Glen Campbell – Some Early Stories

The first time I remember seeing Glen was when I was playing with Dick Dale at a high school prom and Glen was the opening act. All I could think was who was this guy? Amazing singing and guitar playing. This had to be around 1961-62.

The first time I met Glen was at the recording session for “King Of The Surf Guitar”. This was my first recording session with L.A. session players and Dick’s first album on Capitol. From what I understand Capitol and/or the producer wanted to use session players and not the Del Tones (big mistake as why would you want to NOT use the band?). Anyway Dick insisted on having at least one of the Del Tones on the session and I got to be that guy. I was scared to death but young enough not to know better. I get to the session and who am I sitting next to but Glen Campbell! I was never a good reader and at that time didn’t know much about “charts” but of course the first thing everyone gets is a chart. I said to Glen “but I don’t read music”. Glen said not to worry he really didn’t either and they would run it down a few times and by then you would know it. Of course that’s exactly what happened and I was thankful to Glen for calming me down!

I think the next time I ran into him was on the Righteous Brothers session for “Try To Find Another Man”. I wasn’t on the session but went to listen and sure enough Glen was playing that cool, low guitar part. I asked Glen about that guitar of his as it had such a great sound and he told me he had bought it in a pawn shop in Tijuana, Mexico.

Throughout the years I would continue to run into Glen. At one point he was opening for the Righteous Brothers. I would stand backstage every night watching him and listening to his many, very, “hot licks”. I would also pester him to show me something he had just played and he was always kind enough to do so.

The first picture to the left is of Glen and Drew Johnson (drummer for the Righteous Brothers). This was on a tour through the south. The second picture is of Mike Patterson (piano player and road manager) and Glen on the same tour in Corpus Christi TX.

Another time we were out on the road with the Brothers and ran into Glen playing bass for the Beach Boys!

One of my favorite stories about Glen is that he and I were sitting at the bar in the Red Velvet, a hot spot on Sunset Blvd (This was probably around 1963). We were commiserating about the music business and all the ups and downs. I asked Glen how he was doing and he proceeded to tell me that things were not that great and he was thinking about moving back to Arkansas!

And the rest, they say, is history.

 Category: Art's Musings

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1 Comment

  1. Dee

    Thank you for sharing your early Glen Campbell stories and photos as well as your shared history with Glen! As a long-time fan, I am especially intrigued by your story about Glen purchasing a great-sounding guitar in a pawn shop in Tijuana, Mexico. Could this guitar have been Glen’s now iconic Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe Regent guitar? A write-up and photos of the Epiphone guitar are posted on the Glen Campbell Forums at: http://www.glencampbellforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=85#p7626. It is a very distinctive sounding instrument with a distinctive look. There doesn’t seem to be any info on when or where Glen bought the Epiphone. It remained in Glen’s rack of guitars all his life. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

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