Article

I've Said It Before, I'll Say It Again: Gram Parsons Wrote "Wild Horses"

Will, I respectfully have to disagree with you the subject of whether Gram wrote Wild Horses. I've given this subject a lot of thought and looked into it with an open mind, and I think it's a Jagger/ Richards song. Here's why:

Keith Richards has stated in interviews and in writing that he began writing the song for his son, Marlon, as he was about to leave on tour. He showed the roughed out lyrics to Mick and Mick turned it into a love song. What reason would Keith have to lie about it? He has always gone out of his way to sing Gram's praises. Mick and Keith are two of the most prolific song writers in the history of popular music history and have more big hits under their belts than you can count. They also have a history of doing lots of covers and giving the writers of those covers their due.

It sounds like a Jagger/ Richards song in every way. The song it sounds the most like is You Can't Always Get What You Want. Taking a stock phrase or colloquialism that you've heard a thousand times and building a song around it is one of their most used devices, from I Can't Get No Satisfaction on to the present. That's not the way that Gram wrote. Gram had a way more original and unique style than that.

The notebook, with the lyrics and chords to Wild Horses wtitten in Grams handwriting that people point to as "evidence" that Gram wrote the song actually points to the opposite conclusion. The lyrics are all written out exactly as they are on the record. When you compose a song you scribble out lines, try new ones and write stuff in the matgins. It looks messy. The version in Gram's notebook looks more like it was transcribed from another source.

I asked Phil Kaufman, on facebook, "Tell us the truth, Phil. Did Gram write Wild Horses?" Phil's response was, "For the Last Time! Gram did NOT write Wild Horses!" Evidently, I wasn't the first person to ask him that question and he's getting tired of hearing it. For those who don't know - Phil  knew and worked for Gram and the Stones and Emmy Lou, and he's the guy who stole Gram's body from LAX and took it out to Joshua Tree and cremated it. If he's that adamant about this subject, it kinda settles it for me.....

You pretty much covered the standard responses that I said I wouldn't argue with, and I won't. We agree to disagree. If you read my piece you'll notice I say there is no absolute evidence and there isn't. As for Phil, late (or early morning) in the emptied out parking lot of the Douglas Corner at the end of the second GPI night, he said to me (he was there all of both nights), "I learned a lot about Gram tonight." I just laughed, a long two days and a long way home. Then I noticed he was serious. With all due respect for my friend Phil, he wouldn't know, he was just doing his job, which was substantial considering what he had to deal with. As for Keith, one day all sorts of legal and otherwise agreements from the Chairman of the Board will emerge. I hope I'm alive to see that. Ry Cooder has openly said that they stole from him. Gram was starry eyed and generous with songwriting credits (and everything else). But I said I wouldn't respond, and look at me. Oh well, some things I feel strongly about. The legacy of a man who can't speak for himself is one I suppose. 

It's cool.

See, that's the problem.  Gram did speak for himself when he gave Jagger and Richards songwriting credit for a song he took from them (and never once hinted otherwise).  Gram not speaking isn't the issue.   The issue isn't Gram's inability to speak.  The issue is people like you, speaking for him.  I can't think of anything more intellectually dishonest than claiming songwriting credit for someone who doesn't deserve it based simply on what you think, and in the process, deliberately choosing not to offer evidence to the contrary.  It's one thing to admit you have no proof of your point.  And it's quite another to deliberately choose to not disclose the overwhelming evidence contrary to your point.  

If you're going to be so protective of someone legacy, at the expense of another's legacy, at a minimum, you should get your facts straight.  Or simply quit beating the dead horse.

If you chose to be protective of Porter Wagoner's legacy, you'd realize just how much Gram Parsons ripped him (and Buck Owens et al) off.  I mean really, you wanna talk about stealing (or influences), it's much easier to link Parsons' sound to Wagoner, then it is to link the Stones to Parsons.  It's called the Bakersfield sound.  And Gram didn't invent it.  He blatantly stole it from the aforementioned, right down to the nudie suits.

