As a singer and songwriter, Gram Parsons stood on the nexus of numerous musical crossroads, and he offered his soul to the satan at each one. His intimates and collaborators incorporated Keith Richards, William Burroughs, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Fonda, Roger McGuinn, and Clarence White. Parsons led the Byrds to create the seminal nation rock masterpiece Sweetheart of the Rodeo, helped to steer the Rolling Stones past the blues of their appreciation of yank roots tune, and located his musical soul mate in Emmylou Harris. Parsons’ solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel, at the moment are famous as visionary masterpieces of the transcendental jambalaya of rock, soul, state, gospel, and blues Parsons named “Cosmic American Music.” Parsons had everything–looks, aura, funds, type, the simplest medicines, the main heartbreaking voice–and threw all of it away with either arms, demise of a drug and alcohol overdose at age twenty-six.
In this fantastically written, raucous, meticulously researched biography, David N. Meyer offers Parsons’ mythic lifestyles its due. From interviews with thousands of the recognized and imprecise who knew and labored heavily with Parsons–many who've by no means spoken publicly approximately him before–Meyer conjures a blinding landscape of the artist and his period.
Praise for Twenty Thousand Roads
NAMED the best BOOKS OF THE yr via THE la TIMES
NAMED one of many 5 most sensible ROCK BOOKS OF THE 12 months through ROLLING STONE
“Far and away the main thorough biography of Parsons . . . skewers any variety of myths surrounding this perpetually mythologized performer.”
–Los Angeles Times
“A very good biography of a rock innovator that hums with juicy aspect and wincing fact. . . . web page after web page groans with the folly of the ’60s drug tradition, the tragedy of expertise toasted ahead of its time, the curse of wealth and the insanity of wasted opportunity.”
–The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The definitive account of Gram Parsons’ life–and early demise. From the country-rock pioneer’s prosperous, wildly dysfunctional kinfolk via his symbiotic friendship with Keith Richards, Meyer deftly illuminates considered one of rock’s such a lot elusive figures.”
“Meticulously researched . . . even though Meyer solutions loads of long-burning questions, he preserves Parsons’ legend as a guy of mystery.”
“Meyer provides Parsons a radical, Peter Guralnick-like treatment.”
–New York Post
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Additional info for Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music
He used to be lackadaisical approximately it. ” What encouraged LaVoie to place up with Gram was once listening to Gram play LaVoie’s father’s Baldwin organ within the LaVoie front room. “I was once dumbfounded,” LaVoie says. “We have been all youngsters with guitars and here’s Gram enjoying like that. I’d by no means heard something yet cocktail tune and criteria on an organ. I knew ‘Palisades Park’”—Freddy Cannon’s 1959 hit, well-known for its swirling organ sound—“but this used to be the 1st time any people had heard an organ used reside. ‘Palisades Park’ used to be the #1 checklist. I stated, ‘We’ve bought to do that checklist. ’ i used to be so excited I couldn’t stand it. Our one practice session, while I counted off and Gram begun making a song, used to be striking. I couldn’t wait to do it onstage. We have been going to be the best factor on the planet. the matter with the Baldwin is hauling it round, yet Gram had the Volkswagen van. ” The Rumors had a task at a teenager membership in Cocoa seashore, the Tiger’s Den. LaVoie recalls, “It used to be an armory, ok? They referred to as it a young person membership however it was once an armory. ” the lads rehearsed “Palisades Park” and a pair of different numbers with Gram. The plan used to be that the Rumors might do their typical set after which Gram could take part for the organ songs. Dougie Wiggins drove Gram to the LaVoie condo, and the Rumors helped load the Baldwin into the van—no effortless feat. The Rumors headed off to Cocoa seashore, leaving Dougie and Gram to capture up within the VW. The Rumors arrived in Cocoa and arrange. the outlet bands played and the Rumors’ time drew close to, yet Gram nonetheless hadn’t confirmed. The Rumors have been scheduled to accomplish at 8 o’clock. The Cocoa seashore highschool instructor operating the exhibit informed the Rumors they can cross on with their lacking band member or with no him, yet that they had to move on at 8. “Seven, no Gram. Seven-thirty, no Gram,” LaVoie says. “He was once so laid-back approximately everything—we knew it was once him screwing off. ” The band went on. At eight-thirty Gram seemed on the aspect degree door. LaVoie says, “We wore those white shirts and white ties and coats. i may see the blood on his blouse. His tie used to be loosened and he was once distraught-looking. We have been in the course of a tune, so I had approximately ten seconds to offer him. i do know he has a few half-assed excuse why he’s past due. I’m pissed. We stopped taking part in and—you need to do not forget that in 1961 humans didn’t cuss the way in which they do now—and he stated, ‘Don’t be mad at me. We hit a cow, we hit a fucking cow. ’ I stated, ‘What? ’ and he stated it repeatedly, love it used to be all he may perhaps say: ‘We hit a fucking cow. We hit a fucking cow. ’ i used to be so decided we have been going to play that tune I neglected him. We move combat that organ out and front of the bus is mangled. I consider a few piece of a cow—some ear—stuck within the grille, and that i observe: ‘They particularly did hit a fucking cow. ’ That man Dougie—there’s no entrance in those vehicles, no motor, no protection—he had a damaged foot. He couldn’t even flow. “My way of thinking was once: We’re going to goddamn play ‘Palisades Park. ’ We get the organ onstage and Gram retains asserting, ‘I don’t believe so reliable. ’ We count number off, Gram’s making a song, ‘Last evening I took a stroll within the park,’ and he’s approximately eco-friendly.