Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Movie Script

Right now I'd like
you to meet a young lady,
a very lovely young lady,
that I really think has
what it takes to be around
for a long, long time to come.
I'd like you to meet
Ms. Linda Ronstadt.
Feelin' better
Now that we're through
Feelin' better
'Cause I'm over you
I learned my lesson
It left a scar
Now I see
How you really are
You're no good
You're no good
You're no good
Baby, you're no good
I'm gonna say it again
You're no good
You're no good
You're no good
Baby, you're no good
Here's a gal
who really sings great.
We had her on the show last
year and she was sensational.
My first guest
occupies a prominent place
in the Top 40 record charts
and she
has a big one right now.
Linda Ronstadt is
one of the really great talents
in country music.
Would you welcome
please Linda Ronstadt.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Ms. Linda Ronstadt.
Now baby
and I'm going my way
Forget about you, baby
'Cause I'm leavin'
To stay
You're no good...
Linda could literally
sing anything.
No good
I don't think anybody has
tried more different styles
and nailed it than Linda has.
There's not that many people
that can pull off new wave music
and rock and the most
beautiful country ballads.
Her range is huge.
She decided
what she wanted to do.
More important what she
was authentic at doing.
And they always told her no,
you can't do this,
you'll ruin your career.
She did it anyway.
once asked why people sing.
I answered that they sing
for any of the same reasons
birds sing.
They sing for a mate.
To claim their territory.
Or simply to give voice
to the delight of being alive
in the midst of a beautiful day.
They sing so the subsequent
generations won't forget what
the current generations endured
or dreamed or delighted in.
There are a lot of really
good singers out in the world.
A lot of better singers
than I am.
What I did that was different
from other singers,
I did a whole lot of
different kinds of material.
People would think that I was
trying to reinvent myself
but I never invented
myself to start with.
I just kind of popped out
into the world.
My mom grew up in Michigan.
Her dad was an inventor.
He was the third to
Thomas Edison in the number
of useful inventions in the 50s.
He invented the electric stove,
the electric toaster.
The thermostat for Westinghouse.
But my grandmother
had Parkinson's disease
and he spent all his money
trying to find a cure.
And that's what I have now.
My mom was really smart too.
She wanted to study math
and physics
and the University of Arizona
was really good for that.
She came out to Tucson
where she met my father.
My great grandfather
Frederick Ronstadt
came from Germany
to Mexico in 1839.
My father's father, Frederico,
moved to Tucson when he was 14
to work as a wagon maker.
But his true passion was music.
So he started the Club
Filharmonico Tucsonense.
He was the one who
wrote the arrangements
and taught everybody
how to play their instruments.
He was like the Music Man.
If you wanted to serenade
your sweetheart,
you'd get my grandfather's
band to go.
And if you had a wedding
or a funeral,
well, they'd show up for that.
First time my mother ever saw
my dad he was riding his horse
up the steps of her
sorority house.
My dad had a lovely
baritone tenor voice
and knew a lot of beautiful
Mexican love songs
that were rooted
in his childhood.
He serenaded my mother
underneath her balcony.
And she fell big for him.
I'm a rambler
I'm a gambler
I'm a long way from home
If you people
Don't like me
You can leave me alone
I grew up in Tucson
on the last ten acres of my
grandfather's cattle ranch.
We were very isolated
so if you wanted entertainment
you kind of had
to make your own.
There was a lot of music
going on in that house.
Some of it came in
through the radio.
That was my best
friend in the world.
How's about cooking...
We had an amazing radio
in Tucson
because it was really close
to the border.
We could get the
Louisiana Hayride.
Get goin'
Louisiana Hayride
No use for callin' de roll
Can't help...
American standards.
...loving that man of mine
But my grandmother
and grandfather
were classical music devotees.
So I would go over to their
house on Saturday morning
and listen to a live broadcast
from the Metropolitan Opera
and come home and my dad
would be playing Mexican songs
on the piano.
My mom would be playing
some Gilbert and Sullivan piece.
True peace of mind
My sister loved Hank Williams.
She loved country music.
I can't help it
If I'm still in love
With you
My brother would be
singing really high soprano.
He was in a world-class boys
choir and he was their soloist.
She wanted to know how
to sing so I taught here.
So she learned about vibrato
and all that kind of stuff
when she was like five,
six years old.
We learned so much about singing
from each other.
It was completely
incorporated into what we did.
We sang at the dinner table,
we sang in the car,
we sang with our hands
in the dishwater.
I thought Spanish was this
magical musical language.
When I was growing up
I thought people sang in Spanish
and spoke in English.
If you spoke Spanish on the
playground you'd be punished.
You weren't allowed to do it.
My sister and brother and I
eventually formed
a little group.
We called ourselves
The New Union Ramblers.
We thought that sounded folky.
Bobby Kimmel was a guitar
player that I met in Tucson.
He wrote songs
about his own life.
I remember them being
one of the best vocal groups
I had ever heard.
Bobby joined our family group
and then he and I used to play
as a duet sometimes.
We played little clubs in Tucson
but there wasn't very much
opportunity for us there.
At some point reality stepped
in and my sister had three kids.
And then my brother went to
work for the police department.
Bobby wanted to earn
some money playing music.
So he went off to California.
And I was the last man standing.
All the leaves are brown
I went to LA with the
intention of forming a band.
When I saw the quality of the
singers that were out there
I started writing
to Linda saying
if you come out we could form
a band and get a record deal.
I knew they had more
clubs to play in Los Angeles.
California dreaming
I was telling her
this is kind of an iffy thing.
You might starve to death
or you might find yourself
washing dishes
and waiting tables
before you ever get discovered.
She says I'm willing
to take the chance.
I was 18 years old.
We had a house on the beach
for 80 bucks a month
in Santa Monica.
We split the rent three ways.
It was just great.
It was right on the beach.
Once she got there
we got to work right away
and we used to practice
every day.
Bobby introduced me
to a really good guitar player
named Kenny Edwards
and we formed a little band
and we called ourselves
The Stone Ponies.
Look out your window
The rain is turning
Into snow
We started playing
little beatnik dives
and strange pizza parlors,
wherever we could get a job.
Oh how you love me...
There was the trip where I heard
this band called The Byrds.
They had a light show
and a lot of acid tripping
kind of stuff going on.
The Whiskey A Go Go
was very rock and roll.
I heard the Doors there
and I thought
oh they're be a really hit band
if they get rid of their singer.
Go, love
Open up the door...
There was the Ash Grove.
That was where you go
for authentic folk music.
It's where I first
heard Ry Cooder.
Have you seen
that vigilante man?
Ry Cooder was then and now
the most amazing guitar player
I've ever heard.
I knew that had good musicians
in Los Angeles
but this guy
is really something.
I thought I'm staying here.
I'm not going back
to Tucson to live.
All over the land
She came
to Los Angeles at a time
when the LA rock and roll scene
was in gear and was going.
