If there was ever a band that deserves more widespread fame, it’d be the late 60’s genre benders, The Flying Burrito Brothers. Formed in LA by ex-Byrds Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman (Parsons was the force responsible for the Byrds move towards country ala ’Sweetheart of the Rodeo‘, even though his vocals were stripped from the record due to a contractual hang-up with his former label) recruited “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow (pedal steel) and Chris Ethridge (bass) as an informal jam band before venturing into the studio with a variety of session drummers to record their first album, ’The Gilded Palace of Sin‘ .
Parsons left the band just after the recording of their second album in 1970, ‘Burrito Deluxe’, going on to record his two defining works ’GP‘ and ’Grevious Angel‘ before overdosing on morphine and tequila in 1973 nearbouts the Joshua Tree National Monument.
How crazy that country rock and alt-country (Parsons himself called the style ‘cosmic American music’ ) owe so much to a trust fund Harvard drop-out? We have a lot to thank Gram Parsons for, not the least of which would be introducing the world to Emmylou Harris.
Super thanks to PCL Linkdump for the find.