Monday, December 17, 2007

RIP Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg was a very influential songwriter/musician during the 1970s, at the time of my service at Dirty Jack’s Theater in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He carved out a niche in the soft-rock/guitar ballad genre with his Souvenirs album of 1974 (very popular during my first year at DJs in 1976) and his Twin Sons of Different Mothers album with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg in 1978 (ditto during my second year at DJs in 1979). His music was all over the FM radio stations and everybody was buying the records.

His style was soft-focus and intimate, not really parallel to my musical interests at the time, which tended toward the loud and twangy. But I listened to his music over and over and strained to learn the hidden secrets of its appeal. I failed.

I remember Fogelberg's music as lovely and gentle, for the most part. The song of his I first thought of when I heard he had passed away was The Power of Gold, a song that rocked a little more than his usual stuff. Back in the 70s I spent a lot more time listening to Country/Rock, such as Jackson Browne, Neil Young, The Eagles, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Waylon Jennings. Still, I remember the buzz Fogelberg’s music generated in Jackson Hole and among the music people with whom I mixed. I wanted to be like him.

Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer, and he was only two years older than I am now. That is a very sobering thought. I would be happy if my music had even a tiny fraction of the influence his music had, before I too pass away.