Wow, yeah, we'll admit it - we tried to watch the Jackass holmie Johnny Knoxville in that movie Grand Theft Parsons OnDemand a couple months back. And while (to be fair) we couldn't quite bring ourselves to hide our eyes from the train wreck, that shit was garbage. So bad, in fact, that we had to put our worn out 2-fer-1 CD copy of Gram Parsons's GP/Grevious Angel away for a minute just to let the stench clear. Then once we started the moment of silence, we absentmindedly got sidetracked a little and forgot to pull Gram's Jams back out. But damned if the mailbox didn't just solve that.
Gram Parsons: The Complete Reprise Sessions from Reprise and Rhino just came out on Tuesday and it's been whirling away since. The quick version of the Gram Parsons story is that he dropped out of Harvard after a semester, was a member of the Byrds for a few months, formed the Flying Burrito Bros then quit, started hanging with the Stones who were Burritos fans (becoming drinking / drugging buddies with Keef especially), launched a solo career and brought Emmylou Harris into his backing band, then recorded first GP and later Grevious Angel. Then he died in Joshua Tree of a morphine + tequila overdose. There's also some hoonanny there in the end about his body getting stolen by his manager, but you can look that up somewhere else, or watch the Knoxville movie in disbelief/disgust. The other shit you can find somewhere else is the stuff about Parsons The Pioneer, and how he practically created the sound that is the total smash-together of country and rock that we all know well by now. We're going to leave who created what to the more music history-minded folks and just play these songs time and time and time again because they hit that combination of sad and beautiful we've been so into this summer. It's worth noting that the single CD 2-fer-1 packaging of the solo records is much cheaper. But holler at the box set if you're into packaging, extensive liner notes and outtake type business.