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Author: Subject: The Byrds talk about Gram Parsons

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 7/17/2018 at 07:36 AM
http://die-augenweide.de/byrds/speak/aboutgramparsons.htm

Interesting stuff here. It looks like it's a German link. I never realized how messed up Parsons really was until I watched his "Autopsy" bio on Reelz channel Sunday. Parsons had a ton of unresolved pain from his childhood: Both parents were alcoholics and his Dad committed suicide on XMAS Day when Gram was only 12. Mom died of cirrhosis when he was 18. Gram never sought any kind of help for all this. Then again, I am old enough to know that psychotherapy was not in vogue way back then either. Parsons' family was EXTREMELY wealthy. Gram had a trust fund in his name which was paying him $100,000 a year. Think of what that was worth in the late 60's/early 70's.

So despite the fact that bands kept firing him due to his dysfunction, Parsons had means to buy more drugs and have a roof over his head. It's all a damn shame of course because many have said that his talent was enormous. He was 26 when he died. Based on the Reelz documentary I want to get The Flying Burrito Brothers first record, "Gilded Palace of Sin". It's been said it was a hugely influential country rock record. I have never even heard it.

Here's a quote by Chris Hillman from the above link on why The Byrds fired Parsons:

"That night we had to get rid of him. He showed up late and stoned out of his mind on something. We kick off an up-tempo song and Gram starts singing a ballad. It was like the Keystone Cops crashing into a wall. In the middle of the shuffle we had to suddenly stop and Michael (Clarke) slowed the time down on his cymbal to Gram's pace. That was it. There was steam coming out of my ears. Michael and I had both had it. He was as mad as I was - and Michael usually didn't care about anything. So afterward, backstage between sets in the dressing room I said to Gram, 'You're all done'. And Gram whines 'What are you talking about?' and Michael yells 'Hey Parsons, you're out of this **** ing band. You're done. You're through'."

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2018 at 02:01 PM
Thanks for posting the interviews. To add some perspective to Chris Hillman's thoughts on Gram. Chris was a very angry guy, for a long time. Had problems with his parents, etc... I'm not sure his views weren't skewed some? Did Gram party too much, why yes he did... but to say he was a 'good singer', you have to be kidding. He was one of the best. Grievous Angel was a masterpiece. Chris Hillman tried to copy Gram's vocal styling on many of the songs he sang. Sounds a little like sour grapes, ... Unfortunate. He, Chris, did admit Gram was right on the South Africa decision... Duh
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2018 at 04:46 PM
quote:

Did Gram party too much, why yes he did...


Well all I can say to that is if you get the Reelz channel try to find Autopsy: Gram Parsons. You will see that "party too much" is a huge understatement. He probably stepped it up after The Byrds dumped him, but according to the show, by 1973 when he passed away he was drinking hard liquor every day, taking both amphetamines and barbiturates, and doing cocaine and heroin. And let's not forget, not only did The Byrds dump him, but also The Flying Burrito Brothers for his drug use. They showed a very short clip of the Burritos talking about it after they dumped him as proof. Not only that, the show mentioned that he was hanging out with the Stones in the early 70's at the French Chateau where they were recording Exile. The Stones kicked him out of the Chateau because "Keith Richards said Gram was doing too much heroin". As the narrator said, "When Keith Richards becomes your drug counselor, you've got issues." I'm not claiming to be an expert here, I'm just relaying quotes from the documentary. You can take it whatever way you wish.

When he died he was holed up in a motel room out in the Joshua Tree desert with his girlfriend. They had a female dealer come to the room. She shot him up with liquid morphine. Gram said that wasn't enough so she gave him a second dose. He went into seizures and they could never bring him back. Dead at 26.

Thanks for the input on Grievous Angel. They very briefly mentioned it in the Reelz documentary. That one and Gilded Palace of Sin will most likely be the next CD's I purchase.





[Edited on 7/20/2018 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 09:57 AM
GP is also excellent. As is the Burritos outtakes of country standards w/Emmylou Harris.

Some people are so on fire they live a lifetime in a short time. But the puritans will rail...

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 10:11 AM
quote:

As is the Burritos outtakes of country standards w/Emmylou Harris.


Name of this record?

