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JIM'LL WATCH IT: TOUCHED BY A GRAM OF GENIUS.

Byline: JIM GALLAGHER

BBC4 on Friday night devoted an hour and a half to a musician who died of a drugs overdose 30 years ago last September and who never had a hit record.

But by the time Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel was over, you were left wanting a theme night.

The scion of a very, very rich Southern family littered with more death and destruction than Scarlett O'Hara's, Parsons was the godfather of alternative country music.

By his death at 26, he'd left a wife, two brilliant solo albums, influenced the Rolling Stones' best work, Emmylou Harris and a bonkers tale whereby his corpse was kidnapped from LA airport, taken out into the desert and burned.

Without him there wouldn't have been the Eagles, which just goes to show every silver lining has a cloud.

Fallen Angel dug beneath the legend, rounding up every friend, acquaintance and family member still alive for a definitive view.

Even Keith Richards could remember meeting him, despite Keith being out of his gourd more often than not in the early 70s.

Its only bum note was the rather ghoulish re-enactment of the corpsenap. The flames weren't really needed.

But even that story was put in its place by the look of devastation as, 30 years later, Gram's sister Diane remembered the events of his death.

If you don't have satellite, don't miss this when it turns up on BBC2 next month.

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GRAM: Parsons' Tale
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2004
Words:243
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