This review originally appeared in the 5.31.12 issue of Metroland
of a certain age, Glen Campbell first hit your consciousness with a run of hits
in the ‘60’s, polished ear candy written by aces like Jimmy Webb, John
Hartford, and Allen Touissant. Then he
was a TV and talk show celebrity, as square and irrelevant as could be; he
wound up leaning country, and became a fixture in that little corner of hell
known as Branson, Mo.
always been underappreciated is his pre-fame years as a guitarist with the
legendary Wrecking Crew session team and Phil Spector’s LA wall-of-sound
orchestra. The cat is a big part of the
DNA of rock and roll, period.
show was bittersweet, weird, and triumphant.
It was announced late last year that Campbell, who’s 76, was suffering
from Alzheimer’s, and would embark on a farewell tour before packing it in. He’s out there for two more months.
great for 76. He sang great, and he
unleashed some jaw-dropping guitar solos throughout the show. He relied heavily on teleprompters, but so
does everybody these days. Between songs
he did seem a little out of it, although he told a story or two and got some
laughs from some wise cracks. His band
included 3 of his kids, who all played great, and one wonders what was going on
in their heads, just how much of a tightrope this tour has been for them...
was the old hits, and touched only slightly on his two recent and rather
staggering “comeback” albums (in which he covers the likes of Green Day and
Travis with help from Tom Petty’s band and Jellyfish). Which was fitting, as this was a goodbye tour
and I’m sure the vast majority of the decidedly geriatric crowd was unaware
that he’d even released two comeback albums and could give a rat’s ass about Travis
covers. Things were fairly Bransony for much of the show, but by
the time they got to Wichita Lineman,
Campbell was simply singing his ass off, and when he and son Shannon laid into
that twangy guitar solo it was pure beauty and bliss.
Campbell, and thank you.