The decline of Glen Campbell, who died Tuesday in Nashville at age 81, was widely chronicled, most notably in the 2014 documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.”
He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, including during his final tour, which visited Mystic Lake Casino in April 2012. The performance was both upbeat and sad.
Oftentimes, he appeared confused, not knowing where to stand, which key to play in or what words to sing. He mangled lyrics, forgot lyrics and didn't even bother to consult the electronic prompters at his feet. He even struggled with the names of his band members -- including his daughter Ashley.
"You ever go inside a place," he said late in the show, "and forget what you want? It's fun but it's embarrassing sometimes. I'd rather laugh about it."
Campbell invariably had the right spirit if sometimes the wrong words at Mystic Showroom. Sometimes he even found the right notes, voice and words and put it all together. Hank Williams' "Love Sick Blues" was playful and spunky as he almost yodeled like he was back on "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour," his popular TV variety show (1969-72).
Campbell's guitar work was consistently expressive and impressive whether on acoustic or electric. People don't realize that he was an ace session player heard on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin,''' the Monkees' "Daydream Believer" and Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night," among other hits.
At Mystic, he got jazzy on "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," married flamenco and Western on "True Grit" and mixed jazz and twang on "Gentle on My Mind."
Campbell seemed lost on material from his then-new "Ghost on the Canvas," a poignant but not morbid collection. He didn't seem invested in "Any Trouble," written by Minneapolis rock star Paul Westerberg. The reclusive Minnesotan also penned the title song and made a cameo appearance in the video (see below or click here ).
After the farewell tour ended in November 2012, Campbell headed to the studio to find whatever magic he had left, as his wife Kim Campbell put it. He recorded a batch of his favorite songs, including Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
The album was released in June 2017. It is titled “Adios.”