Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cause of death: Heart failure due to tequila and morphine overdose


Such is the cause of death listed for one Cecil Ingram Connor, III better known to some of us as Gram Parsons. This coming Sunday will mark 33 years since that fateful concoction knocked one of country musics more interesting characters out of the game - aged 26. A solo artist as well as a member of both The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, he is best known for a series of recordings which anticipate the so-called country rock of the 1970s and the alt-country movement that began around 1990. To mark the occassion I played the following songs from across Parson's oevre:

Life in Prison - The Byrds
Dim Lights - The Flying Burrito Brothers
Hot Burrito #1 - The Flying Burrito Brothers
We'll Sweep Out the Ashes - Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels (live radio broadcast)
Return of the Grevious Angel - Gram Parsons
Ooh Las Vegas - Gram Parsons
Love Hurts - Gram Parsons (duet w/ Emmylou Harris)
Sin City - Beck and Emmylou Harris

There's a fantastic bio of Gram Parsons called
Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons, by Ben Fong-Torres if you're interested or quite a good article (that I contributed to years ago) here in Wikipedia. Worth a read if at least for the intriguing tale of his cremation by manager Phil Kaufman, a story that has taken on legendary proportions and been treated on screen numerous times.

The full playlist of Country Mike's Hauraki Hoedown can be found here.