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The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 12, 2011 20:24

My local library had a scratched up CD of the Byrds 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo'. I've never been a huge Byrds fan, but this CD said that Gram Parsons vocals had been restored and that there were bonus tracks. While listening to the songs I started hearing the Stones' 'Dear Doctor' in my head. Then I looked at the CDs booklet and saw the album was released in August of 1968, months before Beggars Banquet (December 1968). I know this was around the time Gram and Keith met, but I didn't think Parson's influence was felt until Let it Bleed and onward through Exile. I didn't realize it might have started as early as Beggars.

Regarding the mythology of Gram Parsons and the Stones, it's always assumed he quit the Byrds in London the summer of '68 on the verge of a South African tour, due to a refusal on Gram's part to play for segregated audiences. The CD booklet states that the Byrds' original contracts for the South African shows stipulated that the group was to play for integrated audiences. Which they did, sans Parsons, received death threats, and got gypped out of payment for the tour. Parsons is portrayed in history as a racial saint, and yet he might have done it more so he could hang out with Keith and start the Flying Burrito Brothers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-04-13 03:22 by 24FPS.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: April 12, 2011 21:32

Keith reportedly informed him about racial policies in South Africa.

Gram certainly had a influence (even more, showed Keith how to play country music authentically). Keith absorbed it and spit it back out Stones-style.

Damn nice job on some of it too - "Dear Doctor", "Let It Bleed", "Dead Flowers", much of Exile, etc.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: April 12, 2011 23:48

There was recently a fairly lengthy thread about this. I would find it and post a link here if I were not so lazy.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: loog droog ()
Date: April 13, 2011 00:00

Quote
71Tele
I would find it and post a link here if I were not so lazy.





Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: April 13, 2011 00:13

A Gram of parsons, a Pound of Keith....you start to get good music

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: April 13, 2011 00:27

Beggars Banquet recordings were complete by June/July 1968.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: duke richardson ()
Date: April 13, 2011 00:40

I wish Chris Hillman would write a book. reckon he's too busy playing good new music..

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: stones78 ()
Date: April 13, 2011 00:57

[www.iorr.org]
Here's the long thread.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: April 13, 2011 03:01

Quote
duke richardson
I wish Chris Hillman would write a book. reckon he's too busy playing good new music..

He did cooperate a great deal on an excellent book about the Burrito Brothers (which for some reason I can't remember the title. Just do an Amazon search.
It's really good). He was pretty hard on Parsons and on himself for letting that band kinda get away from him.

Also the Parsons' story about "I'm not going to South Africa because of Apartheid" is total bull. He wanted to hang out with the Stones, plain and simple.
Hillman has always said Parson had no discipline, and there's a good example.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 03:33

71 tele & Stones 78: Wow. I didn't realize there was such a long, recent thread on this. I think the only thing unsaid is that Gram Parsons did indeed have an influence on the Stones, expanding their country horizons, especially on Keith. But once his usefulness was done, and he became a pain in the ass, he was locked out of the true Gilded Palace of Sin. I don't know if he was bitter and felt used after it all.

I think Ry Cooder also contributed and after Keith had absorbed that sound, he moved on. What's the saying? Mediocre artists borrow, great artists steal? I can't say I'm all that into Gram Parsons yet, but I haven't listened to the Flying Burritos Brothers yet. Maybe Gram was more of a messenger, promoting his love for country music.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: April 13, 2011 03:51

Quote
24FPS
71 tele & Stones 78: Wow. I didn't realize there was such a long, recent thread on this. I think the only thing unsaid is that Gram Parsons did indeed have an influence on the Stones, expanding their country horizons, especially on Keith. But once his usefulness was done, and he became a pain in the ass, he was locked out of the true Gilded Palace of Sin. I don't know if he was bitter and felt used after it all.

I think Ry Cooder also contributed and after Keith had absorbed that sound, he moved on. What's the saying? Mediocre artists borrow, great artists steal? I can't say I'm all that into Gram Parsons yet, but I haven't listened to the Flying Burritos Brothers yet. Maybe Gram was more of a messenger, promoting his love for country music.

He was an important figure in popular music, that much is certain. The fact that he died young added to the mythology. My take on him now is that while his own actual output was fairly meager and inconsistent (don't get me wrong, I am not saying it was bad), but that the people he met and influenced, along with his untimely death, cemented his place in history.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Marie ()
Date: April 13, 2011 03:52

Authentic country music? Speaking as one who grew up in the South, if you want authentic country music listen to Lefty Frizzell, Stonewall Jackson, and of course, Hank Williams. I doubt most have ever heard of Gram Parsons. If you mean country rock, well yeah, Parsons was a big influence.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 04:09

With all due respect, Marie, Country Music is not just the property of the South. And Country has had many worthy non-southern offshoots, such as the Bakersfield sound. (Merle Haggard, born in California and of course Texan Buck Owens). And I don't consider West Texas and Oklahoma as part of the South.

