There are few more recognisable names in country music than Glen Campbell. He’s been writing and performing music for over fifty years and released more than seventy albums. Indeed, he’s an iconic figure in Showbusiness and was the first person to win a Grammy in two different categories. In 2011 came the announcement that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and would embark on one last goodbye tour. Director James Keach followed Campbell as he played 151 different dates.
Whilst Keach touches on the obvious territory of the singer’s amazing life and achievements, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me focuses on the present. Three of his children joined him on tour and the most important aspect of the documentary is the focus on his family. It highlights the struggle of not only being able to perform live on stage and record new music but just doing the basic things in life we take for granted.
There’s a point in the film where the emphasis brilliantly shifts and it’s beautifully done. No longer are we witnessing the singer bravely battling and staying ahead of the disease. We see the full ravages of what it does to a person and their family. It’s truly heartbreaking. It was an incredibly brave decision for the Campbells to agree to all this being documented, but Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me isn’t a film about a famous singer, it’s a desperate plea for resources to be invested into trying to find a cure.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is released on DVD by Simply Media on Monday.