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We Miss You, Dan Fogelberg

| December 16, 2013 | 65 Comments

Six years ago today Dan Fogelberg left this earth. I still have a hard time accepting it. Too many of my memories are tied to him; too much of my past is bound up in his songs. So today will be spent listening to his music, singing along to songs that are seamlessly woven into my life, and being grateful for the power of music and the gifts songwriters give us.

Below is an audio version of the tribute I wrote for him. I remember being at the office working late on the night of Dec. 16 when I heard the news. I held off on closing the issue we were working on until I could get this written, so I stayed home the next morning and these were the words that somehow presented themselves to me.

We miss you, Dan.

SPACE

“In Tribute: Dan Fogelberg”

 

From “Letters From Lydia”

Category: In Case You Haven't Heard

Comments (65)

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  1. mona says:

    The Nether Lands album blew fresh air into a stagnant period of music history (for me anyway…) wow; strings
    and the way everything sounded! I could FEEL snow in the song “sketches”. I wasn’t lucky enough to ever see you perform so youtube will have to do ’til it’s my time and I finally get to see you and the angel band strumming those
    grestch pelicans. Man, it hurts knowing your’e not here.

  2. Marty Pederson says:

    I was so affected by Dans music I had a UFO sighting while crossing the atlantic. That night while on wheel watch all by myself I was turned to turn over the tape after Dans twin sons of differerent mothers collaboration cossette a bright lite cought my eye and I turned forward in time to see the bright object float away alluding the cloud off my starboard side. Everynight I tried to match when at the same time each night I went out side to try to get them to return. What the hay Maybe they were fogelberg fans and just got their initial earful, I know I am.

  3. Jim Rodgers says:

    Lydia, I truly understand how your heart felt when you found out. I was stunned by the news. With him being so private I had no clue in was in harms way. I was just simply waiting in anticipation of his next Album. The sad news hit me like a earthquake. Dan had that special gift of lyrics writing which so, so, so very few truly have. He could paint the whole scene with his artfully crafted lyrics. His ability to play and be recorded with most all instruments and sing his own back vocals and harmony made his music very unique. His varied styles of music kept stimulated and interested musically. I think so much like he did it’s scary. Thanks for your tribute.

  4. Scotty Gagel says:

    Dear Lydia,
    I’m surprised I am just now finding your well-felt and well-spoken thoughts about Dan Fogelberg so soon after his tragic death, and just as others have said: how closely your sweet comments mirrored my own feelings about Dan. These thoughts also describe how I felt so many times over the last 45 years when one of my music idols left this mortal coil for so many senseless reasons. From Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Jim Croce, Elvis Presley, the great Lowell George, John Lennon. You see, I am a musician and have been for almost 45 years now and I have learned and played songs by all these people mentioned, (and there are so many more). I now write and play my own music, but back in the day, I played in cover bands and learned to play hundreds of songs written by great and well known artists. It was that way with Dan Fogelberg’s songs. I have been criticized at times for continuing to play others music, but the fact is I chose to learn all those songs because they affected me emotionally in one way or another. I learned to play “Run for the Roses” because I was born and raised in Kentucky and grew up about 5 miles from Churchill Downs. It was a taste of home for me. I learned to play “Leader of the Band” because it mirrored my own feelings about my father. When my Dad died in 1981, I had intended to sing this song at his funeral, but when it came to it, I couldn’t make it through the song without breaking down, so I didn’t play it then. I also learned “Old Tennessee”, “Longer”, “Same old Lang Syne” and “Wisteria”, just because they were beautiful songs with common themes that nearly everyone had experienced and could connect with. As I said earlier, I now sing mostly my own work, but every now and then I play songs written by others including Dan. His music made me think he was a nice guy, a good person with his priorities in their proper place and that if I knew him, we could probably be friends. And when he died, it was for me as if a good friend had passed and I remember losing more than a few tears when I was safely by myself. The same tears I always lose when one of my music idols dies. Someone said recently in a conversation, that if there is a heaven, and all the musicians who have died in the past 3 generations were to get together, it would be one hell of a band. That’s a great image and one which I choose to cling. Thank you again for your heart felt thoughts and memories about Dan.

  5. Mathew Pitts says:

    Lydia, let me just say that is the most beautiful, and well written five minutes and 32 seconds that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Your thoughts and feelings perfectly mirror those of myself, and my beautiful wife of almost 37 years. My wife and I drove back to our home in Houston,Texas nonstop for 21 hours, on our honeymoon in 1977, to see Dan and his band Fool’s Gold, at the Music Hall in Houston. What can I say that you have not. I can only state how much we both cared and loved Dan deeply. We saw him many times, and were never disappointed. I still listen to his music on my drives in my car every single day. He did so many things positively for my wife and I, that I feel we both know him. We are also angry that cancer claimed his life. I thought we would always have him with us. Sadly he is gone, and just 5 days after my 53rd birthday. We are so thankful that Love In Time was released, after his death. I know he would have been very proud of it as well. It reminded me of the Captured Angel album, with his return to playing all the instruments. So many wonderful memories is all we have left now.

