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December 17, 2007 8:30 PM

Drew: Baseball Fundamentals & remembering Dan Fogelberg

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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

mystic2.jpg
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.



Discussion

  • December 17, 2007

    9:27 PM

    mark polinsky writes:

    Thanks for you insight into Dan and his music, He was a great artist and will be missed greatly by all of his fans including myself. To his friends and family members my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • December 17, 2007

    9:48 PM

    patti writes:

    I enjoyed your article about Dan Fogelberg. It was a nice tribute to the artist, the man, and the music. His music has been a big part of my life; he's been there during happy and sad times for me. I feel like I've lost a friend. His music will remain with me forever, and has already been passed to my children. Prayers go to his family and friends for their loss. Dan will be greatly missed.

  • December 17, 2007

    9:56 PM

    kristi from Chicago writes:

    Yes, thank you for the additional insight. I have been looking for something beyond the basic release - perhaps because his lyrics were so much deeper than basic. Two instrumental versions of his songs were included in my wedding just last year. Our warm wishes are with his family and friends.

  • December 17, 2007

    10:08 PM

    Nathan writes:

    Sorry to hear of Dan's passing. Great article, though.

  • December 17, 2007

    10:57 PM

    Lang writes:

    Dan's music changed the lives of many for the better, God bless him.

  • December 17, 2007

    11:08 PM

    tom edwards writes:

    drew:
    thanks - i'm 49 too.
    this one hits home.
    the first few songs i played on my guitar were fogelberg tunes (back in 1975)
    a good friend of mine met his mom in peoria years ago - i mean YEARS AGO.
    just bought full circle -- it's really very good. i wish i had rediscovered him before he was gone.

  • December 18, 2007

    6:31 AM

    Kate writes:

    Drew - thanks for the tribute to Dan Fogelberg - it was never the 'hits' that got me with Dan's music but the album tracks - lyrics beyond compare. Thanks for the mention of the live album - Dan's music has been with me since high school. I'm so sad that he lost his battle with cancer. My heart goes out to his wife and family. Vale Dan Fogelberg, I'll miss you.

  • December 18, 2007

    7:19 AM

    annie from Lawrence writes:

    Bless Dan Fogelberg for sharing his poet soul with the world. I am a huge fan. His albums of love songs and soul-searching ballads were the soundtracks of my life all during my high school and college years. Like my other all time favorite, Joni Mitchell, he painted with words which always inspires me to write and create and dream into my future. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to attend one of his concerts, but I did hear him play live at the big no-nukes rally in 1981 in Washington DC and at a brief musical appearance he made at the Chelsea Pier in NYC when Ed Koch was mayor.

    His song 'There's a Place in the World for a Gambler' was the one that always got to me; There's a light in the depths of your darkness, there's a calm at the eye of every storm, there's a light in the depths of your darkness, Let it Shine, Oh Let it Shine!
    Thanks Dan, for lettin' your little light shine.

  • December 18, 2007

    7:58 AM

    Jim Stephens from Toronto writes:

    "It's never easy and it's never clear - who's to navigate and who's to steer."

    Hopefully Dan, you know the answer to that question now, and many more. Thanks for the wonderful songs.

  • December 18, 2007

    10:18 AM

    Tom Kohlmeyer writes:

    I have been a fan of Dan's since about 1975 when a good friend turned me on to his work (Captured Angel). After I read the liner notes I was blown away that any one individual had the ability to play nearly all the instruments and provide nearly all the vocals on something so rich and melodic!

    This one hurts more than any has before for me. Dan knew how to touch my soul with his music unlike anyone else.

    Kate: I'm sorry you didn't rediscover Dan sooner, but I can assure you his loss would hurt a whole lot more if you had. Peace to all...