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 02:59 PM
Live 1973 is a very enjoyable listen. Probably my listened to thing by Gram that he was ever released:

https://www.allmusic.com/album/live-1973-mw0000195218

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 03:57 PM
quote:
Live 1973 is a very enjoyable listen. Probably my listened to thing by Gram that he was ever released:

https://www.allmusic.com/album/live-1973-mw0000195218



Great Thread Rob, you puritan ;- )

Tim's sentiments are the same for me re: the Gram Parsons & the Fallen Angels Live record. Lots of spins for Gram & Emmylou, hand in glove pair right there!

MY wife snagged the two disk set "Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology" when it first came out years ago on our first trip to San Francisco together, at Amoeba. Great selections across the board there. 46 tunes on the 2 disks. looks pricey new tho. Some fantastic pics in the booklet, esp of his Nudie suits (speaking of Nashville & that other thread!).

EAPFGramParsonsfromWaycrossGAwaydownbytheOkeefenokeeSwamp

[Edited on 7/18/2018 by downsouth]

[Edited on 7/18/2018 by downsouth]

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 04:55 PM
quote:
quote:

As is the Burritos outtakes of country standards w/Emmylou Harris.


Name of this record?


Sleepless Nights.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleepless_Nights_(Gram_Parsons_album)

Very good. I was in a couple of hippie country bands in NJ late 70s, early 80s, we played nearly the whole thing.


[Edited on 7/18/2018 by aiq]

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 05:08 PM
yootoob

https://youtu.be/y_RKbqlRaJU

A few extra tracks that weren't on the vinyl.

Don't mean to offend anyone with the puritan comment but damn I guess I am just a bit tired of revisionism.

I'm old and will rage until I'm dead.

YMMV

[Edited on 7/18/2018 by aiq]

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 07:36 PM
The studio artists on Gram Parsons two studio albums were the best around.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/gp-mw0000470760/credits


 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 10:22 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PytxPaU6k4&list=PL8a8cutYP7frqx72DolkE yqyUlAWhtfCo

Above is the entire Grievous Angel record. I just sat through the entire record, had never heard it. Little more straight country than my taste. Never mind. It is nothing short of brilliant. Just a beautiful record......leaves me wondering where in the hell I have been to have missed this one. Love Hurts, a duet with Emmylou Harris, was especially pretty. I looked on allmusic.com and affirmed that Parsons wrote it. I was only familiar with the Nazareth rock version.

quote:

Don't mean to offend anyone with the puritan comment but damn I guess I am just a bit tired of revisionism.


No offense taken, besides I didn't even know if it was directed towards me. Even if it was, I've been called much worse. Besides, I can see your point. After listening to Grievous Angel it's obvious that Parsons was very gifted. We could tear down a lot of artists for their substance abuse. Some of them are very central to this website.

The reason I'm on a Parsons kick is that I've got tickets for the Sweetheart Of The Rodeo show at The Mountain Winery on July 29 featuring Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman. Of course Gram Parsons is on the record although he was never an official Byrds member. He also contributed two tunes, Hickory Wind and One Hundred Years From Now.



[Edited on 7/19/2018 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 11:11 PM
He was ahead of his time for sure. Thanks for the info about the Reelz documentary as I surely didnít know it existed. Iíve only read a story about someone stealing his body and attempting to burn it if I remember right.

 

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  posted on 7/18/2018 at 11:23 PM
quote:

Iíve only read a story about someone stealing his body and attempting to burn it if I remember right.


Yeah, they went into that in the documentary. In fact they interview one of the guys who stole the body!!
He admits to it which I find somewhat astonishing. And yes, they did a "homemade" cremation.



[Edited on 7/19/2018 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 7/19/2018 at 12:35 AM
quote:
quote:

Iíve only read a story about someone stealing his body and attempting to burn it if I remember right.


Yeah, they went into that in the documentary. In fact they interview one of the guys who stole the body!!
He admits to it which I find somewhat astonishing. And yes, they did a "homemade" cremation.



[Edited on 7/19/2018 by robslob]


Yea, now that you mentioned it he was interviewed in the story I read. Itís been a while back. Iíve got the DVR set for that Reelz doc on Thurs. (tonight)

 

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  posted on 7/19/2018 at 08:47 AM
Not directed at you robslob or anyone, just a general statement.