Because, see, after
The Byrds did their thing
with Mr. Tambourine Man,
then the whole damn thing
broke loose
and all the record companies
when scurrying around
like headless chickens trying
to figure out what to do.
Who can sing folk rock
and how can we define what
this thing is going to be?
Hey Mr. Tambourine Man
Play a song for me
There was a lot
of cross pollination
that started happening
in the mid-60s, you know,
country music and folk music
and rock music started
commingling and blending and you
would get all these hybrids.
The Troubadour, just a few
blocks from Hollywood Boulevard,
is known as an avant garde cafe.
It's the favorite of Hollywood's
young and young at heart.
The Troubadour was where
everybody went to hang out
and to be noticed.
You wanted to make yourself
known to the record community at
large, you go to the Troubadour,
play an open mic night.
I can't even name
all the great songwriters
that came through there.
I mean, Laura Nyro, Neil Young,
Joni Mitchell, Tim Hardin,
Kris Kristofferson, Rick Nelson,
Elton John,
Jackson Browne.
It was just week after week
of amazing,
game-changing songwriters.
Some of them were dreamers
Some of them were fools
Who were making plans
And thinking of the future
I mean, you tried to get a gig
at the Troubadour.
You wanted to play
the Troubadour.
All kinds of industry
people hung around in the bar.
The Troubadour
is important because
that's where you can get seen.
It was the place to play.
Like the minor leagues
in baseball.
This was your chance,
this was your great chance.
The Troubadour
was a bustling place.
They had a hootenanny night
where new artists would come
and sing a few songs and I used
to go to every hootenanny night
to see if there was anybody
really talented.
The Hoot, the Monday
night open mic Hootenanny
where you'd wait
and get on the list
and you go up there
and sing your new song.
You got two or three songs.
If you were no good you probably
didn't last the second song
because were, "Hey, get off!"
And maybe not
even the first song.
Oh, you and I, travel to the
Beat of a different drum...
I heard a song
called Different Drum
by this bluegrass group
called The Greenbriar Boys.
Every time you make...
It was written by Mike Nesmith
who was eventually going
to join the Monkees.
You cry and moan
And say it will work out
But honey child
I've got my doubts
You can't see the forest
For the trees
So don't get me wrong
It's not that I knock it
it's just that I am not
In the market
For a boy who wants
To love only me
We got an immediate
response from managers
and people who were interested
in our career.
Herb Cohen
was managing Frank Zappa.
We had head that he had
been a soldier of fortune.
He was have killed somebody.
He was a badass.
But he was established
and he immediately said,
"I can get you a record deal."
I believe
And I see no sense...
We recorded a few things,
just the tree of us.
Then he took those
to the people in power
and said, "I want to
record these guys."
Capitol said okay.
We signed papers and we
were off and running.
Live without me
So we recorded it
with a mandolin
and a couple
of acoustic guitars
and the record company
didn't like it.
And so they said well come back,
we want to recut the song.
Certainly everything
changed in the studio.
They had a bunch
of strings in there
and it was an orchestra
session. I went wait a minute,
this isn't the way
I thought about the song.
I said I don't want to put it
on the record because
that wasn't the way
I'd originally envisioned it.
You and I count to the beat
Of a different drum
Oh can't you tell
By the way I run
Every time
You make eyes at me
It was a good thing
they didn't listen to me
because it was a huge hit.
I'm driving down the road,
you know, in my car
listening to KTKT radio
and all of a sudden
she's singing Different Drum.
I said wait a minute!
I loved her voice from
the first time I heard her.
I was a freshman in college.
The Stone Poneys,
Different Drum.
Yeah, baby!
It was just like wow!
It was just like to pull back
the covering
of a fully developed
vocal stylist.
Yes and I ain't sayin'
You ain't pretty
All I'm sayin' I'm not ready
Most of the time as a critic
you're sitting there saying,
"We don't give the artist a plus
for this and a minus for this.
This is kind of good,
that's not so good."
It was like a home run.
I believe in a...
We were out on this tour
and Herby Cohen comes
to my hotel room and says,
"I need to tell you that
when we get back to LA,
the band is breaking up."
Everybody said, "I don't know
about you two guys
but we want the girl singer."
The record company wanted to
develop me as a solo artist.
Kenny decided to go off to India
and find a guru and meditate.
And Bobby started a folk
club in LA called McCabe's.
And I was left with
what in the world to sing.
I was by myself.
A harmony singer
with no material.
The remarkable thing about
the Stone Poney days was
she had the nerve
to leave a male band
after it had already had a hit
and go on her own.
Will you welcome please
Ms. Linda Ronstadt?
Ronstadt, Ronstadt.
Did anyone ever suggest that
that isn't the most musical name
in the world.
That maybe you should
change it to Linda Marlow or...
Is there a Linda Marlow?
And once they learn how
to pronounce my name,
that leads to free-for-all
kinds of variations.
Glenn Campbell once
called me Linda Bedstead.
You know, I remember you
when you were nothing
but a little Stone Poney.
Oh yeah?
I didn't have any idea
what that means.
I know that you were
part of a group, right?
Let's see, how do I explain this
on television
and not get yelled at.
Oh, then maybe you don't.
- I think I don't.
- Oh, yeah?
Oh, is it an inside meaning?
Yeah, it has a
lot of different...
Love will abide
Take things in stride
Sounds like good advice
But there's no one
At my side
And time washes clean
Love's wounds unseen
That's what someone
Told me
But I don't know
What it means
'Cause I've
Done everything I know
To try to make you mine
And I think it's gonna
Hurt me
For a long, long time
But I've done
Everything I know
To try to make you mine
Think I'm gonna
Love you
For a long, long time
I met her in the Troubadour.
She had this hit
called Long, Long Time.
Apparently she knew
who I was
based on a record I'd made
with Ricky Nelson.
She said I like that band you
put together for Rick Nelson.
Could you do that for me?
She's got everything
She needs
She's an artist
She don't look back
Herby Cohen was the
manager when I met her.
He gave me these tickets
to Hawaii
for the Capitol Records
Linda and I show up
at San Francisco Airport
to fly to Honolulu and lo
and behold there was the FBI
to arrest us for receiving
stolen property.
Turns out Herby had bought
the tickets in the lobby
of the building from some guy
probably for 25 cents
on the dollar
and they were hotter
than a two-dollar pistol.
So we spent the day in jail.
She fired Herbie
and asked me to fill in.
I don't want
Your lonely mansion
I was walking through
the Troubadour one night
on my way to the bathroom.
This band Shiloh got up
and did my exact version
of Silver Threads
and Golden Needles.
Silver Threads
And Golden Needles
I just went, "What?"
Does, you know, that solo,
I thought, God!
I was appalled that anyone
would actually sit down
with one of my records
and learn the solo off it
like a Led Zeppelin record.
And I heard the drummer and I
thought he was really good.
