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©AP/ Glen Campbell
© AP/ Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell says farewell in final L.A. concert

By Mikael Wood
RollingStone

The Rhinestone Cowboy has left the building.

Sunday night at the Hollywood Bowl, Glen Campbell played what was billed as his final concert in Los Angeles, where the country-music legend has made his home for more than 50 years. The show was a stop on the so-called Goodbye Tour that Campbell launched in 2011 after revealing he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Bing: Listen to music from Glen Campbell

Unlike most of his recent gigs, Sunday's opened with a lengthy tribute from some of Campbell's famous friends, including Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams and Kris Kristofferson. The all-star lineup echoed that of last year's "Ghost on the Canvas," which featured collaborations with Billy Corgan and Chris Isaak, as well as songs written by Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan.

Despite the presence of such high-wattage guests, Campbell, 76, earned the crowd's biggest response in an hour-long set that combined his old countrypolitan classics with stuff from "Ghost on the Canvas." Sometimes the cheers rewarded Campbell's still-strong singing or his tasty guitar solos on "Gentle on My Mind" and "Wichita Lineman"; on "Lovesick Blues" (originally popularized by Hank Williams) he showed off a yodel as true-blue as it might've been in the early '60s. At other points, though, Campbell's fans were responding to the almost unbearable poignancy of a man delivering time-worn lyrics heavy with new meaning, as when he admitted, "I am so afraid of dying," in "Galveston."

Campbell's current live band includes three of his children -- Ashley on banjo, Shannon on guitar, Cal on drums -- and they helped steer the singer through last night's show. Ashley stepped out front for a cutesy duet with her dad on "Dueling Banjos," and she and Shannon did one of their own songs while Campbell took a breather. But he went without their support for "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress," a lesser-known gem from his long-running partnership with songwriter Jimmy Webb. As he sang accompanied only by keyboardist T.J. Kuenster, Campbell seemed to be soaking up as much of the evening as he could.

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That appeared to be the case as well for Dawes, the young L.A. roots-rock crew that made its Hollywood Bowl debut eagerly backing Campbell's various admirers in the first half of the program. Mindful of the headlining performance to come, the guests avoided Campbell's biggest hits, gravitating instead to early tunes like "Turn Around, Look at Me" (which Williams said she remembered hearing in an early-'60s Kodak commercial) and to the pop hits Campbell played on as a session musician with L.A.'s insanely prolific Wrecking Crew. Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols sang the Monkees' "Daydream Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville," while Browne took on "I Know There's an Answer" from the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds."

Kristofferson growled his way through "Just to Satisfy You," the Waylon Jennings tune Campbell once covered. He also did Webb's "Highwayman," which Campbell recorded before Kristofferson, Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash revived it with their supergroup, the Highwaymen. Jenny Lewis turned up as well, to sing "She's Gone, Gone, Gone" and to duet with Browne on "Let It Be Me," from Campbell's 1968 album with Bobbie Gentry. And before an intermission, the entire cast assembled for Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," another Wrecking Crew showcase Browne punctuated last night with a fitting exclamation: "Viva Glen Campbell!"

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21Comments
Jun 26, 2012 8:05AM
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What can you say about Glen Campbell except he will be missed.  He's been around all my adult life and I've loved every song that became a hit.  I still love his music.  He once sang the Star Spangled Banner, at I think it was a Super Bowl (could be wrong), but it was so beautifully sung.  Also, loved his TV show back in the 70's.  For you Glen Campbell, you have made  so many people happy with your music through the years.  God Bless and don't stop singing and playing.  You're the best! 
Jun 26, 2012 3:56AM
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Dreams of a everyday housewife, Gentle on my mind, The stright life....I was about 8 then... but what great songs and memories. Also loved the Glen Campbell hour with John Hartford.  Thank You Glen for the GREAT music & memories.....Oh Yea check out Jan & Deans "Honolulu Lulu" Glens guitar riff smokes...... 
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I have been a  fan of  Glen's, one of my favorite songs  was "Rhinestone  Cowboy".   Wished I

could've attended his  last  concert.  May  he have  a  restful  retirement.  Yes  it's  a blessing  dto

him that  he had some of his  children to  help and stand by  him  at his  last  concert.

Have   great  and restful   retirement   Glen, we'll miss you.

Jun 26, 2012 1:02AM
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Blessings to Glen Campbell! I willl not say I was ever a fan, but I did appreciate a good number of Mr, Campbell's songs. I think it very nice that he has children who also do music.

 

The Lord richly bless you, Mr. Campbell. I hope that he feels, and or finds the presence of the Lord in his life at this time.

 

 

 

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