Gram Parsons - Wikipedia
Profile of and interview with country singer Emmylou Harris, who star and scapegrace-genius-rich-boy-Harvard-dropout Gram Parsons saw . I believe we all have a profound need for a good relationship to another person. Emmylou Harris Pays Tribute to Gram Parsons on New Album Harris addresses their relationship, singing, “I took what you left and put it to. The renewal of their working relationship, Harris says diplomatically, is no big deal. “Brian and I have Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons.
Snivelywho held extensive properties in Winter Haven and in Waycross. Avis suffered from depression, and both parents were alcoholics. Gram Parsons briefly attended the prestigious Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida before transferring to the public Winter Haven High School ; after failing his junior year, he returned to Bolles which had converted from a military to a liberal arts curriculum amid the incipient Vietnam War.
For a time, the family found a stability of sorts. They were torn apart in earlywhen Robert became embroiled in an extramarital affair and Avis' heavy drinking led to her death from cirrhosis on June 5,the day of Gram's graduation from Bolles. By the age of 16, he graduated to folk musicand in he teamed with his first professional outfit, the Shilos, in Greenville, South Carolina. Heavily influenced by The Kingston Trio and The Journeymen,  the band played hootenanniescoffee houses and high school auditoriums; as Parsons was still enrolled in prep school, he only performed with the group in select engagements.
Although John Phillips an acquaintance of Shilo George Wrigley arranged an exploratory meeting with Albert Grossmanthe impresario balked at booking the group for a Christmas engagement at The Bitter End when he discovered that the Shilos were high school students.
Despite his middling grades and test scores, Parsons was admitted to Harvard University 's class of on the basis of a strong admissions essay. Although he claimed to have studied theology an oblique reference to his close friendship with his residential tutor, Harvard Divinity School graduate student Jet Thomas in subsequent interviews, Parsons seldom attended his general education courses before departing in early after one semester.
He did not become seriously interested in country music until his time at Harvard, where he heard Merle Haggard for the first time. Inhe and other musicians from the Boston folk scene formed a group called the International Submarine Band.
After briefly residing in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronxthey relocated to Los Angeles the following year. Safe at Home would remain unreleased until mid, by which time the International Submarine Band had broken up.
The Byrds [ edit ] ByParsons had come to the attention of The Byrds ' bassistChris Hillmanvia business manager Larry Spector as a possible replacement band member following the departures of David Crosby and Michael Clarke from the group in late He was not a member of The Byrds, ever. He was on salary, that was the only way we could get him to turn up. I couldn't find my place. I didn't have enough say-so. I really wasn't one of The Byrds. I was originally hired because they wanted a keyboard player.
But I had experience being a frontman and that came out immediately. And [Roger McGuinn] being a very perceptive fellow saw that it would help the act, and he started sticking me out front. They finally came to a close on May 27, Their album The Gilded Palace of Sin marked the culmination of Parsons' post musical vision: The band appeared on the album cover wearing Nudie suits emblazoned with all sorts of hippie accoutrements, including marijuanaTuinal and Seconal -inspired patches on Parsons' suit.
The album's original songs were the result of a very productive songwriting partnership between Parsons and Hillman, who were sharing a bachelor pad in the San Fernando Valley during this period. The atypically pronounced for Parsons gospel-soul influence on this album likely evolved from the ecumenical tastes of bassist Chris Ethridge who co-wrote "Hot Burrito No.
Original drummer Eddie Hoh best known for his work with The Monkees and Al Kooper proved to be unable to perform adequate takes due to an incipient substance abuse problem and was dismissed after two songs, leading the group to record the remainder of the album with a variety of session drummers, including former International Submarine Band drummer Jon Corneal who briefly joined the group as an official member, appearing on a plurality of the tracks and Popeye Phillips of Dr.
Before commencing live performances, the group ultimately settled upon original Byrds drummer Michael Clarke. Technically maladroit in comparison to his predecessors, Clarke's striking physical appearance proved to be the primary criterion in this decision; an associate of the band would later recall that "the Burritos had to be pretty" and "Corneal didn't fit" from that standpoint.
Parsons was frequently indulging in massive quantities of psilocybin and cocaineso his performances were erratic at best, while much of the band's repertoire consisted of vintage honky-tonk and soul standards with few originals. Perhaps the most successful appearance occurred in Philadelphia, where the group opened for the reconstituted Byrds.
Midway through their set, Parsons joined the headline act and fronted his former group on renditions of "Hickory Wind" and "You Don't Miss Your Water". The other Burritos surfaced with the exception of Clarke, and the joint aggregation played several songs, including " Long Black Veil " and "Goin' Back".
Despite a request from the Burritos that the remnants of their publicity budget be diverted to promotion of the single, it also flopped. During this period, Ethridge realized that he did not share Parsons' and Hillman's affinity for country music, precipitating his departure shortly thereafter.
He was replaced by lead guitarist Bernie Leadonwhile Hillman reverted to bass. By this time, Parsons's own use of drugs had increased so much that new songs were rare and much of his time was diverted to partying with the Stones, who briefly relocated to America in the summer of to finish their forthcoming Let It Bleed album and prepare for an autumn cross-country tour, their first series of regular live engagements in over two years.
