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Rock the week - Glen Campbell

WHEN Brian Wilson played the Grand Canal Theatre in September many fans felt it was the last time we were likely to see the great man perform on this side of the world.

Well, this Saturday will definitely be the last time we get to see Glen Campbell, the man who replaced Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys' touring line-up in 1965 when Wilson retreated to the studio.

Alzheimer's Disease has meant that this superb musician and singer has this one last tour left in him, but what a career he's had.

A guitar-playing prodigy from Arkansas, Campbell headed to Los Angeles in his early 20s and his musicianship -- on bass, banjo and guitar -- led him to regular session work with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis and the Beach Boys. When he was given his breakthrough as a vocalist there was no stopping him. The songs of Jimmy Webb fit him like a glove and he had a remarkable hat-trick with By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston and Wichita Lineman.

1975's Rhinestone Cowboy and the celebratory Southern Nights continued his run and, despite his health problems, in the past two years he has released albums including wonderful versions of songs by Paul Westerberg, U2 and even Green Day.

A true gentleman and a magnificent talent, this is our opportunity to wave farewell to Glen Campbell. >George Byrne

Glen Campbell plays the Conference Centre on Saturday night


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