Dan Fogelberg (1951 – 2007)
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Dan Fogelberg, local boy here (central Illinois) passes away on Beethoven’s birthday. I used to sing Dan’s songs “Face the Fire” and "There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler" when I was learning guitar. “Face the Fire” was his anti-nuclear anthem, after the Three Mile Island accident.
In 1980 I saw Dan up close, playing for 150,000 anti-nuke activists on the capital lawn in Washington DC. He had changed the chorus of “Gambler” into a solar power thing. Everyone was singing along “Let it shine, oh let it shine” with our arms swaying in the air. He kept repeating the chorus and we wereall singing along so that Jimmy Carter could hear us in the White House.
The WHOLE CROWD was swaying back and forth with our arms in the air, and the place was packed like sardines. At the end of the song, people had moved forward towards the stage and we discovered were so tightly together that we couldn’t get our arms back down. We were laughing, couldn’t find a place to bring down one elbow at a time. It was cosmic. Thank you for that moment, Dan! You were a soldier in the environmental army. The Earth will miss ya.
Prostate cancer got Dan at age 56. Prostate is the number one cancer for American men, ahead of colon cancer and lung cancer. It got Zappa in 1993 at age 52, and I started eating healthy salads in his honor. Stan Musial is hanging on with prostate cancer at age 87. They say when younger men get prostate cancer, it is much more virulent.
I heard that the body naturally makes a chemical that protects against prostate cancer, and about 10% of men have a deficiency in that chemical, which puts them at greater risk. This chemical is also found in the cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, radish, and cauliflower. For 14 years now I have been eating what I call a “Zappa Salad” with plenty of radish and cauliflower. I used to add raw broccoli, but I now prefer broccoli steamed with cheese, rather than in my salads.
Here’s the wikipedia bio on Dan…
Daniel "Dan" Grayling Fogelberg (August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose music was inspired by sources as diverse as folk, pop, classical, jazz, and bluegrass music.
Dan Fogelberg, the youngest of Lawrence and Margaret (Young) Fogelberg’s three sons, was born in Peoria, Illinois. His father was a high school band director who spent most of his career at Peoria Woodruff High School and Pekin High School, and his mother was a pianist. (His father would later be the inspiration for the song "Leader of the Band".) Using a Mel Bay course book, Dan taught himself to play a Hawaiian slide guitar his grandfather gave to him; he also learned to play the piano. He started his music career at age 14 when he joined his first band, The Clan, which paid homage to The Beatles. His second band was another cover combo, The Coachmen, which, in 1967, released two singles on Ledger Records: "Maybe Time Will Let Me Forget" and "Don’t Want To Lose Her."
After graduating from Woodruff High School in 1969, he studied theater arts and painting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began performing as a solo acoustic player in area coffeehouses. There, he was discovered in 1971 by Irving Azoff. Fogelberg and Azoff, who started his music-management career promoting another Illinois act, REO Speedwagon, moved to California to seek their fortunes. Fogelberg became a session musician who played with pop-folk artists like Van Morrison. In 1972, he released his debut album Home Free to lukewarm response. His second effort was much more successful: the 1974 Joe Walsh-produced album Souvenirs and its hit song "Part of the Plan" made him a major star.
Following Souvenirs, Fogelberg released a string of gold and platinum albums Captured Angel in 1975; his masterpiece Nether Lands in 1977 and found commercial success with songs like "The Power of Gold," "The Language of Love," and "Lonely in Love". His 1978 Twin Sons of Different Mothers was the first of two collaborations with jazz flutist Tim Weisberg. 1979’s Phoenix was his most successful with "Longer" which became a wedding standard. The Innocent Age, released in October 1981, reached the peak of critical and popular acclaim. The double album "song cycle" included three of his biggest hits: "Leader of the Band," "Hard To Say," and "Same Old Lang Syne," based on a real-life accidental meeting with a former girlfriend. in 1984 he rocked again with Windows And Walls
In 1985, Fogelberg released High Country Snows. Recorded in Nashville, it showcased his (and some of the industry’s best) talent in the bluegrass genre. Vince Gill, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen were among those who contributed to the record. in 1987, a return to rock with Exiles then a tribute to Earth preservation with 1990’s Wild Places and 1991’s live Greetings From The West
River of Souls, released in 1993, was Fogelberg’s last studio album for Sony Records. In 1997, Portrait encompassed his career with four discs, each highlighting a different facet of his music: "Ballads," "Rock and Roll," "Tales and Travels" (which displayed his talents as a narrative songwriter) and "Hits." In 1999, he fulfilled a career-long dream of creating a Christmas album called "First Christmas Morning" and, in 2003, Full Circle showcased a return to the folk-influenced, 1970s soft rock-style of music for which he and other singer-songwriters from his era had gained popular recognition.
A very personal songwriter, Fogelberg also used his music to address social issues, among them peace and Native American concerns. He was particularly outspoken about his commitment to the environment and to finding alternatives to nuclear power. To that end, Fogelberg performed at a number of the Musicians United for Safe Energy "No Nukes" concerts in 1979 and 1980.
His live concerts won acclaim across the nation over the years. Fogelberg said that one of his proudest moments came in 1979 when he played at New York’s Carnegie Hall for an audience that included his mother and father. Most summers, Fogelberg would perform with a full band or in a solo acoustic setting; the differing formats allowed the artist to show the breadth and depth of his talent as a singer, guitarist, pianist and bandleader. In 2002, fans showed their appreciation by choosing Fogelberg to be one of the first 10 inductees into the Performers Hall of Fame at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.
In May 2004, Dan Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He underwent hormonal therapy and achieved a partial remission, which did not eliminate his cancer, but reduced it and stopped its spread. On August 13, 2005, his 54th birthday, Fogelberg announced the success of his cancer treatments and he thanked fans for their support, but said that he had no immediate plans to return to making music, but was keeping his options open, and enjoying spending time with his wife, musician Jean Fogelberg.
Fogelberg, who, since 1982, lived on Mountain Bird Ranch, 610 acres near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, put the lavishly appointed property up for sale at an asking price of US million.
He lost his battle against cancer on December 16, 2007 at his home in Maine with his wife, Jean, by his side.
* On the September 25, 2006, episode of the NBC show Late Night with Conan O’Brien, O’Brien concluded his discussion of the controversy over Pope Benedict’s public use of a statement by a 14th century Byzantine emperor, and singer Cat Stevens’ reaction to the remarks, with the punchline: "So far, no word yet from Dan Fogelberg. [light laughter, then a pause] He was a singer back in the ’70s."
* Two of his songs have been used in feature films: "There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler" (originally on Souvenirs) can be heard in the 1978 movie FM; and "Times Like These" was used in the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy, a year before it appeared on The Innocent Age.
* In a Bloom County comic strip, the character Lola Granola confesses to having a tattoo of Dan Fogelberg’s face.
* In BASEketball the future owner of "The Beers" refers to Joe Cooper and his generation as fans of Dan Fogelberg.
* Comedian Denis Leary, on his CD "No Cure for Cancer" mentions Dan Fogelberg by saying "Heavy metal bands are on trial because kids commit suicide… Judas Priest on trial because ‘my kid bought the record, and he listened to the lyrics and na na na na na na. Well that’s great! That sets a legal precedent! Does that mean I can sue Dan Fogelberg for making me into a pussy in the mid ’70s? Is that possible? Huh? Huh? Your honor, between him and James Taylor, I didn’t get a blowjob until I was 27 years old!"