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Linda Ronstadt Discusses Parkinson's Diagnosis
By: Gary Graff

Though she's being graceful about it, Linda Ronstadt admits that her battle with Parkinson's disease, which has left her unable to ever sing again, has been a blow.

She tells us:

"It makes me sad...I have to say it's a drag. It's the worst thing that's ever happened to me. Then I think for every time there is a season. I say to myself (that) I had a really, unusually long turn at the troth and I have to be satisfied with that, and I got to live out my dreams musically in a way that lots of people don't get to. I was lucky that way, and I'm grateful for it and I have to just look around for other ways to make myself useful -- and I will."

These days Ronstadt is active with the Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center in San Pablo, Calif., which helps teach Latin American youth about their culture.

Ronstadt has also just published a new book, "Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir," and though she doesn't write about Parkinson's in the book she says her publisher initially did not want her to even reveal it during interviews:

"Well, y'know, when you have Parkinson's disease it's kind of noticeable. My editor said, 'Don't tell anyone you have Parkinson's disease. It'll be the story it'll all be out.' And I was, 'Well, when I show up they're gonna say I'm drunk, 'cause I have a hard time walking so I better tell 'em I have this reason for it'...So I did. I just didn't see any reason to hide it. I was surprised there was such a reaction. I told about 11 interviews I had Parkinson's disease and there wasn't much of a response, and then I told AARP and I don't know what happened. I don't know how the news works anymore, but it was a bigger deal than that."

CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

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