Run for the Roses
December 16, 2007 5:47 PM   Subscribe


I saw Dan Fogelberg in concert twice. In each setting he played solo -- either a 6-string, 12-string guitar or the piano to accompany his vocals. No band. No orchestra. He was mesmerizing -- able to evoke the missing layers of back-up, orchestration, etc.

posted by ericb at 5:56 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by eriko at 5:56 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by Thorzdad at 5:57 PM on December 16, 2007

His official website.
posted by ericb at 5:58 PM on December 16, 2007

Same Old Auld Lang Syne makes me cry every time, as does the line "And Papa I don't think I said 'I love you' near enough" in Leader of the Band. I'm very sad about this.

posted by chihiro at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2007


When I was in second grade, in the mid-1980s, I wrote about some of the songs on "The Innocent Age" in one of our little assignments. I was only familiar with maybe one side of the cassette tape, though, so when my teacher handed it back and said how much she liked "Run for the Roses," I didn't really know it. So I went home and listened to it, and today, it's probably the one I know the best. It makes me feel old to hear that he died. But it's much sadder that he died so young.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:11 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by MrVisible at 6:33 PM on December 16, 2007


I had several kiddie albums through my childhood. We all did, I suppose.

But when I was nine, my older brother gave me my first rock and roll single. Well, just how much it rocked is debatable, but it was a real live 45rpm record that had nothing to do with cartoon characters or pokey little puppies. The single was "Same Auld Lang Syne." The b-side was "Hearts and Crafts." I listened to that single so many times, playing it on this black and white all-molded Sears record player. I'm sure I drove my parents mad with it.

I loved the song then, and not just because it was the first real music I owned. It told a story, for one thing. And the story wasn't simple, but wistful, full of a kind of longing that I'd never known in my steady diet of PBS afternoons and sitcom weekends. For another thing, the song felt so adult. Drinking store-bought beer on New Year's Eve and so on. And then there's that sax solo at the end.

Today, I don't have any Fogelberg in my iPod. I think I'll remedy that before tomorrow.

posted by grabbingsand at 6:35 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by hal9k at 6:37 PM on December 16, 2007

He was from my home town. Of course his father taught at my high school (years before I was there). I can't say that I am a big fan but I certainly can say I respect his talent. My condolences to his family.
posted by Sailormom at 6:41 PM on December 16, 2007

Dan Fogelberg was my first concert (1982).

The next year, I saw the Violent Femmes play in a cow pasture, and ever since then I told everyone that they were my first concert. I sounded much cooler that way.

But Dan Fogelberg was my first, and the deeply unhip, essential core of my being mourns his passing.
posted by bibliowench at 6:44 PM on December 16, 2007

The Fogelbergs were some good people. My great aunt taught high school with Fogelberg's father, who was the music teacher and band leader at the school in Peoria Illinois where Dan went to school (and the subject of his famous "Leader of the Band" song).

My great aunt was the sweetest person on Earth and thought the world of the family.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:48 PM on December 16, 2007

My mother loves his music, and it was an integral part of my childhood. Of course, I rebelled and sort of disavowed any of that stuff later on.

We were both really sadly shocked to hear about his death today.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:00 PM on December 16, 2007

Same Old Auld Lang Syne is an incredible song. Sad that he died so young.
posted by ND¢ at 7:00 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by brandz at 7:10 PM on December 16, 2007


Netherlands was quite an album, particularly when you realize that Fogelberg played just about every instrument, in addition to writing/singing.
posted by spock at 7:11 PM on December 16, 2007

A few months ago I was feeling nostalgic for a wonderful radio station I used to listen to--the station that introduced me to Dan Fogelberg--and actually paid for Nether Lands to put on my mp3 player. It was an odd fit in between my Thelonious Monk, Alice in Chains, Beyonce, and Carl Orff stuff but today I'm glad I have it. Same Old Auld Lang Syne is probably going to get a lot of extra play on the radio this holiday season.

posted by fuse theorem at 7:21 PM on December 16, 2007

Holy crap. Too damn young. And at this time of year - with his generation-spanning hit all over the airwaves - it's just especially poignant. RIP, Dan.
posted by davidmsc at 7:52 PM on December 16, 2007

Lola Granola must be particularly distraught.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2007 [4 favorites]

I still blame Fogelberg for making me into a pussy in the mid-seventies.

/I was in Colorado wearing hiking boots... eating granola...
//I want some fuckin' money right now...

posted by spoobnooble at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Damn. He was one of the musicians my dad constantly played when I was a kid and I can remember sitting and listening to Innocent Age and reading through the booklet of lyrics and feeling that I was learning some of the great secrets of adult life. There was so much pain and mystery and hope on that album. To a little kid in the bubble-gum 80s it sounded so different and important. I'm still a sucker for sensitive guitar playing guys. Thanks, Dan.
posted by Biblio at 8:13 PM on December 16, 2007

Awww. This is a huge surprise, and I'm genuinely sorry for him and his fans.

