Stars you may not know passed away

Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons, a 1960s and ’70s rock star, who was known for stints in The Byrds and the deliciously named Flying Burrito Brothers, died young even for musician standards. He died on September 19, 1973, after mixing opiates and alcohol to major overdose levels. He was only 26, meaning he didn’t even qualify for the vaunted 27 Club, though we like to assume Jimi, Janis, and Morrison let him in anyway. The man did help invent country-rock, after all.

His death was a story in itself. As recapped by Rolling Stone, Parsons traveled to the Joshua Tree Inn in California because he apparently loved to do drugs in the desert. There he overdosed and died; then his body disappeared. As it turned out, his friend, Phil Kaufman, had stolen Parson’s body and burned it at Cap Rock in Joshua Tree per a pact between the two. Parson’s ashes were then buried in New Orleans, supposedly because his stepfather stood to inherit some of his son’s estate if he could prove Louisiana residency. Since you couldn’t exactly ask a pile of ashes where they lived, apparently burying them in the state you want them to have lived in is proof enough.