Country music giant, Wichita Lineman singer and one-time Beach Boy Glen Campbell has announced his retirement from performing live.
The Guardian reports that 75-year-old Campbell made the announcement in the wake of his Alzheimer’s getting worse. He will hang up his guitar and sequins after a farewell tour this (European) autumn.
Campbell stated that he wanted to retire from the stage before Alzheimer’s truly sets in. His wife Kim told People magazine her husband is “still an awesome guitar player and singer”.
She added that his decision was taken before the symptoms of Campbell’s illness became clear. She added, “If he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage… I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?'”
Campbell’s farewell tour will take in many dates in the UK and Ireland. In a statement, the man himself said, “I still love making music… And I still love performing for my fans. I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin.”
There will also be a final studio album from the great man, keeping alive his long-held tradition of covering songs by artists he admires. Ghost On The Canvas will be released on August 29 and features songs by Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan and Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices. Making guest appearances on the new LP are Billy Corgan, Chris Isaak, Dick Dale and the Dandy Warhols.
Campbell was born in 1936 and enjoyed a career centred around hits such as Wichita Lineman, Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and of course, Rhinestone Cowboy. Campbell also had his own television show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. He also dabbled in acting, famously appearing alongside John Wayne in the original version of True Grit, for which performance he was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Campbell was a member of the Beach Boys in the mid-sixties when the band were on the road, filling in for Brian Wilson while the great songwriter stayed at home to nurse his many demons. He also played guitar on Pet Sounds.
Here is Glen Campbell doing the wonderful country standard, She Thinks I Still Care: