Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Couldn't see the forest for the trees

Happy birthday, Linda Ronstadt. We remember you when you were just a Stone Poney.

Amazing, but even after more than 40 years, 30 albums and 20 Top 10 singles, "Different Drum'' is still one of our favorites. We could be nice and say your first band needed Kenny Edwards' lead guitar licks and Bob Kimmel's rhythm beat as much as your big voice, but we wouldn't be fooling anybody. You were a one-trick Poney.

You were one of the first (but certainly not the last) to tell us we had absolutely no shot. Of course, we didn't believe you for a moment.

You and I travel to the beat of a different drum
Oh can't you tell by the way I run
Every time you make eyes at me

OK, so you were out of our league. But that booming voice and little skirt and gorgeous face, those are not easy things to get over.

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

We were only in high school, what did you expect? Every time that song came on the radio, or we pushed quarters into the Wurlitzer to hear it, we held out hope that some day, maybe. But...

Yes, and I ain't saying you ain't pretty
All I'm saying is I'm not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me

No one ever called us pretty before. That part of the song always made us a bit uneasy. But Michael Nesmith wrote the lyrics, so you were off the hook. And if we could just go back to that time and place we'd be happy to have you call us anything.

So good-bye I'll be leaving
I see no sense in this crying and grieving
We'll both live a lot longer
If you live without me

Well, you did make it to 63, all because you had a heart like a wheel. After ditching us you went on to a solo career, where you sang folk, rock, pop, rhythm and blues, country -- even opera. And it all sounded good. And you made it on seven Rolling Stone covers (this one is from December 1976) and three of your albums climbed to the top of the charts.

But the only No. 1 single of your incredible career was "You're No Good.'' Now just what was that all about?

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