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CNN run's ‘Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me’

photo's by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2014

by Alissa Simon
A poignant look at country singer-songwriter Glen Campbell's 'Goodbye Tour' and his battle with Alzheimer's disease.

In 2011, while country crooner and legendary guitarist Glen Campbell prepared to tour in support of his latest album, his family revealed that he had received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Remarkably, the Campbells not only proceeded with a “Goodbye Tour,” but also allowed filmmaker James Keach to document the progression of Glen’s illness and its effect on their lives and work. 

“Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me” blends intimate and unflinching medical details, poignant performance footage and a survey of its subject’s place in musical history through well-chosen archival footage and interviews with other iconic performers. A limited release through U.S. distributor Area23a begins Oct. 24 and will expand in the weeks to come, while festival kudos at Nashville and Vancouver could spell more awards attention down the road.

Just as the “Goodbye Tour” repped the last chance for Campbell’s multitudes of fans to see him live, this observational docu offers a final opportunity to witness the singer in lucid moments, with his artistry movingly intact. He was moved into a specialized Alzheimer’s treatment facility in March 2014, three years after filming began in 2011. At that time, Campbell was 75 years old and had been married for nearly 30 years to his fourth wife, Kim, a bedrock of strength 23 years his junior. The couple has three children, talented musicians Cal, Shannon and Ashley, all of whom are in his backup band.

Kim’s commentary about what’s going on (sometimes directly to the camera) functions in lieu of narration. In one early scene, Glen and Kim watch documentary footage chronicling his salad days and superlative achievements — among them five Grammys; induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame; his own TV series, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”; and a co-starring role in the original “True Grit.” When Kim has to tell Glen who’s who, the moment not only epitomizes the sad losses of an Alzheimer’s sufferer and the patience required of a caregiver, but also cleverly provides background about the musician’s life and career.

As members of their medical team explain to Glen and Kim, Alzheimer’s is a progressive type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior as the hippocampus shrinks and atrophies. Yet the doctors can only marvel at the extraordinary wiring of Glen’s brain, which allows him to continue performing complicated guitar solos and sing with perfect pitch even while he suffers more typical symptoms.

Although Glen quickly becomes, in the words of Kim, “unrehearseable,” the family and band members decide to go on the road for as long as the good outweighs the bad. We see the strain this causes every member of the tour, not least Kim, but it’s is trumped by the palpable love that surges from the audience toward the stage. Even if Glen at times doesn’t appear to know where he is or what he’s doing, he feels the emotion and gains energy and focus.

Even as they go through the emotional and professional wringer, Campbell’s offspring don’t regret participating in the tour. Son Cal notes, “When he connects to something that gave him joy, it’s like he’s himself again.” Daughter Ashley, who performs a lively dueling guitar/banjo riff with her father onstage, also accompanies her parents to Capitol Hill and makes a touching appeal before a Congressional committee for more funding to fight the disease, which is growing exponentially. Director Keach also recruits a slew of top musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, the Edge, Chad Smith and Kathy Mattea, whose own lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s, to comment on Campbell’s courage.

As the tour extends over nearly two years to 151 concerts, we begin to observe its diminishing returns, particularly as Campbell moves into the later phases of the illness, characterized by frustration, anger and paranoia. But even as he suffers a complete meltdown onstage, the audience is with him and for him. A scene of Campbell’s final recording with members of his former crack session band, the Wrecking Crew — the song his “Not Gonna Miss You,” a ballad he wrote for Kim — heartbreakingly demonstrates the man’s profound understanding of the disease, something that does not always come across in the filmed footage.

Stylistically, “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me” is nothing special; indeed, the homevideo shots are mostly pedestrian. Yet the sheer joy, even magic, captured in the concert footage preserves the artist’s sublime musicianship and the ineffable relationship between performer and audience. In the end, his family’s willingness to document his decline, in the hope that it will draw more attention and resources to fighting the disease, burnishes and extends Campbell’s legacy in enduring fashion.

Film Review: ‘Glen Campbell ... I’ll Be Me’
Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Arts & Letters), Oct. 1, 2014. Running time: 105 MIN.  

(Documentary) An Area23a release of a PCH Films production in association with Volunteers of America. Produced by Trevor Albert, James Keach. Executive producers, Scott Borchetta, Susan Disney Lord, Jane Seymour, Stanley Schneider, Julian Raymond. Co-producer, Kayla Thornton.

