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Do You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star?


It would be nice to be a rock 'n' roll star because that would take the pressure off an otherwise threatening existence. Rock stars, we imagine, have to make no struggling acts of will--they go and play where they are called. They float down stream cutting albums whose sales make it possible for them not to "work."

This is Gram Parsons. Gram Parsons went to Harvard. He is now a rock 'n' roll star. Our rock 'n' roll stars come easy, it seems (if he is one). But there is still a little room at the top. He is a part-time Byrd and full-time Flying Burritor Brother. You can find his name a couple of times in the credits on the Byrds' Sweatheart of the Rodeo album.

Gram Parsons dropped out of Harvard several years ago after only one semester here. He wears a Snoopy t-shirt, velvet pants, shiny white leather jeweled cowboy boots with pointy toes, and a Parisian blue leather jacket. That is to say, he looks like a rock 'n' roll star, too. Gram says he likes his clothes (Donovan has a song called "I Like My Shirt").

There are always a couple of dozen people at Harvard working towards becoming rock 'n' roll stars. A group called Listening which was based at Harvard last year now has an album out. If you were a rock star, you wouldn't have to make any decisions; you could just do that and see where it led.

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