UPDATE

Out of the blue a friend of mine told me that he had a old police photograph of the Gram Parsons crime scene in the Joshua Tree National Park from the day of the incident.  He soon emailed me a scanned copy of the 1973 photo which seems to be authentic and I have no reason to doubt.  We will not be showing you the crime scene photo out of respect for the family.

In Mr. Kaufman’s own words from his book “We looked up and the flame had caused a dust devil going up in the air. His ashes were actually going up into the air, into the desert night. The moon was shining, the stars were shining and Gram’s wish was coming true. His ashes were going into the desert”.  Mr. Kaufman also stated that even though they used to visit Joshua Tree National Monument (now a National Park) regularly, he was drunk when he did this and he just pulled off to a wide spot in the road, a place to turn around, so this spot, “Cap Rock” was chosen only by coincidence.

After looking at the photograph I saw the rather unique rock sat right next to the burnt casket and body.  I called my buddy and we set out to find this one rock, only about a half-hour from our homes.  From 1973 to 2014 much has changed in the area, roads have been widened and paved, areas that you could drive your car close to “Cap Rock” have been blocked and previously paved areas have been abandoned and gone back to nature.  We still wanted to try to find it, after searching the area for quite a while we had a few suspect rocks but none were an exact match until we started walking back to the car.  I saw a rock that had the distinctive right angles, we walked over expecting it to be similar but not exact just as the other rocks we had seen.  We rolled it over my buddy saw it first, all the notches in the rock in the photograph were on this rock exactly.  WE FOUND IT!

We could not find the other two rocks but I will now leave you to examine the evidence, we just happened to find the rock by chance and I do believe it was moved from the original location by a few hundred feet or even yards due to changes in the area and construction.  I will not reveal the location of this rock but I do ask that if anyone else finds this rock please leave it in place, it is a Federal Crime to remove anything from our National Parks, please leave it for others to ponder in the future.

Take It Easy – Mojave

This is the Rock from the site in 2014 and 1973
This is the Rock from the site in 2014 and 1973

[DesertUSA Note – We brought this story back as the anniversary of Gram Parsons’ death is September 19th. There are two other parts to this story that Mojave wrote as the information came out.  The Strange Tale of Gram Parsons’ Funeral in Joshua Tree and Wind-up: Mojave meets Kaufman.]

3 COMMENTS

  1. I am a big fan of GP’s music and very interested in the whole funeral/Joshua Tree story. I will be traveling to the area in August and would like to know the actual location near Cap Rock if you happen to know it. I’m not so much interested in finding the black rock but I’d really like to find the location where Gram was sent into the ether. Please email me for further discussion. Thanks.

  2. We are heading over all the way from Melbourne AUS – are you able to give us any more specific details on where his actual body was taken to? Would dearly love to hear more information…we are staying in the hotel where he stayed, my husband is a huge fan

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