Back when Glen was gentle on our minds

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A report has surfaced about two teenage boys who through cunning and deceit were able to crash Campbell’s concert in Dallas.

It is a cautionary tale of youthful malfeasance.

In the summer of ’69.

This is how it happened, I swear. Or at least it’s how I remember it.

Since I was a guitar player and singer, and since Glen’s recordings of Gentle on My Mind and By the Time I get to Phoenix had taken the world by storm, I became a Glen Campbell convert of the first order. As did my buddy, Larry Lea.

I heard about Glen’s coming concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas a few days before the scheduled event. When I called for tickets, I learned the show was sold out.

So, I reported this sad state of affairs to Larry one day as we were cruising around Kilgore, Texas, in his rag top Olds.

That was when we hatched the plan, a plan only two seventeen-year-old boys would ever dream might work.

“If two guys were the president and vice-president of the East Texas Glen Campbell fan club, I bet they could figure a way to get in that concert,” I said. Of course there was no such thing as the East Texas Glen Campbell fan club. At least not until that moment.

“I’ll pay to have some cards printed up, if I can be president,” Larry Lea said.

Sure enough, he went to McAlister printing and had them print a box of cards. By the way, the cards said “East Texas Glen Cambell Fan Club.” Larry wasn’t a particularly good speller.

On the Saturday morning of the concert, he and I hopped in his car and headed for Big D. We arrived at the Memorial Auditorium about noon. The show was not until eight that evening.

Larry and I walked to the ticket booth, and told the clerk we wanted to buy some tickets.

“I’m sorry, but the concert is sold out,” she said.

Larry reached into his pocket and pulled out the card.

“I’m the president of the East Texas Glen Campbell fan club and my friend here is the vice-president. We drove all the way from Kilgore to see this show. Is there anything you can do for us?” he said.

“Just a minute,” she said. She stepped out of view and we could hear her talking with someone in the back of the booth. In a minute, she came back.

“All we have left are some press passes,” she said when she returned. “But, you’ll have to pay ten dollars for them.”

We each handed her a ten dollar bill. She gave us the tickets.

That evening, when we arrived at the auditorium, we showed our tickets to the usher and he escorted us through the crowd.

To the sixth row of the center section. Next to the governor of Texas.

And we got to hear Glen Campbell.

 

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