And we can debate what is 'authentic' country music. If the Carter Family is the barometer, then I guess the introduction of the pedal steel guitar is heresy. Or the introduction of electric instruments and drums sure aint' Appalachian.

You're right that most fans, rock or country, have heard of Gram Parsons. But his influence is felt if only by the kind of music he turned some important people on to. What is todays so-called Country Music on the radio but weak country rock with a phony twang? There are country fans today who have no idea who Skeets McDonald or Joe Maphis were, let alone Hank Williams or Marty Robbins.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 04:11

[youtu.be]

I loves me some Lefty. From the Town Hall Party TV show from, wait for it, COMPTON Califonia.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2011-04-13 04:14 by 24FPS.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Marie ()
Date: April 13, 2011 04:36

Duly noted... but Merle Haggard was born in Oklahoma, not California. I consider the Carter Family to be a traditional folk group, but to each his own. I sincerely doubt that most country fans today don't know who Hank Williams is though.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: April 13, 2011 04:44

Quote
Marie
Duly noted... but Merle Haggard was born in Oklahoma, not California. I consider the Carter Family to be a traditional folk group, but to each his own. I sincerely doubt that most country fans today don't know who Hank Williams is though.

True, but it's a sad state of affairs when most contemporary "country" fans are more familiar with Hank Williams Jr. than the real Hank. The "country" music that Nashville spits out now is rock electric guitars and guys with obligatory giant hats. And what was the Grand Ole Opry is now a faux Disneyland in the suburbs.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 07:58

Marie - come on, now, we all have Wikipedia. Merle Haggard was born in Oildale, California in 1937. His parents had immigrated from Oklahoma during the depression. Oildale is near the Bakersfield area. California as a state is a microcosm of America. Bakersfield is like a piece of Kentucky spun out into the Central California desert. Go there today and a lot of thin lipped descendants of Okies are standing in line to get into the local Olive Garden restaurant.

Long Beach, now a rap bastion, was a magnet for working class job seekers from the South and Midwest for Defense Contracting Jobs during and after World War II. That's why the TV show Town Hall Party originated from nearby Compton in the 1950s. Those jobs, and those people, are long gone.

The Carter Family is Country Music. They are the touchstone. It's like Chuck Berry and Rock and Roll. Most 'modern' country fans probably think the genre began with Garth Brooks.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:01





I couldn't mention Skeets without a video.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:05

[www.youtube.com]

Country? Rock? Country Rock? 1959. Jimmy Pruett was a better piano player than guitarist. And he's blind.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:12

Hey good ta see Lefty Frizzell gettin' a mention .....

Jerry Lee's first known recording at the age of 16 was
a cover of Lefty's - Don't Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)



ROCKMAN

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:16





Catch Jimmy Pruett hammering the keys. It seems that there wasn't much distinction between rock and country in the late 50s. I would say that Gram was not interested in country rock at all, but a more acoustic, bluegrassy sound.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-04-13 08:20 by 24FPS.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:22

A thread like this gets started around here about once a year, so I'll say it again.
I think Parsons gets way too much credit for his influence, and I say this as a fan of his music. The Guilded Palace Of Sin is a monster record in my book, as is Sweethearts. However, I'll take Nesmith's Nashville session cut in 1968 and his first 3 First National Bands records over Gram's output any day. There were a lot of people at the same time doing the same thing: Hillman's Byrds' songs, Gene Clark, The Dillards, Poco, Hearts and Flowers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc...
And I don't buy Keith's "he could have changed country music" bull either.
Having played a few of those Gram Fests out in Joshua Tree, it's the legend that attracts people. And I do like Parson's music very much, always have, so no letters, please.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: April 13, 2011 09:55

Quote
tomk
A thread like this gets started around here about once a year, so I'll say it again.
I think Parsons gets way too much credit for his influence, and I say this as a fan of his music. The Guilded Palace Of Sin is a monster record in my book, as is Sweethearts. However, I'll take Nesmith's Nashville session cut in 1968 and his first 3 First National Bands records over Gram's output any day. There were a lot of people at the same time doing the same thing: Hillman's Byrds' songs, Gene Clark, The Dillards, Poco, Hearts and Flowers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc...
And I don't buy Keith's "he could have changed country music" bull either.
Having played a few of those Gram Fests out in Joshua Tree, it's the legend that attracts people. And I do like Parson's music very much, always have, so no letters, please.

