She talked about how much she hated playing large arenas. "The sound was so awful," she complained. "The guitar solo you heard was played last week."
Linda Ronstadt Opens Up on Parkinson's Disease: 'Can't Sing a Note'
About her collaborations with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, she joked, "I used to call it the Dolly Ride and the Emmy Ride." The singer added that, "I like harmony singing better than I like singing lead." Of her biggest musical regret, the singer mentioned: "I would have loved to sing Kurt Weill, especially 'September Song.'"
She also chatted about her forays into musical theater with such productions as The Pirates of Penzance and La Boheme, both produced by the late Joe Papp.
"Penzance was the most fun I've ever had in my life," Ronstadt gushed, describing how she first approached Papp about someday working for him even though he had no idea who she was. "I want to be on a stage with a curtain," she recalled telling him.
Ronstadt also claimed that she never had any intention of writing a memoir. But the singer was won over when she was approached by a publisher who told her, "'You don’t have to write about your boyfriends, we just want to know about the music.'"
She completed the book before she was diagnosed with Parkinson's, although she said, "I think I've had it for a lot of years."
Originally, she thought the tingling in her arm and shoulder was the result of a pinched nerve. "It didn’t occur to me to go to a doctor," the singer recalled.
When she finally saw a doctor, he told her of his suspicions but asked her to come back in six months to have the diagnosis confirmed.
"I lived with the possibility that I didn't have it for six months, and that was a lot of fun," she ruefully admitted.
During the Q&A session, one audience member representing a Parkinson's awareness organization asked Ronstadt if she would lend her presence to their campaign. The singer politely declined, but added some advice for those looking to secure additional government funding to fight the disease.
"Just don't vote Republican, that’s the first thing," she announced to huge cheers.