 

I always wonder why Parsons is always so lauded by music critics as being innovative, when he is easily one of the most derivative artists I can think of.  Between his covers, and poor mimicry of the Bakersfield sound, I can't think of anything "orginal" the man ever did.  Can you?  That said, does it matter?  Is the world any less off because he was a Buck Owens impersonator?  Or because Mick Jagger was a bad Muddy Waters impersonator?  

Dude i Got 8 Words For U..."Dig a Hole an Get Over it"  :)P...Music is All About Borrowing From Other Peoples Styles & Then Molding it Into Your Own Unique Gig!  The Only Band That i Can Think of That Made me Say WOW Now This is a Style I've Never Heard Before is Alice in Chains "Dirt".......

Dude thanks for the 19,376th view of this page. Just piece had nothing to do with "borrowing," theft maybe, but influence or borrowing, no.

Regardless of Authorship, i Like to Keep it Simple...Does The Song Stir The Soul or Not?  Btw, U Have a Huge Soapbox, Amazon?  :)P  Jokin Bro...

from a 'Sherlock' view, it definetely makes more sense imagining Gram feeling honored by acceptance of the superstars rather than Jagger being as kind to give permission to record one of his (their) songs in advance to anybody, least of all Gram.
Gram might have suggested those Jagger/Richards credits on Burrito Deluxe even as a compliment for his friendship and connection with Keef, like 'may i credit you'? Gram used to be as sentimental as that...
Most likely them Stones decided to publish the song only thereafter, taking the friendly offer into their own reality.

Right, sometimes one ignores the obvious. Glad you don't Andreas.

and not to forget about Mr. Allen B. Klein (December 18, 1931 – July 4, 2009) (an American businessman, talent agent, and record label executive, most noted for his tough persona and unethical practices). . As manager of the Rolling Stones, he controversially acquired sole copyrights to all of their music composed before 1971. (Wiki)

As for ignoring the obvious.  As I posted below, one sometimes does ignore the obvious.  Or simply puts very little effort into their writing.  You're better than this. ?

The Stones, imo, had two stages (to be a bit simplistic but not by much), the Brian Jones stage (my favorite mostly) and the Gram Parsons-Ry Cooder-Leon Russell-Delaney Bramlett-influenced (and sometimes stolen) stage. The former is what got them on top; the latter is what kept them there and to which they owe their longevity.

Yeah, that is a pretty poor assessment of their music and their style.  You covered about 10% of their work which was, indeed, inspired by the burgeoning country-rock scene in America.  You conveniently ignore the remainder of their work which, I'm sorry but, Parsons, Cooder, et al couldn't create if they had 15 lifetimes.  So many of the Stones' tunes have no prior precedent in their finished state.  They are complete innovations encompassing numerous musical styles and inspirations.   They were masters of this.  Like no other artist.  That's what makes them great.   See, if Parsons, Cooder, et al could do that, they wouldn't be footnotes on a music blog. The Stones have never not claimed to be influenced by American music and have gone far out of their way to acknowledge those influences.  More than any other band I can think of.   

Who did they steal Sympathy for the Devil, Monkey Man, Gimme Shelter, Stray Cat Blues from?  Putting those songs in their proper context, they are easily some of the most innovative songs in rock history.  Come on, to act as if the Stones were just a band of thieves is just ludicrous.  If you can point me to a song that predates Gimme Shelter, that sounds anything remotely like it, I'd love to hear it.  It would be interesting to know.  Now, name one Gram Parsons song along those lines.  You wanna talk originality?  Creativity?  Parsons never wrote anything that drastically different from what came before him.  The Stones on the other hand, did it many times over. 

You act as if the artists you cite as inspirations for the Stones, or apparently, victims of the Stones' theft, did not themselves, have influences.  