Directed by James Keach. Camera (color, HD), Alex Exline; editor, Elisa Bonora; music, Julian Raymond; sound (5.1 surround), Milos Zivkovic, Logan Aries, Alex Exline, Dwight Chalmers, Marianna LaFollette, Cody Peterson, Carlos Pulido; associate producers, Jeff Pollack, Debra Pearl, Carl Jackson, Cindy Sinclair.

Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ashley Campbell, Cal Campbell, Shannon Campbell, T.J. Kuenster, Ry Jarred, Siggy Sjursen, Kiefo Nilsson, Dr. Ronald Petersen, Bobbie Gale, Jay Leno, Jimmy Webb, Brad Paisley, The Edge, Clancy Fraser, Bill Maclay, John Carter Cash, Sheryl Crow, Kathy Mattea, Scott Borchetta, Dr. Hart Cohen, Chad Smith, Keith Urban, Steve Martin, the Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Paul McCartney, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Hal Rogers, Chris Smith, Richard Shelby, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Landers, Stanley Schneider, the Wrecking Crew, Gerald Campbell, Jane Campbell, Sandy Campbell, Kelli Campbell, Debby Campbell-Cloyd, Sandie Gillard, Richard Landers.

I met with Glen after photographing his concert during the summer of 2012. We talked about how the tour was going and his plans to meet with his friend George H. Bush the following week. Glen could not have been more down to earth and gracious with his time.

FILED UNDER:     Glen Campbell   Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me   James Keach

Johnny Cash's 'Legacies' as a father live on

Image by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2015

by Keith Ryan Cartwright
For The Tennessean

Like his father, Johnny Cash often snacked on peanuts.

For much of his adult life, he would regularly sprinkle a handful of them on his father's grave whenever he had a chance to visit after Ray Cash's death in 1985.

In the nearly 12 years since Johnny Cash died in 2003 at the age of 71, his only son, John Carter Cash, has done the same at the site that marks his own father's final resting place.

A few times a year, including Father's Day, the younger Cash pays his famous father a visit and leaves behind a few peanuts for the Man in Black.

"On a special day, once in a while — just a couple times a year because he ain't in there, to put it in a Southern way, he's just not in there — anyway I go leave peanuts on his grave," said John Carter Cash, leaning back on a kitchen chair and gazing at the ceiling at his Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville.

"People go to his gravesite and leave all kinds of things, and if anybody ever sees a few little peanuts, that's me or my sisters."

By the time John Carter Cash was born in 1970, his father had already established himself as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

The elder Cash won nearly every major music award, as well as earning Kennedy Center Honors (1996) and the National Medal of Arts (2001), in a career that spanned parts of six decades. He is one of only 13 artists to be inducted into the country music (1980) and rock and roll (1992) halls of fame.

However, when former CNN talk show host Larry King once asked him how he wanted to be remembered, Cash's answer famously had nothing to do with music.

The 19-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter simply said, "As a good father."

John Carter Cash published “House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash” as a tribute to their relationship. (Photo: Submitted)

"In that, he was very successful," said John Carter Cash, who published "House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash" as a tribute to their relationship. The paperback version of the memoir was released in April.

"So many people, I believe, see my father as a darker, more foreboding figure," John Carter Cash continued. "He was a man of light and laughter, and that's what I wanted to try and perpetuate with this book — was to point out the good man, the man of faith and love. The man of integrity and the man that I knew as a father."

Curating the book was a personal process for John Carter Cash, and "House of Cash" often reads like an intimate conversation between a father and his son.

The younger Cash went through everything, including previously unpublished photographs, letters and notes that capture the creative spirit and the loving nature of his father.

The private handwritten documents have always meant the most to the Cash family.

There were letters written back and forth between Johnny and second wife June Carter Cash (John Carter Cash's mother), as well as correspondence "of the heart" between father and son.

"That's what stood out the most," John Carter Cash said. "I realized there were a lot of things I wanted to keep private and Dad would have intended it that way, but, at the same time, I realized there was a trove of things that I believe he would have liked to have shared with the world."

The book is the culmination of five years of "handling the project with care."

First released in hardcover in March 2012, "House of Cash" is ultimately a multilayered portrait that humanizes an otherwise almost God-like man, whose mere presence then and now remains larger than life.

"He's still alive in so many ways," John Carter Cash said. "I can't call him on the phone. I can't ring him up, but I get to experience a relationship with him right now in my head and in my heart. 

Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, I guess, if it's always there because it's a constant reminder that he's passed away, but I've learned to embrace it."

