O for a muse of fire

I have the sense that the unwritten story of the popular music of the ’60s is the devastating toll taken by illicit drugs. At ShrinkWrapped, “a psychoanalyst attempts to understand our world.” Elsewhere on his site the doctor describes himself as “trying to make sense of the unreality around us.” In a message concerning his most recent post — “Drugs, sex, and rock & roll…and suicidality…contintued” — he writes:

I finally put together a post I have wanted to write for quite some time and credited (blamed?) you for part of it. It concerns Gram Parsons, with a special focus on his last album which was released four months after his death and on which Emmylou Harris sang such incredible harmonies. The post also incorporates the drug culture of the 60’s, and the suicidality within the drug culture of the time. It covers a lot of ground and is a bit long, even for me; it is too long for an excerpt to do it justice but I’d welcome you taking a look.

If you, like me, are interested in the subject, please check out the doctor’s thoughtful exploration. The doctor adds a postscript concerning Emmylou’s new project with guitar ace Mark Knopfler, formerly of Dire Straits:

The new album by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler (“All the Roadrunning”) is beautiful, evocative and mature; I listened to it with my family last night for the first time and from 12 (the youngest) to 54 (the oldest, me) all loved the sound. It is almost what you might imagine she and Gram would sound like if he had lived and matured. It is the best new album I have heard in quite some time and I highly recommend it (subject to the caveat that just as some albums grow on you over time after an initial coolness, on rare occasions albums do not wear well and move in the opposite direction.)

Emmylou kicks off her tour supporting the new recording with Knopfler in Brussels on May 26. The tour is scheduled to reach Minneapolis on June 26; I took a loan out to buy the heftily priced tickets last week. Check Emmylou’s site for a venue near you — and for a free preview of the song “All the Roadrunning” from the new recording.


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