Glen Campbell Interview
SE: Howdy, Steve Escobar here.
GC: Hi, Steve, how ya doing?
SE: (laughs) We’ve got dueling speakerphones here.
GC: I know, let me put you on hold and I’ll get on a regular phone (laughs).
GC: Now, that’s better!
SE: Yeah, yeah it is, better for a recording, I’ll tell ya.
SE: I wanted to talk to you. I’ve been pulling out all the records and, not like they have dust on them or anything, let me tell you. I play them all the time, actually.
GC: Well, thanks.
SE: You know, you have had quite a colorful, full career.
GC: It’s been good. (laughs)
GC: I’m pleased with it.
SE: Very good, and very interesting. I’ll tell ya, there’s never a dull moment with you. You’re probably one of the few entertainers from that era, from the ’60’s, whose music is not regarded as dated and corny.
GC: Oh, thanks! (laughs)
SE: (laughs) I mean, you are! I mean, I know people, like heavy metal guys, who, when Glen Campbell comes on, it’s like “Oh, turn it up!” You don’t hear that with Tom Jones, and all these other people who were kind of campy. Your stuff is pretty much here to stay. It never gets old.
GC: Well, thank you Steve! (laughs)
SE: (laughs) So, to go back to the beginning, to your musical career, how old were you when you came to California?
GC: I came here in 1960. I think it was like June of 1960, and I was 23 years old.
SE: And you played at a lot of historic sessions.
GC: Of course, you don’t know that at the time, you know.
GC: That was when we was down there doing that stuff with Phil Spector. Two for thirty five, as they were called then… non union (laughs).
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: Scabbin’ (laughs), you know. You didn’t have no idea how it’d turn out, you know. That’s where “He’s A Rebel” came from, you know.
SE: What was your first session like, when you got to LA. and w hich was your most memorable?
GC: The most memorable, I think, was, uh, the Nat King Cole, the Sinatra, and the Dean Martin . . . I remember the first session I did with Andy Williams. I was so pleased to do that because I’d been a fan of Andy, you know, the TV show and all that jazz.
GC: But the one you’d really . . . because you went in, and you played, and they sang, and they left.
GC: You remembered them for that, for what ease they did it with. Then you’d go in a Phil Spector session, and you’d be in there all day long, just working on a track.
GC: Or working on a refrain.
GC: I think if Brian Wilson was the same way —
GC: It was like, if they were in the studio. They had an idea of what they wanted, but they didn’t know how to find it right off.
GC: And gosh, Brian’s sitting there doing that “ . . . dun-da-duhn . . . “ thing, you know, that thing from “Good Vibrations.”
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: (laughs) It cost him $105 a man just to sit there and try to do that for three hours!
SE: (laughs) So, did you play on “Good Vibrations?”
SE: Oh, poor Brian, you know… he’s doing better. I interviewed him about a month ago, and he couldn’t really recall a lot of stuff from some of those sessions.
GC: God love ‘im.
SE: Yeah, but there’s a couple of things I wanted to ask you about that session, which you just filled me in on, and the other one, the “Guess I’m Dumb” single.
SE: He remembered that he had a good time recording with you, but he couldn’t remember much else after that. How did you come about doing that song?
GC: Uh, the guys didn’t much want to do it, the rest of the guys.
GC: And Brain said, “Well, shoot, I’ll give it to Glen!” (laughs)
GC: (laughing) I was down at the studio, down at Western Recorders, and I said, “You’re dad gum right I’ll take it!” And they said, “Fine, fine, that’s settled.” Yeah, and you know, it cost me for the session, I didn’t realize how much at the time. It cost more than I got out of it, I know that! (laughs)
SE: It’s a phenomenal record.
GC: It is, isn’t it?
SE: I mean, it’s so ahead of its time.
GC: I think it is, too.
SE: I guess a lot of Brian’s stuff was, but that record in general was . . . when I put it on for people who have never heard of it, never knew it existed, they’re like “Wow!”
GC: I was going out with the Beach Boys then, and when Brian said, “Glen, do you want this track?” I said, (chuckles) “Yes!” I said, “I don’t know if I could cut it in that key or not. If I don’t, I’ll slow it down a little.”
SE: Yeah, it sounded like you were hurtin’ a little bit in there.
GC: Aw man, I expected both testicles to go Pow! Pow! because of them notes.
GC: ” . . . I guess I’m dumb, but I don’t care . . . ”
SE: I think you went even higher than that!
GC: I know! But the guys did it with me, you know, Brian did all the harmony stuff.
GC: It’s an unusual record.
SE: Yeah, the one thing I noted to him was that it’s probably the only pop record with the word “dumb” in it.
GC: I know! (laughs)
SE: (laughs) That word just wasn’t used by songwriters back then.
GC: That’s right.
SE: So, you toured with the Beach Boys?
SE: There were a lot of different personalities in that band.
GC: Yes, there were.
SE: Was there anybody who was tougher to deal with, to tour with, to work with than the others?
GC: Uh (pause), Carl was mostly business. Dennis was, you know, like so easy to get along with. All he ever did was play the drums and do his surfer girls and party. Al Jardine was the same way. Mike Love, you know, not playing an instrument, and uh . . . I don’t know, he kind of . . . if arguments started, it would come from Carl and (laughs) Mike.
GC: Because, uh — and I don’t know why — but there was always some sort of tension going on in the band. (chuckles)
GC: You never really knew where it came from, you know. I didn’t care. Man, I was making more money than I’d ever made in my life, doing singing (laughs).
GC: But the hard part was playing that dadgum bass, man.
SE: Yeah, that must have been quite a switch for you.
GC: It was. I was blessed enough to run into Joe Osbourne, you know Joe?
SE: Oh yeah, big LA session guy.
GC: He was Rick Nelson’s bass player. Well, he didn’t want to fly, so Rick said, “Joe doesn’t want to fly to the Orient, will you go and play bass with me?” and I said, “Sure.” And he said because I’ve done the harmonies for “Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart.” You know, I’d done the harmonies on some of that stuff.
SE: Oh, wow.
GC: And so, I went over and did a tour with him, in about. . . it must have been the end of ’63. So, therefore, I had a little bit of experience playing bass and singing. But boy, to sing that Beach Boy stuff and play bass was just… it was really hard. It was a lot of fun, on top of that.
GC: I don’t know, when you got on stage, you couldn’t hear nothin’ anyway. The noise of the kids that was just “Aaaah” (laughs)
SE: (laughing) Yeah, like the Beatles, said, “Sometimes things would break down, and nobody would know.”
GC: That’s right!
SE: (laughs) Man, another session that you recorded on earlier on your career, I just interviewed Chuck Negron, you remember Chuck?
SE: He talked about a session that he did in the early ’60’s, probably ’64, ’63, when he went under the name, Chuck Rondell. Do you remember doing that session?
GC: What were the songs?
SE: Uh, you got me there.
GC: I remember songs (laughs) —
SE: Oh, I wish I had his book with me. It was for Columbia —
GC: What would that have been?
