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Another December Departure — Dan Fogelberg 1951-2007

17 Dec

After a whirlwind trip “back home” this weekend, the electricity going off at midnight last night until 4:30am with sub-freezing temperatures, we settled into a couple of warm cups of coffee this morning while Mini-DD scurried around getting ready for his first round of final exams. While I’m checking email, Mr. D peruses the newspaper providing any relevant or interesting information. This morning, he declared the sad headline, “Dan Fogelberg, Dead at 56”. I was stunned. Dan Fogelberg succumbed to an aggressive form of prostate cancer near dawn on Sunday morning, leaving this world as one of the great acoustical folk musician/singers of this generation.

dan-fogelberg.jpg

Dan Fogelberg was another of those artists that my brother exposed me to when he was in college and I was just starting high school. Along with James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett and Carole King, Fogelberg was one of those great singer songwriters of the day and I was totally enamored by his free-spirit and natural vibe.

In 1971, Fogelberg signed with Clive Davis at Columbia Records joining artists Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel as emerging artists from Clive’s “stable”. He had recently dropped out of college and with the reluctant support of his father, and traveled cross country from Illinois to Calfornia to pursue his musical dreams. His father, Lawrence, had been a big band leader and what Dan referred to as a “legitimate musician” and no doubt, understood his youngest child’s passion for music.

Dan Fogelberg immortalized his father in the hit, Leader of the Band:

On his trip west, Dan ended up stranded and out of money in Estes Park, Colorado, where he immediately fell in love with the mountains and the natural loveliness of the area. He would later buy a house there when he signed his record deal and that environment was a natural catalyst for writing wonderful music. One of those lovely songs was Longer:

Here are a few other great Fogelberg songs and an outstanding cover.

Run for the Roses

These Days

Believe in Me

Rhythm of the Rain

Probably the song that Fogelberg “kun-NECK-ted” best with listeners was Same Old Lang Syne. Many people identify with the “lost love” story and the song ended up in the top 10 in 1981. I vividly remember this song and relating so strongly to this song. That’s what good songs (and good songwriters) do. They relate. They kun-NECK.

Same Old Lang Syne

Dan Fogelberg was truly a gentle, sensitive soul who helped shape the music of the seventies with great musicianship and wonderful songwriting. He will be missed and always remembered as one of the great singer-songwriters in the great proliferation of them from that decade.

I’m always amazed how even though a great talent and warm soul leaves this earth, it still keeps spinning. Even though “the world stops for no man”, it would seem that when somebody like Dan Fogelberg passes on, the world just might skip at least one beat.

ETA: Read Bob Lefsetz’s comments on Dan Fogelberg and a particularly poignant dissection of Same Old Lang Syne. Exactly.

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18 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2007 in acoustic, memorials, music legends

 

18 responses to “Another December Departure — Dan Fogelberg 1951-2007

  1. Rhea

    December 17, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    He wrote some great lyrics.

     
  2. brc

    December 17, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Dan Fogelberg defined my college years. I think I wore through the Home Free and Phoenix albums on my turntable.

    So young to pass on.

     
  3. shrewspeaks

    December 17, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Wow…I am just speechless. How many times have we mentioned him over this past year?

     
  4. jenfera

    December 17, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    I am just a tiny bit too young to have been a big Dan Fogleberg fan, but yet those songs are cemented in my memories. They transport me a bit back to more innocent time. And I could probably still sing along to most of the lyrics of the really popular ones. He had a beautiful, clear voice.

     
  5. Nadine

    December 17, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you for this tribute to Dan Fogelberg. It is the best I have read all day, and he truly deserves the best. He spoke to my heart and my soul, and helped me put the pieces together in my life. When I married, the song “Longer” played as I walked down the aisle. He and his music will always be with me, and millions of others, I am sure. I know I am a better person because of Dan Fogelberg and the way he touched my life.

     
  6. ak

    December 17, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Young musicians with prostate cancer: Frank Zappa, Quincy Jones, Phil Lesh, my friend : http://www.laprp.com/patients_speak_detail.php?aid=51 … Scary!

     
  7. morewines

    December 17, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I find quite interesting how much music he could sing in so many different Genres and do it all well.
    I think Souvenirs is my favorite CD of all of them.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B000002537/ref=pd_krex_dp_a

    He was way too young to die.

     
  8. shrewspeaks

    December 18, 2007 at 11:50 am

    I am still rocked by this news.

     
  9. brc

    December 18, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Man that Lefsetz dude has a way with words. Thanks for the link. I’ve always felt a rush of emotion whenever I hear Auld Lange Syne.

