Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels - 1973-03-20 - Oliver's, Boston, MA

Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels
(featuring Emmylou Harris)
March 20, 1973
Oliver's, Boston, MA
Complete show (both sets plus talk)

Audience master recording (taped by David M), Good quality
Available as both Lossless (FLAC) and
mp3 (320kbps) versions
Artwork Included

Gram Parsons is widely regarded as the originator, or father, of 'country-rock' as a musical style or genre. Not surprisingly, Parsons himself hated the 'country-rock' label, preferring to refer to his unique blend of country, rock, folk, gospel, and R&B as 'Cosmic American Music'. Gram was highly influential and immensely talented, but was also somewhat erratic, unfocused, and undisciplined, and, due to his involvement with drugs, ultimately self-destructive. In 1965, Gram formed the International Submarine Band, which may have been the first 'country-rock' band, but had absolutely no success. In 1968, he was invited to join The Byrds, and his influence resulted in a dramatic shift from their previous jangly folk-rock to a definite country-rock emphasis on Sweetheart of the Rodeo. But Gram left after that one album, taking Chris Hillman with him to form The Flying Burrito Brothers, with the specific intent of playing country music with a rock style and attitude. As indicated in my previous FBB post, Gram couldn't stay focused for long with the Burrito Brothers (he was more interested in hanging out with Keith Richards & the Rolling Stones, who he also was a big influence on at this time), so he was kicked out of FBB in 1970. After wearing out his welcome hanging out and doing drugs with the Stones throughout 1971, he returned to the US at the end of the year intent on recording his first solo album. On the recommendation of buddy Chris Hillman, Parsons went to hear a young female singer in D.C., Emmylou Harris, and was so impressed, he asked her to join him on his album on the spot. However, it was almost a year later before Parsons was ready to actually start recording. The resulting album, GP, was released in early 1973. Although the album was critically acclaimed, it was generally ignored by the public. The tour to support the album, with his band dubbed The Fallen Angels (which featured Emmylou and a young guitarist, Jock Bartley, who later formed Firefall), started slow and gained momentum as it went. By the time they played a week-long series of gigs at Boston's Oliver's (3/20 - 3/25), the band was in fine form (and Gram had promised to cut back on his drugs). Presented here is the full first night show (both sets, complete with all between song talk) of that Boston stint. At these Boston shows, the regular band was also joined by Barry Tashian, a Boston musician and friend of Gram's, who had played on the GP album, but declined to go on the tour. By Summer 1973, Gram started recording what would be his his second, and last album (Grievous Angel, 1974). After the album was finished and before they started to tour, Gram decided to take a brief vacation to one of his favorite places, Joshua Tree National Monument. Tragically, Gram died of an accidental drug overdose on that trip, on September 19, 1973, at the age of 26. Thus, this Fallen Angel tour was the last time anyone would ever get to see a live performance from Gram Parsons. Gram's fame and status rose considerably only after his death and the posthumous release of Grievous Angel, which was even more acclaimed than GP, as well as with other posthumous releases and collections of earlier recordings that inevitably followed. The genre and style he created lived on through numerous other country-rock bands over the years, and later in the and recent indie trends. But here we have the originator, Gram Parsons himself, at his best, with the Fallen Angels, in close harmony with Emmylou throughout. This was the first night of a 6-night (3/20-25) stay at Oliver's in Boston. The setlist primarily featured songs from the GP album, but also included 2 new songs ('Hearts On Fire', 'Love Hurts') that would be on the Grievous Angel album, as well as several older Flying Burrito Brothers songs and other country gems. This is another exclusive audience recording from our friend David M. This one had only very limited circulation (some mail trades with collectors, many years ago) prior to this. Once again, I have done some tinkering (primarily adjustments for volume fluctuations, drop-outs, and other minor corrections and improvements). However, to maintain this historic concert intact, I have not edited out any of the between-song talk, applause, or empty spaces. Thus, this is the full show, both sets, as it was presented, and is extra special because there are so few available recordings of Gram Parsons live shows.
Some flaws present in the tapes include a brief tape flip/cut near the end of each set, in which the ending of one song and the beginning of another is cut (as indicated in setlist), and there also is a section in set 2, including part of tracks 4 & 7, and all of tracks 5 & 6, where the right channel audio was lost, so for those sections only, a mono feed (from left channel audio) is used. Hope you enjoy this special presentation of Gram Parsons, and seek out his other material. For more info on Gram's life and musical history, check out Gram's Byrd Watcher pages here (

First set
1. Synthetic Flesh (Instrumental)
2. We'll Sweep Out The Ashes In The Morning
3. My Uncle
4. Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man
5. Streets of Baltimore
6. Country Baptizin' (Emmylou - lead)
7. Band Intros - The New Soft Shoe
8. Jambalaya (Emmylou)
9. Hearts On Fire
10. Merle Haggard Intro - California Cottonfields (end cut/tape flip)
11. Six Days On the Road (cuts in)