SE: But anyway, he said you played on it, and he said, “Glen probably won’t remember this session,” and I said, “Well, I’ll ask him.” He said that then later on Three Dog Night did your show. I don’t even know if he talked to you about it then, but he had a good time on your show and he said he’s a big fan of yours.
GC: Oh, yeah, they were great.
SE: Yeah, they were.
GC: I loved them.
SE: Lotta problems, but, great music.
GC: I know. But, God, we all had problems then, I guess.
GC: Chuck, Chuck Wendell?
SE: Ah, he went by the name Chuck Rondell.
GC: Chuck Rondell?
SE: Because I think he came from a band called the Rondell’s. Instead of going with Chuck Negron, he picked Rondell.
GC: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.
SE: It was a little, kind of a —
GC: Did he produce it?
SE: No, I don’t think he produced it.
GC: Gerry Melchur produced it, probably. He was doing the Birds stuff and ah….
SE: Probably. This was early, though, when Chuck had no facial hair, and a ducktail. (laughs)
GC: (laughing) Yeah. It was probably a Melchur thing, because he was doing all that stuff for Columbia then. At least, it was at Columbia Studios.
SE: Hm. How did you hook up with Al Delores? Was it a Brian Wilson related thing, or was it a Capitol related thing?
GC: It was a Capitol related thing. Al was a session player, you know, piano, and when he went there as a producer, I said, “Hey, all I wanna do is color the track and get my vocal on, then you can put whatever you want to on it.” So, I would listen to it and just say,” Yes”, because everything was laid down. In other words, I got it at the part where you’d have to be really awful to mess it up, you know what I mean?
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: I’d rather do it other than the way I wanted to hear it. But I thought that what Al added to “Phoenix” and “Galveston”, you know, all that stuff, he already had a bed track to work with. All he did was fill it in, and I just think he did a magnificent job.
SE: Wow. Yes, it seemed like a match made in heaven. The production on those songs, with your playing and singing was just like, whew! I mean, it goes from the nice, spacey sound of “Phoenix,” or something like that, and then it gets really dry and dead sounding with something like “Wichita Linemen”, which makes it so atmospheric.
GC: Yeah, “ . . . dun-dun-dun-dun-dun . . .” Yeah, Jimmy Webb, we piled that organ down to the studio to do that.
SE: What makes that little vibrating sound towards the end of that track?
GC: That’s one of those old organs, pipe organ things.
GC: We carted that thing down to the studio, because we couldn’t find anything that duplicated how Jimmy had sung that to me, and put it on a little tape for me. So we just (laughs) got a big truck, went up and got the organ, and brought it down to the studio.
SE: A friend of mine and I sat in the studio for hours just playing that end over and over, just trying to figure out, you know, just what the —
SE: Yeah, it’s a really weird sound.
GC: It’s very unusual.
SE: But it sounds great.
GC: Did you know that’s the most played song of the decade?
SE: Well, I know when I play it, it takes about 16 or 17 times before I can take it off.
GC: Aw, God, thanks. (laughs) I just think it’s a credit to what a great writer Jimmy Webb is.
SE: Great tuning and great performance, I mean. It’s like, you know how some people will bring out their grandfather’s old cologne bottle to get all nostalgic and take a whiff? I just put on that record and it takes me back.
GC: Aw, thanks man.
SE: (laughing) I mean, you can almost see the dusty road, and the ripples of the heat in the air, you know?
GC: Really, he paints a picture, doesn’t he?
SE: Oh, yeah. That’s an all time classic.
GC: Well, thank you. You know, I think this is coming out, ASCAP, I think they’re gonna have a show on TV, depicting all the songs of the millennium, and the decade and all that. And “Wichita Linemen” was the most played record. I think they called it a country record, though.
SE: Oh, pshaw, hmph!
GC: I wouldn’t classify “Wichita Linemen” as a country record. Would you?
SE: No, not at all. I was just going to say, I was going to ask you if you’re considered a country artist around the world? Because I know, growing up here in San Francisco and Oakland, everybody around here thought of you as a pop star.
GC: Yeah, I just considered myself a singer and a guitar player, and let the labels fall where they lie, ya know.
SE: I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I went to this teen-aged girl’s house for some tutoring in math, and I went into her bedroom, and right there was this big “Wichita Linemen” poster of you. And I’m like, yeah, right up there with the Beatles, and all these other people is Glen Campbell! Yeah, we never thought of you as a country guy around here. You had a pretty eclectic choice of songs to cover.
GC: What were those two guys that had the radio show there?
SE: In San Francisco?
GC: Yeah. The one with the heavy-set guy, and uh —
SE: Tom Donahue?
GC: Tom Donahue and the other guy! God, I can’t think of his name!
SE: I can’t either.
GC: They made the uh ” . . . kiss me each morning for a million years . . . ” They made that a huge hit in that area.
SE: Oh, yeah?
GC: It blew me away.
SE: It must have been when he was on KYA.
GC: I think it was. Hm, Tom Donahue and, uh, Mitchell. . .
SE: Oh, okay. I can’t think of the first name, but. . .
GC: Yeah, me neither, but God we went up there and. . . I remember, when the Duke of Earl died, and when Sonny and Cher were hot. We did some show at the Cow Palace.
SE: Oh yeah, in one of those big twenty-yarder-that-someone-built gigs, huh?
GC: Exactly (laughs)
SE: You went up there and did what, two songs?
SE: You got a big bang for your buck back then when you went to see a show.
*GC: I think the most memorable big gig that I ever did in my life . . . I took my guitar, flew up to Portland, and PaT O’Day was in Seattle then, he had a big band show, you know and all that jazz up there. And, I opened for The Doors.
GC: Just me and my guitar!
SE: That’s actually kind of cool! I know a ton of people who paid big bucks to see that gig!
GC: (laughs) I must have looked really silly, I mean, “Turn Around and Look at Me” was all I had back then, it was 1963 I think. The Doors . . .
SE: The Doors?
GC: Yeah, when did they start?
SE: They kind of started in ’66.
GC: Was it ’66?
GC: Well, (laughs)I went up there and I had “Turn Around and Look at Me” and “Universal Soldier.” Yeah, so it would have had to have been about ’65 or ’66.
GC: Just me and my guitar.
SE: Did you intermix with the band at all?
GC: Oh, yeah, I talked to ’em. You know, “hi’s” and all, but they were . . . poor old Jimmy, he was–
SE: –a mess–
GC: -flying with the airplane.
GC: He had a leather outfit on, on the plane going up. He wore it in the show, and he wore it on the plane going back. I think it was all he took with him.
SE: Yeah, I think I toured with a guy who did the same thing. For two weeks he wore the same leather outfit.
GC: Oh, did you really? (laughs)
SE: Yeah. It was, uh, pretty bad sharing a room with him. (laughs)
SE: Another session . . . Do you remember Joe and Eddie?
SE: I recently interviewed Eddie Brown, because I’ve been trying to put this little story together, because that’s one team that should not be forgotten. And he said you played on some of their sessions. He said you played banjo and guitar on some of their sessions.
SE: I’m guessing it was probably their last album, which was kind of a more folk rock album, “Walking Down the Line”? Do you remember which sessions you played on?