The drummer was
a guy named Don Henley.
Linda's first solo album
came out in '69
and I moved to LA
in June of 1970.
So my timing was pretty good.
She'd had a bunch
of dates back East
and we needed to put
the band together quickly.
So I hired him for $250 a week.
Rescue me
I want you in my arms
Rescue me
I need your tender charm
'Cause I'm lonely
I knew who she was
because I had her album.
I listened to that
album a hundred times.
She could seem vulnerable
and very feminine
but when she opened her mouth to
sing everything got different.
It was just incredible.
You knew that there was
a very solid core
and a very determined woman.
Just saw her walking
past me in the Troubadour
and she looked so cute.
I just grabbed her by the hand
and I said I think you should
cook me dinner.
And she said okay and
gave me her phone number.
So I called her a couple days
and I said, "Well, you gonna
cook me dinner?"
She goes, "Sure,
come on over." I came on over
and she made me a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich.
And I fell in love with her.
Took her home and the next day
I said,
"Listen, let's go
get your stuff.
You can live here with me."
I got a feeling called
The blues, oh Lord
Since my baby
Said goodbye
John David Souther
and Linda Ronstadt.
They were a hot couple.
All I do is sit and cry
Oh Lord
That last long day
he said goodbye
JD had had a musical duo
with a guy named Glenn Frey.
He was by best friend
and first songwriting partner.
We really did nothing but just
listen to music and play guitars
and try to write songs and
then go to the Troubadour.
Glenn Frey played
pretty good guitar.
So I went and talked to Glenn
and said,
"Do you want to do this
tour with me?"
He said it would be really cool.
He'd never been
on the road before.
Glenn Frey and I shared
the $12 hotel room
with two twin beds in it.
It was a very modest tour.
I mean, I remember
being in station wagons.
Rooming together, Don
and Glenn each discovered
that the other was a good singer
and songwriter.
And that's when they decided to
get together and form a band.
That band became the Eagles.
They wished us well.
John was very supportive,
Linda was supportive
and they basically said
just go for it.
We didn't have much
success with Desperado.
The record company didn't
know what to do with it.
And then Linda
made it into a classic.
Why don't you come
To your senses
Come down
From your fences
And open the gate
It may be raining
But there's a rainbow
Above you
You better let somebody
Love you
Let somebody love you
Before it is too
I knew the Neil Young
tour was coming
and I thought this'll be
perfect for Linda
because she had sung backup on
his big hit "Heart of Gold."
So I called Neil's manager
and I said,
"Listen, Linda's the right
opening act for this.
You've got to help me out."
And they said, "Well,
Neil's gonna go out alone."
I want to live
I want to give
Lo and behold like a week
later he called me and he said,
"Neil's done a few dates
in Canada
and it's getting him too tired.
He now wants an
opening act and you're it.
I never give...
Linda was quite reluctant
at the time.
She was so worried about the
idea of playing a huge
hockey arena tour at that
point in her career.
But we persuaded her that
this would be a good thing.
Thank you!
You would occasionally get
somebody: "We want Neil!"
But by the time the tour got
going, she was holding her own.
I've been cheated
Been mistreated
When will I be loved?
I've been put down
I've been pushed 'round
When will I be loved?
When I find a new man
That I want for mine
Always breaks my heart
In two
It happens every time
I've been...
Here's Linda
who I'd never seen live before,
big stage, sold out, huge place.
She comes out there and starts
singing and that voice filled
this arena where I had seen
concerts for a long time.
Nobody filled this arena with
a voice like Linda Ronstadt.
And she just killed it.
She slaughtered this crowd
who didn't come to see her
but they sure left
knowing who she was.
We did 78 dates in 90 days.
We played before 18,000 to
20,000 people every night.
We got to Houston and there
was this new girl singer.
Her name's Emmylou.
It was 1973 during the
one tour I did with Gram.
Call happy calling
Children are calling
In line to ride
On the merry-go-round
Emmy started singing
and three notes
the entire place was dead quiet.
It was like they had started
mass or something.
And she was beautiful,
this girl with the long hair
and big brown eyes
and I thought
she's doing exactly
what I'm doing.
She's doing it better.
Do not worry
How it's done...
And for a minute I thought
well I can get jealous
and then I won't be able
to enjoy her singing.
Or I can just become
a slobbering, drooling fan
like the rest of the people
in the club.
And hope that maybe I
could get her to sing with me.
So I chose the latter as one of
the best decisions I ever made.
And Emmy and I became immediate
music and social friends.
Linda had a lot to do
with lifting me up
at a very, very low
time in my life.
I had been kind of my way
working with Gram Parsons.
I thought I'd found my voice,
I had found something I love
to do singing with him.
Love hurts
Love scars
On the road to getting
himself straight
he was drinking a lot less,
he was loving the work,
we loved singing together, we
had a record we'd just made,
and apparently someone showed up
with heroin
which he hadn't done
in a while and it killed him.
It was devastating
to lose him like that.
It was Linda who stepped up
as a friend
and we had just met each other.
She brought me out to LA,
had me stay at her house
and she talked about me
to everybody.
Said how great I was and
genuinely loved my singing.
Genuinely made me feel like
I had something to offer
at a very low time in my life.
Love hurts
Save me
Free me
From love
This time
Well the train's gone
Down the track
and I'm
I'm left behind
Linda was always
very tight with her girlfriends.
They sang together, they
shared music together, she was
supportive of me.
I was writing songs and hoping
to make my own record
but of course Linda was
really coming into her own
and starting to be
really successful.
I think a songwriter
doing their songs is different
than a singer do their songs.
Some people prefer the
songwriter doing them, some
people prefer Linda doing them.
But "Lose Again"
she definitely made
into a bigger song.
But nothing can save me
From this
b=Ball and chain
Because I couldn't
sing it like that.
I made up my mind
I would leave today
I mean Linda came out and turned
it into this power ballad.
I know it's insane
Because I love you
And lose again
Oh, I love you
And lose again
Back then there wasn't
competition with women.
So I think, you know, women,
there weren't that
many of us either.
So I think there was a certain
amount of banding together
to sort of share
our woman part of it.
This is a song
off our new album.
It's about a real special
place called home.
That's a Karla Bonoff song.
I had made a demo of Home
and we sent it off to Bonnie,
just a complete long shot,
and she decided to record it.
Traveling at night
The headlights
Were bright
And soon the sun came
through the trees
Around the next bend
The flowers will send
The sweet smell of home
In the breeze
Linda and I are like
sisters, around the same age
and we were coming up
and had the same mutual
other musician friends
and band members
and, you know,
it was a community of artists,
it wasn't sexually divided
between just the women and men.
We weren't thinking
in terms of that.
Linda and Bonnie Raitt
were two of the first women
that I was able to see
as a young journalist
and study the way they operated
in this community.
We're going to move into this
world where we're running bands
with guys in them but we can
also look after each other.
