Gram Parsons probably had more to do with the current state of Americana music that any one individual. Like another Americana great Townes Van Zandt, Gram was a child of privilege that chose not to take the easy path and instead blase their own trail. Also like Van Zand this path were often pitted with emotional turmoil and addiction that seemed to just fuel the creative fire. Two of my favorite Gram momnets have little do do with his own music but his influence on the lives of Emmylou Harris , whom as a single mother he plucked out of the Washington DC folk music circuit to work on some duet work on his upcoming release recorded in LA. The other instance is his influence in Keith Richard during, what I consider, the Rolling Stones most fruitful period. I think it’s commonly agreed if not for Gram there would be no Wild Horses or Dead Flowers.
Even in death Parson’s path was, to use an overused and little understood word, epic and . A promise with his road manager led to his body being diverted from the Los Angeles International Airport where it was on its way to Louisiana to be placed in his estranged families burial plot, and driven into California’s Joshua Tree Nation Park where he had stated he wanted his ashes scattered over Cap Rock. His road manager and a friend then attempted to cremate him by pouring five gallons of gasoline and a lti match tossed inside the open coffin. As I said, epic.
These are my favorite Gram moments. Leave yours below.