by David McGowan, The Center for an Informed America, March 17, 2009.
Published here: Sunday April 26, 2009 at 10:29 AM
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Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan’s spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
Don McLean, American Pie
(… continued from Part 13 )
Once ensconced in the hills above Los Angeles, Gram Parsons and his band began recording what would prove to be their only album, Safe at Home, which some pop music historians regard as the first country-rock album, but others regard as a straight country album performed by guys who look like they should be playing in a rock band. Whatever the case, by the time the album was released, in 1968, Gram had disbanded the International Submarine Band and unofficially joined the Byrds, replacing the recently departed David Crosby, who had determined that there wasn’t quite room in the band for both he and his ego.
Parsons’ time with the Byrds was rather brief, just four to five months, after which he was replaced by virtuoso guitarist Clarence White, who had been part of the Cambridge folk scene. Despite his brief tenure, Parsons is credited with having a major influence on the album that the band produced during that period, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, which is also regarded by some music aficionados as the first true country-rock album. Continue reading “Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation – Part XIV”