In addition to releasing "House of Cash" in 2012, John Carter Cash also unearthed a collection of songs that had gone unreleased. "Out Among the Stars," which had initially been shelved by Columbia Records back in 1984, received critical acclaim after its highly anticipated release 30 years later.

John Carter Cash, who has been a producer on five Grammy award-winning albums, had previously worked as an associate producer under Rick Rubin on "American III: Solitary Man" (2000) and "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (2002) before concluding the series with "American V: A Hundred Highways" (2006) and "American VI: Ain't No Grave" (2010) after his father's death.

"I get to hear my father's voice almost every day," John Carter Cash said.

From the time he learned how to walk and talk, he shared the stage with his parents. And he's shared them — namely his iconic father — with the world.

"I think early on, I was a little jealous," John Carter Cash said, admitting it was as confusing as it was normal, especially while trying to develop his own self-image. "I was standing on stage next to this man who was 10 feet tall and the whole world loves him, and I'm imitating him and I'm trying to be like him. He had a way, though, of separating it — being my father from (being) Johnny Cash. They were both two very real people, but they were both distinctly different.

"He distinctly attempted and was successful in life in being that father independent of 'The world needs me' or 'The world is pulling me,' " he continued. "He took me on fishing trips. He spent time with me one on one. It wasn't even that the world was taking him away at certain points in my life; it was his addiction and whatnot that was there that pulled him away from me in my early teenage years."

It's been 40 years since Johnny Cash released his first candid autobiography, "Man in Black" — he released a second autobiography 10 years before his death — and John Carter Cash's memoir is equally forthcoming.

He shares a letter his father wrote him on Dec. 18, 1983, after checking into a Palm Springs, Calif., rehab facility. The elder Cash wrote, "This is a beautiful place to get well. Though I am lonely, I am happy here for the next month."

"I'm very careful, trust me, with the things that I'm telling," said John Carter Cash, who three pages later shared a letter written in the summer of 1992, in which his father was citing Scripture for his son.

This time, it was John Carter Cash who was struggling with drugs.

His father taught him to embrace the struggles — "a fool's voice is known by a multitude of words" — and to be grateful for their pain. Like each of their fathers before them, the Cash men learned to pick themselves back up.

As Johnny Cash told King in 2002, "I don't give up. I don't believe in it."

Now, John Carter Cash said, Father's Day is more about him.

John Carter Cash works at Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville, the recording studio where his father recorded later in life. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)
He's a father of three children — Anna Maybelle Cash, Joseph John Cash and Jack Ezra Cash — and much like the lyrics to the Jewel song "Family Tree," which he cited — "That's the job of the kid / to do better than our parents did" — the recently divorced father said it's his daily responsibility to learn from his own mistakes.

"I'm going to mess up over and over again," John Carter Cash said. "I always do. That's just part of who I am, so I have to make my own footprint and learn from my own mistakes, too. It's the good that endures, and that's what I believe and hope for.

"That's my creed anyway."

Tips to Find Yourself When You're Feeling Lost

photo credit: 165 via photopin (license)

Whether you've lost yourself in your job, relationship, your role as a parent or simply feel lost in life in general, you are not alone. It doesn't mean your life is doomed and that you will never find yourself again. It simply means you are going through an incubation period and transformation. The key is not to get stuck in your current lost state and to tap into your creative power to create a life you love.

Here are seven tips that will help you out of this lost state and remind you of the power you have to create a life you love.

1. Remember what you love to do and go do it! Do you remember the last time you had fun in your life? Do you remember when things felt easy and in the flow? It was likely because you were fully engrossed in the fun of the moment. As we grow up, we lose sight of how amazing life can be because we feel burdened by the responsibilities and mundane parts of life. It's time to reconnect with what you love and to take action on it. No more excuses about not having the time, money, resources, babysitter etc. Make a commitment to do what you love and watch your life change before your very eyes.

2. Go on an adventure. Whether it's a day trip, a solitary retreat, or a week-long drive along the coast, go out and explore the world. This will not only allow you to tap into the flow, but it will also give you the time and focus to really reconnect with yourself again. You'll be away from the noise of your regular life and will be able to see and experience the world with fresh eyes. I promise, when you come back you will have far more clarity about where you are going than you had when you started.

