Linda Ronstadt talks about her life and music at the Coolidge
Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe
Music fans of a certain age filled the Coolidge Corner Theatre to hear a conversation between onetime pop diva Linda Ronstadt and radio talkmeister Christopher Lydon (right). The 67-year-old singer, who recently revealed she has Parkinson’s disease, walked gingerly onstage to field questions from Lydon, who seemed most interested in her musical influences, what makes a classic “art song,” and her new book “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.” Although Ronstadt no longer sings, her sense of humor is intact as she joked about memory loss, the medications she takes, and how listening to her recorded vocals reminds her of “a little duck on acid.” Other revelations: How much she enjoys old YouTube clips (but not MP3 files or Pandora); her crush on Smokey Robinson; why she thinks Bob Dylan is a great singer (surprisingly, Lydon seemed unpersuaded); the night she introduced former boyfriend Jerry Brown to Rosemary Clooney; and kissing Marvin Gaye at a Motown reunion concert. Ronstadt, who walks with the aid of canes these days, later signed books at Brookline Booksmith, and then dined with Boston-area friends at Legal Sea Foods in the Back Bay.