This Week In Classic Rock History

SEP 20-26: Historic events this week from Gram Parsons, The Clash, Paul McCartney and Tom Petty

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SEPTEMBER 20, 1973: GRAM PARSONS’ BODY STOLEN & BURNED
At a friend’s funeral, the former Byrd/Flying Burrito Brother told his road manager that he one day wanted his ashes scattered in The Joshua Tree desert.

Upon Parsons’ death, Phil Kaufman impersonated an undertaker, hijacked his friend’s remains, and burned the body in Joshua Tree.

Gram Parsons died of an overdose at age 26. Two months shy of the dreaded 27 Club.

A loose account of the body-theft was made into the movie, Grand Theft Parsons, starring Johnny Knoxville as Phil Kaufamn.

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SEPTEMBER 20, 1979: LONDON CALLING COVER PHOTO
Clash bassist, Paul Simonon grew angry at NYC’s Palladium upon realizing bouncers weren’t allowing the audience to stand up during their performance.

Photographer Pennie Smith captured the moment he smashed his bass guitar out of frustration.

The shot would end up becoming an iconic image, and graced the cover of The Clash’s classic London Calling album.

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2018: EGYPT STATION IS #1
To celebrate the release of his 17th solo album, Paul McCartney played a private show at Grand Central Station.

Egypt Station became McCartney’s first album to debut at #1 of the Billboard 200.

It was his first #1 album since Tug of War in 1982.

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SEPTEMBER 25, 2017: PETTY’S FINAL SHOW
A week before his death, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played their final show at the Hollywood Bowl.

He played all the songs you’d hope to hear including “Free Fallin'”, “Refugee” and “Learning to Fly”.

The last song Tom Petty performed live was “American Girl”.