Going to see/hear Glenn Campbell tonight..

…at Carnegie Hall. He’s had Alzheimer’s for over a year and is performing. A group comprised of his children and others is also performing. I’m shooting the concert. Not a huge fan but I know I’ll recognize some of his stuff.

I’m curious and a bit apprehensive. Are they trucking him out to make a dollar and this will be a bit of a train wreck, or is he still able to light it up? The folks who hired me have been shooting a documentary on Glenn for quite a long time so this is one event amongst many. An honest film of this kind does indeed track the slow decline. In this case, someone quite in the public eye declining.

Any fans out there who know the deal on his condition? Heck, any fans out there??

If you’re going, say hi. Just ask the secret question: " Are you Cecil Adams?? ", and we’ll visit. :smiley:

I’ll be in all black, wearing a deranged looking body harness with a camera attached to it, strolling the aisles while they all perform. The Steadicam isn’t allowed on stage so I’m told, so I do crowd shots instead.

well, this has been billed as his farewell tour. He has had some troubles performing, but has been able to do most of his parts.

He does have his fans. If they show up then it’s in the interest of everyone involved.

He performed on an awards show earlier this year and sounded great. He did need assistance finding his way off stage. But apparently his memory for the old music is fine.

His wife is an old college friend of mine, although we haven’t kept up.

She was always very low key for a celebrity wife and content to stay in the background. She’s been a little more public since his disease came known.

If he is performing I imagine it’s something he wants to do and that she and the people around him genuinely feel that it is helpful to him. I can’t imagine her allowing him to be exploited to make a buck…from what I gather from our mutual friends and her public appearances she really loves him and they have plenty of bucks already.

I can imagine that not performing would be harder for him than performing.

A friend of mine saw him and was impressed. He also said it was a little uncomfortable anytime there was a pause in the action.

That same friend took us to see The Smothers Brothers on stage. The creepiness there was from them appearing to have not aged at all over the years, even doing the same jokes they once did on TV.

He did some dates in the UK recently. His wife had to help out a bit in the various interviews, but by all accounts the music was still there at the gigs. I got the impression he thought that his playing and singing was one thing he could still rely on, and that was a comfort to him.

It’s a shame. I met him at Ray Charles’ funeral a few years back (when he wasn’t ill). A very nice man. Met one of his kids too. It will be sad to see him go.

My fave tune is* Rhinestone Cowboy*. The video for it is uber-cheese, and I loved the way they remade it in High School High.

I deeply respect him as a musician. How was it? I have heard that he does a great job both playing and singing once he gets inside the music…

I’ve read that songs and music are one of those things that hold out for a really long time.

Yes and no. Once he’s cued, he’ll fire into his music, but he might forget a verse or two. And he’s liable to start playing a song again that he just finished playing.

But his daughter will be on stage with him and she’s a good looking young lady, so there will at least be eye candy involved.

Twenty or more years ago, I saw him perform for a software users group meeting. It was a large meeting, but I still felt sorry seeing him performing for corporate meetings.

He did do a fantastically funny show with a great filmed bit of him playing the Lone Ranger - he also talked and joked about his adventures in a whisky bottle.

He clearly loved performing.

Don’t cry too much. Corporate meetings pay a lot better than public concerts.

If he’s forgetting lyrics, he should use a prompter.

How was the show?

Ever Gentle on my Mind and Southern Nights are beautiful songs.

I daresay I heard that song before you did. I did the original lead sheet for Larry Weiss before anyone recorded it.

What an evening. Glenn did in fact have roughly 7-8 “moments”. He forgot what song was next, he forgot what key to play in, he forgot lyrics. He was well aware that he was performing and more than once said, " Anyone else here ever forget something!?? "

His voice is clear and strong, his guitar work is remarkable.

His kids play in his backup band. They’re good, really very good.

The shooting went fine, I made good shots. I won’t remember any of them. Here’s what I will remember:

We went upstairs immediately after the show for the Meet and Greet time. Fans get to spend a few moments talking to him. Family and pals get to hang out with him. I- and the Director, Producer and fellow camera op- went up to set up and get some footage.

I was standing no more than 6 feet from Mr. Campbell and he was looking at the Steadicam I had strapped to my body. Commented on how heavy it looked. I let him reach out and try lifting it ( ounces of pressure needed ). He smiled, and tried it for a moment then let go.

Then something happened. His eyes went distant and he looked a bit frightened. He looked at me and said, "uh, who are you with? ". He literally lost the moment he had just experienced.

It was very sad. The continuity of the rest of the documentary crew was evident and he was told I was with them. But his entire visage altered as though a switch had been thrown.

I won’t ever forget this. A close-up moment showing me what Alzheimer’s does. At this point in his disease, this is who he is.

Not a decayed child-adult. A person who is at this particular place on what is clearly a continuum that lasts varying periods of time. ( Some people die in a year or two. I have a very close friend whose father in law has had it for over 16 years. )

The house was not nearly sold out. Everyone there was intensely there, cheering him on and appreciating his music. And his life. And his efforts.