Monday, December 17, 2007

The leader of the band

Heard some really sad news this morning.

Dan Fogelberg, the leader of the band, Mr. "Run for the Roses," has passed away. Seems like the report said he was only 56. Way, way too young. Advanced prostate cancer.

Fogelberg was one of the kings of the so-called "soft rock" era. His songs were light, easy on the ears, pleasant.

A couple of them became standards. "Longer," a sappy, pretty little love song, was a popular wedding anthem for a lot of years. "Run for the Roses" still gets some play around the Kentucky Derby on light rock and easy listening stations. "Leader of the Band" is a classic ode to music and those who make it.

But I guess my favorite is "Same Old Lang Syne," about the musician who runs into his high school love in the grocery store on Christmas Eve. That song had to be ripped out of real life. Had to be.

We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now/Tried to reach behind the emptiness, but neither one knew how...

Fogelberg never was a light rock star in the Barry Manilow sense of the word. But his was good music. One of his best albums is "Twin Sons of Different Mothers," with Tim Weisberg, from '78.

I drove to a doctor's appointment this morning with Fogelberg playing softly on the iPod. His music always makes me think of high school, when I discovered him, and the "passing of time" sadness that now comes with such thoughts.

Sober thoughts for a prosaic Monday. Here's to you, Dan. I'll make a toast to ya, and to "Same Old Lang Syne" at New Years.

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