GC: Gosh, I sure don’t.
GC: I really don’t. Did they have “Walking Down the Line”?
SE: That was their last album. The biggest hit was “There’s a Meeting’ Here Tonight.”
GC: Oh, yeah yeah yeah. Okay.
SE: They did mainly folk songs and spirituals.
GC: I remember the Christy Minstrel stuff too.
SE: Yeah. Man, what didn’t you play on?
GC: I tell ya, if you know how to use a capo and play an open ring and chords, because that’s what the sound was then. . .I went up to San Francisco, and did “Live from The Hungry Eye” with the Kingston Trio and the opening act was Bill Cosby —
GC: And I got to sit there for eight shows and watch Bill Cosby. God, he was funny.
SE: Yeah, I think my parents had a lot of stories about hanging around North Beach watching those great shows at The Hungry Eye.
GC: Yeah. There were some good ones then.
SE: Yeah, it was the spot to go. You’d walk down that street and see 20 different big acts in one night. So you played with Elvis on the “Viva Las Vegas” soundtrack?
SE: Did you play on any of his other, later sessions?
GC: No, he did most of all his recording in Nashville…the records. It just so happened it was convenient to do it with Ann Margaret… I worked one day at Radio Recorders, and I think all we got done was “What Did I Say” and, somethin else…
SE: Ah. But you were buddies with him anyway, right?
GC: Yeah. I’d known Elvis since 1956.
GC: I was playing in a band. We had a radio show in Albuquerque, called the Noon Day Roundup, and Pherin Young came through promoting his show that night at the Armory. And his opening act was (laughs) Elvis Presley. It was only the opening act the first night. Pherin had sense enough to open the show on the second night and then go out after intermission and introduce his special guest, Elvis Presley. (laughs)
*GC: Pherin said that the first night, I think it was in Amarillo, Texas. Elvis went on, and then Pherin’s come out and he’d doin “Hello all.” and “…me and my baby are goin steady..” You know that stuff and everybody was saying “We want Elvis!” He said, “Them stupid women were saying ‘We want Elvis’ all through my show!” I can imagine, because boy, did he have a temper!
GC: But he became a hero then, because he would go on first, and then he would introduce Elvis personally (laughs).
SE: (laughs) You know, almost everybody I’ve interviewed, Nancy Sinatra, Tony Joe White, everybody has a really funny Elvis story to tell. Do you have any kind of quirky stories?
GC: Well, gosh, it wasn’t funny, but when we’d follow each other into Vegas, and we did it on 3 or 4 different occasions, he’d always have a big party up in the suite, you know. I mean, every night was a party. It was amazing, I mean, no wonder the poor guy died at 42.
SE: I know.
GC: And it was always just tons of people hanging around. He told Joe, “Glen and I wanna go gamble.” And I said, “Oh, we do?” and this was down in the dressing room. So, we went outside and they got us a blackjack table, and the guys in the group were playing. I’d deal a while, and Elvis would deal a while . . .blackjack. That’s the most amount of money I’d ever lost . . . with Elvis dealing Blackjack. He was the worst dealer that ever hit the planet.
GC: I don’t know why! He would get Blackjack, and I’d say, “Have you got a stacked deck there or something?”
GC: That was the only time I can remember that all the people were just backed up. They had it in circles, you know? He was the most. . . He and John Wayne, had more charisma, like, once this old goat said, “Listen, I’ve got more charisma in my whole body than they got in their little finger.” (laughs)
GC: To turn around and coin a phrase. He had, I don’t know what it was. He could walk in a room, and you would know it even if you didn’t see him. It was amazing.
SE: Yeah. He was a good entertainer, that’s for sure.
GC: Yes he was.
SE: Have you ever recorded any songs that you wouldn’t have guessed would have been a hit?
*GC: Yeah. When I was with Chris. I didn’t know this guy, but he had signed me to Capitol Records, and was acting as my manager at the time, Jerry Kapard. And I wrote, “Turn Around and Look at Me”, and he said, “Let me put it in my name because I’ll be handling the money,” and I said “Sure.” But that was the last I ever saw of that. And I just figured I’d let God handle it. He’ll probably do more to that guy that I could.
GC: But, uh, I could only do songs published by American Music on my first two albums at Capitol. There were a lot of stuff that I recorded there that I knew would not be a hit. It was all backlog stuff out of the American Music catalogue and “The Big Blue Grass Special” was one of them and another one was “Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry.” Those two albums were published by American Music . . . I had to learn the hard way, and I didn’t have the choice to go say, “Man, listen to this.” “Sorry we can’t do that one”, “No, we don’t want to do that one” and I never knew why, you know. I had some good songs I wanted to do then. I don’t even remember what they were now. Things like that happen to people who are, I guess, naive, or not real learned in to the big biz of show biz, you know.
SE: Man, record companies have been frustrating since day one, huh?
GC: Look at Jimmy Bowen and Buddy Knox. They didn’t get a penny for “I’m Stickin’ with You,” or “Party Doll.”
GC: (imitating executive’s voice) “Well, it was all ate up in costs..”, you know. “..musicians costs…”
Hell they did all the musician’s themselves..
SE: Yeah. I think it was Tony Joe White I was talking with who said that in the next five years record companies are gonna become obsolete, with all the communication we have nowadays.
GC: Yeah, I got a new album coming out on Pat Boone’s, the Internet thing.
SE: Yeah, the Web, that’s the way to go now.
GC: Yeah. And a guy wanted me to do some love songs, and he was from England. He paid for the sessions and, uh, something happened with the deal that he had with a record label anyway , I think they went under is what I think, and this guy is sittin there, so anyway. .. Kruger bought em back from him. I did stuff like “Ebb Tide,” “It’s All in the Game,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”..”and I love you so..” you know, with full orchestra.
SE: Oh, great!
GC: It sounds like ’50’s stuff, redone, and that’s what it is.
GC: So that’s what’s coming out on the Internet, on Pat’s label.
SE: Wow, that sounds great.
GC: It came out the first week in Great Britain and hit the charts! (laughs) Knocked me out!
SE: I believe it!
GC: Course, I was over there doing a tour.
SE: Yeah, how was your tour of Britain?
GC: Oh, it was wonderful.
SE: How’d you enjoy the food?
GC: Oh, I love it!
GC: Oh, yes, they got some pretty good stuff over there.
GC: The lamb is good over there.
SE: Oh yeah? When I was there, all I ate was chicken. 21 days of chicken.
SE: I didn’t trust the beef, so I just ate chicken.
GC: Oh, I didn’t eat any beef when I was over there. I ate chicken and lamb. . . and they got great pastry stuff.
SE: Oh yeah, they do. Great chocolate, too.
GC: Yeah, that’s how you outgrow your outfits!
SE: I think I brought my own hot sauce and a box of Payday candy bars, just in case. (laughs)
GC: (laughs) But it was beautiful in Ireland, man.
SE: Yeah, the people are great.
GC: We went from Dublin up to Belfast, and drove on up…to Londonderry. We were, I’d say, about 85% sold out for the whole tour.
GC: Just blew me away.
SE: Well, the people there are great, and they really appreciate the music.
GC: They do, they really do. You walk out with the bagpipes, and the roof comes off. It’s amazing.
SE: Wow. I was going through some records, man, and you just have a way of delivering your songs. You just capture the right mood for the right song. It’s like, you listen to “Phoenix” and “Wichita Linemen,” and it makes you homesick, even though you’re listening to it at home!
GC: (laughs) Thanks, Steve.
SE: And I came across a song last night, “Love is Not a Game,” that I always liked, but I really sat and played it like 5 times, and, man, this song could be a hit today.
GC: I think it could, too. That was stuck away in one of those first albums.
SE: Right, on “Try a Little Kindness.”
GC: ” . . . da-da-da-duh-da-da-da-duhn . . . ”
SE: What a great song.
GC: ” . . . and love is not a game . . . “ I’m going to go get that out, because I really like that.
SE: That is really a good song, and the production’s great, and there’s a lot of energy to it.
GC: Hey, I’ll have to look at that, because I’ve been looking for stuff to do out of the old albums.
SE: Yeah, I was looking at this and thinking, why wasn’t this a single?
GC: I haven’t a clue, you know, they only release one single out of a whole album, most of the time.
SE: Yeah, it looks like they were pushing, you know, “Try a Little Kindness,” which is a great song, and “Honey Come Back,” which is a good song. B ut man, “Love is Not a Game,” I tell ya, I had to play it five times.
GC: They wouldn’t release “Highwayman” with me on Capitol.
GC: In 1979, that’s when I cut it. That’s why I left the label.
*GC: I told them what they could do with their record label. But I finally got the song done by Willieand Whalen and them. I went back to Nashville, and put down a work vocal for them. When I was in Nashville, Johnny asked me if I’d come down and help em do the session on “Highwayman.” I literally did, I told them, I don’t know who it was at Capitol… it was after Al Corey left, some guy came in who wanted me to do some songs like The Knack.
SE: The Knack?
GC: Yeah, remember them?
GC: ” . . . da da da My Sharona. . . ”
GC: ” You gotta do some of this new stuff, like this you know,”
SE: (laughs) Yeah, you’d look good with green hair.
GC: Yeah. I literally told the guy, the president of Capitol,(laughs)… what he could do with his label.
SE: Well, by the looks of what they’ve been pumping out, I guess they did just that, huh?
GC: Oh, they had it rough for a while. I don’t know if they still do or not.
SE: Well, you see, they’ve been putting out Beatles’ stuff every month.
GC: Oh yeah. I cannot get them to release the Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell album on CD.
SE: You know, your stuff, I gotta say, your stuff, the Capitol stuff, has been pretty hard to get.
GC: I know!
SE: I mean, it exists, like, a friend of mine and I were searching down the “Wichita…” and the “Phoenix” and the “Gem on My Mind” and that stuff, and it was really hard to find. It was like only Tower where you could find it at. You know, I work in the record retail business myself, and I called up Capitol, asking how come we can’t find this, and they said, “Well, the thing is, you gotta buy it in bulk.”
SE: So, you gotta buy like a box of each title to get it or they won’t sell it to you. And I’m like, this is ridiculous!
GC: Yes, it is.
SE: “Because people want this stuff, and you’re making it impossible to get!”
GC: I’ll never know about record executives. . . That’s why I told the guy, “You’re an insult to the music industry.”
GC: And I said “Fuck you.”
SE: Ooh! (laughs)
GC: And I left.
GC: This was the guy… that was in 1980. (laughs)
GC: You know what, I haven’t been back there since. I’m thinking about suing them and getting all all the tapes and doing what I want to with them, like Buck Owens did.
SE: Yeah, I was wondering about that, because a lot of artists, I notice, wound up just owning their own masters so they could just put it out wherever the hell they want.
GC: We paid for them! It came out of our own money!
GC: Yeah. I might do that, later on, just for the heck of it.
SE: Yeah, because that stuff should be out there, for anyone to pick up whenever they want.
GC: And the way they put it together, I don’t like the combinationsthat they put em together with!
GC: I would pick songs like, “Words,” “Reason to Believe,” and the one you were talking about, “Love is Not a Game,” “The Cold December of Your Heart,” stuff like that.
GC: I would put stuff that I liked on that album. That’s basically what I did when I recorded. I recorded songs that I really liked.
SE: Yeah, and that Dylan song you did, “I Don’t Believe You”? Man, you know, Dylan songs always sound better done by a real singer, but man, that’s such a great version!
GC: Oh, thank you! Is that “I can’t understand, if you let go of my hand . . . “?
SE: Right! That’s what I’m telling you, like, a lot of your songs, they’re like triple, or fourple plays (laughs).
GC: Oh, thank you man, I really appreciate that.
SE: It’s like having a good piece of candy, and you gotta get another piece.
GC: (laughs) I do appreciate that. I enjoy talking to someone with taste.
SE: You know, I’m not just saying that. You look at my records, the grooves are turning white! You know, I get frustrated that way too, when I see box sets and things come out that these record companies think that people want to hear, and I say, “‘ Where’s my CD burner? I’ll make my own damn collection!”
GC: There you go!
SE: You know?
GC: I’ve been thinking about doing that. There’s one song that I never heard on, uh — it was in my mind but it went right out again — that I would put on a CD if I made it. Mickey Newberry wrote it, I did it with Nelson Riddle, it’s called “Blue Sky Shining.” ” . . . please let me be, say good night and set me free . . .”
GC: ” . . .All I ever wanted was someone I could depend on . . . “ I never got to finish it. And yet, they put it out on a box set anyway. No, they don’t ask me nothing. I haven’t been down there since 1980. In fact, I haven’t even talked to anyone down there since 1980.
GC: Paul McCartney left because they wouldn’t release Moll of Kintire as a single over here.
GC: And all the time I was in England, it was number one for, like, four weeks.
GC: And, they don’t release it over here?–
GC: –as a single? (laughs)
SE: “Well, it’s gotta fly…”
GC: And that’s when McCartney told them what they could do with Capitol Records.
SE: Right. Well, what about the possibility of you just re-recording all the songs instead of buying your stuff all back? Just do it again, and just put out your own 2-CD set?
GC: I might do that. What I’m thinking about working on now, Steve, is, uh, your name’s Steve, right?
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: Good, my mind’s still working then. I’ve been thinking about doing . . . I’ve got about 7 or 8 Jimmy Webb songs that you wouldn’t believe.
GC: Yeah, so I’m going to do an album, with the songs that I like, written by Jimmy Webb.
GC: And maybe do them on the Internet, maybe. And advertise it as such.
SE: That’s a great idea.
GC: Man, he’s got one called “If I Ever Get to Talk to You Again” that just blows me away. What I wanna do is learn em and stick em in the shows. I did one, just to see what it would sound like, called “No Signs of Age.”
GC: Oh my God, it was . . . One of.. the chorus goes, ” . . . you show no signs of age, no signs, as light through a glass of good wine. The secret of you truly is yours . . . “ One of those typical , slow ranging songs “. . . ain’t this the truth. . . your beauty endures, and love never dies, will not disengage, and in my memory tonight, you show no signs of age. . .”
SE: Good words.
GC: Yeah, lyrics are good, too.
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: (laughs) Yeah, there’s a guy who says, I don’t like the words, but the lyrics are okay on that song.
SE: (laughs) One thing I was gonna ask you about, I’m skipping ahead here on my list of questions–
GC: Go ahead.
SE: Are you kind of glad to see, I don’t know if you notice, but the kids today are looking to the song writers of the past to find their musical heroes, are you kinda happy that that’s happening again?
GC: Yeah, I am, because the guy from Creed – I took my kids,I’ve got two boys now 14 an 16, and a couple of their buddies to see Creed, and I was thinking, “Dang, these guys . . . Either, they’re trying to make me feel good, or . . .” Because the guy who writes is really good, that kid writes some great stuff man. And the guitar player, he’s only 25 years old, and he knows about all the sessions, they’re in the music business. And the other guys, they’re only 26 . . . And the guy, the lead singer, came out, I was standing back there.. backstage, and he came out and he said, “Mr. Campbell, I just wanted to meet you and tell you how much I really enjoy your work.” And that just blew me away, you know, that somebody 26 years old would know that, you know? Obviously, they’re into music.
GC: Write all their own stuff. You ought to read the lyrics on all those Creed records.
SE: Yeah, I haven’t done that.
GC: Whew! It is really writing, some good stuff now. The music is the grunge kid stuff of today, you know, but there are only four of em, man, and they sounded great.
SE: I guess music is coming full cycle, because these 20 year olds now, that are looking for the Burt Bacharachs, and the Jimmy Webb stuff, and all those people, and they’re praising them!
GC: Yeah! They’re good writers, man. That’s exactly right.
SE: Which is good to see.
GC: Yes, it is.
SE: When you did your TV show, “The Good Time Hour,” which is a great show, by the way, I mean, I remember watching that every week when I was a kid, thinking that this is probably the best variety show on TV!
GC: Well, we had the writers.
SE: Yeah! I was just gonna say, you had the Rob Reiners, the Steve Martins, all the Smothers Brothers staff, right?
SE: Did you have Pat Paulson in there, too?
SE: Wow. So it must have been a blast working with all those people.
GC: Yeah. Jerry Stiller and Ann Miller wrote for the show, and did stuff for the show, too.
SE: Yeah, they were great. You had a ton of great guests. Who were some of your favorite guests on that show?
GC: Well, naturally Cream was, with Clapton, he just blew my face off. Um, I had fun with The Pioneers, Doc, and Festus and…are just things that I really remember. The one show that I really, really liked, that had Johnny Cash, and Buck Owens, and Merl Haggard and Ann Murray, and Minnie Pearl, and Mel Tillus –
SE: Like a Who’s Who show.
GC: I was a Who’s Who of country music show, is what it was. Only, they were selling more records than most of the pop acts at that time!
GC: And I was working with Lucille Ball… but probably I’d say the one with John Wayne on it. That had to be one of my favs. My favorite musical guest, I remember, was, Three Dog Night, doing stuff with them. Doin stuff with The Monkee’s –
SE: You had The Monkee’s on there?
GC: Yeah! Well, I played on their sessions, you know… I did “I’m a Believer,” with them, you know.
SE: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about them, too, coming up.
GC: I did “I’m a Believer,” and “Last Train to Clarkesville” with them, I think.
SE: You did more than that. I was doing some research. (laughs)
GC: Well, yeah, there were the albums, but those are the two I remember.
SE: Yeah, you did a lot of Mike Nesmith songs, I noticed. What did you think of him as a songwriter?
GC: I think he’s pretty good. I think he’s probably a better producer… because he produced all that stuff.
SE: Yeah, you played on “Sweet Young Thing,” “Poppa Gene’s Blues”, “Mary, Mary” . . . You were, uh, you were basically a Monkee!
GC: That’s right! (laughs)
SE: When you’d see all these stories about “The Monkee’s don’t even play their own music!” you probably pull your coat over your head and go “Whoops!” (laughs)
GC: (laughs) That was a good band though, I’ll tell you that. That band had Hal Blaine, James Burton, Joe Osbourne, I think was on bass. . .or Carol Kaye.
SE: Yeah, they had a lot of great people on those early records.
GC: Well, they had about 12 or 13 people who could play anything..
GC: You’d go from a Monkee’s date to a Nat King Cole date!
SE: Wow. Do you still keep in touch with Bobby Gentry?
GC: I have not heard from Bobby since I saw her last time in Tahoe, probably, 14 years ago.
SE: Wow, she’s really gone into hiding!
GC: Oh yeah. . . when she and Bill Harrah got divorced, she got her piece of the pie and went back to Athens, Georgia.
SE: I was searching her down to do a, you know, because I was kinda trying to do a sort of thematic kind of string of interviews, you know, Tony Joe White, you . . . and I was trying to hunt down Bobby Gentry. But, it’s like, nobody can find her!
GC: She lives in Athens, Georgia. Call the Jim Stafford Theatre, because Bobby married Jim Stafford, you know.
SE: I never knew that!
GC: After she was married to Bill Harrah, and they have a son now, who’s about, 17 or 18 years old. If you call the Jim Stafford Theatre, and tell them I said to call, in Branson, Missouri, he’ll probably tell you how you can get a hold of Bobby. He’s the only one I know who can get a hold of her.
SE: Oh, because I was making calls and calls, and, this will probably be a kick for you, but I called Capitol Records, and the people on the phone, they didn’t even know who she was!
GC: Huh! (laughs)
SE: They didn’t even know who she was! They were like, “Bobby who? Was she an artist of ours?” I said, “Yeah, and she probably paid for the office you’re sitting in!”
GC: Is that right?
SE: And then they put me on hold, and I kept going through these strings of people, right, and I get this one lady on the phone, and she goes, “Well, I’ll call you back. I’m going to have to talk to somebody, but I’ll call you back. Bobby Gentry . . . now, can you spell his name again?”
SE: (laughs) I just gave up. I hung up the phone, and I gave up. I said, you know, if it ain’t meant to be, it ain’t meant to be.
GC: That’s the Jim Stafford Theatre. You know, Jim Stafford who did “I Like Spiders and Snakes.”
GC: Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
SE: Yeah, I’ll call them.
GC: I bet he can give you the information.
SE: Thanks a lot for that tip, because I even called BMI, and they didn’t know how to find her. I’m saying, “Well, you gotta send the checks somewhere!”
SE: “I mean, you got her greatest hits out!” I mean, geez!
GC: That’s funny.
SE: You know, as Tony Joe White said, you know, sometimes they have you stuffed so far back on the shelves, they forget you were even on the team at one time.
GC: Well, if it weren’t for Stan Sneider, my business manager, and manager now, since 1960 –
GC: – He did my income taxes. He started out at a little firm and we’ve been together since 1960. He goes down there and makes damn sure that everything is ship shop and ship shape. It knocks me out to get big checks from Capitol Records.
