Grievous Angel by Jessica Hundley, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Grievous Angel

Grievous Angel

by Jessica Hundley
     
 

There has never been a better time for a book on Gram Parsons. At the thirty-year anniversary of his death, his sound, a mix of country and rock 'n' roll, is absolutely everywhere. Popular musicians of today trace their inspiration to pick up a guitar to when they first heard his music. His songs and his style have had a lasting effect on the music of our time. Now

Overview

There has never been a better time for a book on Gram Parsons. At the thirty-year anniversary of his death, his sound, a mix of country and rock 'n' roll, is absolutely everywhere. Popular musicians of today trace their inspiration to pick up a guitar to when they first heard his music. His songs and his style have had a lasting effect on the music of our time. Now, together with Parsons's daughter, Polly, Jessica Hundley has created an intimate and extensive biography that brings together never-before-seen photos and illustrations, unpublished letters, and in-depth interviews with some of the many artists whose work was shaped by Parsons, including Keith Richards, Emmylou Harris, Wilco, and Ryan Adams, among many others. Grievous Angel is the tribute that the legions of Parsons fans have been waiting for—a book that brings to life the story of the Southern boy who revolutionized the way music sounds.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The psychedelic '60s had more than its share of excess, and nowhere was this truer than in the Los Angeles music scene. Parsons, one of the originators of country rock, was all too typical, rising to stardom and dead of a morphine overdose at age 26. In this fluffy, interview-packed biography, music journalist Hundley and Parsons's daughter, Polly, who was seven when Parsons died in 1973, chronicle his life, from his privileged but troubled Southern childhood to his cremation in the California desert. Born into a wealthy Florida family, Parsons was encouraged by his mother and stepfather to nurture his musical ambitions. Dropping out of Harvard, Parsons landed in L.A. in 1966 and charmed the hippie-resistant country crowd; joined the seminal band the Byrds; fathered a child (Polly); formed the Flying Burrito Brothers; befriended Keith Richards; and discovered Emmylou Harris, periodically returning to Florida to pick up his trust fund installments. Although the authors take considerable artistic license describing Parsons's thoughts, they fail to provide more than a superficial portrait. Heavy on atmosphere but frustratingly light on insight, this biography portrays an ambitious, charming, spoiled and self-destructive artist who might be better remembered through his music. Photos. Agent, Alex Smithline. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In case the name doesn't sound familiar, Gram Parsons (1946-73) was a member of several folk revival, rock, and country bands of the mid-1960s, including the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Despite his relatively short career (he died of a drug overdose at 26), he became a cult figure in the annals of American music, having been one of the first people to integrate country and rock music successfully. Freelance writer Hundley and Polly Parsons-Gram's only child and a musician in her own right-tell the story of this influential but not widely known musician with sensitivity and attention to detail. They include never-before-seen photos, unpublished letters, and dozens of short interviews with well-known musicians like Elvis Costello and Keith Richards, who explain why Parsons's work is so important. Since the focus is squarely on Parsons, Hundley and Parsons neglect the contributions of other artists to the country-rock hybrid. But they tell Parsons's tragic story, with its few ups and a whole lot of downs, very well. Recommended for public libraries with popular music/performing arts collections.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560256731
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
10/06/2005
Pages:
290
Sales rank:
1,167,197
Product dimensions:
0.65(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Hundley has been a freelance writer for the past decade, specializing in film and music journalism. She has interviewed numerous actors, directors, and musicians for a variety of publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Premiere, Blender, Mojo, Interview, BlackBook and The Guardian, among many others. She lives in Los Angeles.

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