Prostate cancer is a bear. My former boss died of it, and he was just about Fogelberg's age, if not less. It (or the treatment, or both) aged and changed him horribly in the last three years. I hope for his and his family's sake Dan's end was more peaceful.
posted by yhbc at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by nonliteral at 8:39 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by Joey Michaels at 8:50 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by dawson at 8:58 PM on December 16, 2007

Heard quite a while ago that he was ailing.

posted by evilcolonel at 9:00 PM on December 16, 2007


I am just gutted.

I met Dan at the 1980 Kentucky Derby, having been a fan since 1977. My mother spotted him at the end of a stairwell and we rushed down and asked him if we could take his picture with the Canon AT-1 I had just purchased at 16 years old. He graciously grabbed his date and responded, "sure!" I treasured the photo for years, but have since misplaced it.

In 1988, my now ex-wife and I married to "Tullamore Dew" as our procession music and as our first appearance, sang "Dancing Shoes." I just sent her my condolences.

I suppose it's pretty easy to tip me into tearful sadness, but losing Dan has definitely done it. I knew he was fighting cancer, but did not know how serious it was.

At 44, I suspect many of you are either too young to remember Dan or otherwise think of him as sappy 70's music, but take this moment and either buy or download or stream his masterpiece, "Nether Lands." It's so sweet and so sad and I'm going to play it right now.
posted by OneOliveShort at 9:05 PM on December 16, 2007

Illinois off the Souvenirs album made me want to be from Illinois. The song itself says nothing that makes the state particularly attractive as opposed to any other state, but God, it's a glorious song.
posted by Doohickie at 9:41 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by wrapper at 9:43 PM on December 16, 2007

Oh damn.

posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:01 PM on December 16, 2007

Herself and I were wed to a sweet, sweet rendition of, "Since You Asked."


posted by deCadmus at 11:11 PM on December 16, 2007

posted by Smart Dalek at 12:56 AM on December 17, 2007

> But Dan Fogelberg was my first, and the deeply unhip, essential core of my being mourns his passing.

Very many (if not most) of the best things in life are deeply unhip. Fuller tips hat to the chorus of "Part of the plan." Deeply unhip. Essential. (Plus, it rocks your socks off.)
posted by jfuller at 3:45 AM on December 17, 2007


your light will guide me home
posted by Wilder at 4:58 AM on December 17, 2007


This bothers me more than I would have expected.
posted by tommasz at 5:02 AM on December 17, 2007

I still have a cassette my friend Steve gave me in 1980 with Souvenirs on one side and Comes A Time on the other. We lost Steve the following year but Fogelberg kind of kept him in mind for me over the years.

Rock on, Neil, is all I have to say.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:39 AM on December 17, 2007

I bought Dan's album "Souvenirs" strictly on the basis of Graham Nash's back-cover credit on harmonies, and listened to it constantly in highschool. It's still a little gem of the Laurel Canyon folk-rock sensibility, though Dan's music got somewhat cheesier later. Then, when I went off to Naropa University after my first heartbreaking love -- who died himself nearly 20 years ago -- "Nether Lands" was the soundtrack of my soul. Lovely stuff. Rest in peace.
posted by digaman at 7:34 AM on December 17, 2007

posted by cookie-k at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2007


I Loved his music and beautiful voice. This makes me really, really sad.

Rest in Peace.
posted by pearlybob at 7:57 AM on December 17, 2007

chihiro - ditto. Damn.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2007

Mustn't forget his teaming up with jazz flutist Tim Wesiberg for "Twin Sons of Different Mothers."
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on December 17, 2007

Boy, I feel really old now. RIP Dan.

(although I immediate flashed on this George Miller story when I heard the news.)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2007

I couldn't help but be amazed at just how sad I felt upon hearing about his death. I've been sitting in my office with the door closed all day, listening to his music.

RIP, Dan. And thank you for all the beautiful music.

posted by whatideserve at 2:20 PM on December 17, 2007

* *
posted by doctorschlock at 5:20 PM on December 17, 2007

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR.

I'm going to assume here that men don't do a DRE because of the ol finger up the bum. But do men think women like a finger and metal device up our cooch? But if it saves our lives, we do it. I wonder why men just don't get it.
posted by dasheekeejones at 6:00 PM on December 17, 2007

I can remember stuffing myself into a packed Red Herring coffee house all through highschool to hear Dan sing. It's all gone now-- Dan and Channing Murray and the Red Herring and Bubbies and Zadies and those beautiful beautiful songs.

When I was 21 and thought I was gonna be a music star, I looked out from the stage (where I was pretending to be Joan Baez) at the Red Herring one night and it was PACKED. And I thought, man, I'm Dan-freakin-Fogelberg.


posted by nax at 8:16 AM on December 18, 2007

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