Gram Parsons

The Father of Country Rock
(i.e. "Asshole")
*special introductory paragraph!
*GP
*Grievous Angel

Gram Parsons was a spoiled arrogant trust fund asshole who singlehandedly ruined The Byrds before forming a pioneering country-rock band called The Flying Burrito Brothers. Then he got kicked out of that band for being an alcoholic drug addict dumbfuck, at which point he became a Rolling Stones starfucker. Eventually he recorded two albums of his own country music and/or cover tunes before passing away from drug-related injuries at the ludicrously young age of 27 while Keith Richards lived to the ripe old age of 402.


GP - Warner Bros. 1973.
Rating = 3

Our society was built on admission, so I am somewhat willing to admit that I'm not exactly "Mr. Tearin' Up The Country." I own every Johnny Cash album except and I still get a hoot out of my Dad's old Willis Caswell And The Crimson Cowboys LP, but the only other semi-country artist that you'd find me championing would be Mr. Michael Nesmith of Monkees infamy. Still, I don't hate traditional country/western music - of what I've heard, some of it creates a nice yawn-round-the-campfire desert feel.

But this album, in my humble abode, is almost eye-staplingly generic. It has everything you'd expect to hear on a country album (acoustic guitar, dobro, pedal steel, fiddle, backup vocals by Emmy Lou Harris, lyrics about heartache), but in Gram's hands, the end result sounds like a bunch of bad Eagles songs. Which is not to say that there are any good Eagles songs.

Gram has a very easy-on-the-ears (and defiantly NON-rednecky) voice, but there are nearly no distinctive melodies on the entire record. "Still Feeling Blue" cruises and bruises, and both "Kiss The Children" and "Streets Of Baltimore" are sad and lovely. But the rest are just drab C/W or, in the case of "Big Mouth Blues" and "Cry One More Time," downright ATROCIOUS attempts to merge by-the-numbers country with bad rock and roll. And nobody should be mixing country and rock `n' roll, except the one man who actually does it well -- Donny and Marie.

Reader Comments

kristy-keehler@cherokee.org
Bite me....You...Stupid, Barry Mannilow listening, Elton John loving, Richard Simmons video tape buying, Shallow, S.O.B. - - - You suck!

I always chuckle when people with an I.Q. of less than 95 attempt to "explain" music. You don't get it. You never will. Don't even try. And more importantly, quit acting like you "get it." Stick with reviewing so called "artists" such as Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, and Big and Rich. You won't have a headache when you finish listening to their CRAP. It requires NO THOUGHT.

I am 26 years old (the same age as Gram, when he died) and I wish I could say that if I died tomorrow, I had written such wonderful and profound songs (such as In My Hour of Darkness, and Song For You - to name only a couple). Gram died 5 years before I was even born and I am a huge fan of his. He was (and still is) a tremendous force in music. To appreciate Gram's music, you must have SOUL. You don't like it, so that leads me to believe (as many other of his fan's will agree) that you have NO SOUL. This is in your favor though, since you WILL BURN in HELL for the comments you made about Gram and his MUSIC.

NOBODY talks about Gram that way!

Happy Burning. :-(

maynards@charter.net (Kirt Knob)
The Eagle's founders used to watch Gram and take notes. He had the Charisma that most artists onley wish they had. His voice cracked and moaned like a cross of Elvis Presley and Neil Young. He just didn't have the time to get it all together. His last two albums with Emy Lou was just the beginning.

And the fucking commercilization of the Eagles is disgusting. To me the Eagles life was over after the concert in Morehead, Ky.in 1974 after Bernie Leadon left.

P.S. fuck youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

bri.hyndman@sympatico.ca
Ever tried stapling your eyes? I'm not sure how that would feel, but I'll wager it's anything but "generic".

I do understand your opinion of Gram Parsons though -- don't agree with it, but I do understand it. He's like the Velvet Underground of the country rock scene. He didn't sell many albums, but everyone who bought one formed a band.

If he seems 'generic' all these years later, it's because the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt et al. and all the other Billboard-topping hayseed wannabes borrowed pretty heavily from his stylings -- unfortunately, they borrowed all the wrong parts.

I will admit that his solo albums aren't the best testament to his talent -- he was too far gone on the pills and powders by the time he recorded them. His Flying Burrito Bros. work holds up a lot better.

Alainna Earl
Re: to the top commentor
What gives you the right to condemn somebody to hell for giving a Gram Parsons a three? Stop worshipping dead people creep.

