If you look at my record shelf, Glen Campbell is an outlier. Most of the records are from the 80s and 90s alternative acts, classic rock, and jazz. Then there is Glen Campbell. Then when you truly think about it, it belongs right there with him. Glen Campbell loved jazz and played on some the of the great albums of the 60s as a session player. In the late 2000s, his Meet Glen Campbell featured mainly artists who were alternative acts from the 80s and 90s.
I loved him because he knew how to interpret a song. Sometimes he knew how to change a song for better. “Galveston” started out as an anti-war song and he turned it into a simple song of why one goes to war…and why one doesn’t want to go. By making it more ambiguous about the soldier’s feelings, he brilliantly made it more melancholic. Sometimes he just did this with his voice. The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” is full of doubt while his is full of longing.
And he could play the guitar. He played on Pet Sounds. His solo on “Whitcita Lineman” is just as full of longing as the words and his singing. We did get to see him on his farewell tour, and while his memory couldn’t remember most words without a teleprompter, his fingers remembered where every single note was.
Today, at work, we have a lot of time to get our classroom and lessons ready for the first day of school tomorrow. If you come to my room, speak up, because I won’t be turning Mr. Campbell down.