I said if I can have it
on my terms and you understand
I'm not going to be told how to
dress or what music to make.
We were all throwing away all
those conventions, you know.
The rock and roll culture is so
male dominated and it also seems
to be dominated by sort of
hostility against women.
That this sort of...
sort of sexual identity that is
sort of used as a weapon
against the populace
and women in particular
and then everyone
identifies with it.
And it's sort of sad to me
because what happens is that...
is that rock and roll stars
end up isolating themselves
more and more and more, thereby
increasing their own feelings of
alienation and anxiety and they
wonder why they're so miserable.
That's really when they turn to
drugs and destroy themselves.
It's just very silly.
It just seems very silly.
They lose the ability to focus
on themselves as a person
rather than as an image and
that's very dangerous I think.
And there are always a lot
of people around them,
managers and scene makers,
you know, groupies and whatever,
that are willing to indulge
them in anything they want.
It weakens them,
it weakens them as people
and it eventually weakens
them as musicians.
I been warped
By the rain
Driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty
Don't you know
But I'm still
Out on the road
Late last night
I'd see my pretty Alice
in every headlight
Dallas Alice
And I've been from Tucson
to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonopah
Driven every kind of rig
that's ever been made
I was in New York
and somebody said
you have to go see this girl,
she's amazing.
She's one of the best singers
you'll ever hear,
she's brilliant.
She's incredibly great looking,
she sings barefoot
and will knock you out in every
respect and she did.
Whites and wine
And you show me a sign
And I'll be willin'
I was running
the Beatles record label Apple.
When Apple started to fall apart
and the Beatles were breaking up
and all of that
I went to America
and there I was being a manager.
I wanted to go back
to work as a record producer
so I suggested Linda go
and meet with Peter
which we did and he agreed
to manage her.
There was a high bar there.
Peter Asher had hung
around with the Beatles.
He expected to make records
that are huge successes
and he was poised to do that
with Linda
and Geffen was ready to be
their record company
that would be there.
I started Asylum Records
and signed Jackson Browne
and then signing other artists
and it turned into what it did.
And I knew when I saw Linda
and the Stone Poneys
that she was gonna make it
and she was gonna make it
as a solo artist and I knew she
was going to be a big star.
She didn't think so.
She had very little
confidence in those days.
Linda was feeling like
she wasn't good enough
to be on Asylum Records.
I said to her that
that was crazy.
I'm never really
satisfied with what I do.
And lots of times I hear
that I did something wrong
and it bothers me,
it can ruin my day really.
Linda never thought she
was as good as she was
and that is an interesting
because she's confident
about her ideas
but not about herself
and not about her singing.
My involvement as a producer
with Linda came when she was
having trouble finishing the
album that became Don't Cry Now.
And that's when we decided that
the next album I would produce
was Heart Like a Wheel.
Some say a heart
Is just like a wheel
When you bend it
You can't mend it
The McGarrigle Sisters, who were
these two Canadian sisters,
they were in an odd category.
They didn't fit in pop music,
they didn't fit in folk music,
they didn't fit anywhere
except they fit in my heart.
We just heard
Heart Like A Wheel,
then I went I have to sing it.
When harm is done
No love can be won
I know it happens
But I can't...
Linda has the ability
to hear a song and claim it.
You claim it as your own
as a singer.
If you love it like that
you get inside it.
You become it.
But my love for you
Is like a sinking ship
And my heart is on that ship
out in mid-ocean
Heart Like a Wheel,
she discovered that song,
brought it to me and I loved it.
I thought it was beautiful
but I was also thinking
in terms of we should
make some hits.
Feelin' better
Now that we're through
Feelin' better
'Cause I'm over you
I'm a ballad singer,
I like to sing ballads best
but we needed some up-tempo
songs for the record
and as an afterthought
I had this song
that we'd used
to close the show.
You're no good
You're no good
You're no good
Baby, you're no good
I'm gonna say it again
You're no good
You're no good
You're no good
Baby, you're no good
She knew and loved the song,
I knew and loved the song,
and we decided to do
a version of that song.
I stayed up all night assembling
this very complicated,
intricate layered guitar piece.
We worked very long into
like the next afternoon.
And that's when Linda turned up
and didn't like it.
She said, "Oh, I don't like it.
It sounds like the Beatles,"
which it did sound
like the Beatles
but in the end she came around
and said,
"You know what, I was wrong.
It's great."
I'm tellin' you now baby
And I'm going my way
Forget about you, baby
'Cause I'm leaving to stay
Every song
that I sing has a face
that I sing it to, you know.
And so when something
happens to me,
it's really funny,
I know so many songs.
When something happens to me
the song will occur
at the same time.
I'll think oh, this song
or that song, you know.
And if it's a song I can sing
then I'll have to sing it,
I'll just burn to sing it.
I can't not sing it.
I passed you on the street
And my heart
Fell at your feet
I can't help it
If I'm still
In love with you
He would make the assumption
that I was choosing the songs
that we would do on these
records or that I was working
out the arrangements
or this, that, and the other.
And I would have to keep
explaining that
it was Linda and me
in that order.
Still in love with you
My sister used to play
all these Hank Williams records.
So I thought I can do that.
Came slowly stealing
As I brushed your arm
And stood
So close to you...
Linda knew a good song
and she knew why it was good
and better than that
she knew how to sing it
better than you can sing.
When you become that sharp
of a song stylist,
you get authorship
in a certain way.
I consider her a real author.
She didn't write songs
but she made songs happen
the way she wanted to hear them.
I can't help it if
I'm still in love with you
I Can't Help it
if I'm Still in Love With You
was a hit on the country charts.
You're No Good was a hit on both
the R&B chart and the pop chart.
So I became the first artist to
have a hit on all three charts
at the same time.
Heart Like A Wheel was
a huge turning point for her.
The avalanche of success
was hitting everywhere.
She was at the forefront
of a kind of pop stardom
that hadn't happened
at that point
but people didn't notice the
difficulty of being a woman,
trailblazing and having
the success of a Mick Jagger.
People try to rape me
Always thinking I'm crazy
Make me burn the candle
right down
I can't stay
Don't need no jewels
In my crown
'Cause all you women
Are low down gamblers
Now I had gigs
like in big sporting arenas,
you know,
stadiums and stuff like that.
I knew the name of every
arena in the country.
We got a gig tonight
at the Spectrum in Philly.
We'll be at the Forum.
Gig tomorrow night
at the Garden.
That's where we played.
She was selling them all out.
This low down bitchin'
Got my poor feet a itchin'
Can you see
The deuce is still wild
She was very good.
Audience loved her.
Records sold.
She was on an uphill swing
all the time.
Got to roll me
Call me the tumblin' dice
When we did that tour together
we'd take turns
closing and opening.
You know. Try following
Linda Ronstadt every night.
