I thought, “Well, that’s for other people. Really, winning is for other people.” I didn’t expect to be part of this audience.
I’m shocked you would think. You literally won an Oscar and five Grammys. How could you be surprised to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
Because I had passed so many times. [Rock & Roll Hall of Fame co-founder/former Hall chairman and Rolling Stone magnate] Jann Wenner, I thought, was a friend of mine. And it got more and more awkward every time I ran into him.
Real? What exactly was going on there?
Well, I blame the fact that Jann and I were both in the same scene in a movie starring John Travolta called Perfect† And I had to throw a drink in John Travolta’s face, and it was a Bloody Mary. And then it had to be followed by a line that Jann Wenner delivered, and Jann missed his line every time. So John often had to go back to change his white shirt so we had to do it again. And I think Jann was just ashamed of that. People have based their attitude on many things. And sometimes it’s just something they did that embarrassed them.
That seems like a weird reason to hold a grudge and not let someone so deserving get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But obviously you and John Sykes, who is now the chairman of Hall, are more simpatico, going back to those MTV days.
Sykes was also my manager for a while. He took over from Tommy Mottola at Champion Entertainment. … so we got to know each other really well. We were talking about this the other day when he called me, he said, “Remember when I had to physically put you on a plane to go to LA because you were nominated for an Oscar? [for “Let the River Run” from Working Girl]† He had to convince someone, a senior, to get a private plane to take me out. Because I think private planes were just losing their chic back then, where they went like fur, you know. Fur and eggs.
Since we are talking about movies, I know you wrote two memoirs. Has there ever been talk of a Carly Simon biopic?
Oh yes, yes. Absolute. I can’t talk about it. So I just say yes.
Ooh† Can you at least give a timeline of when we could see that on screen?
Well, I hope in a year.
Who’s going to play you? Or who would you like to play?
Would you like to do?
Uh, sure! But I can’t sing.
Do you see someone like me?
I feel like it has to be someone who can sing and play, not just lip sync. Someone who poses a double or triple threat. I think Miley Cyrus could be good for it.
Someone else suggested that too. I think the directors plan to use a combination of my voice and someone else’s – so you get an amalgam of two voices. And somewhere in there, it would sound like me.
I’m super excited about this. But back to the Hall of Fame ceremony, I know you said talking about this is like a baby talking about college, but have you thought about who you might introduce at the November ceremony?
Well, since I’ve looked at the list of the people who have been initiated over the years, and there are quite a few gentlemen: Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Rod Stewart, Sir Ringo Starr. Are there Ladies†
You mean like a big lady?
Yes. There is no one comparable in the women’s department. … Maybe Camilla Parker Bowles would do it.
Well, that would be a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame first I must say.
The above interview is from Carly Simon’s appearance on the SiriusXM show “Volume West”. The full audio of that conversation is available in the SiriusXM app.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Follow Lyndsey on facebook† Twitter† Instagram† Amazon