And the Delaney Bramlett mention made me spit my coffee on my keyboard.  Yeah, the Stones must have received their gospel influence from him.  Not the 1,000s of more accomplished gospel acts that came before him or  served as DB's influence.  And the Stones dabbling in soul music far predates Delaney and Bonnie.  All you have to do is listen to any of their first four records.  And you should check out some of their outtakes on many of the bootlegs out there.  You speak of the Stones peak period being "inspired" by the various artists you have listed.  And no doubt some of their stuff is along those lines.  But again, they were already experimenting along those lines from the beginning.  Why even mention Delaney Bramlett?  You could have stopped at Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke or more directly, Ike and Tina Turner.

Here's a tune that predates ANY involvement with Gram Parsons.  Amazing they could take a stab at this without Gram Parsons or Ry Cooder.      

1966 (a foreshadowing of Beggars)

  Even earlier, a song they wrote and recorded in 1964, but did not release.  INSTEAD, they gave the song to two other artists to release before they did (Dick and Dee Dee and then by Vashti Bunyan).  So much for Jagger not giving songs away.  BTW, the Stones never released Gimme Shelter as a single, but allowed Merry Clayton to do just that.  

 

And of course, Brian Jones, before his death was already playing slide guitar on Stones' records.  Nonsense to suggest that Parsons or Cooder were the genesis of the sound that the Stones laid down between 68-72.  All one has to do is listen to Parsons' or Cooder's records during that same time period.  Laughably one dimensional records when compared to what the Stones were doing.  

 

As this reply takes the most space, I must say that it's wasted space. All you do is deny influence, which I never would. Influence is obvious. Then you bring in a host of songs with videos as comparison while I'm dealing with the genesis of one. Standard diversionary tactic. But again, I said I have no facts other than some quotes and simple logic and interpretation. And well over 19,000 page views here. I thank all you haters for that! (And of course many supporters.)

Thankfully there are some adults in the room who can disagree respectfully ;)

Thankfully there are some adults in the room who can disagree respectfully ;)

And I appreciate those, believe me Buddy! Congrats on the G/G show the other night.

And of course, again not evidence, Keith decides to finale the 2004 Gram Tribute Concert (the last with nothing but major artists, yes I had Sturgill and Lydia Loveless, etc., but...) with, what else and why?, "Wild Horses." Farther Along, In My Hour of Darkness (like we do) seem logical, but no, a song that he wrote with... Mick?

 

 

sometimes i phantasize, whether Mick Taylor, Keef and Charlie (who cares about Bill) wouldn't have really been open to a new beginning with Gram in Mick's place and insofar Jagger's jealousies were not completely from paranoia, Meanwhile Keith and Mick have put their friendship on a whole diff level of course, but back in the day a split could of made sense for everybody and Mick might have turned into something like Rod Steward became in the eighties.

Didn't Mick turn out like a Rod Stewart in the eighties anyway? Gram played with the flamboyant thing that Mick flaunted and which kept the American South-based Stones sound alive in arenas all these years, but I think the real Gram Parsons is the one we finally saw in a few of the Fallen Angels shows, but who's to say what would have come next? So many phases and stages for a guy that died so young.

Keith's interpretation of a rather complex song: "Wild Horses was about the usual thing [this song is about something very precisely, not about the "usual thing" of anything] of not wanting to be on the road." I think that would vaguely agree with what Gram had written, but Gram wrote it very precisely.

Mick: "I remember [as what, in a fog?] we sat around [we?] originally [as in origin] doing this [does "doing this" meaning "writing this"] with Gram Parsons, and I think his version came out slightly before ours. [Everyone knows including Mick that the FBB version was more that slightly first, but Mick seems vague, "I think..." a manner of covering up the obvious question regarding the only time he allowed such a thing]  Everyone always says this was written about Marianne but I don't think it was [wow, again, for such a complex song, he doesn't "think" it was about Marianne (it wasn't)]; that was all well over by then. But I was definitely very inside this piece emotionally [as we all are when we hear it Mick]. It is very personal, evocative, and sad [boy, I couldn't agree more, and quite obvious]. It all sounds [sounds, as in listening not knowing as the writer] rather doomy now, but that was quite a heavy time." Indeed.