3. Reconnect with your dreams and dream BIG. What kinds of dreams did you have for your life before you lost yourself in the busy-ness of life? What have you since deemed impossible or improbable because of where you are today? Grab a journal and reconnect with the dreams you once had and better yet, come up with some new dreams. In a perfect world, what would you love to be, have, or do? What is your soul aching for? Once you reconnect with your dreams, you'll have the desire and inspiration to begin to take action and suddenly you will have found yourself again.

4. Expand your comfort zone regularly. It's time to get uncomfortable by trying new things and meeting new people. Growth doesn't happen by staying in your bubble of comfort where everything is familiar. Challenge yourself to do something that is slightly terrifying, yet invigorating. That is what I like to call the zone. It's the space where you are stretching yourself just enough to continue to grow and evolve. What's the first thing that came to mind for you? Go do that!

5. Get quiet and listen. Everyday there are signs, messages, and guideposts that will inspire you to act, but you only notice them if you are open. With all the mind chatter and busy-ness we have these days it can be difficult to recognize the signs that are all around, so it's important to get quiet and listen. Pay attention to the signs on the road, songs on the radio, and the people you meet in the street. There are messengers all around with Divine guidance to help you move forward on your path. Your key to finding yourself may very well be on a billboard or come to you as a thought in the shower. Listen up, pay attention, and then follow through on your inspired action.

6. Remember you have the power to be, have, and do anything you desire. Sometimes the feeling of being lost is all-consuming and you forget that you get to choose what you think and how you feel. You are given a great amount of power to create the life you desire and get the answers you are looking for. Whether you use affirmations, mantras, meditation, yoga, journaling or something else, it's important to focus on the beauty and joy around you. When you do that, the Universe sends you more of the same, including the answers you are seeking.

7. Ask for help. There are so many people in the world whose purpose it is to help people like you. Reach out and ask for help. You don't have to figure this out all on your own and sometimes simply having a chat with someone can provide the insight you need to move forward with ease. Whether it's a life coach, mentor, friend, counselor, or the Divine, ask for help and be open to the guidance and tools that come your way.

Let's keep the conversation going. What has helped you find yourself when you were feeling lost? Share in the comments below, I'd love to hear your input.

Lamisha Serf-Walls is a life coach for women who are ready to live an amazing life on their own terms, but feel held-back and frustrated in how to make that happen. Her mission is to create a community of empowered, free flowing, lovers of life who live a life of freedom with ease and inspire others to do the same. You can learn more about Lamisha and what she offers by visiting her Online, on Facebook, or Twitter or grab her free audio 5 Ways to Break Free From Stuck.

Apple launches star-studded streaming service Apple Music


Apple has announced a music streaming service called Apple Music, offering a combination of music streaming, downloads and internet radio

Apple has teamed up with rap superstars Drake and Pharrell to launch a music streaming service designed to compete with Spotify at its annual developers conference in San Francisco.

Apple Music is the Californian company’s first foray into music streaming, having shaped the digital downloads market with the launch of the iTunes store in 2003, and will be available for $9.99 a month with an initial three-month free trial.

“Music is such an important part of our lives, and our culture,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook. “Apple Music will change the way you experience music forever.”

The star-studded service has been created in collaboration with Beats, whom Apple purchased in May last year for $3bn (£1.8bn), and will be available for iOS users from later this month.

Music mogul Jimmy Iovine, who co-founded Beats with rapper Dr Dre, called it a revolutionary music service manned by experts which will benefit the up-and-coming artists in their bedroom as much as the established acts.

Former Radio One DJ Zane Lowe is among several presenters who will man digital live radio station Beats 1, broadcast from New York, Los Angeles and London across the world.

Around 7m individuals in the UK pay for music streaming subscriptions, while the number of digital download customers has declined by 2m since last year.

“There is definitely an appetite among iTunes users for this kind of service - over 20pc of them already stream compared to 14pc on average,” said Andy Saxton, consumer retail analyst at Kantar Worldpanel. “Yet with nearly three quarters currently using Spotify, the challenge for Apple will be to convert these users to their own platform.”

The company also showcased its latest software developments for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Macs, alongside the long-awaited launch date for Apple Pay in the UK, which has been available for US users since last October.

Apple’s head of e-commerce Jennifer Bailey announced Apple Pay’s introduction to the UK, linked with Halifax, Natwest and Santander among other banks and retailers, including Marks & Spencer and Waitrose from July. Users will also be able to use the contactless payment system on TfL to travel around London on the bus and train network and Underground. Apple has also collaborated with company Square to produce a new reader for the system, available from the Autumn.

