Glen Campbell, The Rhinestone Cowboy first drew Kokomo’s favour once he discovered Mr Campbell was the Beach Boys’ mid ‘60s touring bassist. This was after Brian’s infamous airplane freak-out in December ‘64. Brian couldn’t understand how hundreds of metric tons of metal sails through the air then glides gently back down to earth safely while crazed lunatics enjoy peanuts and rom-coms inside. And Kokomo not know neither. Now Koko carries a wide range of benzodiazepines on every flight, and Brian Wilson does too. Kokomo now can’t help but enjoy all his mid-air rom-com re-runzzzzz.
The Wrecking Crew and Those Classic tracks
As a member of the LA’s primo session band The Wrecking Crew, Mr Campbell’s impeccable 12 String chops are all over hits by Elvis, Phil Spector, Sinatra, Pet Sounds and Kokomo’s favourite Big Lebowski jam Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). This would usually be enough to get Mr Campbell onto Kokomo’s Trophy Shelf. Then he unleashed his golden toned voice and created a songbook that will live on for eons in Classic Radio. Not the kind of Classic Radio that now plays Nirvana, Live and Pearl Jam just because they’re old. Koko is talking about the kind of radio that plays in the background in truck-stop diners, dead-end bars and country town op-shops.
Tracks like Wichita Lineman, Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.), Guess I’m Dumb, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston, Southern Nights, Gentle On My Mind; go ahead and pop these babies on your Spotify playlist or however you steal music these days. There’s no auto tune here young dudes. No ‘Featuring Guest Rap Verse by No-Name Wannabes’ and no sexy film clip required. (Although Kokomo does find Mr Campbell’s high waisted strides strangely alluring in a who’s-your-daddy kinda way.) These tracks are stone cold classics. Listen closely and get transported away to some place magical until you’re smiling like the kind folks in the video below do – while Campbell rips into his solo at 1:24 with a casual “I’ll play one…”
Glen Campbell’s Last Australian Tour in 2009
Kokomo saw The Rhinestone Cowboy on his last Australian tour in 2009 at the Palais. Kokomo had tickets to his 2012 return with Mr Kenny Rogers before Mr Campbell fell ill and was replaced by Mr John Williamson. Nice try, promoters! Before his diagnosis became public, Mr Campbell’s voice and fret work were still at the top of his game. Kokomo rightly guesses these two incomparable gifts were the last to fade. Sure he repeated an anecdote about acting alongside Mr John Wayne in the Oscar winning True Grit that Kokomo still doesn’t get.
In Mr Campbell’s mind, Wayne’s dependability went without saying: “If The Duke tells you it’s a ten pound pig, then you wrap it up.”
Koko hope you enjoy his tribute to Glen Campbell. And while Koko’s remembering things, feel free to take a trip down memory lane to this previous post, when Koko remembered Chris Cornell at the Palais.
XoXo – Kokomo