Do I Go See Glen Campbell?

It’s hard seeing the celebrities of my youth get older.  I don’t mean celbreties like Lindsey Lohan; I have sweatshirt older than her.  I mean people that I’ve watched for 40+ years as they have married and divorced, climbed, conquered and fallen off the mountain… and the wagon.   Celebrities are human.  And with the exception of Demi Moore, they too age and grow frail.   The real difference between us and celebrities is there are fewer cameras documenting our highs, lows and funerals.

I read in Rolling Stone last year that after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Glen Campbell is making a farewell tour. I felt sad about the news as his music has been part of my life-story . When I think about Glen Campbell I hear the opening lines of so many great songs:

  • “By the Time I get to Phoenix, she’ll be rising”
  • “It’s knowing that your door is open and your path is free to walk”
  • “Like a Rhinestone Cowboy”
  • “Southern Nights, have you ever felt a Southern Night?”
  • “I am a lineman for the county”

A few months back I saw a CBS piece on Campbell’s tour.  His kids reported that he still kicks it and is creating mind-blowing riffs on the guitar.  Glen still looks and sounds great, although he does have his bad days.   This particular piece showed him starting to sing again the song he just finished.   His children are on stage to keep him on point, which was poignant.   They did one interview with Campbell where they told him again that he has Alzheimer’s.   The news seemed a shock to him. Again, poignant.

As the CBS camera panned over the crowd of people watching the show, I thought to myself how old the audience was.  I grew up during the 70’s in Las Vegas (explains a lot, huh?).   The musical stylings of that town were a little messed up.  A good bit of country music and a lot of older stuff aimed at the tourists of the day.    My musical lexicon tends to be about 15 to 30 years older than my contemporaries, it’s a blessing, it’s a curse.

Yesterday, Ticketmaster let me know that Glen Campbell tickets are going on sale at 10am for a performance at the Hollywood bowl.   I hate going to and from Hollywood.  This particular show is on a Sunday night at 7pm.   I hate Sunday night shows.   Don’t I sound curmudgeonly?  Normally, I would be all over this show, it would be a rational, “it will be gone soon” kind of  buy!  In fact, those tickets go on sale in exactly 10 minutes.

It would be nice to go see Glen Campbell for the first and probably last time.  I would enjoy the experience and the music.    But what strikes me is that if he didn’t have Alzheimer’s, I probably wouldn’t go.  I would assume that there would be another chance when he is closer or the day is more convenient.   That’s a fallacy that I have made in my life with several people.  I assumed there would be a next time to see them.   With my mom, I didn’t stop to say good morning because I was planning on surprising her at lunch.   She died around 10am on that January 16 morning.  Rachelle Eichler left me a voice message one April day.   When I returned the call in early May, I learned, she had died in a car crash.   Maybe that’s why I burn so much energy running around so much trying to create even short 20 minute visits with people I know and love; because our lives are short;   Our doors are not always open nor our paths free to walk.  Sometimes when you get to Phoenix, she hasn’t risen.

Gotta say this post did not go where I was thinking it would.    You wouldn’t think I’ve been reading that existentialist crap again.  Sending prayers Glen’s way, but I got things to do.  That being said, I have running buddies to see this weekend and an old friend from college who I must make time for in the near future.   Refocus, repriotize and BREAK!

Does this blog make me seem old?

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Do I Go See Glen Campbell?

6 thoughts on “Do I Go See Glen Campbell?

  1. One thought/action/google led to another and to your blog. Rachelle was one of my special friends (referencing you pyramid). I, too, made the mistake of choosing time with those from the lower tiers over staying in frequent contact with her. I, also, too-latedly tried to call her. Memories of her, both real and imagined, regularily “haunt” me to this day.

    I’m hoping to hear from you, not only because of our past friendships with Rachelle, but reading much of your blog has given me the sense of a potential future friendship

      1. We became friends our freshman year of college in Boston…she was in the next room down from me in the dorm. We remained close friends but would go through spells of not being in touch due to events in our own lives. We were in one of those when I learned she had died in a car accident. And you?

      2. Rachelle and I became friends in Boston. After all these years, I still can hear her voice in my head and on every once in a blue moon, my fingers will tap out her last phone number in New Jersey.
        My daughter was home from New York this past month. She was talking about a school basketball game she attended this past month where her team played Yeshiva and my heart just smiled.

        I loved that woman so and I still after all these years, look to heaven to find her company.

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