Add your thoughts?


Grievous Angel - Warner Bros. 1974.
Rating = 6

There appears to be more of an emphasis on heart-wrenching melody, richer piano-bottomed production and SLOOOOOOOOWness this time around, and all for the better! It's a lot easier to understand why he is so revered among some communities when you hear gorgeously arranged originals like "Return Of The Grievous Angel" and "Brass Buttons" (rock fans, when you listen to these songs, think of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," a song that many claim Gram had a lot to do with). But there's still way too much filler on this record. Pointless cover tunes like "I Can't Dance" and "Hearts On Fire" add nothing to the experience.

So you tell me -- why is Gram Parson so popular? Because of the Flying Burrito Brothers? Because he died tragically young? Or just because most country-western music is so godawful?

(Obviously I'm not talking about that bald guy with the hat. You said it, about how good he is!)

Reader Comments

GRAMSPL@aol.com
When it comes to Gram Parsons Either you get it or you don't get it.

YOU DON'T GET IT .

Don't wast your time trying, No one ever said Gram's music was for you anyway.

JasonW@horwitz.com.au
Jesus H. Baldyman on a bedwetting binge - what the fuck have you been smoking?

In all my born days, I never thought I'd hear Gram Parsons described as a) 'drab' and b) 'popular'. Listen closely - he was neither. Not at all. The fucking Stereophonics suck dick and they've still sold more copies of their first EP than Gram sold in his entire lifetime.

Don't mess with Gram. Remember the Alamo.

FUCK YOU

aromano@ramapo.edu
Dear record reviewer,
Yes, it's clear that Gram Parsons didn't get to you. But, in my humble opinion (and I'm from Jersey City, a far cry from c&w meccas) GP was a tremendous influence-- sort of like a c&w Richard Farina, another figure who died too young (on a motorcycle 2 days after his book, Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me, was published). Ol' Merle loved him, as did Johnny Cash. Thanks for writing about him so more people can learn about him.

simon.langley@cmc-video.fr
Prindman,

frankly, you seem to be struggling with Gram Parsons... You go to the effort of choosing to include him on you site... "Great", Parsons fans say. "At last some critical recognition !" But it is not to be ! You give both his solo albums abysmal ratings. A 3 for GP ? What the fuck ? Practically nothing gets a 3 on your site, Prindle. You're ready to give an inflated score to just about anything and then all of a sudden you choose to review a guy who had real talent and you decide to trash him ! What can I say ? Giving a mark out of ten is a weird enough concept in itself, especially when the basic premise of your site is not a factual, analytical approach of music (which I would find boring) but a more freer, rambling talkabout approach (a lot more fun).

In your review of GP you obviously can't make up your mind between criticism (the album doesn't seem to fit with your esthetic frames) and praise : it ends on a contradiction of sorts - you don't realise what it's all about, but you sense there is some substance to the fellow.

Personally, GP and Grievous Angel are among my ten favorite lps of all time. I couldn't attempt to explain it in terms of "this song is great beacause it goes like this or like that..." I suppose it's the quality of the voice, the sadness and melancholy conveyed by voice and music...

As you know, good music is not a competition. I don't feel like comparing merits of a genius like Hank Williams and an artist like Gram Parsons. They both did their own thing, and brilliantly, to boot.

Better luck next time, Prindle

billdean@peoplepc.com
So the idea was to write a stupid-ass, nonsensical review just to provoke response?

What else can we make of saying "drab C/W" and "downright ATROCIOUS" about Gram Parsons a few words away from saying "Nobody should be mixing country and rock `n' roll except the one man who actually does it well - Donny and Marie"?

Man.....you really DO need to get a life.

DFriendjr@aol.com
Mr. P,

I'll temper my remarks, so not to sound as angry as the repondents before me. You suck fucking dog!!! Doberman to be exact. Fuck me runnin', this is a great country, cuntry-rock record.

Beautiful harmonies, nice arrangements and a lead vocal that would do The Hag proud are some of the highlights. I think, by accident, you stumbled onto the beauty of "Return of the Grievous Angel". But how bout' "In My Hour of Darkness"? Yeah, keep going. How bout' the moving version of "Love Hurts", w/ Emmy Lou Harris on harmony vocals. Makes you forget the idiotic cover by that metal band that fractured the tune in 75.

