Ghost on the Canvas

Album: Ghost on the Canvas (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Paul Westerberg of the Replacements wrote this song and released the original version on his 2009 album PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys. When Campbell recorded the song as the title track to his 2011 album, he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The song is about a place "between life and death," imagining a transformation into the spirit world. In many ways, this was an analog to Campbell's mental state, as he slipped into a different consciousness as his memory failed.

    Despite the diagnosis, Campbell went on tour to promote the album. He played over 100 shows on this "Goodbye Tour" before he could no longer perform.
  • Westerberg appears in the video for this song, where he plays a painter creating images that appear as Campbell's memories. Campbell performs the song in the clip along with his touring band, which includes his children Ashley, Shannon and Cal. The stereo shown in the video is an homage to the Replacements video for "Bastards of Young," which was one continuous shot aimed at a stereo system playing the song.

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