GC: It only takes one guy to screw a whole company up.
GC: And put him at the helm. When they had Al Corey there, look what a magnificent job he did. We did “Rhinestone Cowboy” with Al, when he was there. And then he quit, and I said, “Man, my dog died.” You know?
SE: Yeah. (laughs)
GC: And then he went with Stigwood, made that huge. And then he went to Geffen…everywhere he went, he knew what the hell he was doing, man. He finally retired though, and got into golf. (laughs) Al Corey, he was the head of Capitol when I did “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”
GC: But he had left right before “Southern Nights,” I think.
SE: Yeah, I think that right about that time they kind of dropped off the map and just started putting out re-issues.
GC: Yup, after “Southern Nights,” I couldn’t cut anything I wanted to cut. I got a Jimmy Webb album called, “Highway Man.” They printed 10,000 copies, shipped it, and that was it.
SE: It must be a collector’s item now.
GC: You know, I don’t know. “Highway Man” was the song of the year, you know. Jimmy Webb got it for The Song of the Year in 1986.
SE: So the record did come out, but only so many copies?
GC: The album did. And it’s a good album, called “Highway Man” and it’s got a lot of Jimmy Webb stuff in it, but Capitol, they didn’t’ want anything to do with it. And, I had already told the guy to go fuck himself, so you know.
SE: (laughs) Well, good for you. You know, this one topic, I don’t even know if I want to get into it, but it’s kind of like, I guess you talk about it in your book, the drug and alcohol period.
GC: Oh, yeah. I’ve forgotten it.
SE: You know, during that time when I would pass by the tabloids, and I would see it on the front of the tabloids, I was like, you know, I don’t even want to know about that, you know, because it’s just not him.
GC: Oh, they enjoyed writing stories about me, whether they were true or not.
GC: You know, because I was the goody-goody guy, supposedly, you know.
SE: Right. And the reason I kind of wanted to talk to you about it was because like I said I interviewed Chuck Negron, and he’s going through a big-time recovery thing right now, because, you know what he went through, right?
SE: Well, he basically made himself homeless, he was in the streets, begging for 20’s to get another bag of heroine. I mean, he hit rock bottom.
SE: Rock bottom, and then dug a little deeper. And he found his wife, who basically found him and saved him. So now, he’s pretty much doing God’s work. With the money he’s getting from Three Dog Night, he’s taking it, and investing it, and hiring his band, going out and doing shows, doing lectures on drugs.
GC: Oh, that’s great.
SE: And he’s got his book out now. It’s all about every gory detail to make kids read and keep away from drugs. He gives all the proceeds to recovery centers. I mean, he’s giving back.
GC: Well, that’s somethin.
SE: And it sounds like the ’70’s were pretty harsh on most of you pop stars.
GC: Well, my ex-wife was doing that for a year before I even knew what the hell was going on.
GC: And she said, “Hey. try some of this,” you know, and I did. But I never got into the heroine stuff, or none of that. It was cocaine.
GC: And one time, it was during the Tanya Tucker reign in Vegas, they were free-basing, and I had never seen that. Had never heard of it. It was after Richard Pryor, I had heard of it, but I did one toke of that, and I tell you, that is why I’m off drugs.
GC: I was gonna die, because my system couldn’t take it.
GC: And the only difference between a Tanya Tucker and a pit bull, is lipstick. (laughs) That’s a joke, but I just use her cause it makes alot of sense.
SE: (laughs) Yeah, she looks like a, uh, pretty tough woman.
GC: I said that jokingly to someone in private and I’ll be damned if I didn’t hear about it two weeks later!
GC: (laughs) Cause he spread the word around!
SE: (laughs) That’s a good line, I’ll probably use it, too.
GC: Yeah, use it on anybody! But, that is just something that is just . . . drugs, it’s the work of the devil.
GC: And there’s no getting around it, you know?
GC: Drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It doesn’t work.
SE: Yeah and I’m glad to see that you are clean and sober, and doing rock and roll again.
GC: Oh yeah, gosh. I quit drinkin. I’ve quit smoking, and it’s just amazing.
SE: Yeah, it’s good to see Chuck’s got a new record out and doing well again.
GC: Aw, that’s great.
SE: He’s devoting all of his time and most of his money now to go out there and keep people from drugs, which is good.
GC: Also, it seemed like people – the media and the newspapers in general – it’s almost like they don’t want to hear about it.
GC: Because the good news don’t sell newspapers, you know.
GC: You know, you don’t see any good news on the front page. You see smashed up cars, or somebody cut in half, you know, it’s just amazing.
SE: Right. Oh well . . . enough of that topic . . .
GC: Yeah . . . it was a good idea, though. (laughs)
SE: (laughs) So you now have a company, a management company, that helps up and coming new country artists?
SE: A sort of development company or what?
GC: Well, we have the… Allen Jackson started…we started Allen , and we got offered, you know . . . Course see what I give the writers, I give them back their publishing.. 49%. Nobody does that.
SE: Right. (laughs)
GC: Because I want people to own part of their song, because I know what I went through and all I did was get screwed over the coals. I never even got a penny for it!
GC: And I haven’t even sued … I haven’t sued nobody. I just said, you know, “God will take care of it”, unless they repent. (laughs)
SE: (laughs) Yeah!
GC: So, that’s what we do. We got a new thing with Brian White, and we got a new gal signed now, so the company’s actually, you know, it’s done great.
SE: Yeah, it sounds great.
GC: The Allen Jackson thing was just, a ton, man. That guy could write, man.
GC: And I ran into his wife. She was a stewardess for Piedmont Airlines. She said, “Glen, my husband writes and sings, he’s got some good songs.”
GC: And Bill, my road manager, said, “Oh sure, yeah, here, call Marty Gambling in Nashville”, you know. And she did!
GC: And Allen, he was driving a forklift in Noonan, Georgia. (laughs)
SE: (laughs) I hope he had it bronzed!
GC: (laughs) Yeah, I’d bronze it and put it out on the front yard!
SE: Right! (laughs)
GC: I told him though, I said, ” ‘Here In The Real World’, man, if we can’t get you signed to a label, you’re gonna hear old Glen singing, ‘Here in the Real World’ ” (laughs)
SE: (laughs) Yeah.
GC: It’s a good song.
SE: So what’s your opinion of country music today, as opposed to the ’50’s and ’60’s country?
GC: Oh, it’s so different . . . They did the same things that they did in . . . I think the Line Dancin almost killed country music.
GC: And I think it’s the same thing that Disco and Rap did to pop music. You know, it just almost ruined it.
GC: And I think that’s why groups like Creed, are not doing stuff, you know… they’re not doing anything, they’re not doing it to dance to, they’re doing it to listen to.
GC: I don’t know if you’ve heard any of the Creed stuff.
SE: A little bit.
GC: They ‘re doing the music that the kids like, but they’re saying something.
GC: You know, it’s not like, ” . . . Oh baby I love you so, every time I see you go . . . “ It’s not all that garbage. They are writing some really good stuff!
