Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review of Glen Campbell's Mystic Lake Review

StarTribune writer John Bream today reviewed last night's concert featuring Alzheimer's sufferer Glen Campbell at the Mystic Lake Casino.  The review read like an ordinary concert review, however this was no ordinary concert. 

As stated, Campbell has Alzheimer's.  His case is fairly progressed.  It is only a matter of time before his family is faced with some really tough decisions.  But in the mean time, his family (both biological and his extended family of fans) are saying "goodbye" via this tour. 

While I did not attend the Mystic Lake concert, based on the review and Campbell's performance at the 2012 Grammy's, the performance was not a concert per se.  It was as it was billed.  It was a "goodbye." 

He forgot the words?  Don't care.  He had trouble with his daughter's name?  Perhaps "heartbreaking" to Bream, but in sharing the stage with her dad another time, it was likely precious to her. 

That was Alzheimer's in all of it's ugliness.  It is a brutal, punishing taker.  But the performance was also beautiful.  I'll get to why in a second. 

Campbell is lucky as his diagnosis came early enough for him to be able to conduct this tour.  For many families, there is no such luxury.  There's just a bitter, paralyzing diagnosis, followed by "what the hell do we do now?," followed by just living with it day by day by day.  No stage.  No crowd.  No applause. 

So with the time his diagnosis and disease gave him, Campbell hit the road for a goodbye tour.  And you can view that act in two ways.  One, as something to pity as one succumbs to the taker.  Or two, as a beautiful celebration of one giving the finger to the taker and going down with a fight.  

I hope for all of his family at Mystic Lake last night, that they enjoyed the latter.     

Here is Campbell at the Grammys in 2012

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