The Day James Taylor Met Carly Simon
Talented, tall and attractive, James Taylor and Carly Simon were rock's ultimate power couple in the '70s. They met on April 6, 1971 at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
According to Timothy White's Long Ago and Far Away: James Taylor – His Life and Music, the pair was already somewhat familiar with each other. Taylor knew of the Simon Sisters, a mid-'60s folk duo Carly formed with her sister Lucy and which frequently performed in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where Taylor's family had a summer home; Simon knew of Taylor's reputation as one of the cool kids around town. More recently, she had seen his photo on the March 1, 1971, cover of Time and said to her sister, "I'm going to marry that man."
Taylor had broken through the year before with his second album, Sweet Baby James, and had just put out Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, which would soon make him an even bigger star with the No. 1 single "You've Got a Friend." Simon's self-titled debut album, which included the hit "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," had recently been released. On April 6, 1971, she was opening for Cat Stevens, and Taylor had gone to the show to see his friend, drummer Russ Kunkel, who was in Simon's band.
The two hit it off immediately, with Simon offering to provide a home-cooked meal whenever Taylor wanted one. His reply: "Tonight." These post-show plans didn't happen, but they reconnected that fall and soon moved in together. They were married on Nov. 3, 1972, and had two children, Sally and Ben, both of whom followed in their parents' footsteps with careers in music.
On the outside, it looked like they were a happy couple, an appearance reinforced by their hit duets "Mockingbird" in 1974 and "Devoted to You" four years later. But things weren't so great between them. In her 2015 autobiography, Boys in the Trees, Simon goes into detail about Taylor's infidelities and heroin addiction, which led to the pair's separation in 1981. Two years later, they divorced, and not on good terms. As Simon revealed to People in 2015, She and Taylor are no longer on speaking terms.