Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dan Fogelberg : 1951 to 2007

It’s New Year’s Eve and I planned to write a short post to commemorate the New Year. The first thing that came to mind was Dan Fogelberg’s song, Same Old Lang Syne. I Googled Dan Fogelberg and was saddened to learn that he passed away on December 16th this year of prostate cancer.

Dan Fogelberg started making records in 1972, but it was in 1981, the year the album, The Innocent Age was released that his music became a part of my life. I got to RAF Bentwaters, my first permanent Air Force assignment, in September of 1981 when I was twenty years old.

Music was everything to us then. Stereo equipment was the one big thing that was cheap for us to buy on base and we all had elaborate multi-component systems. Those of us who were serious audiophiles bought albums and played them only once. We cleaned them, placed them carefully on our turntables and recorded them to high quality cassette tapes, or even better still, to reel-to-reel tapes and then we never played them again.

My friend Dee had a boyfriend named Yogi, who played acoustic guitar and sang. Yogi rented an ancient old English house with four or five other guys and played us Same Old Lang Syne for the first time. One of Yogi’s roommates, Eric also played guitar and they played that album over and over until they learned all of the songs and could play them too.

I spent my first Christmas in England at that house with a half dozen other young airmen, cooking a Christmas dinner that wasn’t ready until close to midnight, drinking and listening to records. It’s hard to imagine now that a song about meeting an old lover in a grocery store, years after the romance was over could have touched us so deeply at the time, but I suppose when you’re that young, all romantic songs seem to be about you. I guess that’s the mark of a great story teller, which is what he was. He makes you relate to experiences you might not even have had, but yearn to someday.

Although I was looking for a video of Same Old Lang Syne, Fogelberg’s song Leader of the Band is a more fitting tribute to him.


smgct said...

Yes, it was rather sad to read of his death. But like you, I realized that he'd left much behind that became part of so many of us.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

debra said...

I always like Dan Fogleberg's gentle voice. A fitting tribute as we begin this new year.
You have won the Blue Santa drawing.
Happy New Year

Patti said...

that song has always evoked strong emotions in me as i could easily put myself in that store...thanks for the memory.

happy new year!

Larramie said...

Thank you indeed, Lisa. And congratulations on winning the Little Blue Santa! Wonder what he'll bring you this year? ;)

Lisa said...

Susan, He really did become a part of us. Happy New Year to you and him :)

Debra, Thank you so much! The Blue Santa story touched me when I first read it and now I will have a very special reminder of the story and of you and the wonderful friends I've made this year. Happy New Year!

Patti, In one way or another, I think we've all been in that store.

Larramie, I can honestly say that the most incredibly gifts Santa brought me this year were the new friends that I met "out here". The Blue Santa is something I will treasure always. Happy New Year!

Carleen Brice said...

Happy New Year, Lisa!! Thanks for all your support. Glad we "met" and then we met. :)

Ello said...

I had no idea about Dan Fogelberg. How sad. I loved his muscic. one of my favorite pieces to play on the piano is his piece Longer.

I'm wishing you a very Happy new year!

Lisa said...

Carleen, I'm very glad we "met" and "met" too...the clock is ticking...book release for Orange Mint and Honey is just around the corner! Happy New Year :)

Ell, I had no idea either. Longer is a beautiful song. He was truly a beautiful voice and will be missed.

Happy New Year to you too!

steve said...

Dan Fogelberg was born the same year as I, and of course I've heard of him, but somehow I missed him. In September 1981 I was working in Bensenville. Illinois, as Rail Coordinator for CIT Tours, the U.S. agent for the Italian State Railways. At the time, Kathleen and I were listening mainly to National Public Radio and WFMT, the classical station. It's funny how it's possible to miss an important popular artist.

I'll have to listen to this Youtube. But not this week. I'm stuck in Bloomington this "weekend" due to a lake-effect snowstorm in northern Indiana, and I'm on dial-up here in Bloomington. I hope to get more done on the Dickens Challenge.

Lisa said...

Steve, He had several songs that I am sure you'll recognize when you hear them. I'd say the song "Longer" was probably played at a whole lot of weddings (and probably still is) and I'll be really surprised if you don't recognize "Same Old Lang Syne" when you hear it.

Sorry to hear you're snowbound and won't make it home. Of course the selfish part of me knows it will get me another new DC chapter that much sooner though ;)

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