No one is immune to devastating diseases, including the rich and famous as a film released Friday demonstrates. Chronicling Glen Campbell on his final tour, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is a documentary that tells the story of country legend Campbell saying goodbye to his fans after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The diagnosis of this heartbreaking condition was made in 2011, when Campbell was 75. After the doctors told him about the disease, Campbell scheduled the tour featured in the film. The original idea was a five-week tour to promote Campbell’s new album Ghosts on the Canvas, but as The Hollywood Reporter reports, Campbell’s tour quickly grew to 151 dates and lasted over 15 months.
Director James Keach filmed the documentary, which follows Campbell on his tour, shows him watching old films and unable to recognize himself, as well as trips to his doctor. Kim Campbell, the singer’s fourth wife, also had a camera and used it to shoot footage for the documentary in their home.
As reported in the New York Times, one reason Campbell’s family wanted the documentary to be made was to start conversations about Alzheimer’s.
“The more we learned about Alzheimer’s, the more we wanted to shine a light on it and the more we became aware of the potential of this movie to be a catalyst for change. It turned into something bigger than we had imagined.”
The documentary shows Campbell on tour on both good days, mostly at the beginning of the tour, and on bad days when he had difficulty playing the guitar because his dexterity had been affected by the disease. Campbell appeared on stage with three of his children, including Ashley, now 27, who played “Dueling Banjos” with her father during some of his concerts.
The Glen Campbell documentary also has appearances by current country music stars like Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley talking about how Campbell influenced country music. During the late 1960’s, Campbell helped the genre crossover into pop music, as well. He was a session musician on several top 10 pop hits, and Campbell even toured with the Beach Boys.
Campbell has received many awards in his storied career including five Grammys, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The Music Times reports that Campbell will be honored with a lifetime achievement award on November 4 during the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Campbell was admitted to a long-term care facility in April. See the trailer for Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me here.
[Image by Napa Valley Register]