Longtime Road Manager Phil Kaufman Seriously Injured in Motorcycle Accident
Phil Kaufman, a longtime road manager who's done time with the Rolling Stones and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident recently. According to the Nashville Scene, the 80-year-old Kaufman was treated for a right ankle fracture, multiple rib fractures and a thoracic spine fracture.
Kaufman was hurt last weekend in Montgomery County near Nashville, where he lives. He was treated at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center trauma unit for his injuries. The Nashville Scene reports that Kaufman didn't sustain a head injury, but his condition was still listed as "critical but stable."
Long known in music circles as the "Road Mangler," Kaufman worked with the Stones around the time they were making Beggars Banquet, and even helped spur the release of Charles Manson's infamous Lie: The Love and Terror Cult album in 1970 (the serial killer and Kaufman once spent some time in jail together, when the latter was sentenced for marijuana smuggling).
He wrote about his exploits -- which has also included adventures with Frank Zappa, Joe Cocker and Emmylou Harris, as well as some small acting gigs, over the years -- in the 1993 autobiography Road Mangler Deluxe. The book includes Kaufman's singular takes on the period, like the Manson family murders: "When I looked at the papers and read the names of the perpetrators and their accomplices, I realized that I’d had sex with every one of those murderesses."
Kaufman is also famously known as the guy who stole Gram Parsons' body from the airport and drove it to Joshua Tree National Park, where he set it on fire. According to Kaufman, he and Parsons -- whom Kaufman managed as part of the Flying Burrito Brothers -- made a pact before the singer-songwriter died of a drug overdose in 1973. He was later arrested and fined a small amount for the crime.
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