Wow, what an amazing life Linda Ronstadt led! In a musical career that spanned almost half a century, she sang rock/pop, opera, American standards (accompanied by an orchestra), country, blues and Mexican rancheras (with a mariachi band)! Along the way she performed, jammed, hung out and/or formed friendships with an eclectic group of famous musicians including Jim Morrison, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Dolly Parton, and Rosemary Clooney—to name just a few.
Simple Dreams is not a particularly well-written memoir, and it doesn't reveal much personal information (like the names and ages of her children, her significant others, etc.) Instead, it focuses almost exclusively on Ronstadt's experiences as a singer and on the development of her vocal talents as well as her appreciation of an ever-expanding range of music. I appreciated the fact that it’s not a “kiss-and-tell” and that she doesn’t attempt to settle any scores. In fact, Ronstadt goes to great pains to portray most of the people mentioned in a positive light. At the same time, it would have improved the book if she had provided more insight into herself as a person, not just as a musician. Despite its shortcomings, Ronstadt fans will enjoy reading this memoir.