#913: 1969, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Christine’s Tune

by Jackie_South on July 26, 2014

We first featured Gram Parsons all the way back at song #30, but it has taken another three and a half years for us to notch up something by The Flying Burrito Brothers, the band Parsons was in between leaving The Byrds and going solo.

Borrowing a line from Elvis’ (You’re the) Devil in Disguise as a jumping off point, Christine’s Tune is a cocktail of Country and psychedelia, the Louvin Brothers meets Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. You won’t find a more hallucinogenic piece of pedal steel guitar than what the marvelously monikered Sneaky Pete Kleinow (in that ridiculous black furry hat) pulls off here.

The song ain’t the most PC, to be fair. Chris Hillman and Parsons take turns to castigate the maligned Christine (named only in the title) in fairly misogynistic terms. First the spectacularly bouffanted Hillman moans that she’s a man-hater who goes around boasting about sleeping with him. For Parsons, she is jealous and sadistic, but intoxicatingly addictive. Then they both sing about how they are both fairly obsessed by her, but when they call her number, she’s invariably menstruating (“The moon is full and you’re just wasting time”). The poor loves.

So, lyrics are firmly stuck back in the Sixties, but you can’t knock the music. And the fact that this probably gave a few of the old duffers running the Nashville music industry at the time a heart attack is no bad thing either.

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