It seemed she had been very quiet. Linda Ronstadt has not sung for ten years, and she is afflicted with Parkinson's disease. This today in the San Francisco Chronicle in an excellent article by Steven Winn.
The good news: Tuesday Simon and Schuster will publish ``Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir,'' by Ronstadt. It will not be dull.
I had a Ronstadt experience in 1987 which I wrote about on Red Room five years ago.
In the mid 1980s I reviewed the premiere of Luis Valdez' ``Corridos'' (stories, ballads) at El Teatro Campesino in the California mission town of San Juan Bautista. The play, a musical, and production took off, attracting the attention of the San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED.
When KQED decided to produce ``Corridos'' for PBS telecast, Ronstadt, with her strong Hispanic cultural background, not to mention incredible voice, was a natural and smart choice.
On the sound stage set in San Franicsco I was ably assisted by publicists but told time and again, ``Don't talk to Linda Ronstadt, she doesn't want to be interviewed, she shouldn't be bothered.''
Though I thought that was too bad, I said fine, and went on for the next hour or so interviewing others of an impressive cast. I had just finished speaking with one of the performers and was taking a note or two when I heard a voice, very sweet and curious, say, ``What are you doing?''
``As you can see, I am interviewing performers in this show for a newspaper article.''
``Then why aren't you interviewing me? I'm in the show.''
``Yes, I've been listening to you sing,'' I said.
Of course it was Ronstadt and of course she gave me a great interview, and of course ``Corridos'' went on to many honors, including the 1987 Peabody for excellence in television.
So of course yet again, though the publicists said she didn't want to be interviewed, Ronstadt did, and although that lovely voice has been silenced, not the thoughts and energy and verve behind it, as hopefully the new book will attest.
Looking back, Ronstadt in 1987 in ``Corridos'':
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