Got no money
Sixes and sevens and nines
Hey now baby
I'm the rank outsider
I went to go see her
at the Universal Amphitheater
when she was wearing
her Boy Scouts outfit
and was just rocking.
Linda was able to be
really feminine and sexy
in this world of men and somehow
hold onto herself and do that
and use that in the
best possible way.
There was a lot of dudes running
around the stages then.
But we were on the road
with Linda and killing it.
She was killing every night.
The tumbling dice
You got to roll me
I know they liked my singing
and I know they were proud
of what they were doing
but still in rock and roll
the idea that you're actually
working for a chick singer,
in their way they sort of
saw it as not as cool
as if they were their own
rock and roll band
and they were just
all the guys.
Baby, baby
Got to roll me
There weren't a lot
of women musicians
so it was always a band of guys.
There weren't women bass players
and women guitar players
and sometimes some of these
guys were, they were tough.
I got a lot tougher
and more foul mouthed.
I used to swear a lot.
I mean, I used to talk
like a truck driver.
When I think about the way
I used to talk, I'm shocked.
Without having any other
girls along on the road,
just automatically
you start to imitate them.
Linda was never
comfortable being on the road
but obviously she did her job
and part of her loved it.
Who wouldn't love it?
But I think there was another
part of her that went,
"You know,
this doesn't feel right."
If I were going to
choose something to do
it would not be to stand up
in front of a lot of people.
But I love to sing,
I love to sing.
I love music so at some point
you do whatever you have to do
to do music.
She would confess to me that if
she saw people in the front row
and somebody leans over
and says something to the person
next to them, she thought they
were saying, you know,
she's the worst singer
I've ever heard.
I don't like this.
She really believed that.
You get on the bus at
night, card game going on,
everybody blasting music
or everyone else drinking,
you know.
A lot of drugs around.
A lot of people would go on
stage completely hammered,
completely fucking hammered.
Everybody was up at night
and when the gig ended
you don't go home and have milk.
It was kind of the nighttime
danger fun part about
not having to go to bed.
You know, Keith Richards
can do it, so can I.
Linda's thing was diet pills.
She went through a phase
mostly taking speed
and not eating and being
super skinny.
It seemed like it was so hard
to be out there day after day
and to try to get up the energy
to sort of do that
when you were just wrung out
from the sense of being
dislocated from place.
I was with a bunch of people
that were basically earnest
and basically honest
and the kind of paranoia
that was introduced by drugs
was so destructive in our
ability to communicate
with each other.
That really saddened me.
And then at some point
we all just stopped.
I feel so bad
I got a worried mind
I'm so lonesome
All the time
Since I left my
Baby behind
On Blue Bayou
Saving nickels
Saving dimes
Workin' 'til
The sun don't shine
Looking forward
To happier times
On Blue Bayou
I'm going back someday
Come what may
To Blue Bayou
Where the folks are fine
And the world is mine
On Blue Bayou
When Rolling Stone was ready to
put Linda Ronstadt on the cover
that was her absolute peak
up until then.
If I could only see
Generally it was a very
denim-clad warrior cover.
So here comes Linda Ronstadt
and she and Annie Leibovitz
put together this photo session
that was like no other
cover that had been
on Rolling Stone before.
She was honest
and opened her heart.
She said, "This gets lonely and
I don't know where it ends up.
It's an emotional journey
and I'm happy that I brought
this kind of joy.
But you know what?
When I'm here alone
in this Malibu home that looks
very cozy, it's lonely."
There's a lot of show business
people down here, you know.
It's not my style exactly.
Where did you live before?
Nowhere really. I was on the
road for about ten years
and I didn't exactly have
a home.
On Blue Bayou
Singing the National
Anthem here at Dodger Stadium,
Ms. Linda Ronstadt.
Oh, say can you see?
I remember my dad was watching
her at the game.
She sang the National Anthem.
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's...
All of sudden there she is.
She'd come in the limo straight
to the restaurant from the game
to have something to eat.
My parents had a small
restaurant on Melrose Avenue
across the street from what
was then KHJ Radio
which was the radio
station in the day.
Linda walked in and my dad
was wearing a shirt
that we call in Mexico Aloe Vera
and it has four pockets
and it's white and she said,
"This is a good place
because he's wearing
the shirt my dad wears.
A lot of the people
who hung out at the Troubadour
also ate at Lucy's.
Lucy was very shall we say
loose with the check
now and again
and if we were on hard times.
Our customers were not
just soon-to-be celebrities
of the industries, they were the
oligarch of Los Angeles.
I mean, you're talking
old-school money.
There was a big
communal table that my father
used to sit everybody at.
So you'd sit with policemen,
you'd sit with firemen,
sometimes you'd sit with an
actor, sometimes you'd sit...
a football player. You never
had any idea who you'd sit with.
What happened was Linda
had decided
that she wanted to change
the 8-track
because she wanted to hear
something else.
So she had to step up
on this little wine rack
and at that moment the Governor
Jerry Brown comes in
that room and he sees her
and it was like wow!
Who's she?
So my father went
and he sat them together.
And, well,
he fell in love with her.
There was no question
about that.
Jerry likes passionate music.
He likes passionate music,
passionate women,
that's his deal.
We had a really
good time together.
He went out to run for president
for the last couple of months
and he pending for the fact that
I got to see him on TV
I may have forgot
what he looked like.
But he came back yesterday.
He's gonna make it
all better now.
That's what he told me anyway.
I have yet to see.
My boyfriend's back
And you're gonna be trouble
Hey now, hey now
My boyfriend's back
When you see him coming...
Did you have much of a problem
when you're with Jerry Brown
people expecting you
to have political views
along the lines of
Governor Brown?
Whereas you're a
singer, he's a politician.
Our relationship
was completely personal,
it wasn't political at all.
So, you know, he did politics,
I did music.
- Right.
- It's easy to separate that.
You went to South Africa
Did you receive criticism
for going there?
As far as I was concerned
it was just a gig.
I don't think that if you
disagree with the policies
of the government, which I do
very definitely disagree
with the policies of the
South African government,
I don't think that's enough
of a reason not to go
and play music there.
If I did that I wouldn't be able
to play in the United State
because I don't agree with their
policies about nuclear power,
nuclear warfare.
I mean, my God, we've got this
person running the country
that I completely disagree with.
If I decided that I wasn't
going to play where attitudes
of racism prevailed, I certainly
couldn't play in Australia
or England or lots of places
in the United States,
a lot of places in the American
South or Boston
which is extremely racist.
I went to South Africa, it has a
fascist repressive government.
I'm very interested in
the culture down there.
You just got finished talking.
You say why does anyone
think I'm controversial.
Do you realized what
you've just talked about here?
We've just received all your
political views in one blow.
I'm teasing.
I'm not putting it down.
I don't think my political
views are very controversial.
Who likes nuclear warfare?
I remember her having the Wall
Street Journal in her bag
one time in the 70s when she was
dating Jerry and I went,
you know, I had thought she was
really smart but she's really
well read and very, very up
on a lot of different things.