     
  10. shrewspeaks

    December 18, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    I was listening to Dan on the way home tonight and Nexus came on…

    Nexus Lyrics:
    Across the vein of night
    There cuts a path of searing light
    Burning like a beacon
    On the edges of our sight
    At the point of total darkness
    And the lights divine divide
    A soul can let it’s shadow stretch
    And land on either side —
    Either side.

    And balanced on the precipice
    The moment must reveal
    Naked in the face of time
    Our race within the wheel
    As we hang beneath the heavens
    And we hover over hell
    Our hearts become the instruments
    We learn to play so well.

    Wealthy the spirit that knows its
    Own flight
    Stealthy the hunter who slays
    His own fright
    Blessed the traveler who journeys
    The length of the light.

    Outside the pull of gravity
    Beyond the spectral veil
    Within our careful reasoning
    We search to no avail
    For the constant in the chaos
    For the fulcrum in the void
    Following a destiny
    Our steps cannot avoid.

    Across the vein of night
    There cuts a path of searing light
    Burning like a beacon
    On the edges of our sight
    At the point of total darkness
    And the lights divine divide
    A soul can let it’s shadow
    Stretch and land on either side.

    Wealthy the spirit that knows its
    Own flight
    Stealthy the hunter who slays
    His own fright
    Blessed the traveler who journeys
    The length of the light.

    In a spiral never-ending
    Are we drawn towards the source
    Spinning at the mercy of an
    Unrelenting force
    So we stare into the emptiness
    And fall beneath the weight
    Circling the nexus in a
    Fevered dance with fate —

    Wealthy the spirit that knows its
    Own flight
    Stealthy the hunter who slays
    His own fright
    Blessed the traveler who journeys
    The length of the light.

    Prophetic…and boy with the Craig Tanner post on my site…there seems to be an emerging theme.

     
  11. azure

    December 19, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for the piece on Dan Fogelberg. I love “Run for the Roses.” Heard it for the first time only a few years ago, while watching the pre-show for the Kentucky Derby. It was such an emotional song and I had no idea it was Dan Fogelberg’s. Now it will be even more touching to hear.

    Of course, I’ve always been partial to “Same Old Lang Syne” – the song that everybody seems to relate to. What a shame to lose such a talent. Thanks for the videos.

     
  12. AH

    December 20, 2007 at 4:28 am

    Thank you MM for the musical memory lane and that interesting article. Borrowed that and the “helping me” / “heavenly” comment has caused a bit of a stir. I emailed the blogger complimenting him on his piece and asking for more information. Will post here too if I hear anything back.
    Have been listening to a lot of DF as I’m sure we all have and ran across this song that I didn’t remember but have fallen quite in love with …..

    Believe In Me

    If I could ever say it right
    And reach your hostage heart despite
    The doubts you harbor then you might
    Come to believe in me.

    The life I lead is not the kind
    That gives a woman peace of mind
    I only hope someday you’ll find
    That you can believe in me.

    Those other loves that came before
    Mean nothing to me anymore
    But you can never be quite sure
    And will not believe in me.

    Too many hearts have been broken
    Failing to trust what they feel
    But trust isn’t something that’s spoken
    And love’s never wrong
    When it’s real.

    If I could only do one thing
    Then I would try to write and sing
    A song that ends your questioning
    And makes you believe in me.

    Too many hearts have been broken
    Failing to trust what they feel
    But trust isn’t something that’s spoken
    And love’s never wrong
    When it’s real.

    If I could only do one thing
    Then I would try to write and sing
    A song that ends your questioning
    And makes you believe in me
    Makes you believe in me
    Oh, you can believe in me.

     
  13. john quinn

    April 12, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    rip dan fogleberg i simply loved you

     
  14. Michelle Moshay

    January 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    A tribute to the memory of Dan Fogelberg
    “For Dan, Too Late” Thank you for a lifetime of inspiration.
    Rest in peace, Dan.

     
  15. Jan Sharp

    April 15, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Beautiful tributes for a lovely man and a great musician and song writer. I have loved his music since the 70’s and dont think the soul and the sentiment have been bettered . So many people, the lost, the lonely and the loved can identify with Dans songs. He will always be remembered thru them if we keep on listening to them. Its so sad he didnt get the full recognition he deserved for his talents.

     
  16. Pat Kennedy

    April 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I have always loved his songs and often felt sad when I heard them. I must have spent a few years in a fog but I did not know he had died. How could that happen? Where have I been???
    I will always feel the tug at my heart when I hear his wonderful songs. Same Old Lang Syne. Who doesn’t have a memory when we hear that one? We grew up listening to his voice. And what a voice it was…I think his voice will always choke me up, no matter how old I get, or how many times I hear his songs….He may be gone but his songs live on.

     

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