Prisoner in Disguise

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

I just noticed that today is Linda Ronstadt’s birthday. Hope it’s a happy one.

I spent an afternoon with her a few months back and really enjoyed her company. She’s a very warm woman, forthright and self-deprecating – much happier talking up others than herself, although it’s plain she’s not the kind who’ll stand for nonsense, and certainly not from any man. Sixty-eight years old, and what a life! You’ll have to find a June edition of MOJO for the full story. But here’s something I didn’t have room for in the article that made me smile; it made Linda laugh out loud as she told it. 

“The thing about being ‘a star’… well it was weird. It took away my anonymity and I remember distinctly feeling that was a drag. But I wasn’t really that social and I wasn’t into parties and stuff that much. What we mostly did as musicians was hang out in each other’s living rooms or hotel rooms and play one song after another – all the old Everly Brothers and Merle Haggard songs, all the great songs that held up on only guitar.
“Anyway, JD Souther called me the other day and said he’d found a note I had written him.

“We had been staying at the Plaza and we’d been up all night playing music and I’d gone up to my room at some point and I slipped this note under his door saying, ‘Dear JD, you have my purse, my shoes and my guitar – which is a distinct disadvantage – so how can I get them back?’ I must have been in the same hotel or I wouldn’t have left my shoes, my purse or my guitar. And I remembered: that night we were in the hotel room playing and singing Prisoner In Disguise and Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd were there and we were REALLY into it, singing the whole dramatic, loud ‘You must be a prisoner!’ We were stoned too, we’d smoked some pot and done a couple of lines of blow.

“And all of a sudden the door just explodes into our suite – there was a connecting room to our suite that wasn’t ours – and it was some man who had been trying to sleep and it was three in the morning and we’d woke him up!. His face was purple with rage. That was the first time I’d ever not had people listening and liking it. He HATED it! We were so shocked. We were just siting there with our mouths open. It was so funny. I don’t think he had any idea who we were. We weren’t ‘stars’, we were just these noisy people.”