She's as wide ranging in her
critical intellectual pursuits
as she is in her music pursuits
and you don't find that kind
of depth and eclecticism
in pop music.
Jerry needed somebody that could
be full-time there for him.
You couldn't have two careers
in that family.
I never will marry...
There's not enough time.
I'll be no man's wife
I tend to stay single
For my rest of my life
I mean, the same
reason I never got married.
I don't know, I think
it's hard being a woman
in the music business.
You know,
it's a different kind of life.
Rushing waters
Went over my head
Well you don't need to
get married, you what I mean?
It's like we have our own income
and you don't have to have
the state verify
that you love somebody
and when that relationship's
over you leave.
Neither one of us are
really made for marriage
or I think long-term
Why did you break up?
I can't remember.
Maybe she could tell you.
It's so easy to fall in love
It's so easy to fall in love
People tell me
Love's for fools
But here I go
Breaking all the rules
Seems so easy...
My mom wanted to be a scientist
but she had four kids
and I think it was also a little
bit of a disappointment.
It's so easy
To fall in love...
She always said to me
go out and have a life.
You don't just have to get
married, there are alternatives.
It's so easy
to fall in love
It's so easy
to fall in love
I have to confess, I got a
really bad crush on this guy.
We had a little romance for a
while but it wasn't long lived.
He dumped me for this pig.
Well, at least
I got his picture.
Does he love me?
I want to know
How can I tell
if he loves me so?
Is it in his eyes?
Oh no, you make believe
Is it in his size
Oh no
You'll be deceived
If you want to know
if he loves you so
It's in his kiss
That's where it is
To present the nominees
for favorite female
in rock and pop are Teddy
Pendergrass and Tanya Tucker.
The nominees are:
Linda Ronstadt.
Ms. Barbara Streisand.
And Donna Summer.
You open the envelope.
I'm too nervous.
I'll do the gentlemanly
thing here and I'll open it.
- If you will read.
- Okay. And the winner is...
Linda Ronstadt.
Linda was the queen.
She was like what
Beyonc is now.
She was the first female
rock and roll star.
Want love?
Get closer
She was the only
female artist the have
five platinum albums in a row
and most of them multi-platinum.
Hold my hand
For favorite female
in rock and pop...
Favorite country single...
Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt.
- And the winner is...
- Takes another one.
- Linda Ronstadt.
- The winner is Linda Ronstadt.
You make a fuss when
her eyes ain't on you
Well give us something
to look forward to
Remember all those
other girls who ran
The nature of being a pop
musician is that you get
these things
that are successful
and you have to sing them
for the rest of your life.
Over and over and over again
and they start sounding
like your washing machine.
I didn't like singing in big
arenas because the sound
was like, you know, you'd hear
the guitar solo that
they played last week still
ringing around the rafters.
So I started looking
for other things to do.
There is this feeling that
she has about the music itself
rather than the career itself.
You know, some people are
just hardcore careerists.
There's nothing wrong with that.
You know, it's how your mind
works that makes the difference.
It's how you see yourself or how
you see yourself in the world,
you know.
And not everybody's
a pure art for art's sake
and not everybody's
a pure careerist either,
especially in music
because musicians love music
or they wouldn't do it.
She wanted to change.
She got tired
of doing arena rock,
she wanted to try
different things.
I picked up the phone and called
my great friend John Rockwell
who writes music criticism
for the New York Times.
I said I hate playing
these big sporting arenas.
It's not good for the audience,
it's not good for the band.
I want to sing in a theater
with a proscenium and a curtain.
He said well the next time
you come to New York
I'll take you down to meet this
fellow named Joseph Papp.
He has a theater, it's called
the New York Public Theater
and he does Shakespeare and he
does musicals; he did Hair.
He wanted to do
The Pirates of Penzance.
My mom was
a Gilbert and Sullivan lover.
She had a big book of Gilbert
and Sullivan songs on the piano.
And I actually learned all
the soprano parts as a kid.
And I loved singing them
but I never got a chance to
in rock and roll.
That was in her roots,
that was in her upbringing,
it was part of her authentic
musical experience.
Joe called me and
said if I wanted to do the part
I could have it.
And I said no I have to come
and audition
because I didn't know whether
I could sing it or not.
She wanted to be certain
that she would do it well.
They thought being able to say
Linda Ronstadt's in it
would be good for business.
But her concern was whether
it would be good for the show.
I was there for several
rehearsals and she was fabulous.
She just grabbed it
by the horns and...
That was the first job
I was ever offered
where I actually got
to sing like that.
I was delighted, I really was.
But I can't do it very well yet.
Because it's really hard.
You can't learn that overnight.
- You got to be in training.
- In training, yup.
Linda had a great voice and she
had a great vision for herself
and she didn't want to just
be singing rock and roll,
she wanted to do everything.
Hold, monsters!
Ere your pirate
Proceed, against our will
to wed us all
Just bear in mind that we
Are Wards in Chancery
And father
is a Major-General
I knew some of her songs, sure.
But operetta?
Unhappy General Stanley
A week into rehearsal we all
sang through the score
just sitting in a circle
in chairs
and when I heard her voice
it was just
this belle canto soprano
gorgeous musical,
celestial yet earthy, just pure,
something so pure,
it just made me cry.
I just remember just listening
to that voice,
it was just singing
that stuff...
Oh, sisters,
Deaf to pity's name
For shame!
It's true that he has
Gone astray
But pray
Is that a reason
Good and true
Why you
Should all be deaf
To pity's name?
Gilbert and Sullivan? Really?
A rock star who has the guts
to go out there
and do that kind of
musical comedy.
She just didn't care.
To her it was like
a mountain to climb.
Linda can bring
herself to sing anything.
She could sing opera, she could
do anything with her voice.
I couldn't do all that.
Kevin Kline and I
were both nominated
for Tony Awards for that show.
Kevin deserved it
more than I did.
All I did was walk
around and sing.
My mom died during
Pirates of Penzance.
I wasn't with her when she died.
And I just couldn't quite
get it through my head
that she was gone
out of the world
and I was never going
to see her again.
She'd had all these records --
Louis Armstrong,
Ella Fitzgerald,
Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee.
And I thought I'd like to try
to sing some of those songs.
Only the lonely
When we lived together almost
every evening the last record
we listened to was
a Frank Sinatra album
called Songs for
Only the Lonely.
With Nelson Riddle arranging.
Constantly people were telling
Linda you can't do this.
I'm guilty.
When she was going to do
the Nelson Riddle album
I didn't think it was
a good idea,
not because she
couldn't do it
but because we had this run
going with rock and roll records
and country rock.
I said I'd like to find somebody
that can write arrangements
like Nelson Riddle.
They said why don't you
just ask Nelson Riddle?
Well I didn't know
he was still alive.
You were the only person
that I knew that could do
orchestrations like this.
