In 1967 the hardyearning staff, like any red-blooded American male, had a knee-buckling crush on Linda Ronstadt.
And it just got crushier from there.
So it was bittersweet the other week to hear Kurt Andersen’s Studio 360 interview with Ronstadt, who is now suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Amazingly, it turns out she was less enamored of herself in the ’70s than we were.
Ronstadt was uncomfortable with her early stardom, feeling insecure about her voice. “It takes a long time to do anything well. I took about ten years to learn how to sing … Until after 1980 was when I really got going.”
This live concert from 1980 (with a helluva backup band) presumably qualifies.
But now, Ronstadt says, that’s all gone.
“There’s a guy sitting in your brain making a phone call to the muscles saying ‘Move in this certain exquisite way.’ I can’t get to the note — it’s like taking the elevator, you push 9 and it goes to 13.”
That’s just too sad. So it seems only right to include a few bonus tracks.
Long Long Time (1970 on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour):
Colorado (1973 Don’t Cry Now album):
Walk Away Renee, with Ann Savoy (2006 Adieu False Heart album):
God, she had a beautiful voice.