Tom T. Hall's, "I Can't Dance" is a throwaway, but still shows the bands ability to play a rock feel with authenticity. Lastly, don't overlook Parson's influence of the Stones on, not only, "Wild Horses", but also "Honky Tonk Women".

Pull your head out of my ass and give this record another go-fucking round.

aostevenson@earthlink.net (Alex Stevenson)
Gram Parsons deserves alot of respect. He basically found Emmylou Harris and recorded with Elvis Presley's band. He made music that most people of his generation did not want to hear. How cool is that?

Sure, his voice is unusual. But most country/rock (he hated that term) fans will learn to love it.

Byrd1975@aol.com
Maybe if you cleaned the shit out of your ears, and listened again, you would understand that Gram is one of the best song writers ever. Grams covers are just as good if not better than the originals. You say in Your GP review that it is generic.....you know what generic is?

Naming people like Johnny Cash to your comprehensive list. Since you know nothing about country I'll put into terms even you can understand. Thats like comparing him to The Beatles, Rolling Stones or fucking Zeppelin..know what I mean??? Its just Generic to compare anyone to your basic country or rock by numbers bands. So Go listen to thunder rolls by Garth Brooks than maybe you can play Kiss destroyer. Get a clue man...put away your Kiss Army back patch jacket and take another listen partner.

johneire65@yahoo.com (John Daly)
May I say that I've been a huge country fan all my life and present a country music show here in Ireland. I play all "the greats" as well as the more obscure and lesser know country/western/bluegrass artists. In my humble opinion, gram parsons music,lyrics and voice would be up there with the best of them. Of course I'm being biased because I'm a gram fan but I also appreciate the countless other good and "real" country artists and bands. I was recently in Nashville and almost puked when I heard the "SHIT" that CMT was broadcasting from the Wildhorse saloon, funny thing was, the audience were lapping it up and I just thought to myself how these people wouldn't know "good" country music if it were to jump up and bite them on the nose.

I read your reviews with respect for your opinion, when you said you didn't "get gram" and that 'that bald guy with the hat' really rocked.....Well, I knew then you haven't got a clue what you are talking about, maybe you are more suited to reviewing the wishy washy crap that Nashville is churning out nowadays because you need a good bite on the nose! SLAINTE.

Jeffjrs48@cs.com
Gram was not a very good musican. He spent two years of his very short life getting stoned and not playing and hanging out with Kieth.But he profoundly influenced musicans that came after him and he had that voice.Listen again to his vocal on "Life in prison".

TheDrOldsmobile@aol.com
MICHAEL NESMITH IS AWESOME. NESMITH DESERVES AS MUCH CREDIT AS PARSONS, HILLMAN, AND ALL THOSE BYRDS GUYS. NESMITH WAS TRYING TO WORK COUNTRY INTO THE MONKEES AS EARLY AS 1966 WITH PAPA GENES BLUES. THE MONKEES NEVER WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED CREDIBILITY IF IT HADNT BEEN FOR NESMITH. NESMITH'S SOLO STUFF FROM THE 70'S IS CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED AS PARSONS WAS AT THE TIME WHEN ONE LOOKS AT THE CHARTING OF THE ALBUMS. IF YOUR INTO THIS TYPE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTRY ROCK CHECK OUT VIDEORANCH.COM. AL PERKINS PLAYS STEEL AND LEAD WITH NESMITH ON LIVE AT PALAIS 1977 NOW AVAILABLE ON CD. LOOSE SALUTE, MAGNETIC SOUTH, NEVADA FIGHTER, AND THE HITS KEEP ON COMING, TANTAMOUNT TO TREASON, AND PRETTY MUCH YOUR STANDARD RANCH STASH ARE ALL ESSENTIAL NESMITH OFFERINGS IF YOURE INTO THIS TYPE OF MUSIC. LEGENDARY STEEL PLAYER RED RHODES PLAYS WITH NESMITH ON THESE. I AINT GOT NOTHING AGAINST PARSONS FOR THE BENEFIT OF PARSONS FANS AND I BELIEVE PARSONS IS BETTER THAN PRINDLE GIVES HIM CREDIT..

mmthorne@charter.net
You "critics" are all the same. Let's hear your album and then we'll criticize.

UPSPRINGCREEK@comcast.net
gram parsons playing with elvis's band kicks ass. on the return of the grevious angel, gram says pick it for me james. james burton is one of the finest guitar player of all times. needless to say, hank garland was the guitar master of that time and due to his tragic accident, james burton took over and we love him! hank was a studio musician that played with everybody. check out our website @hankgarland.com or search hank garland news.

