Grand Theft Parsons
June 18, 2004
On the Big Board
||Lacking in energy
In the early '70s, Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians in the business. He was an embittered but brilliant performer who was a contemporary of Elvis, tripped with the Rolling Stones, and then finally died of an overdose of morphine and tequila in 1973. It is here where our story really begins.
Inspired by true events that occurred at the time of Parsons' death, Grand Theft Parsons tells the story of Phil Kaufman (Johnny Knoxville), Parsons' road manager. Staying true to a pact they had made two months before Parsons died, Kaufman stole his friend's body and drove it to Joshua Tree National Park to give the musician the last rites he had requested. Parsons had asked to be cremated in the desert he had loved so much during his life.
To add to the authenticity of the story, the movie was filmed in actual locations where these events took place in 1973. The producers were given permission to film at LAX, where the body was stolen, and they also did several scenes in Joshua Tree National Park. Finally, Knoxville wears the genuine denim jacket that the road manager wore when he stole the body, and rides the same Harley trike.
The film's soundtrack includes such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Starsailor, Primal Scream and Parsons himself (in several duets he did with Emmylou Harris). (Kim Hollis/BOP)