Best-selling book brings back painful memories

NEW YORK (AP) - May 12, 2008

Simon was the only one of the three who agreed to speak to writer Sheila Weller, who relied heavily on interviews with friends and family to tell their life stories.

"I think Sheila did a terrific job and the book is extremely interesting, but it brought back things that I didn't want to remember and from other people's voices," Simon said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "I saw things in a way that to me seemed just too harsh, even if they were true."

The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at Simon's 1972-83 life-in-a-fishbowl marriage to James Taylor, when they were pop music's reigning royal couple, as she struggled to get him to break his drug habit while raising their two children, Sally and Ben.

"I know he had a really tough time with drugs and I had a tough time with his drugs, and I had a tough time with Ben who was very, very sick," recalled Simon. "But I was terribly in love and I got a great deal out of that relationship and ... I don't think I would have changed anything except that I wish that James would have been happier with himself obviously. The breakup of that marriage was incredibly sad and difficult for me."

Today, Taylor and Simon both live in the country - at opposite ends of Massachusetts - and have ended up recording albums for the same label, Starbucks' Hear Music, with Simon recently releasing the Brazilian-inspired CD "This Kind of Love." Their two children are both singer-songwriters like their parents.

The 60-year-old Taylor, who kicked his drug habit shortly after their marriage ended, lives in the Berkshires with his third wife and two young sons. Simon, 62, whose 20-year marriage to writer-businessman Jim Hart ended in divorce last year, lives in the house that Taylor built on a 40-acre spread in Martha's Vineyard full of flowers and animals.

Taylor does not keep in contact with his former wife and made no mention of their years together in his autobiographical "One Man Band" show released as a CD-DVD last year.

"I'm so erased, so erased," said Simon. "I don't think James has forgotten in any way. If he had forgotten, he wouldn't be behaving in the way he is."
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