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Linda Ronstadt: “There are always predators around, and you have to keep an eye out for them”

In 1969, Linda Ronstadt — then still the frontwoman for the Stone Poneys — flew from Los Angeles to Nashville for an appearance on "The Johnny Cash Show," where she was booked to duet with the Man in Black himself. Arriving a few days early, she checked into her hotel and spent most of the evening singing and jamming with some like-minded musicians, including Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury. After returning to her hotel room, she received a call from one of the show’s producers, who said he needed to come to her room to go over some notes with her. Initially suspicious, Ronstadt reluctantly allowed him into her room.

“I should have followed my first instinct,” she writes in her new memoir, “Simple Dreams,” “because as soon as he entered my room and closed the door, he removed every stitch of clothing he was wearing.” The producer assumed that since she was from Los Angeles she was a hippie, and that since she was a hippie she believed in free love. When she threatened to call security, “he said no one would believe me because of the way I looked and dressed (jeans, long, straight hair, and no bra in the panty-girdle, big-hair South).”

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