Inspired by the exploits of ill-fated country-rock visionary Gram Parsons, this mid-60s tale of idealism and escape traces the trials of a fictionalized draft-dodging flower child from the United States to Canada and back.
It is the late 1960s in Yorkville, Toronto's hippie ghetto of artists, intellectuals, drunken poets, and would-be rock stars. In this idyllic haven, narrator Bill Hansen, a drummer, meets Thomas Graham, an American musician on the lam from the draft. The two form a band, but even as they revel in music and freedom, Graham is hobbled by another love: a drug habit that becomes his reason for living and, eventually, for dying. Graham's emotional trip and failed, revolutionary life reflect the rise and fall of an entire generation's aspirations.