From Publishers Weekly This entertaining biography examines the eventful life of singer/guitarist Gram Parsons, who collaborated with the Byrds on the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo , founded the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman and worked with country singer Emmylou Harris. Although Parsons achieved only minimal stardom prior to his 1973 drug-related death at age 26, his fusion of country and rock influenced such bands as the Eagles and the Grateful Dead. Fong-Torres ( The Motown Album ) describes the free-spirited, flamboyant musician's privileged but troubled Southern background and interviews individuals including the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and loyal road manager Phil Kaufman, who, according to Parsons's wishes, attempted--unsuccessfully--to cremate Parsons's body in Joshua Tree National Monument, a park in California. Fong-Torres drops music-biz names and reports on the colorful 1960s and '70s fast lane with finesse; Parsons's profound, continuing impact is felt in admiring testimonies from friends and fans.
The saga of the legendary Los Angeles band Little Feat is one of rock 'n' roll's great stories. Formed in 1969 by ex-members of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Little Feat created groove-heavy music that was an irresistible mix of rock, blues, R&B, country, jazz, soul, and funk. Fronted by the charismatic but doomed vocalist and brilliant slide guitarist Lowell George, the band recorded such classic studio albums as Sailin' Shoes and Dixie Chicken, as well as Waiting for Columbus, which many consider to be one of the best live albums of all time. Acclaimed journalist Ben Fong-Torres--working with Little Feat's surviving members, their friends, and associates--wrote Willin' based on hours of brand new interviews with the key players. The result? The first definitive biography of this beloved rock 'n' roll institution.
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