Star Wars Bundle
- You get 3 character figurines (Obi-Wan, Kylo Ren, Anakin) and 3 ship figurines (Tie Fighter, Tie Advanced, Poe Dameron’s X-Wing)
- It’s the Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan, the Hayden Christiansen Anakin, and the Adam Driver Kylo Ren (presumably)
- Use them and your imagination to create your own butchered “Special Edition” version of the originals
- Star Wars is a popular American epic space opera franchise
- If you keep them in their original packaging they may be worth something someday when society collapses and petroleum products become the universal currency
- Model: Star Wars (Well, that’s our best guess. If you Google that you should find these action figures on the front page)
The Great, Departed Glen Campbell
Hey, Meh contributor @JasonToon here. I love Star Wars same as everybody else, and this jumble of toys we’re selling is pretty cool. But my favorite thing about these products is that there’s nothing much to say about these products, so I’m free to talk about the late Glen Campbell. (See the bullet points to the left if you’re really wondering wassup with these Star Wars toys.)
I first became aware of Glen Campbell when I was a little kid and he seemed like one more tackily dressed, mysteriously famous grownup parading through the seas of cheese that was late '70s TV. My cousin had a 45 of “Rhinestone Cowboy” she played a lot, although it must have been a few years old at the time - it never did much for me. If I thought about Glen Campbell at all for the next, oh, 25 years, I wrote him off with the rest of the spangled showbiz types who “ruined” country music.
What an idiot I was.
Eventually even I wised up and recognized Campbell as a giant, not only for the classic sessions he played on with the likes of the Beach Boys and the Byrds, but for his own immortal records, his yearning voice, his impeccable playing. And most recently, the way he handled his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and impending death with such grace, as chronicled in the heartbreaking but uplifting documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.
If, like I once was, you’re dismissive of Campbell in any way, if you think this week’s tributes to him are typical be-nice-to-the-recently-departed stuff, I hope these ten songs (also compiled in a YouTube playlist) change your mind.
"Buzz Saw" - The Gee Cees (1961)
Let’s clear up any doubts about the man’s guitar Godhood right away with this early instrumental raver.
"White Lightning/Good Old Mountain Dew" (c. 1965)
Glen could rock but he was a country boy at heart, as we see on this clip from the L.A.-area TV show Melody Ranch. First he rips up “White Lightning”, then as soon as the host muses about some other song that was similar, he tears into “Good Old Mountain Dew”.
"My World Fell Down" - Sagittarius (1967)
When the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson was at the peak of both his creativity and his madness creating Pet Sounds, Campbell not only played on the sessions; he filled in for Wilson on bass and falsetto vocals for Beach Boys live dates. Naturally, when producer/songwriter Gary Usher formed his own studio band to explore the same pop-psychedelic territory, Campbell was the logical choice for (uncredited) vocalist.
"Less of Me" with Bobbie Gentry (1968)
By 1968 Campbell was a huge star in his own right. So was Bobbie Gentry thanks to “Ode to Billie Joe”. Their collaborative album led off with this Campbell-penned hymn to humility, which I’ve loved since I first heard it.
Campbell’s artistic and commercial peak came with songs by the legendary Jimmy Webb: “Wichita Lineman”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, and this one, maybe the best mainstream anti-war song of the Vietnam era.
"I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Star" (1973)
Campbell grapples with both the Jesus Christ Superstar fad and the increasing funkiness of '70s music here, with a barn-burning performance that transcends the novelty-song potential of what is really a pretty good joke.
"Gentle on My Mind" (c. 1999)
The '80s and '90s were tough times for Campbell, as they were for so many of his classic country contemporaries. But he didn’t sit around getting rusty: check out the solo on this version of one of his greatest records, which reduces the likes of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to stunned admiration.
2008 felt like the right time for reboot of Campbell’s image, a la what Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. So the Meet Glen Campbell album saw him taking on songs by Lou Reed, U2, Green Day, and, here, Tom Petty with all the vigor and gravitas of his best work.
"Sadly Beautiful" (2008)
The Replacements also got the Meet Glen Campbell treatment, with Campbell adding a new dimension of wistfulness to Paul Westerberg’s original.
"I’m Not Gonna Miss You" (2014)
The capstone of Campbell’s career faced his physical and mental decline with stark frankness, finding a silver lining in the fact that at least he won’t be around to watch the person he loves die.
I’m sorry it had to be under such sad circumstances, but it’s never a bad day when I get to spend some time dwelling on such great songs. If they make 'em like Glen Campbell anymore, can you tell me where?
Our past weekend playlists are always gentle on your mind: