My part of the country has been suffering under a ‘heat dome’, with over 60 days at plus 100 degrees and zero rain. Driving in to the city this morning, there was a tease of weather that delivered 18 raindrops on my windshield. Not that driving into town at 5:30 AM, dodging the usual morons isn’t philosophical enough, but today I was listening to a freshly downloaded bonus track mp3 release of Glen Campbell’s “Ghost on the Canvas”. An incredible journey…
“A Lineman for the County” was an amazing introduction for me to Campbell’s voice and music, in a time of my life when AM radio and driving cars gave me a voice that sounded good, as long as I sang along with the blaring single speaker in the ’63 Chevy I drove around Austin in 1968. A freshman at UT Austin, I had no TV but went to the Student Union Building to watch the Smothers Brothers, and saw the too clean cut GC singing.
Now Glen is 75 with Altheimer’s, and I’m older, too, thinking about my ‘never-ending farewell tour’, and how tenuous our mental awareness is. It scares us, as it should. Those of us in our 60’s are ‘holding on to hope,’ and rooting for another victory by the medical community, over another demon of aging.
But back to the music, and how an icon of my life is making a journeyman effort to leave us with a legacy of words and music that will hopefully carry us to our end, as well. All of the 18 selections in “Ghost” are marvelous, and “In My Arms” really celebrates the music. But my favorite, “A Thousand Lifetimes”, has the line that speaks to me and mine, so well.
“Every breath I take, is a gift that I will never take, for granted.”
Warren Zevon left us with “Enjoy Every Sandwich”, as an epilogue and reminder to ‘live today’. And now Glen Campbell gives us more songs to sing along with as we spread our lunch, on the next thousand picnics.