I’ve never been a Dan Fogelberg fan, generally speaking. However, my mother is the world’s biggest Dan Fogelberg fan. His music was the reason she became a singer-songwriter, and in fact she reviewed his album High Country Snows for Rolling Stone. I grew up listening to Fogelberg albums (that’s vinyl, folks).
So I was really not happy to tell her, a few minutes ago, that Fogelberg had died of cancer at the age of 56. She started crying. Hard. (This despite the fact that, the one time she ever actually managed to speak to Fogelberg, he was a complete asshole to her.) I felt awful, and weirdly shaken up; my entire life, this guy and his work had such an effect on my mom. It’s almost like someone I know dying.
Once I grew up, I decided that I didn’t really like Fogelberg’s songwriting, though there’s no denying his ability as a musician and singer. His songs were too obvious for me — the sentiments were pretty, but there wasn’t a lot of subtlety to his metaphors.
But there was one of his songs I always kinda liked when I was a kid, though: “Leader Of The Band”, about his father, who was a high school band director. I’ll leave him with that.
The leader of the band is tired And his eyes are growing old But his blood runs through My instrument And his song is in my soul My life has been a poor attempt To imitate the man I’m just a living legacy To the leader of the band