Great song. “To Love Somebody” Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Close Up the Honky-Tonks, 1973. Recorded during the Gram Parsons era, 1969-1970, but it was not released until after his so untimely death.
They took him away from us. Stole him away. Away in the night.
In the desert night, with a full moon, with the coyotes howling, the gorgeous hippie girl he had just met for the first and last time in the lobby, a mere waif of a woman, carefully, even reverently, sank the morphine needle into his vein. Gram Parsons looked out the window of the hotel room, five double Tequilas already under his belt, and saw a sky full of stars.
The Joshua trees outside seemed to be swaying to some strange music only the desert knows. God closed the chapter of this gorgeous book of a man that night.
Just before he blinked out, Gram looked out the window at the sky in a morphine and Tequila haze. It had been so covered with stars that it was nearly white as snow. But now there was not a star in sight, nothing but black ink all around. Gram, a son of God if there ever was one, nodded his head and closed his eyes for the last time in his life.
They say sometimes if you go to a certain spot in Joshua Tree National Park at night with no one around at a certain time of year and the weather is just right, and you are just high enough on whatever you can get your hands on, as you dissociate in the cold still night, you can barely hear, off in the distance amidst the howling coyotes, the sound of Gram Parsons’ guitar and wailing voice.
They took him away but he’s also still with us. For now, maybe forever.