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The Gilded Palace of Sin, The Flying Burrito Brothers

A&M Records, February, 1969

Track Listing: 1. Christine’s Tune, 2. Sin City, 3. Do Right Woman, 4. Dark End Of The Street, 5. My Uncle, 6. Wheels, 7. Juanita, 8. Hot Burrito No. 1, 9. Hot Burrito No. 2, 10. Do You Know How It Feels, 11. Hippie Boy, 12. Do You Know How it Feels to be Lonesome

As the sky begins to rust over Joshua Tree National Park, coyotes make their play traversing pumpkin sands that leak into cool shades of jasmine, goldenrod, and creamy gray. The surrounding hills coordinate amidst the shifting hues, covering themselves with a bouquet of muted colors worthy a Thanksgiving table setting. The Joshua trees themselves that were the star attractions during the sunlit hours don evening attire that camouflage their day-glow green and plays tricks on novice photographers foolishly trying without success to capture the magical transformation taking place before their disbelieving eyes.

Quick! Someone give me the number to Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. I need to order me a white nudie suit. I will have them cover it with sparkly sequins in the brightest flowers imaginable, throwing in splashes of pills of every color. I will reserve a patch for marijuana leaves and another for two big beautiful bare breasts, and maybe even throw in a burrito in homage to the man and his mates who laid down these twelve blissful tracks. On the back, there will be a lone, prickly Joshua tree: a symbol of the Cosmic American Music cowboy at peace in his eternal resting place.

Gram Parsons didn’t just sing a song, didn’t just become it, he grabbed you and pulled you under right along with him. The Gilded Palace of Sin isn’t just any album. It is a love letter to Nashville. Hippie boys doing right by their country forefathers.

As time stands still in the cricket darkness long after the visitors have all departed, the coyotes serenade the moon. If you listen real close, inside their mournful howls you just might hear a voice pure as the stars and sky and simply as gorgeous as ever.

“Once upon a time
You let me feel you deep inside
But nobody knew, nobody saw
Do you remember the way we cried?

-from “Hot Burrito #1”