And Chris Jagger's quote about being basically a "Gram Parsons composition, not that he got anything for it." http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/unsung-jagger-rolls-his-own-way-20090812-ehlr.html

 

 

 

 

 

their statements would be identical, if they had claimed having written 'Mr. Tambourine Man', just sayin...

Will, just in case you didn't know, the Norwegian mystery writer Jo Nesbo (who is also a popular musician in Norway) seems to agree with you. In his 2003 novel "The Devil's Star" he has his protagonist Harry Hole arguing with a friend (who thinks the Stones are the world's greatest band) and Harry say, "The Stones are not the world's greatest band. Not even the world's second greatest band. What they are is the world's most overrated band. And it wasn't Keith or Mick who wrote 'Wild Horses'. It was Gram Parsons." (p. 208 in the 2005 English translation hardback)

I don't view the Stones so harshly but I found that argument quite interesting.

Look forward to discovering Mr. Nesbo. Thanks.

Well well well Mr Nyman I've read all Nesbo's books but forgot about the argument Harry had over the Stones. I bow to your superior memory. I don't really care who wrote Wild Horses as it's just a great song. I do agree that the Stones are overrated and listen to Gram Parsons more than I do the Stones, but having never seen them live, yet, I can't really comment on worst/best as you could level the same argument with the Grateful Dead a band I have seen live (35 times) and they were on those occassions both the best and the worst. Great work Dennis and I've only just seen your (2015) post via Ed's recent Stones comments on his walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, but better late than never.

Love your passion for the subject Will...as someone who has read extensively about Gram, and loves his music, I always believed this song to be Gram's, though I can't lay claim to knowing Phil Kaufman like Lost Hills, who is also a passionate and honorable guy like yourself.  Some of the commentors' here have made great points as well...maybe someday we'll know, maybe not...either way, we can debate it, and at the end, like Lost Hills said, "it's cool".  If only politics worked that way...

Will...It took me only 5 minutes to find enough "proof" that Gram Parsons did not write Wild Horses.  Both are first hand accounts.  One is a first hand account of the first ever recording of Wild Horses and Jagger and Richards' writing process.  The other is a first hand account of the first time Parsons heard the song and asked the Stones to cover it (covers were quite common for Parsons).  

Jim Dickinson, legendary producer, was there when the Stones first recorded Wild Horses in 1969 and describes a partial song that was finished by Jagger right there in the studio.   Here's Dickinson describing the event (@ 1:55).

There you have it.  The Stones arrive at the studio with a partial song and leave with a finished song.  Where was Gram during this process?  Hiding in the piano next to the drugs?  Here's the Stones during the filming of Gimme Shelter, in 1969, listening to the Muscle Shoals version of Wild Horses.  This was BEFORE Gram Parsons recorded it and is consistent with Stanley Booth's account as posted below.

 

The other first hand account is by Stanley Booth, Stones biographer, who describes Parsons' first encounter with the song.  From an interview with Booth, who was present at the time.

"PSF: What kind of effect do you think Gram might have had on the Stones' music?

I don't think he really had a hell of a lot of effect on it. Keith was already into Jimmie Rodgers and all that stuff. People talk about "Wild Horses"... That had NOTHING whatsoever to do with Gram. Henry Ford said 'a lot of history is more or less bunk.' A lot of history is wishful thinking. They do a country-seeming song and people say 'oh, they were hanging out with Gram!' That's not true at all.

The Rolling Stones, as little as I like some of the stuff they've done lately, are brilliant, brilliant songwriters. They had everything they needed. They didn't need to steal anything from Gram. Gram knew that. It would have never occurred to him to suggest that they were depending on him for inspiration.

PSF: What about their effect on Gram's work? Anything there that you saw?

