Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gram Parsons.....40 years gone.

                                                 (photo lifted from

I am unsure if anyone is interested in this post, but I need to write it nonetheless.

I  do not remember the dates people die.  I remember it was early March 1993, late November 1990, mid-September 1995...those kind of vague time frames.  It is probably a coping mechanism, as the exact date the person left my life is irrelevant to me.  The only thing that matters was that they were there and now they are gone.

Then there are those that I never met, but who I feel are a part of my connection to the life I lead.  van Gogh is one of them.  Gram Parsons is another.  My list of musician is endless, but Gram leads the pack.  For some reason, I know when Gram died.  It seems like I always have known.  It was 40 years ago today, at Joshua Tree.

                                                 (photo lifted from

I won't dive into his unbearably tragic life.  You can explore that on your own if you are interested.  But you can hear most of it in his voice, along with some humor and hope.

Return of the Grievous Angel ... the album (of the same title) was made with Emmylou Harris and his band The Fallen Angels.   She was his duet partner on the last two albums he cut while still alive.

We'll Sweep out the Ashes in the Morning off of the album GP...again, with his Fallen Angels duet partner, the lovely Emmylou.

When Gram was a part of the Flying Burrito Brothers, they did a cover of Wild Horses on the Burrito Deluxe album.  Hard to believe he wasn't the writer.  A lot of the phrasing is similar to his own.

It was hard to choose between Hot Burrito #1 and Juanita for a sample of songs on The Flying Burrito Brothers self titled album.  The innuendos will always win out with me ;-)

Gram made an album with the Byrds, before he and Chris Hillman left to form the Burritos.  This was it~Sweetheart of the Rodeo.  This is You're Still On My Mind.  Great swingin' tune!

Here is one he wrote~Luxury Liner, from one of his earlier bands, the International Submarine Band. Emmylou does this song a lot in concert.

A year ago, on the 39th anniversary of Gram's death, I had the immense pleasure of seeing Emmylou for the second time.  She did a few Gram songs.  And I saw her with Rodney Crowell this summer...they opened the show with Grievious Angel and after a few more Gram tunes, launched into Luxury Liner.  She still honors his life and music every chance she gets.

I did do a partial Gram post here~for The Challenge of Music Blog Hop~with one of my very favorite songs of his,  A Song For You (if you are still listening :-)

A few years back, I read "Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music" by David N. Meyer.  I got through the majority of it in 2 days (and i am a painfully s.l.o.w. reader), but then I got to the chapter where he was going to die.  I put the book down for 9 months.  I just couldn't face him dying all over again.  When I finally did finish the book, coincidentally, it was right around the 35th anniversary of his death.  Guess it just needed to come at that time.

(with Nudie Cohen, aka Nudie the Rodeo Tailor.  photo lifted from

Thanks for indulging me a bit here, with this video heavy post...time to go make something pretty!


Honey from the Bee said...

Your passion and love show through this post so well. Anyone that was his family or friends would be so happy to see he still lives on through fans like you. Fan sounds shallow, but you know what I mean.

AntiquityTravelers said...

I can't do this post justice (I'm at the office and don't think blasting music on my computer would go over well). I need to come back and go through this one again

KJ said...

I understand. Music is important.

On a side note I did see the Flying Buritto Brothers once.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

My knowledge of muscians...both past and especially non-existant. However, my knowledge of the songs of my era is much better. So, I listened and went to wiki to read up on Gram. It hits hard when the good die young...too young in this case. You have written a beautiful tribute here

windrock studio said...

Oh, my! I can't even tell you how much I love this post and how much I love this man's voice, it tears me up every time. You can feel just what he feels in the slow ones especially but even in the swingin' tune his passion shines. I appreciate how creatively you made this tribute and enjoyed the memories -yours & mine- while listening to each song ~ thank you so much.

Therese's Treasures said...

Christine, this is what I like about you your passions run deep. Thank you for sharing one more aspect of your fascinating life. Yes, that is right fascinating, at least I think so.

Liz said...

I’ve now listened to more Gram Parsons then I ever have in my entire life. Well okay, starting from not much that’s easy to do. Man 26 is way too young. The feeling in his voice is so powerful. “A Song For You” is amazing. It’s a beautiful thing to let someone touch you so deeply.

I was looking through and under quotes there is only one listed: “We don’t wear sequins because we think we’re great. We wear them because we think sequins are great.” :-)

Introverted Art said...

looked good!

LisaS said...

Enjoyed all this wonderful music while I was writing out tomorrow's blog post ;)

Thanks for filling me in on Gram Parsons...

Miss Val's Creations said...

It is so sad thinking of legends passing away so young. Although I'm not a country music listener I love the Wild Horses cover! What a perfect tribute. :)