Jjrs42@cs.com
Hank Garland played with Gary Burton on "Jazz winds from a new direction" or something like that. Country and jazz,hey listen to Django, he came from the country.

UPSPRINGCREEK@comcast.net
you are a stupid moron. sorry you never heard grevious angel until its second release. i listened to it when it first came out and continue to love him. yes hank played country, elvis patsy cline roy orbison etc. in fact a movie about his life is being filmed in l.a. called crazy. he played with gary burton on atleast 6 jazz l.p.s rolling stone mag. named grevious angel as one of the top 100 records of all times in 2004. get a clue

debbi.barker@lax.baltrans.com
Have you checked out the Return to Sin City - Tribute DVD? I thought yah yah another tribute show, but It is real interesting to listen to the voice over of Polly Parsons talking about using it as a project to get to know Gram and what he was about. Very cool tidbits like the fact that Keith Richards was using the guitar strap of Grams that Polly gave him. I really found it so interesting and the performances were all pretty damn great really. Especially Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Dwight Yoakam and John Doe rocked....Pollys quest has sent me on one of my own to check Parsons out more closely which brought me here.

locolupe@telus.net (David)
I guess we're all entitled to our own opinions. Gram was, to say the least, a huge contibutor to the way we hear "country/rock", or Cosmic American as he would have liked. I'm saddened to read such a poor review on your behalf. Maybe you should just kick back with some headphones, lights out, and really listen to him? I don't mean to sound cocky, but maybe if you tried that you might just want to write another review. I have come to really enjoy his songs, and it's too bad you don't hear it the same way, because you're missing out.

dingus44@charter.net
Gram will be rembered long after you are forgotten!

alexmortland@hotmail.com
Gram makes a nice gateway into country music for rock fans, especially for those in love with rock myths. Y'know, Keith Richards' best friend, self-appointed country missionary for the rock world, junkie martyr whose corpse was stolen & burned in the desert by his best friends... That's a hell of a biography, and if it gets more rock fans (like me) to appreciate GOOD country music, I'm all for it.

You're right, though, his solo records aren't much; by that time he was simply too fucked up to care. Gram's real masterpiece was the Burrito Bros' debut in 1969. Best country record ever.

U753@aol.com
Agreed. this guy reviewing GP would be like akin to Charlie Daniels reviewing Tristan and Isolde or better yet, Swan Lake.

old hippy dude.

awpittman@insightbb.com
Well, not everyone hears the same, I mean, you can only hear so many notes in a setting, I am not going to lead a crusade to sack and pillage your music collection, I will let you live and keep them! Now, I think Gram was and is still one of the most influential writer, performer of the last half of the 20th century, he is still doing it!, there is not a "country" artist that will not acknowledge that. ok, I'm done.

ARDR0220@aol.com
Gram put real heart and soul into his version of country music. All you have to do is listen to a song for you and She. Not mention his cover of wild horses that song makes me cry every time i listen to it..EVERY TIME

gms12558@yahoo.com
Gram Parsons Tribute 2005 - Waycross, Georgia (where Gram once lived) - Weekend of October 15th.

BE THERE!

gramfan@netspace.net.au
I discovered Gram late in my life although I lived through all the 60's music. (In my opinion, the best years ever - Beatles, Stones etc etc.)

When rock went downhill,,,,I became more interested in Country rock, (and maybe this is an almost natural progression), especially the likes of Dwight Yoakam and also Steve Earle.

I agree with most of the comments by other "posters". You either "get" Gram or you don't and to me that is very telling.

Also,,the Eagles came after him and they owe their success to him.

Since I discovered Gram I rarely listen to anyone else. Does that mean his music is very satisfying or that I relate to it so much? I guess "yes" is the answer!

Gram has it all. His music is timeless and relevant so many years after his death. It sounds like it was written yesterday. The Nashville sound,,,most of it,,is rubbish and contrived. It has little artistic merit and little originality.

My biggest regret is that there is so little live footage of him. Watching him sing a little of "I'm Your Toy" is breathtaking.

Shame there is only one documentary about him as far as I know.

They should make a movie about his life as they did for Ray Charles and Bobby Darin.