Well, he cut "Wild Horses" and had the first released version of that. We had been at Muscle Shoals and then we came out to do Altamont. We had "Brown Sugar" and "You Got to Move" (finished) and "Wild Horses." We were playing this thing over and over and over in the hotel room in Keith's suite. Gram was there and he heard it. They needed to do another Burrito's album and Gram said 'would you mind if I did "Wild Horses"'? Keith said 'It's fine with me. Mick what do you think?' Mick said 'OK, as long as you don't put it on a single.' So that's how it happened.

Gram loved the Stones, he loved Keith. He was a fan. Hell, how could you NOT be?"

http://www.furious.com/perfect/gramparsons/booth.html

I really wish you would use your talent to set the record straight on this instead of perpetuating some baseless, and easily disproven myth.  Gram did not write Wild Horses.  No more than he wrote Love Hurts or Dark End of the Street.  

Mick and Keith are notorious for not giving credit where is due.Ask Mick Taylor Marianne Faithful and Ron Wood. It sounds exactly like a melancholy Gram song with slow low spoken word singing along with strong country influence. Stones had no country feeling prior. Why would the Stones after letting their main song writer and inspiration go, allow a killer song be released a year before they did. They knew he wrote it maybe not fully fleshed out but enough to not stop him. Regardless Gram had the germ of the song if not in demo form. I like both versions and The Sundays too. So there is no absolute proof one way or the other, than the Grams nice guy persona and Stones track record and overall BS.

No harm, no foul, but you captured the zeitgeist of the post-truth era there, Will. Feelings trump facts. Not that the Stones are squeaky clean in the credit department. "Love In Vain" , according to the Stones, was "Traditional, arranged Jaggers and Richards". Robert who?

How cool of you to use the new cool phrase of the year: post-truth, and with "zeitgeist" besides! I wrote this a long time ago, before this "era." And I had it set to approve comments (the piece says I won't even argue the point) but the new owners of ND evidently re-set that). As we used to say in television, Thanks for watching... almost 18,000 page views!

My original post was actually much longer and even more pretentious, but I edited severely when I realized your piece was from the vaults. (Replies can be edited, but not deleted, apparently.)

Ha! Cool. 

Yeah no the capabilities here at the NGND are limited...

Wow over 55o NEW views since ND re-posted this piece from 2013 on their recent FB page. Pushing total views way past 19,000. And btw, I believe the page counts of legacy posts re-set to zero after the new owners took over. As we used to say in TV world, Thanks for watching! 

 

Dissecting the best that Mick could do:
"Mick: "I remember [as what, in a fog? this quote is from 1971] we sat around [we?] originally [as in origin] doing this [does "doing this" meaning "writing this"] with Gram Parsons, and I think his version came out slightly before ours. [Everyone knows including Mick that the FBB version was more that slightly first, but Mick seems vague, "I think..." a manner of covering up the obvious question regarding the only time he allowed such a thing, giving one of their songs to someone he despised]  Everyone always says this was written about Marianne but I don't think it was [wow, again, for such a complex song, he doesn't "think" it was about Marianne (it wasn't)]; that was all well over by then. But I was definitely very inside this piece emotionally [as we all are when we hear it Mick]. It is very personal, evocative, and sad [boy, I couldn't agree more, and quite obvious]. It all sounds ["sounds," as in listening not knowing as the writer] rather doomy now [not sure Mick would ever say one of his songs sounds anything negative], but that was quite a heavy time." Indeed. 

 

 

That is precision surgery Will...well done!

