Gram Parsons Goes Missing
Dying doesn't get much more rock & roll than it did for alt-country godfather Gram Parsons. Or, rather, what happened after death, when the singer kicked the bucket at 26 from an apparent mix of alcohol and opiates inside a hotel room at Joshua Tree National Park. The cosmic cowboy had previously confided to his road manager, Phil Kaufman, that he wished to have his ashes spread at Joshua Tree. So Kaufman did what any real friend would do: He stole Parsons' body and casket before it could be sent home to Louisiana, took it to the desert, doused it in gasoline and lit it on fire. The body, or what was left of it, was later returned to Parsons' family, and Kaufman was fined $750 – but only for stealing the casket. There wasn't a law in California against stealing corpses.