Nevada City, CA — Former California Governor Jerry Brown and pop singer Linda Ronstadt were back in the news this week when the two were spotted at a popular Nevada City, California tavern Friday night. The pair, who frequented Nevada City during their heyday in the 1970s, entered the Mine Shaft Saloon on Broad Street around 7 PM, and the Governor of the 5th largest economy of the world took turns singing karaoke songs with residents.
“I was just sitting there at the bar waiting my turn to sing,” said long-time Nevada City resident Toby “Doob” Carnevale speaking with Gish Gallop at the Mine Shaft Sunday afternoon. “When Jerry and Linda waltz in as they did back in the ’70s. Or 80’s. I can’t remember. It was like old times. Jerry was slapping everyone on the back, and Linda was her usual quiet self. Jerry still can’t sing worth shit.”
Seeing the pair together is raising eyebrows not only in Nevada County, where the couple used to escape when they were dating in the 1970s and into the 1980s for a little rural “relaxation” according to locals but also beyond the region where Jerry Brown has been back in the news for his abrasive and direct criticisms of President Donald Trump. And now, because he is currently married to The Gap Vice President Anne Gust.
A spokesperson for the governor confirmed the trip to Nevada City but denied claims that he and Ronstadt had rekindled their relationship.
“The Governor was simply digging into his past,” said Brown spokesperson Bethany Millbright during a late afternoon conference call. “He wanted to visit his old haunts with some old friends. He often likes to tell stories about the Ananda Tavern [Governor Brown often mistakes the name of the Mine Shaft] and the good times he had there with Ms. Ronstadt.”
According to Mr. Carnevale, the governor asked if he could step in front of him at the karaoke line to sing a few numbers.
“He remembered me,” continued Mr. Carnevale. “He said, ‘How ya doing Doob? Long-time no see.’ And he slapped me on the back. He then asked me if he could sing a few songs for the crowd. I was hoping his voice had improved over the years, but actually, it was much worse.”
At that point, Governor Brown sang three songs, capping his performance off with the Ronstadt hit cover of the Everly Brothers song “When Will I Be Loved.” Other songs included were America’s “Horse with No Name” and, more interestingly, an arguably successful rendition of the iconic punk rock group The Dead Kennedys “California Ãœber Alles.” The latter song, according to bystanders, really got the bar going with everyone in attendance at one point, repeatedly shouting in unison “California Uber Alles!” for over 5 minutes following Mr. Brown’s performance.
“I gotta tell ya,” said a grinning Mr. Carnevale, “I loved seeing him. He’s a good guy. And man–do you mind if I smoke a J?” questioned Doob interrupting himself as he lit a marijuana cigarette, “I’m still in love with Linda. She was always such a class act.”