Before he became one of the most celebrated musicians in country music, Glen Campbell was just a jobbing session musician filling in for the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson on tour and opening up for some unlikely groups.
In this exclusive clip from the upcoming documentary The Wrecking Crew, Campbell recalls a few disastrous shows opening up for the Doors in Portland and Seattle. “I went up there and I said, ‘Where’s the band?'” recalls the singer. “They said, ‘We ain’t got no band. It’s just you and a guitar.'”
Campbell said the gigs were not his most well-received, noting that the crowd didn’t exactly give him a warm reception (and oddly calling Jim Morrison “Fazel”). “When I got back to town, I said, ‘Don’t book me on no more of those. I’ll stay here and do sessions. I can make more money and enjoy it a hell of a lot more,'” he says. “I didn’t go back out either until after the TV show [The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour].”
When asked about Morrison in an interview with Classicbands.com, Campbell recalled, “He was pretty well out of it the whole time. He was floating around out there wherever he lived at that time.”
Years before the ill-fated Doors gigs, Campbell had moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and became an in-demand session musician with The Wrecking Crew, a collective of studio musicians that appeared on countless hits in the 1960s and Seventies, including Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” and the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”
“That was a fun group of people to work with,” Campbell says. “Everyone had a great sense of humor.”
Like the Funk Brothers in 2002’s seminal documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, the Wrecking Crew, which included Hall of Fame drummers Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, keyboardist Dr. John and guitarist Tommy Tedesco were underrecognized in their heyday, providing the musical backdrop for scores of more famous singers. They were industry favorites, yet virtually unknown to the public.
The Wrecking Crew, directed by Tedesco’s son Denny and originally screened at select festivals in 2008, attempts to correct this, interviewing Brian Wilson, Dick Clark and Cher alongside many members of the original group.
The film is set for release in theaters, on demand and on iTunes on March 13th.
The Wrecking Crew – Official Trailer