Wednesday, July 25, 2012

But What a Way to Go!

Remember those old variety shows they used to have show on TV? Sonny and Cher? Donny and Marie? Bobby Goldsboro? Hee Haw? Glen Campbell? In our house we watched them all with abandon. We liked the costumes, the silly skits, the singing and dancing, the corny songs... and we weren’t picky. We would watch ANYTHING. 

Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash on the
Glen Campbell Good Time Hour
The reason I bring this up is that my husband and I recently saw a show by Glen Campbell in Cary. Remember his Good Time Hour? You know – starring that good-looking, dimpled red-head who could play the hell out of a guitar and had that smooth easy-listening voice? Yeah! The Rhinestone Cowboy? Well, we saw him.

Now, my husband, Tom, is nothing if not hip, so when I heard he had bought tickets, I thought, “Glen must have some hipster cachet I don’t know about, or we would NOT be going to Cary for this.” And it’s true, the hipsters have rediscovered him... the guy who made famous songs by Jimmy Webb, Alan Toussaint and John Hartford... the guy who played on hundreds of records by diverse musicians like Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Phil Spector... you know, EVERYONE.

Tom has always had a sort of radar for what is hip, even as a child. In the Sneed house, though, as I’ve mentioned, we just liked stuff. We liked everything. It made me grin on Saturday night that these two things overlapped for once.

Goodbye, old friend!
The sad part of this story is that Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, so he’s calling this his “Goodbye Tour.” The lovely part was ... just how lovely it was! Despite it being a dark and stormy night, the show went on... after a slight delay, that is... during which Tom and I sat in our car and made out like a couple of teenagers. Oops.. too much information, right?!

Anyway, the rain slowed and we checked back in at the amphitheatre for an update... right when they were taking the tarps off the equipment on the stage! So in a very short time, Glen and his band – which included some of his children – launched into a stream of hits that squeezed my heart with nostalgia and filled my brain with memories...  Southern nights (if you will) sitting in front of the TV flanked by siblings and munching on popcorn. Or seated at the kitchen “bar” eating Hardees hamburgers off green plastic trays, while some crooner or other provided a soundtrack to our growing up.

As a performer, Glen is still in fine form – lookin’ good in a Western shirt, even at 76. (I do feel like I have known him forever, and so, can call him Glen.) His voice is as smooth as ever, the songs as catchy, and his guitar playing is still outstanding. And if his between-songs banter was a little fragmented, well, it’s still clear that he’s glad to be there, enjoying his kids and his band, and doing a great job at what he does best. 

Though it continued to rain and thunder, it was a delightful night... I had my sweet old memories and a husband of ten years who still likes to make out with me as if we were teenagers. As I sat there and listened to this living legend play, watching the lightning streak across the sky... Well, not to sound morose, but I thought, “What if I’m struck by lightening...? Well... being here with Tom hearing Glen Campbell sing Galveston... hmmm, as deaths go, it would be just about perfect.”

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a lovely evening...
    now I'm hearing Wichita Lineman in my head. :)