What a classic tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll,,,,but more importantly - UNIQUE TALENT!!

genecroyle@hotmail.com
Son, you don't "get it" cause you weren't there. I'm 54 & remember well sitting in a Chicago suburb with friends listening to the FBB, few things can match the times, the friends & the meanings that GP brings back to me.

gbug50@msn.com
You Sir are a punkass little bitch

taylor.lee@ncmail.net
I didn't know much about Parsons until recently, but his music and the stories surrounding him have attracted my interest. Hence I chanced upon your site.

I don't need to jump into a vituperative diatribe against your comments, because I don't know enough about Parsons. And you, sir, are indeed entitled to your own opinion and comments - regardless of who dislikes them.

However, I do have to wonder: why have you bothered to review an artist that you obviously can't stand? A talented reviewer is capable of influencing listeners because they can listen to the music and hear the important things - or lack thereof - and make well written commentaries about their impressions. Why, if you dislike country music so much, are you bothering with it on your site at all? I'm not a country music fan, but I also know that my disinterest in a lot of country music means that I would not be a worthy reviewer of any such music in earnest. Your comments are not really a review, but a ranting.

I don't know what it is about Parsons that gets to you so badly, but whatever it is may warrant treatment by a physician or psychiatrist. That, dear sir, is my humble opinion. My opinion, along with yours and a $1 bill, will buy you a small Snicker's candy bar...

jvexiled@yahoo.com
You, dude, are a asshole. You remind me of those young MTV producers who last summer during Live8, cut away from one the most FAMOUS guitar solos during the Pink Floyd reunion to talk about ipods or some crap. What a dickhead.

joe@joesbikeparts.com
Wow, who are you, and what makes you think you have a clue about what songs are good, and which ones are not? Plus how old are you? First off let me say this, yes you are entitled to your opinion. But its like my Universe, I ride Motorcycles, and like the saying goes, "IF I HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT YOU WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND". You have to understand the times that Gram lived, we as a Nation were going through some extremely difficult times. What I find interesting is how you like Johnny Cash, and yet Johnny listen to all music, and did he not borrow one, or, two songs from a couple Rock bands? Now as for Gram, well lets take another look at some of the people out there who were singing at the time, how about Bob Dylan, when Bob was ALL F---up, he could not sing worth a damn, and he would be the first to tell you. Oh and what about Kris Kristofferson, this man will tell you how he hated to sing his own songs, and he would be the first to let you know. Its not always the singer, but the MEANING OF THE SONG-HELLO!? I personally LIKED Grams STYLE, and thats probably more of why people liked his music, he gave it his best shot, and I do believe he would not GIVE A DAMN of what you thought about him or, his MUSICAL STYLE. Yes sadly he passed at an early age, sounds to me as if GOD needed some extra tallent for his show upstairs. Plus when you think of the equipment they used to record back in the day, try checking out the EARLY days of the Blues Artisits recordings. Do you sing, do you have the drive that Gram, and the rest had, or have , to make it? I did not hear you talk about some of the other ROCKABILLY Boys, Like for instance Billy CRASH Craddock, Johnny Horton, and a host of others, Songs like Rub it in-Rub it in, Honky Tonkin`, and tons more that you would probably also critisize. The bottom line; sounds to me as if you are jealous, did someone offend your style of music? Or was it you got compared to Gram? {YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!} What is your STYLE? You see you just do not get it, maybe you should listen to it with an open mind,{LIKE THATS GONNA HAPPEN}. Country/Western of today, is what Gram and the others Started, TRADITIONAL C/W was a hole lot more TWANGING, but still GOOD. It came from the HEART and SOUL, And I would hate to think of what you would say about BLUEGRASS. I am not saying that there are not a bunch of good songs by new artists, but the early ones opened the door for what you have now. Back, even before Gram, they would not even consider it for AIRTIME, they would have banned it. And as for the NON-HICK sound of Grams voice, well not everybody from the south has a TWANGY HICK VOICE. And thats not what defines ROCKABILLY, its the style son, the style! If you want to get A-CLUE, just type in ROCKABILLY, and see what pops up. Gram, and Emmy Lou, had something that youins will never have-HEART, and SOUL. Oh and by the way you had how many Albums, released how many albums, oh I apologize, I thought, you new what you were talking about, you did not say AL-BUMS, you must have said that you are ALL-BUM. Okay I got it now. MY BAG.

glennhmartin@yahoo.com
Hey Mark - I must tell you this is the first letter of this kind I have ever written. As you can tell by now there are a lot of people who disagree with you...I can also say that there a lot of people that do agree with you. I myself am perfectly alright with that and wonít make this post sound like a Jerry Springer Show. Gram, John Hiatt, and Little Feat are probably my favorite artists and in each case whenever I try to turn someone on to them there is no middle ground. Either you get it or you donít...really like it or just plain could totally do without it. GP and Grievous Angel are my two favorite albums along with Workingmanís Dead and American Beauty. ALL I CAN SAY IS THANK GOD I AM ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES WHO DO GET GRAMS MUSIC! And believe me the others who do get it are passionate about what Gram was doing as you can tell. I myself have even made a pilgrimage to Room Cap Rock and stayed in room #8 at the the Joshua Tree Inn with my 25 year old daughter last year. (Gram fans will know exactly what Iím talking about). I am 53 years old and have been playing and singing (at times professionally) since I was 11. I NEVER thought I would ever listen to country music until one day I heard the greatest male country singer who ever lived MERLE HAGGARD in about 1975. That opened the door for me to find someone like Gram. They say he had what few people had...THE PRESENCE-THAT THING...they say Elvis and I know first hand Springsteen has it...and some others like possibly Bobby Darin. Also Iíll be the first to admit he wasnít the best singer but he could sing with more emotion than 99% of the singers I have ever heard. As a musician I understand the incredible musicianship that went into those two albums. Had anyone ever heard pedal steel and dobro in the same song? Granted you can say he hired James Burton and the boys to help him sound good. Well yes thatís the idea. He had a vision which came to fruition in a big way in the form of a new genre of music called Country Rock and got the best people to help him get THE WORD out. Not many people can lay claim to inventing a new genre of music. Bill Monroe with bluegrass, The Allmans and Synyrd for southern rock and Black Sabbath and Zeppelin with heavy metal come immediately to mind. It doesnít happen often and then sometimes too often in the case of rap and disco (I just had to get that in). There is something called a musicians musician. They are not known by the masses but are highly respected in the music community. People like Lowell George, David Lindley, John Hiatt, and Ry Cooder I could go on and on. Gram is a member of that community which BTW is the community a real musician aspires to be a member of. Imagine someone who is a million times more famous 30 years after his death...that must tell you something...can we all be wrong? Just as with the blues you find your way back to Robert Johnson...in country rock you find your way back to GRAM PARSONS. Maybe like me the first time I heard Reggae it really didnít click til about ten years later someday youíll pull out those GP albums and...well you never can tell.

Thanks for letting me put my two cents in.

jwa@alaweb.com
It's amazing that there are people who have lived in this country all there lives and because of all the clap-trap notions that are in our culture about what is good and what is not can't see through all that and just enjoy what is truly great american music. Do you not recognize talent when you hear it. The wheel is considered to be an invention of genius but the simplicity of its design would be infantile in your eyes. You must learn to listen to music and learn something about music and then you will realize that what this man did on those two albums and the way he and Emmylou sang it, well it can't be duplicated by any of us mortals. You will learn when you learn to listen.

ctorre@amuniversal.com
Best comments ever.

bopalog1@hotmail.com
i am curious as to your age ....(you have pretty well established that you THINK you have something worth saying) i was mostly amused by your asessement of Gram Parsons...as a person who actually plays music for a living, has done so for my entire adult life, and was around when Gram first appeared...i am baffled by your hostility in the guise of awareness...i bought "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" the week it was released....at first i was a little baffled, but it grew on me....i had been an avid Byrds fan from the beginning, sheesh, i bought "Turn., Turn. Turn" as a '45 before buying the LP....and golly, i was a KID...i grew up in a small city in Ohio, with a more cospolitan awareness than most of my friends (as my Father came from Europe) but my Grandparents were basically Southern Ohio/ Kentucky folks...i watched a TV show called Midwestern Hayride out of Cincinnati with them every Saturday night when my brother and i would spend the night there before Mom would come Sunday, and then Grandma, me, my brother, and Mom would all go to church. (both my Dad and Grandpa had little use for the place)

i decided to write to you as it seems you are more in love with yourself than the music...more into thinking about than feeling it...at least that is how you come across in your writing...i came across you site, because i was looking for info on Music Explosion on an impulse...wondering what became of those guys etc.....and lo and behold....I DID LEARN SOMETHING although i also saw where you were into details so much that you may have forgotten to check your bucket....

i grew up on Country....but i also grew up on the Beatles, and HECK i grew up on all sorts of stuff...

and i am not "rich and famous" but i can play my ass off....and so what...at least i know what is real and what isn't...and whatever ANYONE wishes to say about Gram Parsons, i never doubted for one second as a 14/15 year old , that he was singing from the heart....and sure, he ain't Geroge Jones, but neither is Johnny Cash...and George Jones is no Don Gibson....whatever...

i think you need to drink more, or drink less....or get off the Xanax....i have no idea...but try giving up being numb....you might just bust out and cry....i suppose you get all teary listening to "My Way" by Sid Vicious...shucks, at least i hope you do.....be well, whatever you REALLY do, and i will visit your site again, as it is interesting, even if callous....

pollyparsons@earthlink.net
i am gp's daughter...

Can you imagine reading all this?

All I can say is YOU do what he did in six years and we'll talk.

He was chosen, enjoy it, period.

love it, or grow up.

fionahmackenzie@btinternet.com
poor moronic fool

jimwestjr@verizon.net
Why would you choose to pan an artist whose best work (Flying Burrito Brothers' Gilded Palace Of Sin) you neglect to review? And, if you don't 'get' country music, why bother reviewing it?

Gram is the gateway by which many rock and roll fans have discovered and now appreciate country music. It's no crime that you are not moved, but why not just criticize country music as a genre, rather than picking on Gram?

ddickso2@uccs.edu
When describing hardcore AC/DC fans, George Starostin used Mark Prindle's AC/DC page as evidence to prove they were the most criminally insane folks on the planet, as of January 2000.

These reader comments just proved him wrong.

Are you people just not getting laid or something? Is Gram Parsons the force driving the rotation of the Earth and/or Jesus Christ in disguise? Have you gone off your meds? I mean, I'm just throwing hypotheses out there. Obviously most of you are legally demented for SOME correlative reason. ESPECIALLY you, Polly Parsons--really, as his offspring, you should know better. Crazy celebrity's daughters. Thought they were all like Hannah Montana--was I ever wrong.

IT'S JUST ONE FRIGGING MUSICIAN. Mark almost certainly dislikes Klaus Schulze's ambient masterpieces, and tsk tsk on that, but I'm not about to cuss him out in German or invoke a Nazi blood vendetta on that account.

Next thing you know, we'll have James Taylor groupies hacking the website, I tell ya. Silly country fanatics. . .

Now as for me, I've heard this guy's International Submarine Band album and the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Can't say I liked the style he espoused on either album, but the man can write a song when he wants to. And his classics ARE classics--"Luxury Liner" stands up there with anything Jefferson Airplane ever recorded. Plus none of them are BAD songs--for music that wouldn't be out of place in your cozy ole Midwestern small town church, it taps yer toe.

Before any of these psychotic folk track down my location and launch a pitchfork through my solar plexus, I'm off to listen to G.P. I have a feeling I'll give it about 3 points higher a rating than Mark--still possibly a forkable offense in the eyes of Ms. Parsons and others, seen above. One second.

(*the next day*)

Eh. . . make that 5 points higher. Polly Parsons, launch your giant SPOON. Do thy worst.

This album doesn't quite stand out as "CLASSIC!!" like All Music Guide says it does, but I can see why one would think that. It's got your odd classic here and there (Song for You, Streets of Baltimore, etc.) a whole bunch of pleasant hummable toe-tappin' filler, and (even among fans, I seem to be alone on this), no really stinky songs, and it ends with one barn-burner of a country rocker "Big Mouth Blues" that seems to have inspired a whole generation of Toby Keith-esque good-natured jock country buffoons.

Come on. I lived in Dallas for eight years. "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" is considered a CLASSIC down there. What can I do against such brainwashing? Nothing, that's what (although Keith Anderson blows).

Having only heard Safe at Home and Sweetheart of the Rodeo before this, I can safely say Mr. Parsons is much much much better off writing his own damn songs than covering the "greats." When he covers the "greats", he sounds like he's in church. On this album, he sounds like a country STAR and not merely a country "LEGEND." Call me a Garth Brooks fan if you must (you'd be correct--Ropin' the Wind kicks this album's arse), but gimme "Big Mouth Blues" over "authentic" pablum like "The Christian Life" any day of the week.