As they prepared to play the nation's largest basketball arenas and early stadium concerts, the Burritos played to dwindling nightclub audiences; on one occasion, Jagger had to beseech Parsons to fulfill an obligation to his group. Playing a short set including "Six Days on the Road" and "Bony Moronie", Parsons left on one of the final helicopters and attempted to seduce Michelle Phillips.
Emmylou Harris was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in Her mother was a local belle; her father a Yankee pilot from New Jersey who, bored by civilian life, re-enlisted after the second world war.
So the family moved to North Carolina, where they led a comfortable but stateless existence in off-base military housing, before settling in Virginia. There were people from all over, which meant there was no culture.
carnage and culture: The Ballad of Emmylou Harris
There was an electricity about it, something romantic about those ballads, whereas country music sounded boring. You have to grow up, start paying the rent and have your heart broken before you understand country. As a teenager I became obsessed with Bob Dylan. But the more she played her music, the less she enjoyed the acting. Whereas when I was acting, I was just acting. At first things went well: But things soon took a turn for the worse. The album flopped, selling 1, copies, and her marriage collapsed, by which time she was pregnant with her first child, Hallie.
I was living in a tiny Manhattan apartment with a child, no skills, waiting table for tips. I thought my life was over. Both had a fatal weakness for alcohol and a tendency to depression. His father shot himself when Parsons was 12, and by the time Parsons succumbed to his overdose, his mother had already drunk herself to death. Thanks partly to his parenting, Parsons found the excessive hippie lifestyle of the s greatly to his liking.
ByParsons was getting serious about his new solo career. He felt he needed a female vocal foil. We met at the train station. Virtually Live Album "Gram was in really good shape for that album, and we were really tight from working on the road together. The band knew what they were doing and we had the charts together by the time we got into the studio. We went in and, man, it was really fast - we did the tracks in five days and then a second five days for the vocals which were nearly all first or second takes.
For all extent and purposes ist should be regarded as a 'live' album. He always carried those songs around in his head. He just needed a little prodding to get them out. That's all I did. I helped him with a line here and there. I'd suggest something but those were his songs.
I think that was probably because at the same time there was this big thing about that stupid album cover.
I got really upset when those people went in and got it taken off because I just didn't want anyone messing with his album. I mean I didn't care if my damn picture was on the back, but it just really pissed me off that anybody would I dodn't feel that anybody had the right to go in there and change one single thing cause the album was totally finished when he died.
There was no reason for anybody to change anything. According to Phil Kaufman, Parsons' road manager and confidant, "Gram selected a photo for his album. He told Emmylou, 'Here's what I promised you, your picture on the album'. But Gretchen hates Emmylou; when Gretchen found out about the picture she hit Gram with a coathanger and chipped his ear. He was partially deaf when he died. I'm sure that all people have lost someone who is very dear to them, but Gram was young and so full of life.
There are people who say 'well, it was bound to happen' So he still remains very much alive in my heart. He had a real creative vision of his own as a writer. Perhaps there is a shadow of that inspiration on my records but it's not the gut level thing.
There will never be another like him. It's just not worth it because I have too many good memories about our relationship and all that he gave me. What I did was just to plunge myself into work on a real anonymous level.
I was in Washington. It wasn't like I was in LA or something. I just got a band together and started doing all the songs we'd done on stage.
And I did it. It wasn't a very inspired thing. It was like therapy. It was like, 'Okay, get up on the bars and walk, five feet every day and maybe at the end of the year you're gonna be able to succeed to walk by yourself'.
After a while she came out and began to play again, forming her own band, the Angel Band, and getting back into the country scene. One of her close friends at the time was Linda Ronstadt, still one of her best friends. Emmylou played a weekly gig at The Red Fox, a redneck, bluegrass, beer joint.
In the audience was Brian Ahern, the man who was to produce her first Reprise album, "Pieces of the Sky". Brian came down with a tape recorder, shakes my hand and says hello, sits down, turns the tape recorder on and sits through four sets. Didn't say a word. Afterwards he asked why I thought I needed a producer. In October she entered the studio to record "Pieces of the Sky". On the album she used such top line musicians as Glen D. Hardin on piano, James Burton on guitar and Bernie Leadon on banjo, bass, dobro, etc.
But when it came to putting a band together to go on the road to promote the album this caused her a terrible problem. Whats more I had the musicians who wanted to go on the road with me and a record company willing to subsidise it.
But it left me a terrible oproblem because, at that time, I had Angel Band together who, besides being talented musicians, they were real good friends of mine. It was a hard decision, but I fired them. In the long run, though, I think it was the right decision because I've got an incredible band together now. Although I thought it was a nice album, I thought there were alot of nice songs on it but I figured it would jsut be ignored 'cause it wasn't a commercial pop record and it wasn't a basic country album.
And it definitely wasn't a rock 'n' roll album. Canyon Fire Inspires Song " 'Boulder To Birmingham' was written on my own except for the melody to the verses, which I couldn't get anything. I took it to Bill Danoff, sang the chorus, showed him the rest of the lyrics, and he just took it from there.
I was out in Los Angeles during the Topanga Canyon fire. It was right after Gram's death and I was really undergoing some strange things. It was really kinda awful being out there. I felt really kind of lost. That's what it was hat I was going through and that fire didn't help.
I felt like I was being burnt alive. It's not like I set out to write a song about Gram. It's just that most of the lyrics came from that period of time. I hesitate to say that song is about Gram, but it's a song that's inspired by some of the feelings I had after his death. We had all these songs and had no idea how to put them together.