Daniel Grayling Fogelberg would have turned 60 today, had he not left us at the age of 56, taken by prostate cancer. His home town, Peoria, Illinois, dedicated a memorial garden to him in its Riverfront Park last year.
I first came across Dan Fogelberg’s music with his second album,
Souvenirs, in 1974 — it’s playing on my stereo as I write this. His subsequent
Captured Angels and
Nether Lands stay together in my mind as my two favourites; I can’t choose between them. He’s probably best known, though, for songs from
The Innocent Age.
This song, which he wrote for his father and recorded on
The Innocent Age, seems appropriate to dedicate to Dan today:
I thank you for the music and your stories of the road.
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go.
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough.
And, papa, I don’t think I saidI love younear enough.
The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old,
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul.
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man.
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.
— Dan Fogelberg, fromLeader of the Band