  • December 18, 2007

    10:36 AM

    Tom writes:

    News alerts:

    - No steroid scandal exists.
    - All pro athletes are wonderful human beings and love spending time teaching kids the right way to play the games, and never do anything illegal, and are grand role models for others.
    - Sports are not corrupted by money-grubbing players and agents and owners.
    - Players play for the love of the game and not their next contract extension. Players actually finish playing for one contract before pretty much demanding a new contract.
    - Players don't feel the need to sign $275 Million contracts. They are happy just making a decent living. They don't need 12 houses and 23 cars.
    - Players get paid what they are worth. They get paid on performance like the rest of the working class. Players no longer get $10 Million a season for hitting .230 with 9 HR and 48 RBI.
    - Everyone gets along with everyone. People smile. People hug each other.

    "Don't you wish it was true?" - Dan Fogelberg

    Great song. Great new CD. A great human being.

    The World is not better place with his passing. But we could all learn to care for each other more in light of his spirt, eh?

    Cheers.

  • December 18, 2007

    11:36 AM

    Tom writes:

    Wow. I feel like a real doofus. Somehow, I just zoned out and was thinking "John Fogerty" when i was posting my comments.

    I have always tended to confuse the names John Fogerty and Dan Fogelberg when I'm in conversation with those two names. So, my apologies. D-OH! I didn't read the whole thread before posting my comments, and was thinking Fogerty had passed instead of Fogelberg. It pays to read. My mistake.

    Needless to say, I have long enjoyed Dan's music, and he will be missed by many. This is very sad news.

  • December 18, 2007

    1:21 PM

    Kevin Staples writes:

    I loved your article on Dan Fogelberg everything you mentioned is the man l've had the pleasure of meeting and will miss very much. He came to a harbor in Maine where he would rent a mooring for the night through out the summer. I also grew up with his music and play guitar and write songs myself. We would talk music and everyday issues also. Such a nice man his music will be with us forever. To Dan l will think of you often especially when l'm out in my boat next summer l know who much you loved to sail..

  • December 18, 2007

    2:23 PM

    Guy Monahan writes:

    The first song I heard by Dan Fogelberg was "Illinois". I was in Durango, Colorado going to college there when I heard it. I found out shortly after, that Mr. Fogelberg had a place nearby. I was born in Illinois, but was enamored by the beauty of Colorado, so Illinois was my forgoten past. I now live in Hawaii, but I do miss Colorado and surprisingly, Illinois. Several years ago a friend suggested that we go see Dan Fogelberg here on Oahu. I didn't go, even though I was a fan of his music. I wish I had gone now. All those places will still be here to visit or live, but an extraordinary musical talent has left us. Aloha, Dan Fogelberg.

  • December 18, 2007

    4:19 PM

    James writes:

    No problem Tom. I cannot remember how many times I've done the same thing. I'm sure others have too.

  • December 18, 2007

    4:52 PM

    Paul Ingram writes:

    My favorite song was always "Early Days of Autumn" with that beautiful Jerry Douglass dobro. When an artist like this falls in love with Bluegrass, the world is a better place. I hope CMT does the tribute with Nashville artists leading the way. The folk, country, rock roots of the LA music scene of the '70's and 80's is the best music we've ever produced,

  • December 18, 2007

    5:01 PM

    Karen writes:

    I have been listening and loving Dan Fogelberg for over 25 years.
    Almost 18 years ago I got a kitten from the local shelter, brought her home and named her Danny after him.
    Whenever I played his music over the last 18 years she would sit in the room and purr.
    Yesterday she died. My heart is broken from the loss of both my Dannys. Rest in peace, you both have brought me great joy.

  • December 18, 2007

    5:33 PM

    Bill from LI, NY writes:

    Thanks for sharing some interesting info on Dan, paticularly his blues band shows. I'm a big fan and had never heard that. They should turn that cabin in the ountain where all of those songs were written into a memorial. He is sorely missed but at least we are left with some amazing songs to always remember him by.

  • December 18, 2007

    6:18 PM

    frank keats writes:

    same old lang syne had to be the most emotionally charged song i ever heard.
    all dans melodys were so beautiful.
    what a sad loss to music and his family and friends.
    wont ever forget this super talent

  • December 19, 2007

    4:47 AM

    GJB writes:

    Very poignant tribute to Dan Fogelberg, Drew. The world has most likely lost the greatest composer/musician/ singer that it never really knew nor fully appreciated.

