‘The Last of Us:’ The Story of Linda Ronstadt, the Mexican-American Music Legend

Linda Ronstadt’s “Long Long Time” is featured in ‘The Last of Us’ as an essential song for Bill and Frank. The singer says it’s still one of her favorites of all time.

Isabel Cara

‘The Last of Us:’ The Story of Linda Ronstadt

In the third episode of The Last of Us, the series based on the successful videogame by Naughty Dog, we met Bill and Frank: two men who survive the post-apocalyptic present after a pandemic that turned most of the population into infected beings. In an episode that is already considered one of the best in television history, the love story is accompanied by Linda Ronstadt’s music. Since it was aired in January 2023, streams of the song “Long Long Time” increased by 4,800%, according to Spotify.

“Long Long Time” is an essential love and heartbreak song for Bill and Frank’s story. “Love will abide, take things in stride, sounds like good advice, but there’s no one at my side,” sings Ronstadt in a theme she first performed in the early 70s.

The idea of including Linda Ronstadt’s music was Craig Mazin’s, who wrote the series along with Neil Druckmann, the creator of The Last of Us. He was looking for a theme that would touch “certain things about longing, pain, and unrequited love.” And in a world plagued by zombies, it is very difficult to find unconditional love. When you do, however, you must do everything to protect it.

The song was written by Gary White and appears on Silk Purse, Linda Ronstadt’s second album, and it spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Who Is Linda Ronstadt?

Linda Ronstadt was born on July 15, 1946, in Tucson, Arizona. Her father, Gilbert Ronstadt, was of Mexican-German descent, and her family lived in Sonora and then in Arizona (which in the 19th century was still part of Mexico). Linda began her musical career much later, in the 60s, with the Stone Poneys. Mexican music was one of her great influences, as it was an important part of her childhood.

In 1969, Linda released Hand Sown… Home Grown, her solo album. It is considered the first alternative country album recorded by a woman. At that time she toured with great bands like The Doors and artists like Neil Young. Linda Ronstadt is still considered one of the greatest artists of the 70s. She released more than 30 studio albums during the 80s and 90s, and won 11 Grammy Awards; she retired in 2011.

Linda Ronstadt and The Last of Us

Linda Ronstadt is now retired and, at 76 years old, she confesses that she is not very active on social media or streaming services. So it is unlikely that the legendary singer is closely following the plot of The Last of Us that has made viewers cry in recent days.

However, she hopes that everyone who has just discovered her music through the series enjoys it, as it remains one of her favorites of all time. “My first reaction was that I was really glad for Gary White, who will get a windfall from this,” Linda told The Times about the song’s composer. The song “means a lot” and “it’s still one of my favorites,” she said.