I didn't know where you were,
whether you'd be interested
in working with me.
Whether you'd ever
heard of me or not.
And as soon as I started
learning the songs
they just got inside me.
I wanted to record them
and I wanted to do it
worse than anything
I've ever wanted to do.
I remember your phrase for this.
You said these are
songs I cannot not do.
I can't not do them.
At some point
it's like falling in love.
Choice doesn't
even enter into it.
What's new?
How is the world
Treating you?
I would think oh my God,
how can I sing these songs?
Ella Fitzgerald has sung them,
Billie Holiday has sing them,
Frank Sinatra has sung them.
Handsome as ever
She studied all of those records
and she studied every available
version she could find
of each one of those songs.
She is a real student.
What's new?
How did that romance
Come through?
She told she wanted to get
those songs out of the elevator.
She meant that that's the
only place you heard them.
And she wanted to point out that
that's not where they belong.
They were some of the
best songs ever written.
Why am I asking
what's new?
I went to her house and
tried to talk her out of it but
as soon as she told me Nelson
Riddle was going to do it,
I said well I'd like
to come to the record session.
When my sister was
in high school she got to go
to her senior prom and she got
to wear these strapless dresses
with a lot of tool
and I always wanted
one of those dresses.
By the time I got to high school
styles had changed
and I never got to have one.
So I said I'm going to put
a show together,
we're all going to get to wear
those dresses.
So dream
This is a real treat tonight.
We have three marvelous singers
on the show
and would you know how many
times they have been nominated
for Grammys between them?
Forty-five times in total.
The albums they've all sold
are in the multi-millions
and I guess it's taken
the ladies about ten years
to get this together where they
wanted to work together
and made an album called Trio
and it was well worth the time.
The album is described as
old-timey but it's sensational.
Would you welcome
Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton,
Emmylou Harris?
I had met Dolly.
I saw her singing
on the Grand Ole Opry
and she was a wonder to behold.
What you have in front of you is
one of the most beautiful girls
you've ever seen.
She's just gorgeous.
When she opened her mouth
and started to sing
I fell on the floor.
She's an amazing singer.
Jolene, Jolene
Jolene, Jolene
I'm begging of you
Please don't take my man
I told
Emmylou about her
and then Emmy
met her somehow.
When I made my first trip to
Nashville the powers that be
set up a meeting with Dolly
and she was making a record
in her studio
and it was like unbelievable.
It was better than
any Disneyland visit.
Eyes of emerald green
They kind of found
my music somewhere
and kind of wanted
to meet me
and that's kind of how
we all started.
Emmy called me up and she's like
Dolly Parton's at my house,
you have to come over.
I was living like
40 minutes away
and I got there in 20 minutes.
She came over and there we were,
the three of us
and we were there
with our idol Dolly.
They had this big old house,
almost like a bunch of hippies
just living up there,
different people and musicians.
They had different bedrooms.
It was just a
free-for-all kind of house.
A dream for musicians.
And somebody said
well sing something.
Bury me beneath the willow
Under the whipping willow
So he may know
Where I am sleeping
And perhaps
He'll weep for me
So I started singing that
and then they started saying
sing that again.
I go "Oh, bury me..."
And here come
all these harmonies
and oh it was just
chilling, chilling, chilling.
Beneath the willow
Under the weeping willow
Well he may know
Where I am sleeping
And perhaps
He'll weep for me
When we heard our voices
it was like injecting some kind
of serum into your veins.
It was like a high
like you've never felt.
We sang first in a living room
and said well
this sounds really good.
It was special,
it was different.
It was like a sound of
sisters, musical sisters.
Won't you bury me
Beneath the willow
Under the weeping willow
Where he may know where...
At that moment we thought
we have to do a record.
To know know know him
Is to love love love him
Just to see him smile
Makes my life worthwhile
We learned so much
about singing from each other
because you get to sort of
be them for a second
when you're shadowing
them in harmony.
It's like getting on an eagle
and getting to see the world
through that eagle's experience.
I get to sing through
Dolly's voice
or sing through Emmy's voice
when I sing real close harmony.
Can't he see me?
How I...
The only big disagreements would
be are we going to use autoharp
or dulcimer on this song.
- Yeah.
Sometimes we would disagree
about who would sing lead
because Emmy and I
always wanted Dolly
to sing lead on everything.
Oh, well Dolly will
sound great on that.
You sing lead!
No, you sing lead!
Linda is such a perfectionist.
She's a pain in the ass
because she is such
a perfectionist.
Because she will not have it
unless it's perfect.
She used to make me sing those
harmonies over and over
and I said I'm going to sing it
the same way no matter what.
No, you're not! You're going
to hit this one note.
And see I don't know how to,
all those intricate harmonies
like Emmylou and Linda do.
I just sing that raw stuff
from feeling
and it ain't always proper
but it sounds good.
Yes just to know
Is to love love love him
And I do
Linda, you've sing
just about all types of music.
Light opera; you've been on
Broadway, rock and roll, pop.
What's your next project
going to be?
I'm going to do an album
of Mexican music,
of traditional Mexican music.
I'm kind of a
traditional Mexican myself.
You know, I grew up about 40
minutes from the Mexican border,
my family are Mexican,
and that is my roots.
That's what I came from
and I have been dying to do
this record
for years and years
and I'm getting around
to it this year.
Boy, I'm going o do it.
Our neighbor that lived behind
us in the garage apartment
was Harry Dean Stanton,
great character actor
and a great singer
of Mexican folk songs.
We would hear him up until
the wee hours singing
these Mexican folk songs,
these canciones.
And Linda knew all those songs.
I don't think people
thought of her as...
as Mexican.
It certainly never came up.
I never heard it.
I mean, the name
Ronstadt is not Hernandez.
Ronstadt is a
German-sounding name.
No, she's certainly
from Mexican heritage
but it wasn't the most
apparent thing.
I want to see
where you put your D.
Say ganador.
The phrasing, Ganador.
- Dor?
- Mm-hm. Mm-hm.
Is it on the roof of your mouth,
the back of your teeth or...
When he asked me if I would sing
a harmony on his record
I was completely delighted
because you can only learn
by doing. I can't...
there isn't a book you can get,
you know,
how do you learn how to be
a singer in Spanish?
It's always been a dream
of mine to make an album
of these Mexican songs
that I learned from my father.
My father had a beautiful
baritone voice.
He sounded like
a cross between Pedro Infante
and Frank Sinatra.
Always if there was a dinner
party or something he'd get the
guitar out and he'd just sing
and I always would fall asleep
in somebody's lap listening to
my dad sing some beautiful song.
We always as a family,
we always sang in Spanish.
Even though I didn't understand
much of what I was singing,
it was something
that I learned to do.
It's kind of like lip reading,
you know.
I used to kind of chameleon in
harmony along with my father.
To learn to sing that style as
a grown-up professional singer,
that took some doing.