Apple also launched iOS 9, the latest software update for iPhone and iPad, featuring significant updates to digital assistant Siri, which now answers more than one billion voice requests per week. 

Asking Siri to display ‘photos from London last June’ will instantly return all pictures taking during this period, and returns search information drawn from news publications, Wikipedia and content from your own device.

New app News collates content from multiple news sources personalised to each individual users, allowing them to swipe between articles embedded with videos and animations based on interests and personal preferences.

Senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi introduced new Mac software OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which sported advanced search capabilities and side-by-side window management designed to enhance experience and performance.

Cook talked the crowd through WatchOS 2, the new platform to help developers create native apps specifically for running independently on the Apple Watch itself, instead of batting back to its paired iPhone. Users can now set their own photos or time-lapse photography as watch face backgrounds, and further customise their own background to include sports scores or other bits of information.

The App Store has seen more than 100bn app downloads, with the average individual downloading 119 apps, the company said.


American Pharoah becomes first Triple Crown winner since '78

American Pharoah became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown when he won the 147th Belmont Stakes on Saturday. 

Jockey Victor Espinoza pushed Pharoah to the front soon after the race started, and Pharoah outclassed the field, pulling away down the stretch to make history. Frosted finished second, and Keen Ice rounded out the top three.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion, American Pharoah began Saturday as a 3-to-5 favorite in the morning betting line, and those were the odds when the race began. He started from the fifth position in a field of eight.

American Pharoah becomes the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and most recently Affirmed in 1978. After Affirmed's Triple Crown win, 12 horses won the first two legs of the Triple, only to lose the bid at the Belmont, either because of an upset or because they did not start or complete the race.

Espinoza rode American Pharoah during this year's Triple Crown races. It was the second straight year that Espinoza went to Belmont with a chance at the mark; he was the jockey of California Chrome a year ago. Espinoza also rode War Emblem to the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002 before finishing eighth at Belmont. 

For American Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert, Saturday marked his fourth shot at the Triple Crown. He also trained Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem, teaming with Espinoza for that attempt.

American Pharoah is owned by Zayat Stables, which is headed by Ahmed Zayat. Pharoah was bred by the stable and was born in February 2012 in Lexington, Ky. Pharoah is the son of Pioneerof the Nile, who finished second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Ahmed Zayat said before the Belmont that American Pharoah likely would retire at the end of 2015. Zayat also announced that Pharoah would stand at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky, from which he fetched an undisclosed stud fee that, Zayat announced, would escalate based on performance. Justin Zayat, son of Ahmed Zayat, told ESPN in May that the stable rejected offers of more than $20 million from breeding farms.

Pharoah, a bay colt with a white star on his forehead, outraced Firing Line and Dortmund, among others, to win the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby on May 2. Two weeks later, Pharoah outclassed a field that again included Dortmund and Mr. Z to win 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes on a sloppy course after a heavy rainstorm. The Belmont Stakes, at 1 1/2 miles, is longer than either of the first two legs of the Triple Crown and is thus known as the "Test of the Champion." Pharoah entered Saturday with more than $3.7 million in career earnings; the Belmont pays out a purse of $800,000 to race winners.

Enrique Iglesias Recovering After Fingers Sliced by Drone at Concert

A handout photograph made available on 31 May 2015, by Latinvasion shows Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias performing on stage after suffering an accident with a drone on his right hand, during a concert in Tijuana, Mexico, 30 May 2015. Iglesias suffered several cuts on the hand and had to be attended by emergency personnel. LATINVASION HANDOUT / EPA

NEW YORK — Enrique Iglesias was recovering Sunday after some of his fingers were sliced when he grabbed a drone during a concert in Tijuana, Mexico.

A representative for the singer said in a statement to The Associated Press that Iglesias was "semi-treated" after the accident at the side of the stage to stop the bleeding on Saturday night. He was advised to end the show but went on to perform for an additional 30 minutes.

"During the show a drone is used to get crowd shots and some nights Enrique grabs the drone to give the audience a Point of View shot. Something went wrong and he had an accident," the statement read. "He decided to go on and continued playing for 30 minutes while the bleeding continued throughout the show."

Concertgoers at Plaza de Toros de Playas posted photos on social media of Iglesias, 40, with blood all over his white T-shirt. 

"He was rushed to the airport where an ambulance met him there. He was then put on a plane to L.A. to see a specialist," the statement read.

Iglesias' show for 12,000 fans is part of his Sex and Love World Tour. His website says his next show is in July in Mexico City.