    Rest In Peace Dan

  6. Gayle umberger dederich says:

    Lydia, I am so happy I found this…as Dan sang and found places in my heart I never even knew existed, you now too have said so beautifully things I couldn’t even think to say…..I mourned him like a lost brother ….being the only one in my family who listened to his music….I too had the first knowledge of him when I was in h.s. Our senior class president wanted To use the song Netherlands for our class song…I heard it and said who is that? From that moment on and now thirty five years later….he became someone so profoundly special in my life…..he was a one of a kind beautiful soul….I too being a fan….went to any concert that was close to my hometown and only got a close up glimpse of him taking a break…behind a fenced area as I tried to call out to him…..he was too far away…..as life…..marriage and children came he stayed in my home on my cassettes in the day which then turned to the CDs…..in a way I never experienced being in love before…..I was in love with dan fogelberg….maybe it was not the romantic love we know of, but as I am sure you and all the people who loved him know what I mean…. And now I have this time to see all the things about him I never knew while I listened to his music…..and it has been another gift for us the fans….and to none of our surprise…..he was the man in all the music…..thanks for you tribute…..absolutely beautiful….

  7. Greg DeMaio says:

    Lydia, thank you so very much for putting into words what many of us fail to do. I think you epitomize how we all feel about this tremendous sage that was sent by heaven to enrich all our lives. I wish there was something eloquent that I could say but it just makes me so sad when I read all these heartfelt words from his adoring fans. I could never bring myself to attend a tribute concert because I don’t want to hear anyone else perform his songs except him. I know that’s ridiculous but it’s how I feel. Thanks again.

  8. Don Otting says:

    I love every song that Dan did and listen to them often I am a singer songwriter also but my dream was over long ago. When I listen to his music I think of my life as a musician and know it was all worth it Leader of the Band is my favorite I have been the leader of bands for almost 40 years and now at my older age it all comes to fruition my Grandson loves that song for that simple reason. Thank you Dan you were and excellent talent and your songs made me smile and also brought a tear to my eye I really get emotional In all kinds of different ways no songwriter has ever done that to me. Thank you again RIP and I hope when my time comes I will meet you in Heaven and sing together.

  9. What a sad day this was when he passed away.
    He had the voice of an angel and now he is in heaven singing for the Lord. I have played music most all my life and I recall the first time I heard that voice off the Homefree Albums then,
    Hickory Grove was playing and at the end of the song I did not want all the harmony to end. Wisteria was another haunting melody he did that amazed me,Illinois was one of my favorite songs by him.He is a man that would have achieved a greater statute like Don Henley is given more time.he did not get the air play like The Eagles or Jackson Browne that was sad and confusing.by anyway we I shall miss you Dan.

  10. Steve Canfield says:

    Hello Lydia
    I too miss my favorite artist My children love his music too as I pull out disc while riding in the car. I was blessed to see him once several years ago at University of Maryland . Dan was with Tim Weisburg playing many of his hits unplugged versions . I found something about him I never new is that he had a great since of humor he had myself and my wife laughing so hard in between sons . I will never forget this man and what he accomplished in his life . That is why I ended up with a web search today
    God Bless you Dan and your wife

  11. Jim Campbell says:

    What do I think of when I hear the name “Dan Fogelberg”? I think of a young man of 56-years taken away from us so young from cancer. A man, a singer, a talented artist that spoke to your heart with his voice and with the words from his music.

    He has been gone for awhile now, still think of him especially when I hear his music, my favorite? It has to be either Longer, Same Old Lang Syne or Run For the Roses, hell all of them.

    We think of you, his wife, Jean we love you as we loved him, I miss his music and have the songs on my Ipod.

  12. Dale Boylen says:

    Very few artists touched my soul as Dan did. He simply had a way to reach into your chest, massage your heart and change it for the better. His amazing lyrics were so cleverly written. often times more question than statement, IE “Are the spoils worth the cost of the hunt”?
    Dan sang from the heart which is a lesson lost on so many new artists. Dan never got the credit he deserved from mainstream music critics. Dan was an amazing songwriter, a VERY accomplished guitarist and an absolute perfectionist in the studio. Listen to any Dan Fogelberg song and pay attention to the vocal harmonies. Anyone that’s tried to sing harmonies that tight know how hard it is. Dan’s heartfelt songs will be around long after those mainstream music critics are forgotten about. As a singer/songwriter myself, the mark of a great song to me is if you can reduce it to it’s basic components and perform it with just a guitar or piano and still get the emotional message across to the audience. Dan Fogelberg songs have that in spades. Much of today’s music is mindless drivel, designed more for the visual than the audio. Dan wrote songs that made you think. I miss you Dan.

  13. Leigh Ann Ruehlen says:

    Thank you, Lydia.
    Our eyes met once – in Charlotte N.C. outside a performance arena. He was in a limo, I was yelling, ‘Thank you – thank you’… as I frantically knocked on his limo window. He saw me for a moment though. Yep, it was just about like that – but our eyes met once … and that is enough.

    “There is an Eden and heavenly gates,
    and we’re gonna make it there one day.
    Yet most of the answers we seek can be found,
    in dreams that we dream along the way.”

  14. Lisa Shannon says:

    I felt such a connection to Lydia’s message !
    I learned to harmonize and discovered my passion
    For guitar from listening to Dan. I also looked for
    His look a like in boyfriend lol! I loved him so much
    He was our gift from God!

  15. Ismail says:

    Dan i came to listen to your music at very late stage in my life if i remeber well then it is about 3 years before you died but damn your music has made a positive impact in my life. I somewhat fell out of love with my wife but ever since i’ve listened to some of the lyrics to your music i realised that life and love has deeper meaning and to you Dan i say thank you for giving me the break to embrace what is important in my life.

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