One of the greatest female voices in music history has been silenced. Linda Ronstadt announced today that she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and will never be able to sing again.
In this auto-tune world too many people haven't been exposed to true, great voices. Ronstadt helped define '70s and '80s rock with a voice pure and true. Not many singers would take on Roy Orbison ("Blue Bayou") or many of the other classics she covered, including "Desperado," "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me" and "You're No Good."
She revealed her condition on the AARP website today, saying "I couldn’t sing, and I couldn’t figure out why.... and it didn’t occur to me to go to a neurologist. I think I’ve had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I’ve had. Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling."
The diagnosis was devastating.
“Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked. I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years." As a result, she said, she "can't sing a note."
“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt said. “No matter how hard you try.”
-------------- "...in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks." ~ John Muir
I think most of us males (and likely many females) were in love with her.
I know I was.
You know I've been looking at and listening to the clips people posted of her performing and one thing that struck me is that when she preforms there are no lights, no special effects, no dazzle or theatrics. All she does is sing. And man, that's all she has to do.
-------------- "Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen." - Louis L'Amour
I know many people have been described as a force of nature but, she was.
-------------- "Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again...They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
But as Michael J. Fox and many others have shown... Parkinson's sufferers can live full, meaningful lives too.
I really hope she fares that well, at it sounds like she has so far. However, the severity of symptoms and effectiveness of treatment vary considerably among those afflicted. A relative who was diagnosed about six years ago is miserable much of the time and is capable of interacting with others a couple times a day for 1-1.5 hours each time. At the end of those intervals, she's essentially non-functional for at least five or six hours.
Truly a loss. I have had several relative with Parkinson Disease and have seen it devastating effects up close and personal.
Wishing her the best!
-------------- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Depression is one of the common consequences of getting PD. I understand why...
The person I referred to in my previous comment was the head in Australia of a well known International brand. Now he is treated by some as a kind of moron when in fact he is just slower in movements and thought but still knows very well what is going on and very capable of sustaining a conversation just like before, if you are patient.
To put a positive spin to this, having people like Linda, Michael J Fox and Mohammad Ali as known sufferers brings more awareness to the disease and maybe greater pressure to find a cure or at least to stop the rapid death of those dopamine generating cells. Hang in there.