We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Storey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, why did you pursue a creative career?
I was inspired mostly by mom, who was a musician. She was an excellent singer and played piano. Most mornings, I would wake up to her singing or playing records while she worked in our house in Broomfield, Colorado.
I started playing the piano at the age of three. I sang in the children’s choir at church and was singing solos on stage by the time I reached third grade.
My older brother, Brad, had a band called The Surftones. He was the lead singer and lead guitarist. I switched to playing guitar when I was eleven. It made more sense to me as I could carry my guitar with me anywhere and sing. My mind was made up before I was even a teenager that I would be a musician.
When I was fifteen years old, music promoter Chuck Morris came to my hometown. I found out that he was looking for talent, so I went in for an audition. He asked to manage me and did so for a couple of years until I left town for the northwest.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my career as a solo artist. When I was 21, I switched to bass guitar and travelled the US in bands. I was a female lead singer who also played bass which set me apart in the late 70s and early 80s as most bass players were male in those times.
In 1977, I married the keyboard player in my band Crystal Ship. Four months later, I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Despite the diagnosis, I could still walk, sing, and play my bass guitar. We formed a new band, a three piece, called Six-Toed Cat. To conserve energy onstage, I would sometimes sit on a barstool while performing. We made good money and were featured in the entertainment sections of many local newspapers.
Unfortunately, MS affected my marriage and my husband left me a year later. Despite that, I still had a drive to write my own songs and perform. In the university town of Ellensburg, Washington I put another band together, Moondance. We preformed mostly weekends, traveling throughout Washington state. I also started getting medical treatments in Las Vegas. While there, I performed in the Sahara. I was actually offered a job there despite my cane!
Once again in love, I decided to move back to Colorado in 1982. My MS was a real challenge. I had my daughter in 1984 and a son in 1990. I managed to take good care of my children and stayed home but my drive to continue writing, recording, and performing music was still strong.
I started to write with a different perspective on life. I know it’s cliché, but I didn’t understand why so much was happening to me. I also had the drive to keep living and fight through it. IN 1994, I restarted my career despite the fact I was in a wheelchair. I was determined not to let it all stop me and decided to bring some of my songs to my first manager, Chuck Morris. He encouraged me and sent me to the best recording studio in Denver.
The National MS Society recognized what I was doing and had me perform at MS walks in Denver City Park and other places. By 2003, I had three CDs out. I used the third, “Don’t Let It Stop You,” to advocate for the disabled and volunteered to testify on their behalf at the Capital building in Denver.
In August 2005, Senator John Andrews interviewed me about my work for the Wall Street Journal and featured my music, but I was going through a difficult time at home.
My husband and I separated in 2006 and divorced in 2007. I’m glad that throughout that process I continued to advocate for the disabled –and to produce CDs! I managed to travel to Chicago to perform at the Sheraton Towers for the National MS Society’s annual conference, and then to Holland where I performed in Amsterdam’s Paradiso and a few other towns with my daughter, Jessica, and Jock Bartley from Firefall on lead guitar. (You can learn more about him here: http://www.firefallofficial.com/jock-bartley.)
I stopped performing onstage in 2013, but I never stopped advocating for the disabled. I established a non-profit CASE for MS, and a concert series Rockin’ Out MS to raise money for research. As for my music, a few years ago I performed in and produced a music video for my song “Pray for the People of All Nations.” It’s on YouTube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wA9J_cvyN4. I’m still writing songs and my new project is writing my autobiography. I hope to publish my book in the summer of 2022.
In February 2020 I was invited to meet with Joe Biden, then a presidential candidate, at a private residence in Denver. We spent most of our time talking about stem cell therapy and how, for instance, my own stem cells can be used to heal the damage MS has done to the insulation on my nerves. He was very interested in hearing about medical trials and wanted to talk to my neurologist, Dr. Vollmer (who is Director of Neurology Clinical Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus). Hopefully the Biden administration will champion the research needed to help our bodies heal themselves!
You can listen to and purchase my music on my website www.lindastorey.com, or you can find me on Apple Music or Amazon. My end goal, though, is to help with the healing of the disabled, and to get use of my hands back, so it doesn’t take so long to write a book!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If they like to ski, I would recommend Vail. That is where I learned to ski, and they have great slopes! If they are disabled and would still like to ski, I would recommend Winter Park. They have an affordable handicap skiing program. Vail has one too, but it’s a bit pricier.
In the summer, Red Rocks Amphitheater is a wonderful place to hear music and have fun. They also have handicap parking and seating.
Jazz@Jack’s on the 16th St. Mall is always a great place to hear good music.
If they are baseball fans, Coors Field makes for a relaxing afternoon. Or, you could go for a drive in our beautiful Rocky Mountains! There is a handicap accessible boardwalk over a mile long called Wilderness on Wheels on 285 right before Kenosha Pass. You can also fish and camp there. I’ve been there many times over the years with my family and service dogs.
I also have to say, I would definitely take them to my favorite fish and chips place: GB Fish and Chips on 1311 S. Broadway. They have delicious food.
If they need a quick gift for a dinner party, I would suggest Bannister’s Flowers at 4495 S. Broadway in Englewood. They make the most beautiful arrangements!
I would also recommend touring or even volunteering at Freedom Service Dogs. I was one of the first to receive a freedom service dog, Friend. I had her for almost 14 years and a few years later got my second service dog, Peaches. They have both passed on, but I will always be grateful for what they did for me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to my daughter Jessica Storey-Nagy. She has been there for me and supported my music since she was young. From sitting on stage with me when she three, to singing backup vocals in the studios when she was nine and singing on stages with me at the age of thirteen, together we’ve done it all! We have toured throughout the United States and Holland. From the ground up during my regenerated, challenging music career she has been there for me! I love you. Thank you, Jessi!
Linkedin: Linda Storey
MaryLynn Gillespie Photography