Last night, the sons were both out for the evening and we had the house to ourselves.
My husband turned on the Jimmy Fallon Show, which was showing clips from the forthcoming documentary about the making of Exile on Main Street. We are both card-carrying lifelong fans of the Rolling Stones, and children of the 60s, so it was a real treat for us.
As we watched grainy images of their ramshackle mansion in the south of France, where the Stones fled to escape taxes in the UK, I was reminded of Gram Parsons. In a documentary about Gram Parsons, his time with Keith Richards in France is recounted at length by a narrator who notes that in the end, the Stones got tired of Gram and sent him packing when they decided to go on tour. For a time though, Keith and Gram were musical soulmates and spent all their time together, singing and playing guitar.
I said aloud: “Poor Gram, the Stones chewed him up and spit him out.”
Mr. SW took issue with this and said: “Listen, you can’t blame the Stones for what happened to Gram Parsons.”
Me: “Yeah but I’m just saying, when Keith got through picking his brain they booted him out.”
(Now, I realize that no one gives a shit about any of this. But bear with me.)
Mr. SW started acting like the Stones’ defense attorney. I in turn became Gram’s attorney. We traded increasingly tense arguments on our clients’ behalf. At some point I exclaimed, “Hey, I love the Stones, I love Keith, he’s my fucking style icon, I’m just saying that it probably hurt to be treated that way! I’m not saying that it made him go kill himself in Joshua Tree for god-sake!”
The show ended and Mr. SW invited me to follow him to the bedroom.
We lay on the new Sears Deluxe Firm Pillowtop bed and the argument continued.
Mr. SW: “Oh poor little Gram, trust fund kid….”
Me: “Oh god, why bring his trust fund into it! That’s not his fault! Look at Mick Jagger, he was upper middle class…”
Mr. SW: “No he wasn’t, his father was a gym teacher!”
Me: “FINE, he was middle class, firmly middle class!”
Mr. SW: “Then don’t say upper middle.”
Me: “Well, you don’t have to get nasty. You said trust fund in a nasty way. It hurt my feelings.”
Mr. SW : “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I’m just saying that you can’t blame the Stones, Gram was big boy, he knew what he was doing.”
Finally, I started to cry.
Me: “I love Gram Parsons and now he’s dead and so don’t be mean to him!”
Mr. SW: “I’m not being mean to him, I’m just saying the Stones didn’t kill him.”
The evening ended harmoniously. I hope the subject never comes up again. But Mr. SW has pre-ordered the reissued Exile on Main Street. Maybe we should renew our marriage vows before it arrives.