×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Glen Campbell Remembered by Dave Kaplan, Who Released His Penultimate Albums

Glen Campbell’s penultimate albums, “Ghost on a Canvas” and “See You There,” were recorded during the same sessions in 2010 and released on Surfdog Records, the 24-year-old California-based label founded by Dave Kaplan. The albums were promoted by Campbell’s final tour, entitled “Goodbye,” which wrapped in Napa, California on Nov. 30, 2012. (A final album, “Adios,” was recorded in 2012 and 2013 and released on Big Machine Records in June.) Here, Kaplan shares his memories of working with the legendary singer and guitarist, who died Tuesday at 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

When did you first meet Glen?
Well, the first time I saw him was in 1969, watching his variety show with my family every single week — and to imagine that someday I’d actually be working with him and putting out his records out would have been unbelievable. But I first met him toward the end of recording “Ghost on the Canvas” at Village Recorder [in Los Angeles], probably in 2010. When I heard what they’d done I just flipped out — it was modern but timeless, and beyond everything else, that voice. It’s just otherworldly — I don’t really know why or how but it’s one of those voices that just touches you in your deepest DNA. He just had a way to speak to your emotions.

Did you see any signs of Alzheimer’s?
I did not at the first meeting. He and the family were incredibly cooperative when it became time to promote [“Ghost on the Canvas”], so the first thing I did was ask to make a video press kit to tell his story. So I set up multiple cameras at his place in Malibu, we had a writer there — and when we started to do that interview I could tell within the first 15 minutes that we were dealing with something pretty serious.

So I sat with Kim, his wife, and his team and said “We have two choices, either we don’t do this promotion, or we come out so you can tell the story and tell what’s happening in your words, in a dignified respectful way, rather than some sensationalistic way.” And they thankfully agreed, so we worked closely with our publicist, Ken Weinstein [of Big Hassle Media], on how to do it, because otherwise people would think something was wrong with Glen and speculate. So we just wanted to make sure it was as dignified as possible.

What was he like as a person?
Awesome. Southern charm, a bigger-than-life, physically fit, good-looking, older man with a great, weathered, handsome face. He was always putting you at ease with a joke, doing his Donald Duck impression. I asked him what it was like to be a Beach Boy and he sang one of their songs in a high falsetto. Just an incredibly charming man — I introduced him to my wife Susie, “Pleasure to meet you, darlin’,” he kissed her on the cheek and start singing “Wake Up Little Susie” to her. Just a lovely, lovely man.

Do you remember him telling any stories or jokes?
He always used to talk about using his pinkie as a guitarist — lots of guitarists don’t use their pinkies much — and he said when he was really young back in Arkansas, his Uncle Boo would take out a pair of pliers and say “If you don’t use that pinkie I’m takin’ it off!” He said, “I learned to use that pinkie real quick!”

But [his humor] it was more quips — you’d ask him how he was doing, “If I was doin’ any better, I’d be twins!”

When’s the last time you saw him?
About a year ago. I was in Nashville and Kim took me to the facility where he was, and obviously he was in the very advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. He didn’t recognize me but I gave him a hug. Even to the very end I would send him a birthday card so Kim could read it to him and deep down I’d hope he’d hear it.

I’m just so grateful to him and so grateful that I had any part in bringing him back [to popularity], especially with the Goodbye tour, where he was so adored and respected as the icon and legend that he is. I think before “Ghost on the Canvas,” I don’t feel like he was getting his just respect from the music universe. I’m just glad he’s finally getting that respect and recognition.

More Music

  • Album Review: The Muffs' 'No Holiday'

    Album Review: The Muffs' 'No Holiday'

    It is heartbreaking that Kim Shattuck, the forthright singer and cocksure songwriter for the Muffs, died at the beginning of October. Renowned for her short, sharp brand of power-pop punk song, yearning but prickly lyrics, and screamy, shredded vocals with a tender, expressive edge, Shattuck — who spent time in the Pandoras, the Coolies and, for [...]

  • Hear Prince's Acoustic Demo of 'I

    Hear Prince's Acoustic Demo of 'I Feel for You'

    In honor of the 40th anniversary of Prince’s self-titled second album, “Prince” — which was released on October 19, 1979 — late artist’s estate and Warner Records have released a previously uncirculated, solo acoustic demo recording of his song “I Feel for You,” available on streaming services and as a limited-run 7” vinyl single. The demo features [...]

  • Issa Rae Launches Raedio Label With

    Issa Rae Launches Raedio Label With Atlantic; Watch First Release, TeaMarrr’s ‘Kinda Love’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Raedio, the new label co-founded by Emmy-nominated actress-producer-writer Issa Rae, and Atlantic Records have announced a new partnership, which kicks off with today’s release of the new single, “Kinda Love,” by singer-rapper TeaMarrr. The companion visual, directed by child (Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye), features cameos from Rae and comedian Jessie Woo — watch it below. [...]

  • Fall Out Boy - Patrick StumpLeeds

    Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump to Release 'Spell' Soundtrack, Hear First Single Here

    Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump continues his extensive work in the film/TV soundtrack realm with the release of “Spell,” which comes on Nov. 1 on Milan Records through Sony Music Masterworks. The soundtrack features Stump’s music from Crush Pictures’ psych-thriller, including the ballad “Deep Blue Love.” a soulful, blues-tinged ballad performed by Stump and [...]

  • Nancy Matalon

    Spirit Music Group Names Nancy Matalon VP of A&R, Announces Additional Hires

    Publishing company Spirit Music Group, which recently saw a $350 million recapitalization, has made some key staffing moves. Nancy Matalon, a veteran A&R executive who’s worked wit the likes of Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Public Enemy and Echosmith, among others, has been appointed vice president of A&R. In addition, Spirit has promoted Melanie Santa Rosa to [...]

  • Little Shop of Horrors review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Little Shop of Horrors'

    With its strains of kitschy doo-wop and its sci-fi B-movie inspirations, the quaint 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors” hardly seems a thing of modern-day revivalism, even despite its touches of S&M. Yet this year alone, not only is there an Off Broadway production of the blackly comic “Little Shop” featuring Jonathan Groff of Netflix’s [...]

  • BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to

    BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to Be Produced by Management Firm's New Shingle, ModestTV

    The BBC has confirmed its Little Mix talent show, which the pop band’s management firm, Modest!, will produce through a new banner, ModestTV. “Little Mix The Search” will be exec produced by Andrea Hamilton, who has partnered with the management outfit to launch the new operation. Her entertainment show credits include “The Voice” and “Strictly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content