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This Week In Classic Rock History (SEP 19-25)

SEP 19-25: Historic events this week from Neil Young, Gram Parsons, The Clash, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty

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SEPTEMBER 19, 1970: NEIL YOUNG’S AFTER THE GOLD RUSH
Neil Young’s third solo album was inspired by a film script written by actor Dean Stockwell.

Having been suffering writer’s block, Young became inspired and envisioned his new songs fitting in well with the movie.

The film was never made, but it resulted in After the Gold Rush. Neil Young’s first masterpiece.

• • •
SEPTEMBER 20, 1973: GRAM PARSONS’ BODY STOLEN AND 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.

• • •
SEPTEMBER 20, 1979: THE CLASH’S 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.

• • •
SEPTEMBER 22, 2018: PAUL McCARTNEY’S 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: TOM 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”.

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