SE: Yeah. You know, its’ also interesting, how when the young kids talk about country music, they talk about Patsy Kline, you, Hank Williams, Merl Haggard. They don’t really talk about anything that happened past, you know, 1970, you know?
GC: Yeah. You know that’s true. Well, there’s been so many, that come and go, you know, and people who can sing two songs.
SE: Right. And I don’t know, to my ear, maybe it’s just me, but it sounds, to me, a lot of country music today, when I hear it on the radio or something, it sounds a lot like the rock music we had in the ’70’s.
GC: Yeah, only it’s not as good. It’s too clean,
SE: Yeah, it’s like they’re all trying to do Lynyrd Skynyrd you know?
GC: That’s right, that’s right. Oh, I got a story to tell you. Patsy Kline, the duet album . . .
SE: Oh, the duets album.
GC: Yeah, the duets album, you heard about it?
SE: Yeah, I heard it.
GC: You hear it?
GC: How did it sound?
SE: I liked it.
GC: Good, because I hadn’t heard the finished product, and I’d never heard the song that I did with her.
SE: It was good. Kinda spooky, though, the tone of your two voices almost sound the exact same as if you were there!
GC: (laughs) I know it man! Doing it with a person who’s been dead since 1962 . . . I did, you know, feel a little strange, I kinda looked around, you know, it felt kinda strange! (laughs)
SE: Yeah, it’s interesting how a lot of dead artists are recording again.
GC: I know! I love the thing with her and Willie, ” . . . keep your hand up on the throttle- because life is like a mountain railway ..”
GC: I like that. Boy, is that an old one. My grandpa used to sing that.
SE: How did you come to record a Neilson song, that song without her? Was that just a favorite of yours?
GC: ” . . . I spend a night . . .” That one?
GC: Oh, I just loved it. ” . . . spend another day without her . . .” Oh, I loved Harry man, I thought he was just, in fact, I put “Can’t Live” on this new pop album thing I did.
SE: Oh, wow.
GC: I wished I had fixed a couple places on it, you know. I mean, it’s okay, but . . .
GC: “ . . . can’t live, if living is without you . . .”
SE: Yeah, that’s a tough one to sing.
GC: You know, we went and cut it. Harry spent five months getting it just perfect.
SE: Yeah. A friend of mine is doing a documentary on him, trying to get funding to get it finished, but he’s got a list, a roster of celebrities that he wants to interview. I’m gonna have to pass your office number to him, to see if he can get you to go on camera …and to talk too when he gets it rollin.
GC: Right, fine. Guys like Harry, you know, what a waste. Lowell George, what a waste. God love him, you know, they didn’t stop!
GC: Had I kept on going, the way I was going in the late ’70’s, I would have been dead, within 2 years.
SE: Yeah, the first line in Chuck’s book, if you get a chance to read it, it’s called Three Dog Nightmare, the first line in it is, “I should be dead. I should have been dead five times over. I’m amazed I’m alive.”
GC: Did you hear what happened to Graham Nash?
SE: Graham Nash? No.
GC: He was in Hawaii, with his wife, on vacation, and he broke both legs in some kind of stupid boat!
SE: No, I didn’t hear about that!
GC: Yeah! (laughs) Crosby, Stills. . . and Nash.
SE: Yeah, they just did a record with Neil Young again.
GC: Yeah, he broke both legs, below the knees, so he must have been standing up, and fallen backwards, or forwards, or something, and his feet were hung on something.
SE: Wow. Well, I guess he won’t be promoting that new record!
GC: Maybe on crutches! (laughs)
SE: Yeah! (laughs)
GC: This happened about a month and a half, two months ago.
SE: Wow, I didn’t hear about that. Man! So, who do you listen to nowadays?
GC: Oh, DJango Reinhardt . . . the old —club in France stuff, and I’ll listen to mainly demos I get, and I’ll put in new stuff from the company, you know.
SE: Yeah. In the early ’60’s, when you came to LA, did you hang out with the Sunset Strip folk crowd, you know, the Linda Ronstadt, Roger McGwin, Nesmith, John Phillips, and all those people?
GC: No, I never hung out with them, because when I went there, I was on the road with The Champs.
SE: Oh, that’s right.
GC: They sent The Champs back out so…and when I got back into town, and The Champs deal, after Limbo Rock, I think . . . they had a couple of records that did a little, but we never made any money. They paid us, like, nothing!
GC: Joe Johnson, he took all the money!
GC: But, it was fun, because I was out with Dash Cross and Jimmy Seals, you know, Seals and Cross, they were the group when I was little… but I never hung out with that crowd because I hung out with the studio guys. I hung out with the musicians. You know, the Hal Blaine, and the Carol Kayes, Tommy Tedesco, God rest his soul, Earl Palmer . . .
SE: The Wrecking Crew.
GC: The Wrecking Crew! I gotta read Hal’s book. I haven’t read it, yet.
SE: I have to find it myself. Speaking of your ace guitar playing, do you have a collection of your favorite guitars that you’ve kept over the years?
GC: Yeah. I’ve got about, I dunno, I must have 20, 25 guitars, I guess.
GC: In fact, my old Zephyr Deluxe Epiphone that came to California with me is sittin over in the corner now.
SE: Oh wow.
GC: A 1938 Zephyr Deluxe Epiphone! Because I was going to get into jazz, and dumb ass me, you know what I traded for it?
GC: A 1952 Venture Telecaster! (laughs)
GC: Of course, that was in 1958, so it didn’t’ make any difference, did it?
GC: But, now, that ’52 Telecaster is worth about $60,000.
SE: Right. Well, you still have that?
GC: No! I traded it!
SE: Oh, you traded it? (laughs)
GC: This one is worth, probably, $38!
GC: But I’d rather have this one sittin over there than the Fender Telecaster because it’s a better-looking guitar. It’s got F-holes in it, cut away, you know.
SE: Oh, you still have the old Morites you were pictured with?
GC: Yeah, I got a couple of those.
SE: Wow. Those things kinda felt like you were carrying a tree around, didn’t they?
GC: Oh, man, they were . . . ! I gave one to the sheriff of Montrose, Colorado, the double-necked, 12-string … 6-string double neck?
SE: Oh, yeah.
GC: He was the sheriff of Montrose, where we were doing “True Grit.” I ran into him in Branson this year, and he had me sign it for him!
GC: And I couldn’t even pick it up! It was so damn heavy!
SE: It’s amazing The Ventures can still walk!
GC: I know it! That’s why they don’t run, probably! They couldn’t do it with those guitars!
SE: And you’re probably the first guitarist seen playing an Ovation on your show.
GC: That was it!
SE: Was that sort of like a sponsorship thing?
GC: Yes, I went with Charles Command. He invented the helicopter blade that wouldn’t work. He got the, you know, the synthetic material?
GC: That’s what the Ovation’s made out of. I’m playing, right now . . . they sent me an acoustic guitar that’s awesome.
GC: It’s all graphite. The neck is hollow, and the sound that it gets on stage is just, oh to be desired. It really is.