Yup, I've turned into Starostin. Next thing you know I'll actually LIKE borshch. Yechh.

jehan.khoorshed@gmail.com
I agree, Gram Parsons is probably the most overrated artist in rock or country history. I think people just wanna be like him and hang out with Keith Richards. These two solo albums have about five good songs between them; everything else is filler from an artist who could barely string together a competent set of tracks

ddickson@rice.edu
You kiddin' about the Flying Burrito Brothers? They're the fruitiest hick music this side of the crap in the movie Nashville! When you mix Tennessee church music with a Simon and Garfunkel soundalike channeling hippie Twee-Hee!, you get something I cringe at.

Still, it's not like most of his other stuff is LESS fruity. The only album of his I've not heard by now is Grievous Angel. If that doesn't hit the spot, I guess I will also deserve to be a target of the flamers on this page. Good times, y'all!

sandiego6656@gmail.com
Iím just wondering who you are what qualifies you to write music reviews. I read several of your reviews and even when I agree with your ďtasteĒ your descriptions of the artists are childish and unoriginal.

And youíre dead wrong about Gram Parsons. His music is absolutely beautiful. But you have to listen to it and live with it to really ďget itĒ. I donít suppose you do that - you just cruise through a CD in an hour and write your uninformed and thoughtless opinions.

By the way, ďrealĒ music reviewers and historians donít allow their prejudices towards one particular genre of music to influence a review. Your bias against country/folk music is pretty clear, notwithstanding your alleged love of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan (two artists who happen to have influenced and been influenced by Gram Parsons, by the way).

chrisjsutton@gmail.com
lol. You should never tell a fan that you don't like Gram Parsons. Man, they will rip you a new one! A few of my friends are huge fans of GP, The Byrds, The shins, etc... When I told them once that I would rather listen to something with some balls I thought they were going to lynch me. Fucking hell! Country and Western? This IS the music they will play in hell. On Repeat. For-bloody-ever!

Not all pleasant music is good music.

So I thought someone should stand up on the other side of the fence. It does exist! I've been there man!

atticweb@verizon.net (Will James)
Wow, just saw your idiotic comments on the web. I'm sorry for you.

J T Green
Gram Parson was genius. No question. His music is and will always be timeless. Grams music has enriched my life in so many ways. I love Gram, and the world is a better place for him having visited. R I P Gram.'I'll always listen.

Matt
I have to join the chorus saying you should get rid of your Gram Parsons reviews. It's funny when you shit on the entire Miles Davis discography, but I don't see any point in shitting on all of Gram's two albums. Like it's cute to be dismissive of sacred cows and all, but why Gram Parsons? I don't know if you just really really wanted to make those jokes about Garth Brooks and the Eagles, but two jokes isn't enough to carry these two reviews. When I was a retarded teenager, I used to try taking Led Zeppelin down a peg, and I am speaking from experience when I say this page makes you look like a retarded little kid. Big fan of the site but this shit is some shitty shit.

Mark Peasley
I couldn't agree with you more. Undoubtedly the manner of his demise has elevated him to sainthood but most of his contemporaries assert that he was no innovator or leader in the growth of country rock. Chris Hillman stated that Dillard and Clark, who preceded The Flying Burritos, were doing much better things. Apart from the undistinguished melodies, Parsons' music was not improved by his mediocre voice.

Bob Wyman
I just read through all the Gram comments and what a flame war the tone deaf have inflicted upon you!
I am qualified to speak along musical lines and say yes, Gram was not that talented, he was not a songwriter in any sense, his vocals were thin.
I would suggest that "fans" stop defending Gram and just listen and enjoy. He was not a giant in the industry. He was an alcoholic and a junkie. Most likely he was a sociopath as well.
All of you pick up a copy and read "Road Mangler" by Phil Kaufman. Phil knows more than anyone what Gram was about.
For anyone who wonders I am over 55, a guitarist, a biker (1%er), I wear a Sin City rocker on my leather cut, I have heard and owned everything Gram put out even a 45rpm that was to be part of a movie soundtrack "The Russians Are Coming", (guess the song). And to Polly Parsons: How well did you know your father?
If anyone wants to know what a songwriter actually does listen to Tom Waits, James McMurtry, Dave Alvin, John Hiatt, John Prine. One song by any of these guys contains more poignant lyrics than Gram's whole "catalog".
Yes Gram was instrumental in pioneering country-rock and I thank him for that and Chris Hillman I thank for everything he did including convincing Gram to go hear an unknown Emmylou...

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