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coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 124 - 11/05/06

If death did not befriend him
Gram Parsons' 60th
On this day, November 5th 2006, Gram Parsons would have turned 60, if he'd hung around for all this time. In person, that is. His music has stayed vital and influential since his passing in 1973. Well, it makes me wonder what he would have made of himself through the years, had he been here. I mean, would he - like every other respectable artist - made a cook of himself through the eighties? Would the world give him as much credit alive as it has dead? Or, was it simply inevitable for him to jump ship either at 27 or around 45 at the latest? Some of us are just not here to stick around for a long time. I'd never expect Townes to be here for his 70th birthday. Of course we're surprised that Keef's still here, but that's simply a streak of luck.

One thing I feel very certain about is that Gram's voice would sound better than ever if we'd had the pleasure of throwing a birthday party for him, with him, today. To hear him sing "Oh, take me down to your dance floor" would probably sound as wanting and needing and probably less caring then ever when he'd hit "I don't mind the people when they stare". You wanna set up an imaginary birthday party show? Of course. I'd kill to hear Dylan having a go at "Cry One More Time". I'd probably cry too, hearing Antony sing "1000$ Wedding". And having Neil Young do "She", I'd sleep outside the venue for a week to get tickets. The grand finale? "Return of the Grievous Angel" of course. Gram walking slowly towards mid-stage, hand-in-hand with Emmylou, as Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen smilingly make way.

Yup, those are the scenes of dreams. Or, that's what dreams are made for as Green On Red once said.

I know people that claim it would be worth dying today if they'd be ensured there is an after-life and they'd be able to hear Gram in duets with Hank Williams ("I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") and Elvis ("Do You Know How It Feels"). To have him write a song about life up there in heaven and sing it with Patsy Cline or just be able to listen to a drunken conversation between Gram and Johnny Cash. Well, we all know it's not true, but for me it's a better picture than any heaven portrayed before.

I have to settle for the legacy Gram left us. Makes me wonder what I'd be listening to when I nowadays pick out the International Submarine Band or "Sweetheart of the Rodeo". Had there been a Green On Red, would we ever get to hear a record like "Anodyne" and would Hank Williams be cool today if Gram hadn't done his work? Impossible to answer, and it doesn't really matter, 'cause all we need to do is to sit down and spend this day from "Safe At Home" to "Grievous Angels". Cry all you want to but don't let it bring you down.

Copyright © 2006 Anders Svendsen e-mail address

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