December 17, 2007 8:30 PM
Drew: Baseball Fundamentals & remembering Dan Fogelberg
The Steroids debacle in baseball has already spilled onto the fields of little leagues and high schools all over the country. The example that baseball has set for the young athletes is simple: cheaters prosper. It is the reason the winds of change must forge a new path for baseball and the future of sports.
A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg
photo by Jean Fogelberg
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Fogelberg on several occasions here at the News. I was a fan of his music which was a connection to the Buffalo Springfield, Poco sound I enjoyed growing up. My interviews with him gave me a glimpse into the creative process of another artist. I love knowing more about what sparks people creatively.
Fogelberg, I think was greatly misunderstood as a musician and songwriter. He knew he possessed a talent for writing ballads, the kind that had the ability to endure and connect with a certain segment of radio audiences. But behind it all was a talented musician who enjoyed edgy rock and roll and gritty blues. Recording the ballads he wrote afforded him the chance to live a life of solitude in both Colorado and Maine, skiing and sailing during the day and recording the music he loved at night in his home studio. Fogelberg was amazingly versatile, playing every instrument and delving into most every genre of music, including classical and bluegrass. But I think it was the blues which moved him the most. He toured regionally during the 80's with a band of friends called Frankie and the Aliens. It was a straight up blues band featuring covers of songs by Cream and Muddy Waters. There was not a Fogelberg tune in the set list and it found Fogelberg in his element.
I asked him about it during an interview, why he hadn't recorded a complete album of blues. He answered "You know how you make a million dollars with a blues album, don't you? ". "Start with two million" he finished. Good point. So, for him, it was back to writing the ballads. He later released a live record called "Something Old, Something Borrowed and some Blues " which was as close to Frankie and the Aliens as he got. One listen to the song "Statesboro Blues" and you'll never view the man who wrote "Longer" quite the same way.
Fogelberg wanted to finish the final years of his life at his ranch in Pagosa Springs, painting, which he had studied in college. I don't know if he got around to that but he lived a life many of us would have loved. Much like Jimmy Buffett and Georgia O'Keefe and to some degree, Jake Plummer, Fogelberg chose to live life to the fullest, not letting anyone else dictate where or how he lived it. Not many of us can say that. And I wonder why. As I get older (49 this month) there are so many things I still want to do and keep putting off. I've always wanted to learn to sail yet, it never gets done. I'm sure you have similar goals and dreams. Maybe 2008 is the time to seize those and make them come true.
One more thing. Fogelberg, only 56, passed away on Sunday from prostate cancer. It should serve as a reminder to all guys over 40 to get our PSA checked annually. And since I personally am a survivor of testicular cancer get that checked too. Early detection is alway the answer.
I'll leave you with a trivia question.
Q. Who sang the National Anthem for the very first Colorado Rockies game?
A. Yep. Dan Fogelberg.
My prayers go out to Dan's wife, Jean, and all of those who knew him well. He'll be missed.