Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Grievous Angel

Recently I have rediscovered Gram Parsons. For those not familiar with Gram Parsons, he was a tortured soul who was the driving force behind the country-rock scene that began in the early seventies. From The Byrds to The Flying Burrito Brothers to duets with Emmylou Harris to a solo career, Gram Parsons was an important figure in the evolution of seventies music. He was rumored to suffer from bipolar disorder, which would explain his legendary alcohol and substance abuse issues.

Parson's last album was called Grievous Angel, and was released after his death in 1974. It's a marvelous album, full of hearfelt songs. A very country feel, it was a precursor to the country rock that became so popular in the later seventies. I highly recommend it.

His death is legendary, he died of an overdose in the desert, at a place called Joshua Tree. It was a place he regularly visited, a spiritual oasis for him. After his death his body was stolen by his manager who was fulfilling a promise made to him earlier. Using a borrowed hearse, they drove his body to Joshua Tree and in a drunken festival botched a cremation attempt. Google him up and spend some time reading the history - it's truly fascinating.

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