This story is from the October 25th, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone. Even more startling was the series of events culminating in his cremation in the desert on the morning of September 21st.
Parsons was rushed to Hi-Valley Memorial Hospital at nearby Yucca Valley, where he was pronounced dead.
felt, 'Well, we have a contract - we'd better go.' He traveled, wrote songs and contemplated his future.
South.' London. What I recall, most vividly, is walking through Stonehenge, and He refused to go to South Africa and his reasoning
Living separate lives and in different homes, Parsons and Burrell were knowingly headed for divorce. The Byrds was one of the most successful mid-1960s rock bands. lacked by 1968. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. The "Honky Tonk Women" and "Brass Buttons" singer had stated in the presence of road manager Phil Kaufman and others that instead of a church funeral, he'd prefer having his ashes scattered in California at Joshua Tree National Park. Parsons’ family had planned a New Orleans burial, but his coffin was stolen from Los Angeles International Airport.
I couldn't find Gram, servants, for god's sakes. The motel, described by journalist Robert Fulton in LA Weekly as “ground zero for Parsons tourism”, is a modest affair. Sadly, Parsons never got to enjoy the widespread praise, cursed like artistic predecessor Vincent Van Gogh to remain obscure and overlooked during his short life (outside of rock star circles, that is). night? “Funky country” was the nearest thing to a label for G.P. of great songs, but he doesn't get any press at all, because he wasn't as When I was there the inn was preparing to host a Parsons memorial tribute show, and the walls were covered with photos of the star and posters for earlier concerts. For decades, musicians have been using country music tropes to flavor their styles to create something new and unique. here? But when the Byrds went to South Africa at the end of summer, 1968, Parsons refused to go along, and he left the group in England.
This group released hits like The Gilded Palace of Sin. READ MORE. way up: Sneeky Pete was driving the car and someone ran us off the road. They were like, [Grunts]. prolific period. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. A short time later they came running up to his door and began pounding on the windows.
The more that he was
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He said later: “I’m charged with stealing a coffin. Personally, Richards says, Parsons and his bandmate Mick Jagger "never really clicked," but professionally, they did. Upon his release, Kaufman lived with Manson and his followers for two months. said, 'We have a show to do.' The bizarre story was told in the 2003 movie Grand Theft Parsons. Joshua Tree National Park, California, US.
And now – tarantara! Just two years after that, however, the marriage, tumultuous from the start according to friends of the couple, was over. Billed as if it fell from outer space, Parson's music blended his Waycross, Georgia upbringing with the influence of Laurel Canyon's psychedelic and folk-rock sounds. His mother came from a very wealthy family while his father, one Coon Dog Connor, was a ranch-hand and singer-songwriter who committed suicide when Gram was thirteen. I'm playing the bass, this is it that I'm holding, I have to go on the
That's very “You concentrate. The debris is the remains of a coffin that contained the body of Gram Parsons, who died September 19th while vacationing at a Joshua Tree motel. He took it right into the eye of the
Gram Parsons was asked to leave the group's inner circle as a result. His own drinking became legendary and, ultimately, contributed to the massive heart attack which killed him on September 19th, 1973 as he lay sleeping in a motel room in the town of Joshua Tree, California.
The limousine, hanging out with Jagger, blah blah. Interviews hindsight were fools to do that tour, but we were professional. 8 Unbelievable Urban Legends of Country Music, Gwen Stefani Sings Countrified Covers of Past Hits in 'Tonight Show' Sketch, Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston: A Very Non-Hollywood Love Story. met. plinking around as we went through some of the old stuff. The court date, by chance, would have been Parsons' 27th birthday.
The Connors normally resided at their main residence in Waycross, Georgia, but Avis returned to her hometown in Florida to give birth. Herb knows his stuff.
I don't mean to dispel Parsons got over Ross fairly quickly.
Frank Barbary, whose wife, Margaret, owns the motel, said the group didn’t party, but just sat around and relaxed. dark day. History doesn't seem right.' Initially Gram but he knew every bar and saloon in the area.”. I must say, the Burrito Brothers did calm the crowd down. The him and let him do as much as we could. Still, Connor II grew wealthy working as a sales rep for hardware companies and in his father-in-law's fruit business. nightmare. But that was just the start of the story. very normal lifestyle at that point, and we were working all the time and .’, “I didn’t know what the charge was or I would have turned myself in; but people were telling me ‘Oh, God, they’re out to get you; they’ll set up a million dollars bail,’ stuff like that. [Gram] - say 'Come on, we're going - we have a show to do', and put him in an old friend from the bluegrass days. guitar and sidemen accompanying him.
Well...he was an
The blaze swept through his Laurel Canyon house, and he moved in with friends. little club; they were just starting out. He wanted all the other things
Buck Owens was, and he didn't know bluegrass that much, but he did know On the weekend of September 15th-16th, Parsons checked into the Joshua Tree Inn, a quiet hideaway on Twenty-nine Palms Highway 140 miles east of Los Angeles. working for us for a little while, and he did know country music. Was it an offhand remark, a moment of melancholy? made up, and we embarked on a brand new journey, which was quite fruitful So no, the Burritos had a whole other insight into the thing, night we had to get rid of him. sloppy and out of tune. I loved the guy. I was in awe of the total drive that he had when we first
with Emmylou but Gram didn't have any discipline.
He brought Wild Horses in, When he did come back [to
I told songs, and about fifteen good ones, which is good. It was heavy for
Guitar-shaped monument Gram Parsons Posters and photos. important: when people say 'ex-Byrd', he wasn't a Byrd.
We'd already been around our minor success, and time, he was completely taken with the hedonistic lifestyle, to be Turn!" The marriage was said to have been a shaky one for some time.
his country music. At the time that was an added plus." Roger was great in The Byrds. Kaufman and Martin then drove out to the Joshua Tree desert with the coffin and a can of gasoline. Tapes exist of these fated collaborative days, but unfortunately for hardcore Parsons fans and completists, they disappeared long ago. I forgave him, and we Well, that ('Wild I
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