The Siren and the Drug Offender

Carly Simon gets a phone call most days that begins, ‘this call is from a federal prison.’ Simon’s godson is named John Forte, and he’s serving 14 years in prison for drug trafficking. He calls his good buddy “Mamma C” every day to check in and catch up. “He’s become practically my best friend,” said Simon.

Today’s Boston Globe includes a long feature by Bella English about this unusual relationship between the iconic singer and the convict. Simon got to know Forte after her son Ben Taylor brought him to the Vineyard in 1997 for a visit. Musically, they clicked, and she has made his case her own, trying to reach Senators, congressmen, and anyone else who will listen to her point: drug laws are keeping too many blacks and hispanics behind bars at too high a cost.

It is a touching story of a deep and lasting relationship between the two…based on their mutual love of music and books and their interwoven families. Simon makes a good point, these Rockefeller era laws are crushing the system and choking it down with too many prisoners…for two few good reasons.