Gram Parsons – The Streets of Baltimore


Cap Rock, Joshua Tree National Park

My brother recently visited Cap Rock in Joshua Tree National Park
outside of L.A. He had just seen a Travel Channel documentary  depicting
the September 19, 1973 overdose of country/folk rock songwriter and
performer, Gram Parsons, who was a former member of the Byrds. The
documentary quickly covers the story of Gram’s death and how his road
manager, Phil Kaufman, made good on a promise to burn Gram’s body at
Joshua Tree upon his demise. Good friends keep promises. Phil kept his
promise to Gram.

Many photos are out there of Gram Parsons communing with nature at
Joshua Tree, especially with close bud Keith Richards of the Rolling


My nephew communing with nature and pondering how to dispose of Uncle Scott’s remains in the near future.

Gram teamed up with folk legend Emmylou Harris to record their version of the heavily covered “Streets of Baltimore”:

Back in 2003, Johnny Knoxville, Christina Applegate, and Michael Shannon (Agent Van Alden of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”) starred in “Grand Theft Parsons.” This scene depicts Phil Kaufman (played by Knoxville) dousing Gram’s casket with five gallons of gasoline and setting it ablaze at Joshua Tree.


  • “Streets of Baltimore” — Wikipedia
  • The Strange Death of Gram Parsons: 1973 — Byrd Watcher
  • 1969 Desert Trippin’: Gram Parsons, Anita Pallenberg & Keith Richards — The Selvedge Yard)

Tompall and The Glaser Brothers – Streets Of Baltimore

Bobby Bare – Streets of Baltimore

This entry was posted in Music. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Gram Parsons – The Streets of Baltimore

  1. Tom Warner says:

    Great post Scott! I just got a 1,000-page new biography of The Byrds by Johnny Rogan, a follow-up to his mere 800+ previous bio! I taped that “Grand Theft Parsons” movie off Sundance Channel years ago but never got around to watching it. Is good?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.