Hasten down the wind

So, I got to see one of my all-time musical heroes give a talk last night… the one, the only, Ms. Linda Ronstadt.

Her songs were the soundtrack for my teen years and I bought every LP, learned every word to every song and would belt them out in my room, to the chagrin of my brother and two sisters.

Linda’s 70 now and suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, so sadly she can no longer sing. But she gave a wonderful talk — complete with photos and videos and rare audio clips — to a packed house at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall.

As soon as she walked out, a deep man’s voice yelled out, “WE LOVE YOU, LINDA!” He totally spoke for all of us there.

The reason I’m even sharing this is that so many of the things she talked about reminded me of… well, you know who.

The way she was born into a musical family and sang in both Spanish and English from an early age.

The way she talked about being “a huge fan” of other musicians and deliberately chose not to be jealous of them but to try and get to work with them.

The way she told the MC backstage, before coming out, “I can’t believe all these people are here to see me and I’m not even singing.”

The way she touches your heart with the way she sings each song.

The way she fought her record company and management to branch out and try different genres — from Gilbert & Sullivan operetta to the American Songbook standards to classic Mexican mariachi music to the harmonies she did with Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris — all done brilliantly…I know, I bought them all. 🙂

She said something really interesting about how the record companies back then (and probably now, too), kept insisting that all their artists sing happy songs (based on focus groups they’d done)… ignoring the power of a sad song or a ballad to release those melancholy feelings and actually make you feel much better than a “happy” song.

Anyways, I listened to her music all the way home… music that stands the test of time… just like David’s.

Here’s one of my faves (well, they’re all my faves, tbh), Warren Zevon’s “Hasten Down the Wind.”

another gorgeous one she co-wrote

okay, one more, lol

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19 Responses to Hasten down the wind

  1. janey79 says:

    Adore her, def one of the all time greats. My fave song has to be Long, Long Time. Talk about a sad song. And of course, everything she did with Stone Poneys goes on the fave list, too.

    • TOfan says:

      She played a clip of a recording session with The Stone Poneys, very cool!

      She said the band broke up when they were invited to open for The Doors on tour and they & their crowds were so loud and crazy (in contrast to their folk band) that one member left music altogether and the other left to open up a club in L.A., lol.

  2. tawna21 says:

    Love Linda Ronstadt!!! She is just a classy performer. Her voice is one that is so easy to listen to. Thank you for your praise of her and the videos. ♥♥

  3. refnaf says:

    So cool the similarities between her and you know who….. what voices!!! and ability to sing any genre! Really sad that she can no longer sing, but her attitude about it is amazing!
    Thanks for this!

  4. peppertara says:

    Oh I love Linda Ronstadt too, always have. Still have some of her music and have always loved her voice. Stone Ponys….takes me back as does “Different Drum”, loved it. So many great songs and fabulous covers that she did. So nice that you got to attend her talk TOfan.
    She will always be a classic and one of the best. Wonderful videos posted and yes, another artist who could sing any genre really. Definitely worthy of a little tribute, thanks for this.
    If I am correct I believe she was just inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a couple of years ago. So worthy.

  5. Abrra says:

    I am so glad you took the time to go see someone you admired even though singing wasn’t on the menu. You made memories to carry in your heart for the rest of you life. No regret that you let the chance pass you by.
    When I was younger, I let the chance go by to see Ricky Nelson sing at a local bistro. Before the year was out, he died in a plane crash. I discovered sadness and regret are an awful mix of emotions. Not long after that, The Everly Brothers came to town and I made sure I had my ticket. It was wonderful to see them, especially because they were reunited after being estranged. I became a fan of their opener Nancy Griffith. Win Win!


    • TOfan says:

      Ricky Nelson had such a pure, beautiful voice… and seeing The Everly Brothers live, wow, that must’ve been amazing… their harmonies still give me chills.

  6. Linda Ronstandt – what a VOICE! Love her. Also love her connection to the Eagles of whom I’ve been a huge fan since I was in college. Still heartbroken about Glenn Frey. And losing a voice like Linda’s still breaks my heart.

    • TOfan says:

      She talked about hiring Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon for one of her first back-up bands and that when they started writing songs together on that tour, she just thought, “those songs sound pretty good” LOL

  7. TOfan says:

    Fun fact: All 3 of David’s most recent youTube videos (Numb, MLP & Workin’) all have about the same # of views (about 700,000, with Numb slightly in the lead)… I find that interesting, hmmm.

    Now, for the sake of comparison… Ben Rector (an artist I love who is with a label, mind you) has about 438,000 views for the official video for his last single Brand New (which was on the radio in some cities and he did a lot of TV promo for it too. Great song btw).

    So there you go.

    • Grammyj says:

      It shows that David still has an audience. I just wish he had someone to push him to release his single and album. Where is it? When is the actual date for its release because obviously “soon” is meaningless. We’ve been waiting years for the new album. My patience is gone.

      • TOfan says:

        I hear ya, Grammyj… sometimes I think he falls victim to a self-fulfilling prophecy… so worried that people will forget about him but then he seems to go out of his way, at times, to drive fans away… is it a confidence thing? torn about wanting success? self-sabotage? I have no idea, but it makes me sad ‘cuz he’s such a huge talent and has a gift to brighten so many lives. *sigh*

  8. TaterZen says:

    TOfan, thanks for this post. Linda Ronstadt was beyond my teen years, although I was all over “Different Drum” whenever I heard it. Pretty sure Linda would have loved my singalong rendition, haha. Her career really peaked during what I call my “surgery phase,” a decade of being out of it, so to speak. I have seen various interviews with her lately, mostly focusing on how she is dealing with Parkinson’s.

    Your post sent me to You Tube and to Ronstadt’s music, so thanks for that too. Couldn’t stop listening. She had an amazing voice, and I actually recognized many of her songs. She was simply a raw, natural talent, and could take that voice a hundred different directions. it is easy now to see your comparisons to David. Oh, David, wherefore art thou?

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