Twenty Thousand Roads

Twenty Thousand Roads : The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music

4.08 (603 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Description

Born to a wealthy Southern-Gothic family of alcoholics and suicides, Parsons possessed an outsized appetite for self-destruction and a singular genius for the American sound. He led the Byrds to create the first country-rock album, founded the acclaimed Flying Burrito Brothers, and taught the joys of American roots music to Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Emmylou Harris. His second solo album, Grievous Angel, remains a masterpiece of country soul. Before it was released, Parsons, aged 26, - brilliant, glamorous and doomed, died of a heroin overdose. Twenty Thousand Roads paints an unprecedented portrait of the man who brought together country music and rock and roll, dispelling the myths and telling a story even wilder than the mythology. Drawing on profound knowledge of the era's music and hundreds of interviews - many with friends, musical partners and lovers who have never spoken before - author David Meyer creates a compelling biography and a rich history of a crucial period in American style, drugs and rock music. Meticulously researched and masterfully told, Twenty Thousand Roads is a dazzling evocation of an artist, his music and his times.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 592 pages
  • 153 x 234mm
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747565775
  • 9780747565772
  • 463,353

Review quote

'Gram Parsons sang with unsurpassed sweetness and soul. At last we have the great biography he has always deserved. David Meyer has not only meticulously researched and chronicled Gram's legend, but he has also written a wonderful, thoughtful and passionate history of the Southern California music scene in its glory years. A must-read for anyone who loves rock and roll.' Dana Spiotta, author of 'Eat the Document' and 'Lightning Field' 'Gram Parsons' life was like a country song, equal parts tragedy and transcendence, often in the same chorus. Richly detailed and researched, David Meyer's unflinching, empathic portrait is of a mercurial and willful talent unable to escape his upbringing and bring-downing, or find solace within his manifest musical gifts.' Lenny Kaye, musician, author of 'You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon' 'An impressive, compelling story yoked to an accomplished narrative engine that pulls one deeper and deeper into Gram's meteor-like journey. Twenty Thousand Roads is a haunting and fragile metaphor of the American myth of freedom. An irresistible read.for anyone fascinated by this country's darkly pulsating and madly exuberant chords of origin.' Rudy Wurlitzer, author of 'Drop Edge of Yonder', screenwriter of 'TwoLane Blacktop' and 'Pat Garret & Billy the Kid' 'A brilliant and heartbreaking account of the brief transit of Gram Parsons, once the brightest comet in LA's rock and roll night.' Mike Davis, author of 'City of Quartz' and 'Planet of Slums'show more

About David N. Meyer

David Meyer is the author of The Best 100 Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of and A Girl and a Gun: The Complete Guide to Film Noir on Video. An Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at the New School for Social Research, he lives in New York City and Ketchum, Idahoshow more

Rating details

603 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 37% (222)
4 41% (249)
3 17% (104)
2 3% (19)
1 1% (9)
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