Glen Campbell on Alzheimer's: Needing the ones he loves, Lord
Glen Campbell, who revealed his Alzheimer's disease diagnosis in June, will release what he's calling his "final album" next week and go out on a farewell tour starting in October — and in the meantime, he's doing a farewell round of interviews, with wife Kim Woollen filling in some of the blanks.
"I haven't felt it yet," Campbell said of the Alzheimer's, speaking to ABC News. "I've always been forgetful anyway. I'm only, what, 78?"
Seventy-five, Woollen prompted as he looked her way.
"I just take care of him, which is a big job," said his wife of nearly 30 years. "We'd been noticing short-term memory loss for quite some time. You know, he repeats himself. Tells the same joke several times in a row."
"Well, yeah, it's funny," Campbell joked (watch the interview, below).
The couple went through a similar exchange — presumably intentionally — when they sat down with the Los Angeles Times' Randy Lewis for an profile out this Sunday.
"It hasn't affected me in any way. I haven't felt anything. In fact, I don't even know what it is. Who came up with that?" he said with a laugh.
"Your doctor," Woollen answered.
"Well, he’s probably wrong," Campbell replied.
The singer also talked to The Times about his years with the Wrecking Crew, studio musicians who had a reputation for knocking out hits with the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, the Monkees and more.
Campbell, in fact, owns the fingers behind the opening riff to the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun" and eventually wound up filling Brian Wilson's shoes in the band when the group's founder traded touring for studio work. "I was very happy to be playing with the Beach Boys. The only thing I didn't like was that I had to play bass.
"Those bass strings can grind your little pinkies down real quick," he said with a laugh.
"Ghost on the Canvas" features some poignant lyrics in "A Better Place," a song Campbell has been performing live for more than a year: "Some days I'm so confused, Lord. My past gets in my way. I need the ones I love, Lord. More and more each day.
"One thing I know, the world's been good to me."
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Glen Campbell and his wife, Kim, at home in July. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.