Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel
DVD + DVD Audio
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This definitive biography chronicles a Southern Gothic saga and is a fascinating look at "the Grievous Angel" and the heartbreakingly beautiful music he created. Dispelling myths that have grown to surround Gram, Fallen Angel shows us the essence of his artistry; it is a truly revealing account of his life and ongoing influence. Fallen Angel features music from Gram Parsons groundbreaking career with The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as his highly acclaimed solo albums. Featured interviews include Peter Buck, James Burton, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Phil Kaufman, Bernie Leadon, Avis Bartkus Parsons III, Gretchen Parsons Carpenter, Diane Parsons, Polly Parsons, Keith Richards, Dwight Yoakam, and more.
Cynics have suggested that death is a shrewd career move for some artists, and when it comes to singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, whose life, work, and demise are chronicled in Fallen Angel, they may be right. Although undeniably talented, Parsons never had a hit and made just six albums, and only one of them (the Flying Burrito Brothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin) is a bona fide classic. That's one reviewer's opinion, anyway. Yet three decades after he died (in 1975, at age 26), Parsons is revered as a country rock pioneer, a significant influence on Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, and a colossal talent who never got his due. While that may all be true, what's beyond dispute (and it's confirmed by the great majority of those interviewed in director Gandulf Henning's documentary) is that Parsons was a screw-up, a drunk and drug abuser who squandered his opportunities and dug himself an early grave, even by rock star standards. It wasn't all his fault. Any kid with a family background like his (his father committed suicide and his mother died from the ravages of alcoholism possibly with the assistance of her second husband, Parsons' stepfather, who was a big drinker himself) is bound to have, shall we say, issues; Parsons was also well off financially, a fact that many interviewees (most notably Chris Hillman, who played with him in the Byrds and the Burritos) suggest might have attributed to his lack of driving ambition. Richards, duet partner Emmylou Harris, and other former bandmates are on hand to tell the tale, along with his widow, various surviving relatives, and close friends and associates. There's lots of Parsons' music on the soundtrack, as well as excerpts from a couple of Burritos promo films and some interesting footage of him singing with Harris. In the end, the film's most haunting moments concern the events that followed Parsons' death, when road manager Phil Kaufman commandeered (stole, actually) his casket and drove it to California's Joshua Tree National Monument, where he set it on fire, apparently according to the singer's wishes. Now that is the stuff of legend. --Sam Graham
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this Doc. follows the Fallen Angel from child to passing.
it has been almost 40 years, anyone reading this that can put the word out there are still GP "fans",
and we need something to turn another generation on.
PLEASE PUT OUT A BOXSET & DVD!
...i wish the extras on this DVD had performances with any GP line up,
but for the $ you can not go wrong, i will watch this more than once.
-----> RHINO 40 years, hint hint!