Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg 1951 - 2007

Back in June I posted Netherlands as my record of the week. I'm going to do it again as I've just heard that yesterday Dan Fogelberg has lost his battle with cancer and died at his home in Maine. As I said in the earlier post Dan is almost an unknown in Britain and it's a shame. Besides this album he made maybe twenty or so in a career that began back in 1968. He is for me one of the great American singer songwriters. More so because he captures the essence of rural America better than most all of his contemporaries. There's a brilliant song of his called 'Tucson, Arizona (Gazette). It ought to be a movie...

Tucson, Arizona
Rising in the heat like a
Tony keeps his Chevy
Like a virgin locked in
his garage
He brings it out at midnight
And cruises down the
empty boulevards
And he prowls the
darkened alleys
That snake between the city's
thirsty yards
The lonely desert skies reflect
the anger in his eyes
And it is dawn.

His father died of drinking
And left five children sinking
With his mom
His older brother Bobby
Never made it back from Viet Nam
With high school well behind him
He lives at home and works this
shitty job.

All of Dan's songs have a story at their heart and his musicianship is of the highest order. He had a few hits in America including 'Longer', which got to No.2 back in 1979.

Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean
Higher than any bird ever flew
Longer than thereve been stars up in the heavens
Ive been in love with you.

Stronger than any mountain cathedral
Truer than any tree ever grew
Deeper than any forest primeval
I am in love with you.

I bought 'Netherlands' in 1977 after hearing the title track on a drive from Houston to Austin. On the drive back I played it over and over and every time I listen to it now I see those miles and miles of Texas roads. This was the first of many of his albums that have given me great listening pleasre

It's a day for playing Dan Fogelberg's music. I hope his music will be remembered as long as there are stars up in the heavens.

1 comment:

r morris said...

Fogelberg was a talented singer and songwriter. Though his later stuff did nothing for me, his early stuff, especially with Tim Weisberg, was very good.