Monday, December 09, 2019

Linda Ronstadt Tells Pompeo When He Will Be Loved


In the late '70s one of my jobs was as a dj at a gay country bar in San Francisco. I was also on the board of the Country Music Hall of Fame at the time. Then I discovered The Ramones and Patti Smith and moved on to another phase of my life. But before that I also used to interview country stars and write about them in magazines, especially Country Music Magazine, for which I was the west coast editor. I was especially a fan of fundamenta, rootsy country and of outlaw country and of country rock. Linda Ronstadt was a huge hit in the bar and I got to interview her a couple of times as well. I always liked her and I was happy when I heard she is being honored by the Kennedy Center this year with a Lifetime Achievement award. And then I was even happier when I read Paul Harris' coverage in Variety of a reception the State Department threw for the honorees.

Harris wrote that during the pre-dinner welcoming address, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the official host of the event quipped: "As I travel the world, I wonder when will I be loved," invoking the words of Ronstadt’s 1975 hit "When Will I Be Loved," penned by Phil Everly. Obviously Ronstadt-- no fan of Señor Trumpanzee-- couldn't really let that question go by unanswered, could she?

In front of some 200 guests, celebrating not just Ronstadt but also Sally Field, Earth, Wind and Fire, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and Sesame Street, who were all their to receive their Kennedy Center rainbow ribbons, Ronstadt let loose, just a few feet away from Pompeo. She looked right at him as said, "I’d like to say to Mr. Pompeo, who wonders when he’ll be loved, it’s when he stops enabling Donald Trump" and then she sat down.
The line drew immediate gasps from the audience, followed by slowly building applause, and then cheers.

Among those in attendance was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who received a standing ovation from a majority of the politically divided gathering.

Pompeo should consider himself lucky. Ronstadt could have easily started singing this to him instead:

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At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite tour ever was the co-headliners Ronstadt and The Eagles in '76 (?). Their lead act I think was J.D. Souther. Fantastic!

My favorite Ronstadt offering was her 3-CD release of standards with Nelson Riddle's orchestra. She was great.


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