"Love Hurts" was written by Boudleaux Bryant and first recorded by The Everly Brothers. Bryant also wrote many hits with his wife Felice. Everlys didnt score with it, Roy Orbison charted with it in Australia. Other covers too.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Hurts

 

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  posted on 7/19/2018 at 09:30 AM
quote:

"Love Hurts" was written by Boudleaux Bryant and first recorded by The Everly Brothers. Bryant also wrote many hits with his wife Felice. Everlys didnt score with it, Roy Orbison charted with it in Australia. Other covers too.


Thanks. Allmusic.com simply listed "Love Hurts - Gram Parsons". Seeing that, I assumed Parsons wrote it but obviously there were referring to the artist, not the writer.



[Edited on 7/19/2018 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 7/19/2018 at 11:48 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:

Iíve only read a story about someone stealing his body and attempting to burn it if I remember right.


Yeah, they went into that in the documentary. In fact they interview one of the guys who stole the body!!
He admits to it which I find somewhat astonishing. And yes, they did a "homemade" cremation.

[Edited on 7/19/2018 by robslob]


Yea, now that you mentioned it he was interviewed in the story I read. Itís been a while back. Iíve got the DVR set for that Reelz doc on Thurs. (tonight)


There's a movie from 2003, Grand Theft Parsons, that tells a tale about his body going missing. I'd seen it a few years ago, and it was pretty entertaining.

From the IMDB website:
There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant, genius who knew Elvis, tripped with the Stones and fatally overdosed on morphine and tequila in 1973. And from his dying came a story. A story from deep within folklore; a story of friendship, honour and adventure; a story so extraordinary that if it didn't really happen, no one would believe it. Two men, a hearse, a dead rock star, five gallons of petrol, and a promise. And the most extraordinary chase of modern times.

ps - GP was ahead of his time, even foregoing the dead at 27 curse by dying a year early...

EAPFJoshuaTreePyresandFriendsWhoWillHelpYouBurytheBody

 

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  posted on 7/22/2018 at 12:31 PM
Two great books on or pertaining to Gram Parsons, Hickory Wind by Ben Fong Torres (Gram bio) and Road Mangler Deluxe by Phil Kaufman. The review of Hickory Wind (From Rolling Stone no less I believe) sums it up pretty much. I paraphrase, ďAnother live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse tale of one of rocks fringe dwellers.Ē It appears that Gramís biggest talent was his charisma that inspired an undying loyalty in his friends Keef, Emmylou, Phil Kaufman. Phil Kaufman was Gramís Friend who stole his body and burned it out in Joshua Tree. Phil also went on to road manage Zappa, Joe Cocker, Emmylou, etc. His book Road Mangler Deluxe is a hilarious tale of his adventures and highly recommended. As for Gram I have a hard time with those who want to throw stones at Hillman for kicking him out of the Byrds. Obviously they havenít spent much time around a drunk of an addict. Famous or not it gets old real quick.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2018 at 10:15 PM
I'll be at the show tomorrow night. Looking forward to the celebration of this music.

BTW, I'm pretty sure Gram kicked Gram out of the Byrds... Chris Hillman had nothing to do
with it....

Further listening, i'd like to recommend: Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons

Further viewing: Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel ( an absolutely fantastic documentary made by the BBC )

 

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  posted on 7/23/2018 at 10:22 PM
Yea, Gram ousted himself. Itís a real shame but nothing causes tunnel vision like severe addiction.

 

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  posted on 7/24/2018 at 12:40 AM
Thanks to this thread I just went to Amazon and ordered the book Road Mangler Deluxe ($16.50) and they had both of Parson's solo records, GP and Grievous Angel, on one disc for a ridiculous $9.45. Free shipping because it was over $25, whole order with tax was $28.35.

Thank You for the book and disc recommendations in this thread.

[Edited on 7/24/2018 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 7/24/2018 at 06:00 AM
a great book I have about gram[twenty thousand roads] by david n. meyer.i was lucky to see the burrito brothers play at a small club at Syracuse university. according to reports they were all messed up.i enjoyed the show.maybe I was messed up also.

 

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  posted on 7/24/2018 at 01:45 PM
HTN had a great article on Gram Parsons as well -- maybe around year 2000 or so

 

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