Second set
1. Synthetic Flesh (Instrumental)
2. Still Feeling Blue
3. That's All It Took
4. Big Mouth Blues
5. Love Hurts
6. Cry One More Time (Barry Tashian)
7. Sin City
8. Medley (part1): Hang On, Sloopy / B.J. Blues (cut/tape flip)
9. Medley (part2): Bonie Moronie/40 Days/Almost Grown
10. How Much I've Lied
11. Six Days On The Road

Gram Parsons: Vocals & Guitars
Emmylou Harris: Vocals & Guitar
Neal Flanz: Pedal Steel guitar
Jock Bartley: Lead guitar
Kyle Tullis: Bass
N.D. Smart II: Drums, Vocals
Special Guest
Barry Tashian: Vocals & Guitar

Taken directly from a previously very limited-circulation audience master recording by David M. Some editing, adjustments made for better sound quality and presentation. This version prepared exclusively for The BB Chronicles by BBKron (

New links! (Updated 12/22/13)
mp3 version - set1 Gram_Parsons_1973-03-20_-_Boston_set1-mp3.rar.
                      set2 Gram_Parsons_1973-03-20_-_Boston_set2-mp3.rar.

Flac version - 1st set: Gram_Parsons_1973-03-20_-_Boston_set1-FLAC.rar.
                     2nd set: Gram_Parsons_1973-03-20_-_Boston_set2-FLAC.rar.


Rocking--Byrd said...

Probably from another source, but this concert was released on a boot double silver CD on the Weeping Goat label (WG 039-040) in 1997, titled "Legendary Live 1973" .

Rocking--Byrd said...

Oh, and there's another recording out there that has " March 19, 1973" as the date - so it seems it wasn't March20-25 as written in the post.

Rocking--Byrd said...

oh! and thank you very much to David M & BB Chron for these complete shows.

BBKron said...

Thanks for the input, Rocking--Byrd, but I think the dates I list (3/20-25) are correct. Although I am not familiar with the 'Legendary Live 1973' recording, I have heard the other one ('In Boston') that lists a show from 'March 19', and the show they feature is actually from the second set of the 3/20 show (with some modifications), and was actually taken from David M's recording. The show listed as 3/20 in that set is an edited mixture of the 1st and 2nd sets. On that recording they also misidentify a WBCN radio session as being from 3/18, when it was actually from 3/22. I got my information directly from the taper, David M, who was present at both the 3/20 and 3/25 shows. Regardless, previous available versions of these shows have generally not provided the full uninterrupted sets (& in proper song order), as this one does.

Hemraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bglobe313 said...


1. It's good to get any live Gram (especially with Emmylou).

2. Thanks a lot to the taper (David M) and to the person who made this available (BBKron). As we have learned there are a lot of tapes out there, but if they don't get posted, they end up risking being lost.

3. Now a pitch to BBKron: As you have some access to the Boston music of the 1970s, any rare live stuff from The Modern Lovers? Springsteen? And a little more into the 1980s Treat Her Right?

4. Great blog. Keep it coming. We will enjoy,


david said...

From the taper;
the dates 3,20-3,25 are the correct dates. As BB stated I was at the first and last shows. I have a flyer from Oliver's with those dates to verify this. The radio show was done during gram's time in Boston, and the legitimate release deleted one song"Widow Maker",I assume due to a volume problem with the broadcast at WBCN.The cd that BB referenced that has circulated is a mismash of both sets, and was acquired from someone, I assume, I traded this tape with years (1970's ) ago.It is also in incorrect form on Pink Robert's site. I offered him a corrected version, but got no reply. So BB is your only source for the complete show, in it's correct running order, complete with Gram's stoned out blabbering.BB will be posting the show from the 25th in the not too distant future.Thanks to him for posting this, and my other shows as well.Please support his fine site.
David M.

Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

You guys are true experts. I'm just interested in the tunes. And there some excellent ones here. So thank you.

AZ Jones said...

Hello to BB Chronicles. My traffic is down because Bootleg Tunz World does not have links to other blogs on the Archive site anymore. Is that happening to you too? I noticed you have him linked on your blog too. AZ Jones.

Unknown said...

Nice. Thank you. But why no FLAC files? I know it's an audience bootleg, with inherent limitations, but why add even more limitations by just posting the MP3 format? (Plus, the MP3 format will NOT be around forever. So if you want your work to last, then you should definitely upload FLAC files because then the FLAC files can be played as is, OR converted to any file formats in the near future & far future. Whereas MP3 files cannot ever be converted without serious degradation.)

JGMF said...

I have only just encountered this recording, as it has been torrented at Lossless Legs just recently.

This is truly wonderful stuff. Thank you to all involved for making, caring for and documenting this event and recording. Tip of the cap!