I always forget the beginning
where I go through the ending
and it makes it so hard.
Oh yeah.
What was it, this way?
Is that how you do it?
The Latin way.
Okay, I got it.
Okay, I'm learning
all these new things.
My dad invited me to go to the
Tucson Mariachi Conference
and that way I got to meet
the Mariachi Vargas.
Those good bands like the Cobre
or the Camperos
or the Mariachi Vargas, you're
going to go to a symphony
and you're not going to find
better musicians.
They're all virtuoso players.
I picked a couple of songs.
The band said these songs
are very traditional
and they're very difficult
to do.
I said well, they're
the only songs I know
so we better learn them.
I went to the president
of my record company,
who's a man who genuinely
likes music, and I said look,
I made all these records
for you, they saw this.
I'm going to do this
just for me
and this might be
If it sells two copies
I don't care
but if I can't record this music
I'm going to die.
I don't understand any Spanish.
I didn't understand how popular
those songs were
but this is a lady who wanted
to do it her way
and who was going to say no?
Canciones de mi Padre,
it's the largest selling
Spanish language album
in the history of the industry.
That's the whole Linda Ronstadt
story right there in a nutshell.
Linda deciding she wants
to do something,
the record company telling
her she can't.
She goes ahead
and does it anyway
and they jump on board
as the thing starts to take off.
Toda la Familia
would come and they loved it
because they were here
from Mexico.
Even though their kids
had grown up here
and become American citizens,
who is this girl singing songs
so beautifully.
The fact that she
went on and did that
and did it in such a big way.
It was a brave thing to do.
Many people would
have been terrified
I'll mess up my career.
But obviously she had
purpose, personal decision.
It's good.
To have that traditionalism
going along on the bus with me
from town to town where
I'd only sung pop music,
to take that part of the dirt
with me, you know,
the part of the soil of the land
where I came from to Cleveland
and Cincinnati and New York,
that was a thrill.
You should have seen
Central Park with, you know,
close to a million people
in it when the mariachi
got up on stage with their
big hats, the place fell out.
They went nuts. There
was such a thing of pride
that went from the stage
to the audience.
It was just great.
This song was written
by me and my father
and it's called
Lo Siento Mi Vida.
My dad died when he was 84.
There was a kind of a peace
that happened when he died.
In the three of four days before
he died he was reading to us
passages from
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book
Love in the Time of Cholera
and it was just a great sharing.
It was a different experience
being with my father
when he died
than it was with my mother.
I knew I was going to miss him
but I accepted it better.
He had what I would
describe as a beautiful death.
I'd seen her on
TV and I thought she was great
but when she came to
New Orleans she was just
so down to earth
and girl next door thing.
And just humble.
She was just a sweet,
humble person.
I'd been in New
Orleans for the World's Fair
and somebody said well
the Neville Brothers are playing
at some club down
in the Quarter. We should go.
We going to get
serious, serious right now.
I'm going to turn you on to
our brother Aaron Neville.
Aaron Neville
was on stage singing
this beautiful song Arianne.
Arianne is April morning
That comes rippling
Through my window
She's the smell
of coffee brewing
On a quiet, rainy Sunday
Somebody told me
she was in the audience
so I called her up on stage.
Sing some doo wop.
Usually I'll never do
anything like that
because I like to rehearse
everything first.
But I wasn't going to say no
to Aaron Neville.
After that I asked
for an autograph.
She said To Aaron, Love,
I'll sing with you anytime,
any place, anywhere in any key.
Look at this face
The next morning
I woke up
and my first thought
was boy I like singing
with Aaron Neville.
That sounded pretty good.
And then I thought, you idiot,
everybody sounds good
when they sing
with Aaron Neville.
I said we got to make a record
together and he was up for it.
I don't know much
But I know I love you
And that may be
All I need to know
There were all kind
of rumors going on...
They say oh Linda and Aaron
got married or whatever.
Just crazy stuff.
Look at these dreams
So beaten
And so battered
I don't know much
The producer told us
if you don't make it look real
ain't no sense doing it.
So we had to make it look real.
That may be
All there is
To know
At the studio I said I'll
see you at the Grammys.
I had a speech but
Too nervous. I just want to
say thank you to Linda first.
And my wife Joelle.
Aaron and I won two
Grammys for that record.
But as time went on there was
something really wrong
with my voice.
I just lost a lot of
different colors in my voice.
There's a lot of things
you do in singing.
You turn your voice to different
planes to make different sounds
and I couldn't do any of that.
Turned out I had
Parkinson's disease.
Singing is really complex
and I was made most aware
of it by having it vanish.
I can still sing in my mind
but I can't do it physically.
I sang my last concert
on November 7th, 2009.
It was a Mexican show.
Must have been
quite a reckoning
to have this marvelous
that could always
hold the notes, hit the notes
and shape the notes,
could no longer hold the notes
without quiver.
But there's a lot of good
records with
her magnificent voice on them
and I hear her laughing
in my head all the time.
I hear that cackle all the time.
I'm sort of never without her.
I could imagine not being
able to sing for Linda is awful.
But I also know nobody who could
handle that kind of change
or adjustment in a more
logical and thoughtful
and intelligent way than Linda.
I don't think she
misses going on the road.
I don't think she
misses making records.
I think she misses
singing with her friends
and singing in the living room
with her family.
There's just no one
on the planet
that ever had or ever will
have a voice like Linda's.
You know,
I'm grateful for the time I had.
I got to live a lot of my dreams
and I feel lucky about it.
Another person with Parkinson's
said that life after death
isn't the question.
It's life before death.
So how are you going to do it?
How are you going to live?
Couldn't find a part there.
Start right there.
I don't even have that note
in my speaking range anymore.
Before you said
you couldn't sing anymore.
This isn't really singing.
Believe me,
it's a few notes.
- But it's not really singing.
- Are you enjoying it?
Well, I would enjoy it much more
if I could sing
but I can't let them
sing this without me.
It's a family thing.
Shall we?
You guys ready?
- Do we get to eat?
- Yes.
I've been cheated
Been mistreated
When will I love be loved?
I've been put down
I've been pushed around
When will I be loved?
When I find a new man
That I want for mine
Always breaks
My heart in two
It happens every time
I've been made blue
I've been lied to
When will I be loved?
When I find a new man
That I want for mine
He always breaks
My heart in two
It happens every time
I've been cheated
Been mistreated
When will I be loved?
When will I be loved?
Tell me
When will I
Where have you gone?
My darling one
Are you on your own?
Are you having fun?
Is there someone to hold
When you need it bad?
Is it controlled?
Like the love we had?
Does the day go by
Like a memory?
Do you ever try
To remember me?
In an automobile
Or a crowded bar
Well I hope
You're all right
Wherever you are
If you're still within
The sound of my voice
Over some radio
I just want you to know
You were always
My only choice
And wherever you go
That I still love you so
If you're still within
The sound of my voice