A Force To Remember
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
Stars: Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ashley Campbell, Cal Campbell, Shannon Campbell and Debby Campbell
Including interviews with Sheryl Crowe, Brad Paisley, Steve Martin, Blake Shelton, John Paul White and Bill Clinton
Director: James Keach
Cinematographer: Alex Exline
Running Length: 114 Minutes
Glen Campbell (b. 1936), Country Music Hall of Fame, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and is no longer performing.
This documentary tells how he was a back-up player for the Beach Boys and sang with Bobbie Gentry, to his last tour over three years ago. It was to have been a short road tour, but turned into more than a year of performances. Glen wasn't letting go and neither were his family or his fans.
The viewer is treated to many renditions of “Rhinestone Cowboy,” along with “Wichita Lineman” and “Gentle On My Mind.”
Campbell was married four times and has eight children, several of whom are musicians and accompany him on this last tour - most notably, his daughter, Ashley, who plays banjo and does a mean “Dueling Banjos”s with her father. We see the physical changes in Campbell from the pompadour of early television days and his hit variety show, to the current close-shaven look. Interviews and comments from celebrities include Brad Paisley, Steve Martin, Blake Shelton, John Paul White, Sheryl Crowe and Bill Clinton. They speak of Campbell’s talent and musicianship and also of the hardship of this disease, both for the person who has it and for their families.
Through it all, Glen Campbell retains a sense of humor, remembers jokes and may forget the key but knows the melody. Alzheimer’s Disease affects people in different ways, and his music seems to be in his genes, and that would be the last---if ever---to go. We see him on stage, perhaps bewildered for a moment or two, but when the song starts, he is entirely there. Though Glen Campbell’s personal life, at times, may not have been on track, his music is there for fans and they cherish it. Once a musician, always a musician and the beat goes on. The man lived music.
The Mayo Clinic has helped Campbell and there are medications now to slow down the process of the disease. All of this is brought into a section where Campbell, his wife and daughter, Ashley, testify in Washington, D. C. to bring awareness to the need of financing for Alzheimer’s Disease research.
Copyright 2014 Marie Asner