Glen Campbell at Merril Auditorium - Portland, Maine
My wife Debbie and I had the privilege of hearing Glen Campbell in concert last night at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Mr Campbell is an American icon of the musical world and the show was as wonderful as we had anticipated (even an earthquake shook the building before the show started). The main attraction was preceded by the band "Victoria Ghost", made up of 3 of Mr. Campbell's talented children, who backed him up as well during his performance. It was wonderful to see how caring his kids were, especially his daughter who watched over him during the evening.
The show was promoted as his "Goodbye Tour" due to his advancing Alzheimer's disease which was apparent soon after he walked onstage. There were a couple instances where Mr. Campbell forgot the words and his guitar playing might not have been what it once was, but not a fan there, from my perspective, gave a hint of dissatisfaction. Old favorites like, "By the Time I get to Phoenix", "Galveston", "Wichita Lineman", "Rhinestone Cowboy", "Gentle On My Mind and a few from his new album, Ghost On the Canvas" were sung, followed by huge applause and appreciation.
From my seat, the audience seemed to consist of 50 and up, middle-aged fans with a few younger people scattered here and there. I wondered how many of those younger fans remembered and appreciated the many years of delight that Glen Campbell has given over his 75 years. From his days with the "Beach Boys", filling in for Brian Wilson during his time off from touring with the band, his years hosting his own variety show, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour", to co-starring with John Wayne in the movie "True Grit", Glen has shown that his talents were many and varied. I imagined as I sat there how many others in the auditorium remembered that young, blonde-haired, smiling face that we knew from our youth and were, like me, seeing that same Glen Campbell that I once saw in the 60s and 70s. I doubt if any fan in that audience didn't choke up just a little hearing him sing some of those old ballads that we grew up with on the radio or TV, nor can I imagine anyone uttering a slight criticism over an off-note played by this man who inspired so many.
I hate to think of what awaits Glen Campbell in the coming years. It seems like others who suffer from this debilitating disease get "closeted" away from public view due to the many side effects. Mr. Campbell commented that, "The hair on the back of his head stood up", when people applauded his performance. If he retains memories of performing during these coming years, I hope he retains memories like these.