alt-country fans And country-rock music owes its gratitude to a man who died before many of them were born. In life, the real founder of the genre “Cosmic American Music” never achieved the success he deserved. Days after Gram Parsons’ mysterious death in 1973, his best friend exhumed his body and gave him an unconventional desert cremation.
Today Parsons is a legend and the story of his burial is legendary. So what happened after all?
Gram Parsons’ Death Shamed Him For A Year From Joining The ’27 Club’
Shortly after Parson’s death on September 19, 1973, Rolling stone His death was described as ‘mysterious’. Eventually, it was revealed that the 26-year-old native crooner had died from a deadly mixture of tequila, barbiturates, and heroin. After the death of Gram, his story becomes even more remarkable.
His good friend Phil Kaufman heard the news that Parsons had died. And he knew he had to fulfill his part of the deal the pair had made a few months back. As grunge Turns out, Kaufman and Parsons made a promise at the funeral of Parsons’ former Byrds bandmate, Clarence White. Bored of the stuffy, hyper-religious funeral, the friends decide to part ways with each other with the same fate.
Parsons said, “If I die I want someone to have some beer, take me to the desert and burn my body.” Kaufman agreed before asking if Parsons would do the same for him if he died first. Friends joined hands and sealed the deal, not knowing how soon the promise of postmortem will be fulfilled.
On September 17, 1973, Description Grunge, Parsons finished recording serious angel and was about to divorce his wife. He and some friends decided to take a road trip to the Mojave Desert. His friend Michael Martin came along for the ride, as did Martin’s girlfriend, Dale McElroy, and Parsons’ high school friend Margaret Fisher. The next day, Parsons sent Martin back to L.A. to score more weed. The next day, the man who invented Cosmic American music died.
Phil Kaufman kept his promise to Parsons
Gram’s stepfather Bob Parsons arranged for Gram’s body to be flown to New Orleans, where he lived. Kaufman knew that Gram had no love for Louisiana and even less affection for his stepfather, who had inherited a lot of money from Gram’s estate, explains. bird watcher.
Determined to keep his promise, Kaufman contacted the funeral home in Joshua Tree and learned that his friend’s body was on his way to LAX. From there, Continental Airlines will fly it to New Orleans. Kaufman and Martin intervene, borrow the latter’s girlfriend’s unlicensed chariot and head to the airport to intercept Gram’s coffin.
The two reassure the airport attendant that the Parsons family has changed their plans. Then, Martin and Kaufman stopped at a gas station, filled a five-gallon container, and drove Gram back to Joshua Tree where they unloaded his coffin at Cap Rock. Kaufman douses the open coffin with gasoline, hits a match, and sends his furry friend to eternity in a heap of sparks.
Kaufman and Martin returned to L.A., where stories about Gram’s “ritual” cremation made headlines in the newspapers. Instead of waiting for a cop to come to his house, Kaufman turns himself in on Village’s 27th birthday. Amazingly, the man who kept his promise to his best friend suffered no consequences for the body snatching; He had to pay a fine for the stolen coffin.
Ultimately, stepfather Bob manages to bury Village’s burnt remains in Louisiana. But a Florida court thwarted her plan to inherit her stepson’s small fortune. The elder Parsons died a year later of an alcohol-related illness.
inspiration on the path of fate
Born on November 5, 1946, in Winter Haven, Florida, Cecil Ingram Connor III spent his childhood in Waycross, Georgia. His father, Cecil Ingram “Coon Dog” Connor II, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, only to die by suicide two days before Christmas in 1958. Less than a year later, the head of the family, Avis, married Robert Parsons, and Gram received his new surname.
Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, Gram saw the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll. He enjoyed Greenwich Village folk music. But Chuck Berry’s performance and Carl Perkins’ cool rockabilly ethic made a deep impression on the aspiring songstress.
Buck Owens and Bakersfield Sound’s uptempo honky-tonk jive join the future of the village. Country singer Hank Williams contributed his “High Alone” vocals. Fortunately for future fans of American cosmic music, Gram’s rowdy rockabilly aspirations were fueled by an appreciation of rich poetic lyrics and the beautiful, multi-part harmonies of folk groups such as The Journeymen, The Weavers and The Kingston Trio, explains. Huh Riffs and Rhymes.
In high school, Gram played guitar in a rock ‘n’ roll band. Then, he started his own folk group, Shiloh. In 1966, Parsons moved to New York where Gram played with the International Submarine Band. In 1967, the band moved to the West Coast and recorded an album before leaving Call. The Birds recruited Village in ’68. He stayed with the band for only a few months as he did not want to tour South Africa. Chris Hillman also left the Byrds and teamed up with Gram to form the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Gram left Burritos after two albums and formed a mutual appreciation society with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. In 1972, Gram pulled together a backing band with Emmylou Harris and recorded GP The band’s second album, serious angel, was released after the sudden death of Gram.
Before his death and sacrifice on a makeshift funeral pyre in the California desert, Village changed the course of country music forever.
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