Author Topic: Gram Parsons experiences, Part Two  (Read 832 times)


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Gram Parsons experiences, Part Two
« on: Sep 19, 2008, 05:30 PM »
                  It was called 'Gramfest' and I think that he'd already done it four years in a row by the time that I heard about it. Danny Balis, et al, formed 'Agregious Angels", which they later changed to 'Sham Parsons'. I think, in fact, that they changed it that night, after the poster was printed! They performed with other bands, notably Lucky Pierres. Lucky Pierres had also opened for Damnations TX and Kelly Willis in Feb of
'00 at Gypsy Tea Room, also promoted by Mike Snider. Other performers included 1100 Springs and Deadman.   I taped some of this show - Cheryl "Cat Ballou" Null was there. The best performers, in my humble opinion, were Sham Parsons. But all of the
bands were good, and this tradition continued on through 2003.  They did this on
November 5 each year, which was Gram's birthday. Lucky Pierres and Sham Parsons
were the only bands to play at the 2002 and 2003 shows. I believe this to be correct, but I could  be wrong. I do know for sure that the '02 show as held at Muddy Waters and that the '03 show was held at the All Good Cafe. Keith of The Drams was at
the '03 show; I remember talking to him. And speaking of
Keith, have any of you noticed that he resembles Gram quite a bit!?
I've spoken with him about this before, and I know that I'm not alone in this observation because he's been told that by others. Man, if you put a little dark brown dye  on his hair, we've got our Gram look-alike, folks!    Anyway, Danny explained that he'd give these various members of Sham Parsons all of the songs on CD. They'd learn 'em and then they'd play 'em.    And they were Very Good.   It's just a shame that this event no longer takes place. Why don't some of you that are in "the business" try to make somethin' happen?!? Hell, November 5 is just about six or seven weeks from now. To quote Jim of The Doors, "Do it, Robbie, do it!"
Anyway, these shows were really cool. For all I know, which isn't much, the King Bucks do some Gram songs. I haven't ever seen 'em, which is a shame, but maybe I can make it one of these nights. It's hard to make these shows since I'm an old
folky and I live 65 miles away from Dallas and I have to report at 9 AM! This is plain out of hand, and I'm fadin' fast. But here's to Gram, 35 years gone from this planet. We also met Tim Bullock in Joshua Tree in '04 - Tim claims to have served Gram his
last drink, 35 years ago today! He was the bartender at one of the bars near the airport, I think. We went out there in '04, and we weren't sure that this was the place that Tim described, but "after further review" we're pretty sure that it was.  We'd gone to Pappy and Harriet's and we'd told one of the managers there about our Gram trip/obsession. He told us to stick around because of the history of this ex-bartender the his Gram Connection. We talked to him quite a bit, and he even claimed to have spotted the Hearse that was carrying Gram's body out to Joshua Tree! Now, we can't
verify any of this, obviously, and I it may have been a con job. But at least we
weren't asked to sign anything, especially in our own blood. We ended up playin' pool and that's a pretty cool little place. We liked it so much that we went back in '06 and saw The Josh Davis Band. We spoke to some of that band during a break, and Josh
ended up telling us that his biological mother was from Commerce, Texas, where I live. Crazy stuff!   He is a former member of the Dallas band 'Speedtrucker' - I was happy to
hear him dissin' Toby Keith that night.
                      Anyway, the time has come....let me hear your loud applause! wrap this little 'whatever it is' up!   I didn't even get to tell you about the first time I
saw Gram's grave in New Orleans! Maybe another time, but to quote A Clockwork Orange,"it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh!" Since that time, they'd erected a bigger/better memorial to Gram.   Jimmy's been there and he sent me pictures of it.     At the time that I saw it, it was just a circular marker; it resembled a manhole that you'd see on the street!   It simply said "God's own singer" and "Gram
Parsons". I never got around to tellin' you about the 'tour' that Jimmy and I took with one Billy Ray Herrin from Waycross, Georgia, either - Billy Ray is the Gram Expert from Waycross. He's mentioned in the books and he's even shown in the Gram documentary
'Fallen Angel'. To quote The Gourds,'Dem's Good Beeble'. He's championed efforts to get Gram into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and his work may have
paid off. I can't remember if that's happened or not, but I hope that it has or
that it will eventually will...Gram deserves that, at least!
                     When I was reading 'Twenty Thousand Roads' during this past summer, I ended up rating Gram as my #4 artist/band all-time - behind these badasses: 1) The
Beatles 2) Neil Young 3) The Doors I know that it's diffcult to rate bands, especially 'all-time' ratings, but this is what I least in my own red-eyed mind. But to quote my old friend Alan "Yak" Yeakley, "who knows, who cares?" Music is what it is.
                Thank God for it, it's one of our greatest gifts.   So on this 35 year
anniversary of the demise of one of music's greatest contributors, I'd like to thank Gram and the Powers That Be for what came from him, and for what it's meant to me. And while doing my best Michael Scott impression (of 'The Office' fame -TV, a
comedy on NBC, in my opinion the funniest thing this side of Curb your
Enthusiasm) "Would the world be different if Gram hadn't existed?" "Yes!" (and fill
in the blank if you are a fan of The Office and can come up with something funny, because you know that Michael'd be striving for something funny!) The world
would be different, and it wouldn't be as good. Rest in peace,
Gram.   And thanks for the music and for the feelings that it brings.

Low Dog
"and where are the flowers for the girl? she only knew she loved the world, and why ain't there one lonely horn with one sad note to play?   Supposed to be a's been a bad, bad day....oh, supposed to be a's been a bad, bad day" -Gram, 1973