Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS - Neville Marten, Ed­i­tor neville.marten@fu­turenet.com

Thoughts on the late lamented Glen Camp­bell.

THERE ARE PEO­PLE we know as great gui­tarists, and there are those we know as some­thing else but then dis­cover them to be great gui­tarists too. Thus it was with me and Glen Camp­bell, who sadly died on 8th Au­gust. Who couldn’t love the Jimmy Webb songs with which he made his name - By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wi­chita Line­man, Galve­ston etc - with those gor­geous ar­range­ments and Glen’s rich and ex­pres­sive voice?

But in the late 70s I saw him on the BBC’s Diane Solo­man Show on TV, and re­alised he was also an awe­some picker (weirdly, I played in Diane’s band for about five years but couldn’t make the UK tour that she did with Glen). It seemed he could play any­thing, from hot Nashville coun­try to lovely jazz, and a dol­lop of rock shred too.

Hav­ing watched Glen in ac­tion I did a bit of bon­ing up on his ca­reer. I found out that he’d been a mem­ber of the Wreck­ing Crew ses­sion syn­di­cate - so named be­cause these young bucks came from nowhere and ‘wrecked’ the com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion that had pre­vailed among stu­dio mu­si­cians. This amaz­ing bunch, in­clud­ing bassist Carol Kaye, drum­mer Hal Blaine, keysman Leon Rus­sell and many oth­ers, cre­ated Phil Spec­tor’s ‘wall of sound’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Be My Baby and so on - as well as pro­vid­ing back­ing for The Beach Boys, Si­na­tra, Elvis, The Byrds, The Mon­kees and so many oth­ers. Glen was right in the thick of it, and prob­a­bly played dozens of the licks that we sing along to ev­ery day on all those great songs. I love the story where Jimmy Webb sent him the un­fin­ished Wi­chita Line­man. In such a hurry to fin­ish the song, he grabbed Carol Kaye’s Dan­elec­tro bari­tone gui­tar and filled the ‘empty’ third verse with that deep and mem­o­rable solo. Look out for a fea­ture on this re­mark­able player next month.

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