Last night, I took Ledcat to see Glen Campbell perform at the Byham. It was pure nostalgia – we both remember Campbell’s “easy listening” during our childhood and we knew this was his farewell tour. Campbell is in the early stages of dementia.
It was possibly one of the loveliest experience of my life. Three of Campbell’s children – sons Cal & Shann, daughter Ashley – are on tour with him and worked seamlessly to make the night a dignified tribute to the legend of Campbell. Like many adults living with dementia, Campbell can become somewhat fixated on a topic – this particular evening, it was his knee injury – but they used music to gently redirect him. You could see the transformation from a somewhat genial older man a bit troubled about his knee to a musician … his voice changed, his posture changed as his entire body seemed to respond to those chords. And, boy, can he still play.
Campbell is a Republican so I have no idea what he might have thought about LGBT folks – one can only hope a show business performer would be tolerant. But its clear that music keeps him alive and active. And its wonderful how his children work together to give him and his fans this final gift.
Did you know Campbell played guitar on “Pet Sounds?”
Here is the number with which he closed from his final album.