Leaving aside "the corporation that is Mick Jagger" for a moment and how he's supposedly denying Parsons his just rewards, what about Gram's dear friend Keith Richards, who to this day is still one of his biggest fans and supporters? Surely, if there was any truth to this assertion, The Human Riff would back his pal up...right? Well: 

"If there is a classic way of Mick and me working together this is it. I had the riff and chorus line, Mick got stuck into the verses. Just like 'Satisfaction'. 'Wild Horses' was about the usual thing of not wanting to be on the road, being a million miles from where you want to be…[the song] almost wrote itself. It was really a lot to do with, once again, fucking around with the tunings. I found these chords, especially doing it on a twelve-string to start with, which gave the song this character and sound...I started off, I think, on a regular six-string open E, and it sounded very nice, but sometimes you just get these ideas. What if I open tuned a twelve-string? All it meant was translate what Mississippi Fred McDowell was doing – twelve-string slide – into five-string mode, which meant a ten-string guitar…"

That should settle it. If you want to say that Parsons effectively inspired the song by influencing the way Richards was playing and writing at the time (and you would have to include Ry Cooder in that as well, who turned Keef on to alternate tunings to begin with), who then in turn influenced his main collaborator, Mr. Jagger, and for that reason it kind of sounds like the type of song Parsons *could’ve* written, I can certainly agree with you there. But did he actually write it himself, and then those mean old Glimmer Twins denied him credit…and he never fought for it, even when he released the song himself a good year or so before the Stones did?  I respect your opinion, Will, but that just doesn't ring true for me.

 

Been responding to these comments since this was published in 2013 and I said in the piece that I wouldn't. Mick giving this song to a guy he despised to record first for the only time ever, perhaps that's the key. But I've done what I said I wouldn't a million times. I said at this time there is no proof. Only Truth, to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't think Mick "despised" Gram. He may have resented Gram for seemingly monopolizing Keith's attention, and maybe even suspected they were feeding each other's bad behavior -- which is one of the reasons they had to boot him out of Nellcôte the following year during Exile sessions and send him home -- but that's merely speculation. I see no reason to disbelieve Stanley Booth's recount of the genesis of the song, how it was finished in the studio, and when Gram first heard the Muscle Shoals tracks and asked Mick and Keith on the spot if he could cut it. "As long as its not a single," seems like a reasonable request, given the circumstances. And it was certainly not the "first time ever" other artists covered Stones' songs, even prior to their own release, the list starts with Marianne Faithful doing "As Tears Go By" prior to their own version in 1964 and goes to include Chris Farlowe, The Searchers, and Merry Clayton to name a few. As for this being "truth to you," I don't share the vitriol others have shown in trying to disprove this, and if it enhances your enjoyment of the song to believe its from the hand of Gram, then fair enough.

Oh thank you for allowing me my delusions sir. 

 

Quite obviously, Donovan inspired Gram, who inspired the Stones, thus inspiring this discussion.  Case closed.

I doubt this case will ever be "closed" Jack, but I am sure Dennis is watching out there somewhere...

An interesting hypothesis, Will.  

This has just (Dec 20, 2016) been posted to YouTube and claims to be the last interview with GP.

Skip to approx 13 minutes where Gram says that the first time he heard "Wild Horses" was the day after Altamont. There is no indication that he had anything to do with writing it.

 

Hey the guy always wanted to be a Rolling Stone (thank God he wasn't). You don't get there by pissing off Mick Jagger. And frankly Gram never cared much about getting "credit."

26,600 page views and counting.

I wrote this four years ago (at least, was on my blog first) long before today's hyper-sensitive world of Facebook and Trumpian tweets posing as Truth. So let me say again, this essay is basically literary analysis and opinion. The term "fake news" did not exist then (not sure it existed before say August of this year!); it is obviously not any kind of "news." I am not presenting it as fact. (Yes I'm also saying that everyone else should say the same thing; the facts are at least jumbled, and as long as the Corporation that is Mick Jagger is a reality, I believe will remain so.) I'm assuming there is some interest in the subject, with well over 26,000 page views since the post-Kyla FreshGrass counter reset to zero on legacy posts. I would put this note on the top but I can't edit it anymore as the account under which it was posted no longer exists. So relax everyone, enjoy my flight of fancy if you want to perceive it thusly. Or as I do, just go with what ol' Bill Faulkner said, "I don't give a damn for facts, just truth."   