I feel exactly the same way. Gram is more beloved for the symbol he has become - projected back through time and enhanced by what we know from Keith, Emmy Lou and others. Also, nothing like a young, "tragic" death to add to a legend. It wasn't exactly like rock musicians knew nothing of country music and suddenly Gram Parsons appeared to enlighten them. Even the Beatles were well aware of country much earlier than Gram's appearance on the scene (George's heavy Chet Atkins influence, Ringo with "Act Naturally", etc)

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: April 13, 2011 10:13

Quote
71Tele
Quote
tomk
A thread like this gets started around here about once a year, so I'll say it again.
I think Parsons gets way too much credit for his influence, and I say this as a fan of his music. The Guilded Palace Of Sin is a monster record in my book, as is Sweethearts. However, I'll take Nesmith's Nashville session cut in 1968 and his first 3 First National Bands records over Gram's output any day. There were a lot of people at the same time doing the same thing: Hillman's Byrds' songs, Gene Clark, The Dillards, Poco, Hearts and Flowers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc...
And I don't buy Keith's "he could have changed country music" bull either.
Having played a few of those Gram Fests out in Joshua Tree, it's the legend that attracts people. And I do like Parson's music very much, always have, so no letters, please.

I feel exactly the same way. Gram is more beloved for the symbol he has become - projected back through time and enhanced by what we know from Keith, Emmy Lou and others. Also, nothing like a young, "tragic" death to add to a legend. It wasn't exactly like rock musicians knew nothing of country music and suddenly Gram Parsons appeared to enlighten them. Even the Beatles were well aware of country much earlier than Gram's appearance on the scene (George's heavy Chet Atkins influence, Ringo with "Act Naturally", etc)

Indeed. The Beatles For Sale album has quite a lot of country influence, and that was late 1964, long before country music was a gleam in Parsons' eye.
In fact, Gram was a folkie before anything else.
And Chris Hillman has said that Steve Stills is the the only R&R player he knows of that really understands country music and what it's about. I assume that means Manassas and those records.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Squiggle ()
Date: April 13, 2011 22:50

It's funny considering what Keith said about Gram in Life and the very different things he said about Brian, that Chris Hillman on Gram sounds very much like Keith on Brian:

[die-augenweide.de]

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: April 14, 2011 00:47

Quote
tomk
A thread like this gets started around here about once a year, so I'll say it again.
I think Parsons gets way too much credit for his influence, and I say this as a fan of his music. The Guilded Palace Of Sin is a monster record in my book, as is Sweethearts. However, I'll take Nesmith's Nashville session cut in 1968 and his first 3 First National Bands records over Gram's output any day. There were a lot of people at the same time doing the same thing: Hillman's Byrds' songs, Gene Clark, The Dillards, Poco, Hearts and Flowers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc...
And I don't buy Keith's "he could have changed country music" bull either.
Having played a few of those Gram Fests out in Joshua Tree, it's the legend that attracts people. And I do like Parson's music very much, always have, so no letters, please.

Yep. I started a thread a few months ago because I wondered if I was the only who believed his influence on the Stones was overstated and more legend than fact. GP has the backstory and sexy personal and he died young, but he is not a "ghost" on Exile as some GP worshipers have stated.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Marie ()
Date: April 14, 2011 01:44

Quote
24FPS
Marie - come on, now, we all have Wikipedia. Merle Haggard was born in Oildale, California in 1937. His parents had immigrated from Oklahoma during the depression. Oildale is near the Bakersfield area. California as a state is a microcosm of America. Bakersfield is like a piece of Kentucky spun out into the Central California desert. Go there today and a lot of thin lipped descendants of Okies are standing in line to get into the local Olive Garden restaurant.

Long Beach, now a rap bastion, was a magnet for working class job seekers from the South and Midwest for Defense Contracting Jobs during and after World War II. That's why the TV show Town Hall Party originated from nearby Compton in the 1950s. Those jobs, and those people, are long gone.

The Carter Family is Country Music. They are the touchstone. It's like Chuck Berry and Rock and Roll. Most 'modern' country fans probably think the genre began with Garth Brooks.


Okay about Merle Haggard. His parents were Okies. I don't agree about the Carter Family. Jimmy Rodgers before the Carter Family.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 14, 2011 06:24

The Carter Family were the first stars of Country Music. They recorded before Jimmy Rodgers and had major hits with 'Wabash Cannonball', 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken', 'Wildwood Flower' and 'Keep On The Sunny Side'. You can say you prefer Jimmie Rodgers, but the Carter Family's pre-eminence in the field of Country Music is undeniable. The Carter Family are still very well known to modern audiences in comparison to Jimmie Rodgers. I would even argue that the Carter sound was more 'pure' country, as Jimmie Rodgers sound has a lot of blues in it. But then again, that goes to the heart of trying to define Country Music when it's obvious that it has many offshoots.









Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-04-14 06:25 by 24FPS.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: April 14, 2011 06:28

[www.youtube.com]

This is so annoying. Sometimes you copy the URL on a YouTube video and it justs shows the above when you copy it to here. And yet other ones you do the same thing and you see what the video is like the one above with Jimmie Rodgers. Does anybody know why it does this?

By the way, the video is a later incarnation of the Carter Family. With June Carter.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 2011-04-14 06:35 by 24FPS.

Re: The mythology of Gram Parsons & the Stones
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: April 14, 2011 06:34

They recorded before Jimmy Rodgers


But hey it's a close one .... by 3 days actually ...



ROCKMAN

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