Glen Campbell Says Goodbye on Ghost on the Canvas

Moving on to a better place

Campbell, never a prolific writer, co-wrote five of the album's songs. "Julian would start them. And I'd personalize them, with 'I' and 'Me.' I have people I want to say goodbye to, so that made me want to contribute lyrics. Songs like 'A Better Place,' which is hopefully where I'm headed. I sang most of them in one take, with some punch-ins. Of course, occasionally, I'd learn a song one day and forget it the next. So, we'd start over."

The mood of the songs is so haunting, the feeling of mortality in the room so strong, Campbell has a sudden reminiscence about his first brush with death.

"When I was about three, I was on my way to buy some candy, when I fell into the creek. My uncle fished me out, but I'd turned blue. Momma was screaming, 'Lord, please don't take him!' My brothers happened to be coming along and they'd just taken lifesaving at a 3-C Camp. They worked on me, passed me back and forth, and got a half-gallon of water outta me. Somehow, I survived."

Glen Campbell lets go on his new album.
Courtesy Big Hassle
Glen Campbell lets go on his new album.

"So, Glen, you've been on Golden Time these past 70 years or so," I say.

"I had a destiny to play guitar, is all. No way I was supposed to die then."

I ask if he believes he's going to heaven when he dies.

"Yeah, I think so," he says. "I was pretty wild there for a while, but I got straightened out. Especially with my marriage. So, I'm pretty sure I'll make it to heaven." His eyes glint.

"Of course," Campbell adds, "that's on one condition. That, between now and then, I don't mess things up. Barring that? I'll be fine, man."

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