Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
GILDED PALACE OF SYCOPHANCY.....I’ve been very slowly making my way through one of those MOJO single-artist tribute issues, this one on the ROLLING STONES that came out last Fall, and read a funny piece yesterday on how GRAM PARSONS turned himself inside out to suck up to the band, Keith Richards in particular. The story itself isn’t new, but I was struck by how vehemently folks like Chris Hillman and Mick Jagger reacted to Parsons’ blatant sycophancy. No denying that Parsons himself had some musical talent, but you gotta laugh when you read stories of how he all of a sudden began wearing a Jagger-like feather boa and eye makeup in the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS along with his Nudie suits after months of hanging out with the Stones. Or when Hillman tells a story of Gram trying to skip a show in El Monte, CA in order to pal around with Richards some more, only to be kicked out of the house by Jagger: “Get out of here – go do your job!”. Of course palling around with Richards meant doing untold quantities of drugs, which the story makes clear was part of Parsons’ downfall – not being able to keep up with the legendary ingestion abilities of Keith Richards. I think Richards may even still be alive, somewhere, if you can believe it.