web analytics

Linda Ronstadt: “It was just a bunch of stoned people trying to make the transition from beatnik to hippie.” (Rare Interview)


In the interview below from the 1970s or late 1960s, Linda Ronstadt reflects on her early music career in the 1960s performing at a folk music club in Hermosa Beach. She was inspired and motivated by how enthusiastically people were responding to her music. In retrospect she realized, “It was just a bunch of stoned people trying to make the transition from beatnik to hippie.”

Ronstadt was with the Stone Poneys at that time with Kenny Edwards and Bobby Kimmel, a band that is reported as being active from 1965 to 1968. She recorded three albums with the band. One of the songs, written by Michael Nesmith she originally learned from John Herald of The Greenbriar Boys.

Eventually the Stone Poneys broke up because Kenny Edwards had heard Eric Clapton and wanted to play hard rock instead of folk music. Linda wanted to play country music. Meanwhile, Kimmel wanted to pursue a fusion of jazz and folk music. Kenny went to India to pursue “bliss consciousness.”

Linda was living on the beach with some friends from Tucson and began spending time at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California which is where she met Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey and Don Henley. At the time, Glenn Frey was performing with John David Souther as Longbranch Pennywhistle. Don Henley was with a band called Shiloh. She would sing bluegrass songs in the corner of the bar with Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard.

Ronstadt suggested to Glenn Frey and Don Henley that form a band with Bernie Leadon. Her manager at the time was John Boylan worked with Randy Meisner to produce some Ricky Nelson records. Boylan suggested Meisner as a bass player for Frey and Henley. Boylan had performed with his brother Terry Boylan in group The Appletree Theatre.

For a period of time she lived with JD Souther, who she says inspired some of her songs.


Greenwich Entertainment created a documentary about Linda Ronstadt. The trailer is below. The full documentary is available on YouTube Movies. [View]

Selected Songs

Below are some songs performed by Linda Ronstadt. The video quality is poor for some of these recordings, but the audio is adequate to get a feel for her live performances. Most of these songs are from her Greatest Hits album.

“Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (Offenbach, Germany, 1976)

“Heat Wave”

“When Will I Be Loved”

“Desperado” (Capitol Theatre, 6 Dec 1975)

The video below is from a performance at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The Capitol Theatre was built in 1921. It closed in 1989 and was demolished in 1991. It had a capacity of 3,200.

“Love is a Rose”

This is a slow folk music inspired song.

“Canciones De Mi Padre”

The album was released in late 1987 and immediately became a global smash hit. At 2½ million US sales, it stands as the biggest selling non-English language album in American record history.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

Leave a Reply