Glen Campbell's final tour
Glen Campbell performs on his farewell tour. (CBS)
The legendary Glen Campbell will appear on tonight's Grammy Awards which air here on CBS. He'll be honored with a lifetime achievement award - his SIXTH Grammy - and he's currently on tour, a tour that's unfortunately scheduled to be his last. Anthony Mason went along to prepare this Sunday Profile:
His farewell tour has stretched on for six months across Europe, and now America.
On this night, the Rialto Square Theater, the jewel of Joliet, Illinois, is sold out.
"I'm glad to be here," Campbell told the audience. "I'm glad to be anywhere!"
Because Glen Campbell is here to say goodbye.
"It's knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk . . ."
Now 75, Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year. So after 21 Top 40 hits and selling nearly 50 million records, the Rhinestone Cowboy is riding into the sunset.
His three youngest children have joined his backup band: Cal on drums, Shannon on guitar, and "his baby," 25-year-old daughter Ashley, who keeps a close watch on her father.
"I feel a little protective of him, you know? I just want to make sure if he needs anything from me, I'm there, and I'm paying attention," she said.
In Joliet, just after playing his hit, "Galveston," Campbell suddenly starts playing the song again. It's Ashley who gently has to remind him: "We just did that one, Dad."
Campbell quipped, "I ain't taught them how to follow me yet!"
She said she has been watching her father's changing condition "kind of creeping on for years now, since high school even."
"That's got to be tough to watch," said Mason.
"It is. It is tough. I was watching a YouTube video of him playing some amazing guitar solos, and I was just like, kind of miss that guy!'" Ashley said. "I mean, he's still here, but he was so much more on top of it."
With the help of a teleprompter, Campbell's slip-ups are rare - and he makes fun of them. "Always remember this, friends: If you do it perfect, they'll want it that way every time!"
"Alzheimers," said Kim.
"You think we got that?" asked Glen.
"I don't feel it anywhere," he said. "Where do I - what do I do? Like, what?"
"You forget things."
"Oh, of course. I've done that all my life!" he laughed. "I'm forgetful."
Typical with Alzheimer's patients, Campbell struggles with the present.
He does better with the past.
One of 12 children of an Arkansas sharecropper, Glen first picked up a guitar at age 4. He was a natural.
By the early Sixties, he'd played his way to L.A. Though he couldn't read music, Campbell quickly became one of the most sought-after guitarists in the city, getting a lot of session work.
"Yeah, it was great, man. I bought a car!" he laughed.
One of an elite group of studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew," in 1963 alone Campbell performed on nearly 600 cuts for other artists.
- Dressing down a culture for refusing to dress up
- Battered mini-golf course gets back on its feet
- Up next, recap and links
- Buildings: What's new is old
- Preview: Birding
- Mark Harmon, a hero on-screen and off
- A nation of slobs?
- The newest thing in architecture: Something old
- Passage: Soap icon Jeanne Cooper
- Work spaces: Past and present
- Against all odds
- Natalie Maines: Going solo with "Mother"
- The psychology of design and color
- A new hope for back pain sufferers?
- How design colors the mind
- Nature: Peacocks