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Psych-folk icon Linda Perhacs reflects on her unconventional music journey

Linda Perhacs is singer-songwriter and dental hygenist in Los Angeles.
Linda Perhacs is singer-songwriter and dental hygenist in Los Angeles.
Rachael Poney Cassells

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In 1970, singer-songwriter Linda Perhacs wrote and recorded her first album “Parallelograms” — a stunning work of psychedelic folk music.

But it wasn’t commercially successful so she went back to her day job as a dental hygienist. Thirty years later the album was rediscovered and reissued for a new audience. But her mission with music has always remained the same:

I create these pieces of music to help people, including myself. These are not random pieces of music. They are composed to bring more healing to those who sit and take the time to listen.

Now in her 70s, Perhacs still works as a dental hygienist. But she’s released two albums in recent years. Her latest is “I’m a Harmony.” And in a new phase of her musical career, Perhacs is also working with young musicians such as Julia Holter.

Interview Highlights:

On her musical influences at the time of writing "Parallelograms":

It was the time of the hippies so yes, there were multicultural things going on all around me, especially in an artistic area like Topanga or Laurel Canyon. Quite honestly, I'm very holistic now ... it infused me with gorgeous ideas for music and for poetry and for lyrics. It was such an enlivening time. I'm so glad I didn't miss it.

On what sparked her return to the stage and writing new music:

I never really got back to music until about the year 2000. And I think what blossomed the future out and made it possible to do the album you now are appreciating, which is my third album, was being asked by Dublab radio — that's run by [Mark] "Frosty" McNeill — if I would do my whole "Parallelograms" album for his radio station's 10th anniversary.

Linda Perhacs performs Jan. 14 at Zebulon in Silver Lake.


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