Glen Campbell appeared on last night’s Grammys singing his legendary hit “Rhinestone Cowboy” and was honored with a lifetime achievement award – his sixth Grammy – and he’s currently on tour, a tour that’s unfortunately scheduled to be his last.
The performance shined a light on Glen Campbell but there was also a new revelation that many people didn’t know about. His farewell tour has stretched on for six months across Europe, and now America.
“I’m glad to be here,” Campbell told the audience. “I’m glad to be anywhere!” Because Glen Campbell is here to say goodbye. “It’s knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk …”
Campbell, 75, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year. So after 21 Top 40 hits and selling nearly 50 million records, the Rhinestone Cowboy is riding into the sunset. His three youngest children have joined his backup band: Cal on drums, Shannon on guitar, and “his baby,” 25-year-old daughter Ashley, who keeps a close watch on her father.
“I feel a little protective of him, you know? I just want to make sure if he needs anything from me, I’m there, and I’m paying attention,” she said.
In Joliet, just after playing his hit, “Galveston,” Campbell suddenly starts playing the song again. It’s Ashley who gently has to remind him: “We just did that one, Dad.”
Campbell quipped, “I ain’t taught them how to follow me yet!”
She said she has been watching her father’s changing condition “kind of creeping on for years now, since high school even.”
“That’s got to be tough to watch,” said Mason.
“It is. It is tough. I was watching a YouTube video of him playing some amazing guitar solos, and I was just like, kind of miss that guy!'” Ashley said. “I mean, he’s still here, but he was so much more on top of it.”
With the help of a teleprompter, Campbell’s slip-ups are rare – and he makes fun of them. “Always remember this, friends: If you do it perfect, they’ll want it that way every time!”
But at home with his wife Kim, in Malibu, Calif., the subject of Alzheimer’s is awkward because Campbell has to be reminded that he has the disease.