I just watched a Linda Ronstadt live concert recorded 40 years ago, “Live in Hollywood”.
It was one of those PBS fund-raisers they put on for old farts, sort of a Guy Lombardo thing for aging hippies. I always liked Ronstadt, although I was never a real fan. I heard a few of her tunes on the radio and the occasional jukebox, but I never bought any of her records. She was one of those many incredible talents from those rich times, you just didn’t have the time to really study all of them. There were just too many.
I knew Linda had the pipes, but I never realized what an incredible performance she could put on stage. And she was backed up by an incredibly hot band, they were worth the price of backstage pass tickets all by themselves.
They did it all, Rock and Roll, country, rockabilly, show tunes, Chuck Berry, Motown, British Invasion, the whole shootin’ match. It was wonderful. There wasn’t one lame tune on the program. I’m sorry now I never payed more attention to the girl when I had the chance, when we were both young and beautiful.
According to the Pledge Break People plugging the show, the video had been lost but miraculously discovered, now available for our inspection. It occurred to me, how fortunate we are that a superb performance like this is now available for the future to enjoy. For thousands of years the great artists and performers sparkled briefly, for a few lucky listeners, and then were lost forever. We may have Bach’s sheet music, but we can only guess how he played it, or how it was interpreted by his contemporaries. But the world has Linda’s Hollywood concert, and much of her other performances, both live and in the studio, for ever, available for millions of people to immerse themselves in, perhaps for a thousand years to come.
We’re very lucky, you know.