    I'm very grateful that I got to see his last concert at The Paramount on 4 July 2003 - he thanked us all for coming especially considering there were so many other things we could have been doing that night and his last concert at Red Rocks on 26 June 2002. I was lucky enough to see him perform about a dozen times and he never disappointed; Red Rocks, The Paramount, Silver Creek and Fiddler's Green. What memories.

    Thank you for the joy and happiness you brought into my life. May Daniel Grayling Fogelberg rest in peace and may God bless and comfort his wife Jean.

  • December 19, 2007

    7:05 PM

    Bill writes:

    Fair Skies and Following Seas, Dan. Thanks for the music.

    "And the morning will blow away
    As the waves crash and fall
    And the Reach like a siren sings
    as she beckons and calls
    As the coastline recedes from view
    And the seas swell and roll
    I will take from the Reach
    all that she has to teach
    To the depths of my soul --"

    Dan Fogelberg, The Reach

  • December 20, 2007

    6:04 PM

    Robert writes:

    Drew;
    thanks for the great article. I heard Fogelberg play when I was living in Denver attending CSM in the early 80's. Once more at Chastain Park in Atl in 2002 I think.
    You touched on a good point: Dan didn't just write sappy ballads; he was a concert-quality painist & classical guitarist, as well as a devotee of the Blues & hard Rock.
    He could do it all.
    I will miss him terribly.
    "Death is there to keep us honest, and remind us we are free." - Ghosts, the Innocent Age.

  • December 20, 2007

    10:54 PM

    harpo in Denver writes:

    Great article Drew. Those of us that grew up in the Peoria area in the 70's feel like we've lost a brother. But that was his magic wasn't it-his great lyrics and melodies left you with the feeling you knew him."I may miss the harvest but I won"t miss the feast"--Illinois

  • December 21, 2007

    11:51 PM

    Debbie writes:

    Thanks for the article. His music has been playing in the background of every meaningful event of my life for thirty years. He was a true musical talent and will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers remain with his wife and family.

  • December 24, 2007

    12:57 AM

    terry anderson writes:

    I have found an easy place to make a comment. Thank you, Jean, for finding him and I wish you lots of precious moments in the future. I had first heard his music in high school (75-77) as a Midwestern boy while reading Saul Bellow. I later "discovered" Pat Metheny's New Chataqua at college and the writing of Kurt Vonnegut- those prodigious years in a Midwestern setting. Dan Fogelberg, like them, "voices" a poetic and understandable vision of beauty as foretold in the realism of natural landscape and human relationships. Wherever any of us may be in this realistic landscape, Dan Fogelberg gives us a more defined, precise, and moral understanding of our relationship with the world. Thank God for his whispering and singing of the truths in Beauty and Dreams. We struggle in our lives to find the beauty of love and love of truth, however our dreams can organize and locate our longings and desires in the subconcious..subconcious.. towards the path from whence we came and towards a path of desire and dream. A good and critical conciousness is where I want to go and for that I will listen to Dan Fogelberg forever. Thank you so much. Fogelberg's life seemed to me to be full of wishes and dreams which he realized and transmitted with wonderful virtuosity and thereby left himself a lasting beauty and truth for us to see...and I see.. and hear..and smell.. and touch. Thank you so much Dan....A person in Colorado.. taa

  • December 24, 2007

    10:28 PM

    Mary Jo Gunderson writes:

    I thank you for sharing yet another clear perception of Dan's fabulous outlook on life-yes we should live it well for the gifts we were all given big or samll-that we were put here for and stop stalling. He could have no regrets with so much accomplished in such a short 56 years. Love ya Dan!

  • December 27, 2007

    1:13 AM

    Veronica Herrera writes:

    Thank you Drew for the wonderful tribute to such a wonderful man; artist; singer; songwriter; soul...human being. Dan Fogelberg had so many facets. I didn't discover some of them myself until I purchased the boxed-set-CD. His radio hits, to me, just didn't do him justice. You were so right when you said he was misunderstood, but Dan was a humble man, he played for his own purpose and for his own meaning in life. Ironically he was the most under-rated musician--well I think so--and yet that is how he lived his life--wanted his privacy. He talked about the environment long before it became the fashionable thing to do. DF definately made his mark on the world..HE WAS HERE!
    blessings, Veronica(Colorado)

  • January 4, 2008

    4:23 PM

    Laura writes:

    I have lived in Colorado for 26 years, and have been so fortunate to have seen Dan live many times over the years. Twice at Red Rocks, a few times in Boulder - one of my most memorable was seeing Dan, a guitar, and a piano. I feel so lucky to have experienced his music over the years - we'll miss you terribly, Dan.

  • January 11, 2008

    9:20 PM

    Renee writes:

    I moved to Durango back in 1980, and was so shocked and happy to hear that Dan was building a house close to here. I was the only fan of his I knew of in the '70's, but my friends tolerated my constant playing of Home Free, Souvieners, Netherlands, and Captured Angel. I got to see him play once at the college here, twice at the high school in Pagosa, once in a bar as Frankie and the Aliens, and at Echo Basin Ranch, I guess his next to last performance. I also served him a beer once, and saw him on the street, and in the bars. I of course now wish I had told him how much his music meant to me, but there were some strange fans running around, and I didn't want to be one of those...I do feel lucky to have seen him play in so many different ways, how many people get to live where their artist heros live? So sad to see him leave. I will forever be a "fan". Sleep tight dear Dan, and see 'ya next time.......

  • January 14, 2008

    11:23 PM

    terry anderson writes:

    I am listening to "Captured Angel" and reading my high school class of 1977's Souvenirs Argus Annual. How prodigious that our school's editor would choose and alude to Fogelberg's cult album as the most lasting momento of our school years together. "We also associate the music of a given time period with our memories. The music and the meaning it holds reflect the feelings of the time. Therefore, music was used in the theme as another "souvenir"" -Argus Annual Editor, 1976-77, Ottumwa, IA

    Obviously, there were quite a few people like my cousin and others who had discovered Captured Angel as well. I was lucky enough to see the "man in the mirror" play at the Greek Theatre with his Twin Son-Tim Weisberg- coming on stage to everyone's surprise-including Dan? I was never quite sure of that. Dan was quite magnanomous I remember thinking. The most lasting impression of that concert was that he played so professionally and sung so strongly. Also, I let the sophisticated fans at Berkeley impress me and my good friend who had tripped with me there. He still says it was his best vacation. We went back later to Iowa for our 1976-77 senior year.

    I just wanted to mention the fact that our Argus was named after Dan Fogelberg's album and to find a quote from "Captured Angel". I hear one now from a song that I like "...I will make my love a little stronger...Next time... I will be even harder to please ...Oh ....when will the next time be..". Dan Fogelberg died on what would have been my dad's 91st birthday. I will say another prayer for the families ... Rest in Peace.

  • February 7, 2008

    2:46 PM

    Pam writes:

    Thank you, Drew, for the very touching article on Dan. I was searching the web for anything I could find on Dan's life at Mountain Bird Ranch and came across your article. I especially want to thank you for acknowledging Dan's passing. Unlike the major TV news shows who overlooked his death when listing the famous people who passed away in 2007, you chose to honor his music with a beautifully written article. Like so many others have already expressed, I feel as though I've lost a good friend. My heart is heavy. His music and lyrics will live on and I will continue to listen to him for a very long time. Rest in peace Dan. Pam from La.

  • September 29, 2008

    12:37 PM

    Anthony J. Foti writes:

    Can anyone e-mail me an mp3 of DF singing that National Anthem?

  • March 4, 2009

    5:26 PM

    steven erdheim writes:

    My wife and I were big fans of his, I delivered the eulogy for my mother-in-law in 2005 and quoted a portion of leader of the band, His music was soft and remarkably relaxing, yet poingant. He is missed.

  • October 15, 2010

    8:26 AM

    Frankie & the Aliens writes:

    See Frankie and the Aliens on Facebook.

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