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11


PLAYING POSSUM
Carly Simon
Elektra, 1973
Photographer: Norman Seeff

arly Simon arrived at the photo session for this album cover in what she calls "pretty daytime wear," having, she says, "no intention of baring my teddy." After she and photographer Norman Seeff had shared a couple of glasses of wine, though, things loosened up a bit. According to Simon, "Norman said, 'Well, don't you have something on under that?'"

As for the pose itself, Simon insists it was not a conscious effort to be suggestive: "It was a matter of being caught in the moment. I was dancing, I was all over the place... I was being Martha Graham. I think it's the containment that's exciting about this particular picture." Simon claims, in fact, that some of the shots taken at the session were "a lot wilder" than the one finally chosen.

Though the cover choice wasn't challenged by Elektra or by record retailers -- "I did have trouble getting the record played, but that had to do with the material," Simon says, laughing -- it did provide a taste of controversy for the artist. "I was in Bloomingdale's about a month after the album came out," she says, "and an irate woman approached me and asked, 'How can you do that? Everyone knows you as an upstanding woman, and you have a young child!' So I was sort of arranging my attitude when a salesman started defending me, taking the approach that art is art and doesn't necessarily reflect life. Then as I was just standing there listening, a third person came up and took the side of the woman; then a fourth person took the side of the salesman." Meanwhile, Simon sneaked over to the elevator and left the building.

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