GC: But I started with him. They’re just fabulous instruments. I had one playin down here the other day..some kids were in .. a 1990.. they did an anniversary model, and these kids were just, I’m telling you, it sounded better than anything that I’ve heard, lately. I won’t take it on the road because I’m afraid I’ll bust it.
SE: Are there any plans of re-running “The Good Time Hour” on cable or anything?
GC: It costs more to do that now than it did to do the show originally.
GC: Thanks to our unions, so I doubt it. There were something like a 120 shows.
SE: (sighs) Not even to make like a compilation special, like they do with the Sullivan shows?
GC: The Sullivan show was all that a…. comedy and stuff. You’d rarely see any musical acts on the Sullivan show.
SE: Yeah I think this week, or next week, they’re showing one that’s all, it’s called Ed Sullivan’s Greatest Hits, it’s just all Musical Acts.
GC: Oh really? When?
SE: I think it’s Wednesday. Check your TV Guide. I know I saw a commercial for it.
GC: Well, they could do it probably then because the union didn’t have all these stupid stipulations and laws in it then.
GC: The union essentially just became a horror in the ’60’s and ’70’s.
SE: I thought . . . who owns that show?
GC: Ed Sullivan.
SE: No, your show.
GC: I do.
SE: You do?
SE: And you still go through all this crap to get this stuff aired?
SE: Gees! I thought that once you owned your show, you owned it, you know, like you own everything in it.
GC: You do, but if you air it, you gotta pay – it costs more to pay the musicians now than they paid him on the show, to do re-runs!
SE: Oh, I didn’t know you had to do that.
GC: Yup. Unions. I wanna ask Stan. We tried to put it out on video tape, and the way they put it together, it just sucked, you know.
GC: It wasn’t good at all.
SE: Hey, listen, I don’t want to keep you all day, but all the songs that you did… like I said, you did a pretty eclectic collection of covers, you did Buffy St. Marie, Dylan, BeeGees, Rod McKewin, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison.. and they were songs by artists that country fans at the time probably had no idea existed, right?
GC: Probably. Really.
SE: I mean, that’s why I say, around here, you’re regarded as a pop star. You pretty much brought the rock artist into the homes of the country fans.
GC: Yeah. Their songs, yes I did.
SE: And you were just big fans of their music, or. . . ?
GC: I’m a fan of songs.
GC: And I’m a fan of people who write those songs. (laughs) Like that’s amazing… the Buffy St. Marie song, which one is that?
SE: Uh, you did two of them. You did “Until it’s Time For You to Go,” and “Take My Hand.”
GC: Oh yeah! ” . . . Take my hand, for a while . . .”
SE: It’s a great version.
GC: She did that? She wrote that?
GC: ” . . . explain it to me once more, once again . . .”
SE: I wouldn’t have ever guessed she did it, if I hadn’t looked at your record.
GC: Boy, that’s funny. And what was the other one?
SE: Um. . .
GC: “Until it’s Time For You to Go”?
GC: ” . . . I’m not a dream..you’re an angel” . . . Oh, good songs, man, great songs.
SE: You know, I would have never known she wrote those if I hadn’t seen it on your record.
GC: She did the show. She did the TV show. That’s why I got her album, so I listened to the songs.
SE: Yeah, I could never take her delivery, but she wrote good stuff.
SE: Kinda like Dylan, you know?
GC: That’s true.
SE: He had a voice that could peel paint, but man, he could write.
GC: Oh, God, I hear ya.
SE: And another Beach Boys question. You played on the sessions, the early sessions?
SE: And, did you do any sessions where their dad, Murray, kind of ran the show?
GC: Never, no never saw him. No,that was stuff that… that was the garage stuff, probably.
SE: Early hot rod hits and stuff?
GC: Yeah. I did stuff, you know, the “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” you know, ” . . . I wanna dance . . .” You know, I did “Fun Fun Fun” til your daddy takes the T-bird away, yeah..
GC: I started, I think, around “Little Surfer Girl.”
SE: And you never saw Dad, huh? Wow.
GC: Never. Oh, I saw him, and I met him, but I never saw him hanging around at the sessions. That was probably a little before my time with them.
SE: Have you ever heard that tape floating around, with their “Help Me, Rhonda” session with Dad sort of, uh, kinda, nippin’ at the bottle and kinda getting pretty belligerent?
SE: It was pretty. . .
GC: I was on that session! But probably not the one that you’re talking about! (laughs)
SE: Yeah, because the one that I have, they’re just adding vocals to the backing track. And Dad is getting pretty looped and . . .
GC: Oh, no.
SE: . . . and pretty belligerent, and Brian let the tape roll so he could catch every magic moment.
GC: Oh no! (laughs)
SE: It’s about a 40-minuite tape I have. Pretty interesting.
GC: Oh god! (laughs)
SE: I’ll give you one last question here, and I’ll let you go. On “Hey Little One,” or, should I say, on the “Phoenix” album, “Hey Little One”‘s on that, and then your very next album was called “Hey Little One” with the song on it again.
SE: Now, that’s something you don’t see.
GC: I know. It was a mild hit, I guess. Capital did strange things and I didn’t have any say so, over what came out or anything.
SE: That’s too bad.
GC: Yeah, I know, because hadn’t had . . . I don’t know. I think I finally just put my foot down and said, “Wait a minute”, you know. I think that’s why I had a dry period between ’70..’71 or ’72 and ’75.
GC: I said, “Wait a minute, I ain’t got any songs to cut!”
GC: You know, and I got tired of . . . and then “Rhinestone Cowboy,” I said,” Wow.” Then I didn’t have a lot of good songs to put on the album!
SE: Yeah, I just thought that was odd. You never really see that, you know, a song on two albums in a row. But it’s a great song.
GC: It is!
SE: I pulled out this The Glen Campbell Songbook by Al Delores last night, and I put it on, and, it sounds like, you’re on the cover, right?
SE: And it sounds like he just pulled out your backing tracks and played piano over them, huh?
GC: Maybe he did, I don’t know.
SE: That’s kind of what it sounded like. I thought that was kind of an interesting record.
GC: I haven’t heard that, I don’t think.
SE: Yeah, it’s good. It’s just piano, instead of your vocal.
GC: How old is it?
SE: It looks like it was done, probably around, right after Galveston.
GC: Well, I’ll be dag-gumbed.
SE: And you’re on the cover in a blue shirt and tie, next to him and his piano.
SE: Well, listen, thanks for being so gracious to talk with us.
GC: You’re welcome, Steve.
SE: And it’ll probably be in our January issue or something like that.
GC: I’ll keep my eye open for it. Who do you write for?
SE: It’s the Rasputin Manifesto, it’s a little music magazine that comes out of Berkeley, and it covers mostly South and East Bay.
GC: Oh, great! Well, good, send me one of them!
SE: Yeah, I definitely will. It’s also on the Internet, too, so I’ll talk to Stephanie at the office and let her know, and you guys can pull it up and read it there, too!
GC: Great, thank you!
SE: Okay, well, thank you so much!
GC: You’re welcome!
SE: Have a great day!
GC: Thanks, you, too!
GC: Bye bye.