Agreed!...I Coined This Phrase Let me Know if U Agree..."If Words Were a Weapon, There'd be More Casualties on Youtube Then All of The World Wars Combined".......Peace 

So many intelligent folks I know that have sworn off Facebook for that reason; I'm mainly there for my mission and my shows (read: marketing) otherwise I don't know. I changed last week from "open" to "friends" and that helped some; so nice to "unfriend" when necessary. Crazy world but it is what it is... speaking of which has anyone here at ND reviewed the Drive By Truckers' "We're an American Band"?

"If Words Were a Weapon,

Instead of a Sound"...

"Our Dear Friends &  Loved Ones,

Would Lie Dead on The Ground"....

 

This post will never die, but if it did, this would be a great place to let go...love you Will and CTP...peace to you and all!

Backatcha Jim, Happy Holidaze! 

 

 

Interesting piece. I'm ready to believe. Here's the real proof, to my ears: Mick sings it (and the Stones play it) as Parsons does. In other words, they treat their version as a cover of his. Would they do that if they had written it? Let him dictate the definitive version?

Question: what is the picture st the top? It needs explanation. Whose notebook, whose handwriting? Or is it just fictional? Gotta have a caption so we're not confused  

 

It's Gram's notebook, his handwriting. Which is by no means evidence, as others will tell you, that Gram wrote the song.

My standard disclaimer that I will repeat with every new comment:

I wrote this four years ago (at least, was on my blog first) long before today's hyper-sensitive world of Facebook and Trumpian tweets posing as Truth. So let me say again, this essay is basically literary analysis and opinion. The term "fake news" did not exist then (not sure it existed before say August of this year!); it is obviously not any kind of "news." I am not presenting it as fact. (Yes I'm also saying that everyone else should say the same thing; the facts are at least jumbled, and as long as the Corporation that is Mick Jagger is a reality, I believe will remain so.) I'm assuming there is some interest in the subject, with well over 26,000 page views since the post-Kyla FreshGrass counter reset to zero on legacy posts. I would put this note on the top but I can't edit it anymore as the account under which it was posted no longer exists. So relax everyone, enjoy my flight of fancy if you want to perceive it thusly. Or as I do, just go with what ol' Bill Faulkner said, "I don't give a damn for facts, just truth."   

The post that keeps on giving, fake news and alternative facts not withstanding!

It is not fake news or alternative facts but I get your meaning Jim. Wow, over 30,000 page views! Astonishing.  [Now 48,000]

Agreed...it is neither of the things that the current adminstration is selling, that was just a response to your disclaimer saying what the column is as opposed to what is is not...but it is astonishing that it has had such a shelf life, and people continue to respond...

Wild Horses

Originally recorded over a three-day period at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama between the 2nd and 4th of December 1969 the song was not released until over a year later due to legal wranglings with the band's former label. Along with "Brown Sugar", it is one of the two Rolling Stones compositions from Sticky Fingers over which ABKCO Records co-owns the rights along with the Stones. It features session player Jim Dickinson on piano, Richards on electric guitar and twelve-string acoustic guitar, and Mick Taylor on acoustic guitar. Ian Stewart was present at the session, but refused to perform the piano part on the track due to the prevalence of minor chords, which he disliked playing. Now everybody and their dog knows that Kieth was writing it due to having to leave his new born son Marlon (born in August 1969). So there is "evidence" the original masters cut by The Stones prior to Gram even knowing about it. 

Gram Parson while being good friends with Keith Richards due to collaborating on other works begged to cover the song (shown that he had no prior songwriting session with the pair).... 

Now, if you would have watched Gimme Shelter which chronicled a December 06, 1969 concert and filming them at the time, there is a part where Keith and Mick listening to the song (no Gram Parsons) at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios which is definite proof who owns the song...and if still in complete denial, contact ASCAP and say you would like to publish Wild Horses and need to contact the songwriter but, not 100% who, they will give you Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and whoever also owns publishing rights.....

