Soft Rock Gets a Little Sadder

Dan Fogelberg has died.

The man was actually my favorite soft rocker. He just seemed nice, you know?

20 Comments on “Soft Rock Gets a Little Sadder”

  1. Wow. I’ll tell y’all something. I had a girlfriend back in the early 80s who’d had a huge crush on Fogelberg for years. She liked Steely Dan and Tom Scott and Steve Winwood and The Who and Abandoned Luncheonette-era Hall & Oates — but Fogelberg was the man. His mainly-non-hit stuff appealed to me, as well, and Souvenirs and Netherlands and Twin Sons of Different Mothers with Weisberg made up a goodly chunk of the soundtrack of our courtship.

    We had the pianist include a bit of “Beggar’s Game,” I believe it was, from that very same Phoenix, in the musical medley in advance of our wedding. She just now went up to bed, but I think I’ll wait and tell her this news tomorrow.

  2. This is sad news. Oh, the memories!

    I admit that I never listened to his soft rock outside of school, although I am the right age. The reason is that I was a band nerd and we always had to play the soft rock stuff. We played Bread and Chicago and Dan Fogelberg. When you play something over and over and over, you really can’t stand it after a while.

    But, he sure helped my musical skills in high school! Here’s wishing he finds that soft rock heaven in the sky. My condolences to his family.


  3. Saw him in concert several times. His “Twins Sons of Different Mothers” with flutist Tim Weisberg is still one of my favorite car driving albums.

  4. I was touched by the outpouring of comments on all his videos on YouTube. Folks have just been flooding the site with their condolences and memories, and I’m sure he would have appreciated that.

  5. I never was fan, but I never had anything against Fogelberg’s music either. At 56, his death is a tragedy that didn’t have to happen, and it strikes home for me since prostate cancer runs in my family – my grandfather died from it, and my dad is fighting it right now. If you’re male and over 30, get a prostate exam at least every couple of years. If you’re over 40, get one every year. Prostate cancer has a very high cure rate – if it’s detected early.

  6. My wife and I were wed to a lovely rendition of “Since You’ve Asked.”

    He had a way with a lyric. And a mood.


  7. Very sad indeed…Captured Angel and Souvenirs formed a big part of the soundtrack for my late teens-early twenties. He was too young to go.

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang who is Chang but is Not not chang


    Weren’t we all just ragging on him last week? And then so many came to his defense. He was good at what he did. I will always have a soft spot for “Longer Than” and others from the late 70’s and early 80’s as it was the anthem for my love for Jenny Papazian.

  9. I think I like most of his original material. But listening to Wolverine’s adamantium claws on a blackboard would be preferable to Fogelberg’s cover of “Rhythm Of The Rain.”

  10. My aunt was huge into horse breeding, and loved his song “Run for the Roses.” For a while, everytime we used to get into her car, a Jeep Eagle, we had to hear that album, though I can’t remember the name. It brings back alot of memories. It’s amazing the songs, and artists, that affect you. He was never one of my favorites, but it’s his music that I remember more that some of the music that defined my “coming of age.” My prayers go out to his family and friends. And, my thanks go out to him, and his music, for solidifying those memories.

  11. He may be best known for being nice and mellow but I’ll always remember him for “Tucson, Arizona”. It’s up there with Springsteen ballads.

  12. Cybersage @ 14:

    The album was The Innocent Age, and it included not only Run for the Roses, but Leader of the Band and Hard to Say. Well, it also had Another Old Lang Syne, but we won’t go any further with that. I had that album on vinyl, and I remember listening to it with my mom quite a few times. Good memories. I also quite enjoyed The Language of Love. The guy was a pretty fair guitarist on top of singer and songwriter.

  13. “Soft rock”? You call that “rock”? Then the word means nothing. That was schmaltz. Absolutely terrible. I mean, not that he deserved to die over it or anything. Don’t get me wrong. The man did me no harm other than the trouble it took to change the station whenever one of his sappy songs came on the radio. I’m sad he’s dead too young. But, come on, people. That stuff stunk.

  14. The only song of his that I can remember hearing is “Leader of the Band”, and I hated it from the first time that I heard it–the most smug, self-congratulatory bullshit imaginable. And a bunch of kids in my dorm in college used to play it over and over again; they thought that it was the best song ever. Bleargh.

    But, you know, what Jim O said. Cancer is just a real sucky way to go.

  15. Awww, damn. I remember way too many of his songs, and where I was when I heard them the first time. Rats.

    Cancer *is* a sucky way to go; I’ve seen too many people go that way already. I’m glad he had courage, but for his sake I’m glad that it’s over for him. Rest in peace, Dan.

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