When compared with other medical revelations, the news that a senior citizen has Alzheimers does not qualify as a surprise, Glen Campbell says.
Thats not a surprise, he says in a phone interview. Now finding out that somethings got a lump in it. Thats a surprise.
Perhaps a man in his mid-70s should be prepared to hear almost anything regarding what has gone wrong with his body.
At any rate, Campbell says he has tried not to let being on the receiving end of this diagnosis last year change how he runs his career.
I just do it the same way I always have, he says. Everythings fine. I pick up whatever I need along the way. There are always a few things to pick up here and there.
Some of the things to which Campbell refers here, presumably, are words.
He sometimes gropes for them over the phone and uses three teleprompters in concert to help him remember the lyrics to his 74 charted songs and 27 top 10 hits.
But everything is fine in the sense that Campbell has chosen to do the opposite of what celebrities in his situation usually do, and it has proven not only to be the brave thing but the smart thing as well.
Even with the occasional bouts of forgetfulness, Campbells performances continue to receive high marks from fans and critics. Campbell performs Thursday at the Honeywell Center in Wabash.
Campbell says hes been pickin and grinnin so long that its like walking and breathing.
I think people just kind of overdid it, made too much of it, Campbell says of the coverage of his condition.
When music experts wax expertly about a career as rich and varied as Campbells, they sometimes describe it as having spanned this and that.
But Campbell has built some actual bridges.
He mashed up country and pop before that was extensively seen as seemly (and before mashing was extensively seen as creative).
Yeah, I think I will take credit for that, he says. I helped everything along. But I really dont like to look at it as pop rock or crock.
Its music, Campbell says. Some of it has got really good chord progressions and some of it has not-as-good lyrics. You kind of have to weed through it.
Campbell takes responsibility for any and all weeding that has happened in his career, which is just another way of saying the buck stops with the Rhinestone Cowboy.
The music business has changed a lot since Campbell was a young man, but he says the way he started out in the 60s is still a good way to go about it: Become known as an excellent musician.
What I did was I played for a band and we had (the) best band in the world for a long time, Campbell says, referring to the gaggle of studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. He says.
I knew how to use a capo. I could get it in any position.
Campbell says he isnt proud of any one accomplishment more than another.
I wouldnt single anything out, he says. I feel good about everything thats been happening to me. Its been marvelous up to this point. Ill just keep on doing what I do, and the only difference will be that I will say huh? a couple of times more than I used to.
These days, Campbells crackerjack band has three of his grown offspring in it.
Oh yeah, thats how I raised them. I didnt raise them to bum money off me, he says, laughing. I make them work.
No really, he says. I have been really blessed that way.
Campbell appears to be touring a lot these days, but he says there are a lot of breaks built into the schedule.
Some days I sing and some days I play golf, he says. Unfortunately, whenever I decide I want to go play golf, it rains.
His wife, Kim Campbell, seems ever at his side, although it is perhaps a measure of the familys fierce resolve about Alzheimers that she mostly leaves her husband alone during this interview.
My wife does everything I ask, Campbell says, and I only say that because she is sitting here looking at me.
Theirs is a complex bond simply explained, Campbell says.
Ill tell you what it all comes down to, he says. We love each other. Its amazing.