Well known fact the band had issues with ABKCO Records, do you think ABKCO would admit to having to share with the Stones, they would have jumped on the chance to have someone else. I know how labels are especially being thieves, they would screw you as fast as look at you.

Hey Gary, just so you know, this thread is many years old, and the great majority of the comment thread here (hundreds of comments back and forth) has been achived and is not shown here...this is but a tiny porition of the total comment thread that this post originally generated...your points delineated here supporting the Stones, and numerous counter points arguing for Gram have been made 50 times over by now...this is more or less the same argument as trying to convince Trump supporters that he's a bad guy, they aren't buying it...you aren't going to convince the Gram faithful otherwise...

Having said that, I do get a kick out of it coming back to life everytime it does...I'm sure CAP does too...

Love you Jim but not sure I agree (or like) "this is more or less the same argument as trying to convince Trump supporters that he's a bad guy," but whatever. At this point anyway, it seems to me that most "Gram faithful" agree with the Gram had nothing to do with it "theory." I don't give a crap. Now well over 35,600 page views since the Freshgrass counter reset it, obviously the most ever here. Whatever. Everyone keeps reciting the same old "facts." You know how many "facts" they taught you in school that turned out to be flat-out lies. Enforced by power elite and dull repetition. You repeat the same thing often enough it becomes true. And other facts that were omitted.  And so much of history is not recorded anywhere, say 99%? It exists in landfills and in whispers. And coffins and the dust in the desert. Almost wish I never published this! The only solid comparison to Trump is the hate generated obviously by hate-filled people. I stand by the piece, and also see my "disclaimer" re: interpretation above in these comments. Now you can continue to hateaway y'all. Cheers, Will James  

 

 

And 

And my standard disclaimer that I promised to repeat with every new comment (although I should add some of my new post above):

I wrote this four years ago (at least, was on my blog first) long before today's hyper-sensitive world of Facebook and Trumpian tweets posing as Truth. So let me say again, this essay is basically literary analysis and opinion. The term "fake news" did not exist then (not sure it existed before say August of last year!); it is obviously not any kind of "news." I am not presenting it as fact. (Yes I'm also saying that everyone else should say the same thing; the facts are at least jumbled, and as long as the Corporation that is Mick Jagger is a reality, I believe will remain so.) I'm assuming there is some interest in the subject, with over 48,000 page views since the post-Kyla FreshGrass counter reset to zero on legacy posts. I would put this note on the top but I can't edit it anymore as the account under which it was posted no longer exists. So relax everyone, enjoy my flight of fancy if you want to perceive it thusly. Or as I do, just go with what ol' Bill Faulkner said, "I don't give a damn for facts, just truth." 

Love you too Will...

Yes...in looking at the statement I made, it's too general...probably shouldn't mention Trump compared to anything else, argumentative or not...he's in a "class" by himself...he is the living embodiment of "repeat the same thing often enough and it becomes true"

As for the piece, I do sort of get a kick out of the fact that it has legs after all this time, and how passionate people are about the subject...but I can see where after a while the author might say "on balance, I wish I hadn't"...

Your comments about "history" and "facts" are spot on...the history that is written is mostly written by or about the perceived "winners", and as you have noted, lots of historical facts have turned out, upon further examination, to be half truths or outright lies...one thing that is true...the music business is full of stories like this one...someone else actually wrote it or someone took credit for it that didn't deserve to...

My point really was, as you noted, everyone parrots "the same old facts"...

My interpretation, as I say all over the place, is there is no evidence. If a deal, then all parties held to the deal, including Gram. The evidence involves facts about when and where it was recorded, and so forth. There is no evidence as to when the song was conceived and how much was written by whomever. Many other considerations are involved other than all the facts that keep getting played over and over again. And certainly all known quotes about how it was written are at least vague if not totally contradictory.