Not that long ago the celebrity gossip on Glen Campbell was pretty generic in nature…
He was still raising heck and garnering typical big star headlines like, "Glen Campbell Given Jail Time" in June 2004.
Or, "Country singer Glen Campbell issued an apology to his family and fans Tuesday after being arrested Monday evening on charges of driving drunk and kicking a police officer," reads a 2003 CNN story. "Campbell, 67, spent several hours in a Maricopa County jail cell Monday evening on drunken driving, hit and run and assault charges after a series of incidents police say started with a minor car wreck near his home in Phoenix."
Believe it or not, those were the "good old days."
More recently the news has turned sadder and even sadder.
"A nasty family feud has erupted over music legend GLEN CAMPBELL’s $50 million fortune," read a headline in the National Enquirer last October.
"As the 75-year-old singer struggles with Alzheimer’s disease on his final tour, insiders reveal his wife Kim, 53, has dumped several of his longtime band members – including a daughter (Debby) from Glen’s first marriage – so she could replace them with the children she had with him," a source close to Campbell told the magazine.
“Debby was Glen’s backup singer and right-hand gal. She’d cover for him when his memory began to fail on stage. When I saw him perform recently in Los Angele, he struggled to remember the lyrics to some of his best-known songs and no one helped him. Debby told me later, ‘I would have made sure that never happened.’
‘Campbell’s touring band now includes his children with fourth wife Kim – Shannon, 26, on guitar; Ashley, 25, on banjo, keyboards and vocals; and Cal, 28, on drums,’ said the source."
The latest, as Campell approaches his 76th birthday four days before he hits The Uptown on April 26:
"Alzheimer’s-plagued legend being cruelly mocked – by his own people," reads this week’s Enquirer headline.
"Alzheimer’s-stricken Glen Campell – struggling to please his fans on his final concert tour – is being mistreated and mocked by some of those closest to him, charge insiders…’Glen does whatever whatever his family wants and keeps saying he’s exhausted, but they just ignore him,’ claimed a family friend…'(And) some members of his stage crew who’ve been with Glen a long time mock his performance when he forgets something. Their behavior is absolutely disgraceful.’ "
"The friend adds that Glen doesn’t know what city he’s in most of the time, forgets lyrics to songs he’s been playing for 30 years or more and often walks up to the wrong microphone and has to be redirected to center stage," the Enquirer continues. "Once he even readied the band to play Rhinestone Cowboy only two songs after he’d gotten a standing ovation for performing the smash hit."
Despite all of that, the Enquirer notes, songs like Wichita Lineman, Gentle on My Mind and Galveston still perovide "moments of greatness."
And The Flordia Times-Union wrote recently that Campell’s show, "inspired respect, tears and laughter" March 27th in Jacksonville.
"His voice is still warm and strong, he has some mean guitar solos left to share and he has not lost his stage presence, but it is clear from his sometimes innocently childlike demeanor that something is askew…" the review begins.
"Later, after an energetic version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” which inspired a sing-along, Campbell said, “What are we doing now?” His daughter stepped forward and quietly reminded him that they were doing the soundtrack song “True Grit.” He paused and was nostalgic about filming the 1969 movie: “That was one of the most incredible experiences in my life, to ride on a horse alongside John Wayne.
"The sense that the concert was indeed a farewell – not one of those bogus farewell-until-the-reunion shows – was palpable. There were tears, but they fell mostly over the raised cheeks of smiling faces."
The sold-out Jacksonville show was populated mostly by people 50 and up, the review noted. But the first comment on the newspaper’s Web site came from a younger fan.
"Good article. I am not yet part of the over 50 crowd but I remember hearing his music from the 70’s on the radio and in the movies. His songs were fun to listen to. I regret I missed this show."
Sellout alert: check with the Uptown this afternoon after noticing that the Jacksonville and other shows have been selling out and the word is good tickets are still available. However it’s a seated show so there will be a limited capacity.