Hanging out in JT for the Thanksgiving holiday and have begun to consider Gram Parsons and all that entails here in JT. Is he a spirit? Is he a legend? I’ll be going on a journey to find him here in JT and this is day 1. Hmmmmmm lets see what we can dig up and out.
Today is November 21, 2018 and our beginning point is the Joshua Tree Saloon where April Yats and I go for breakfast and to do some intel recon on Parsons. After asking a few “old-timer” looking dudes some questions, I saw a few people at a table that my instincts say have something to say. And they did. Both moved to JT because of Parson’s legend. One has a friend that hung out with Parsons in JT during his tenure here and the other is a musician that does a few songs by Parsons to pay homage to him.
Then it was over to the owner of the saloon to see what he has to say…plenty. Turns out that the left side of the saloon was another bar where Parsons would drink and shoot pool. The saloon reinstated the Gran Parsons Festival in September of 2018 for the first time in years. Thy are planning on an even bigger event next year which will last a whole weekend instead of one day.
Next, it was over to the Joshua Tree National Park visitors center to see if they have a map of the park so April and I can find our way to Cap Rock which is a Monument Landmark geological formation there. This is where those freaky friends of Parsons brought his corpse and set it on fire because “that is what Gram wanted.”
At some point it was decided that I would try to touch base with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde and hear her story of her horse rescue efforts. We went over to the MDLM office and did that. This was my son Ethan’s idea and it seems like a good one.
Almost forgot to mention that yesterday while on the train to come here on the first leg of my journey I tried to download “Wild Horses” by The Flying Burrito Brothers several times and it would not work. There are several files of “Wild Horses” on iTunes and each one was corrupted. Caused me lots of irritation and iTunes tried to bill me for downloads that never completed because they were corrupted. I’m beginning to wonder if that is a sign from Parsons that he is out there.
While I was in Paris the first time it was through my iPod that The Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison used to contact me and kept freezing it up on his music. So this wasn’t too farfetched and far-flung to think that perhaps Parsons was using my iPod to garner my attention…it worked. I’ve been coming here for quite a while now and this would be the first “sign” I’ve had from him.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am not sure if we’ll go over to the JT National Park and check out Cap Rock or not. A guide at the visitors office drew up a line of how to get there from where we come in.
Today is November 22, 2018 and we went to Joshua Tree National Park today and drove to Cap Rock and took in the energy of it all. This place is unreal with an almost extraterrestrial like landscape. Came to clearing where the event took place and Gram let me know he was there by giving me two rusty bottle caps. Bottle caps at (bottle) Cap Rock is a very subtle way for a spirit to allow its self to be heard.
April and I played Gram’s music and then a Native American blessing song. An offering of sage was left behind to say thank you and cleanse the area. There were so many tourists there today it was hard to do what needed to be done to finalize the deal. The pass is good for a week so we will return before I leave.
November 24 drove over to the JT Inn to look around and see what could be seen. Office was closed, but decided to look around anyway if there was a way.
November 24 we went over to the Joshua Tree Inn and did some snooping around the building. The office is only open from 3pm to 8pm so we decided to come back another day. Found a few rusty bottle caps so I know Gram is with us. Also made contact with a wonderful alcohol ink artist to purchase a beautiful card with a horse on it for Johnette Napilatano in order to reach out. Contemplating the concept of “Vortex”. Another bottle cap artist I met last month at the HWY 62 Art Tour was selling his creations at a farmers market in JT and he told April and I that the JT Inn is booked ages in advance…oh my.
November 25 drove back over to the JT Inn to interview whomever was there to speak to and get answers to my questions. Upon entering the office I was greeted by a lovely young woman named Dee Dee. She knows so much about Gram and his story that I am inclined to call her the encyclopedia of Gram Parsons.
The office is practically a shrine to Gram with photos, news clippings, guitars and what not. It is impressive. The mirror in Gram’s room is still the same one and there is a shrine memorial in front of room 8. There is a huge guitar adorned with tributes to Gram as well as items on the bottom of the guitar. Lots of things are there including the sage that I put there for April and I. Dee Dee tells me that the most popular item to be left are guitar picks and that she is using them in a collage she is constructing as a tribute to Gram.
I mentioned that the Arctic Monkeys had been in JT and had recorded there as well as play at Pappy & Harriet’s. Her sweet face lit up and she told me that they had stayed there and that there is a recording studio up the street. Hmmmm I was sort of hoping that they had used Johnette’s studio.
Never made it into #8 because it was occupied, but did make a reservation to stay there in January 2019.
Gram did offer up info that I was curious about in his cosmic chatter, but I’m saving that for my column. He explained about one of the incidents that keeps occurring in #8 which when I think about it makes perfect sense.
Dee Dee gave me information that doesn’t quite go with what someone else had said so I need to verify it with Phil Kaufman. There is one scene from Gram’s passing that still haunts me and it involves an ice cube…seriously.
Dee Dee wants all to know that this was no suicide and that his overdose was an accident.