The Leader of the Band is Tired, and His Eyes Are Growin’ Old…

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RIP Dan Fogelberg, 1951-2007.

A variety of musical influences shaped my tastes growing up – two musician parents certainly helped, it’s not every five-year-old who gets to see Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd from the 6th row… But my dad’s love of Jazz, my mom’s love of Broadway, and my rebellion to run out and buy Run DMC’s “Raising Hell” when I was 14 all put me on the path to a surprisingly well-rounded love of music.

Dan Fogelberg played a small part in that. I remember finding a copy of his Greatest Hits album on a cassette (A cassete was something like an mp3, except it played in a casette player, or in later years, a Sony Walkman or similar, and didn’t sit on your computer, which you didn’t have at the time anyway.)

Anyhow, two of his songs resonate with me. The first one, of course, is Same Old Lang Syne, a song about love, loss, and “what if’s.” Turns out it was based on a true story.

The second song is “Leader of the Band,” a tribute to Dan’s father, Lawrence, also a musician and, like my father, a band leader. Because of who my father is, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for that song.

As Dan wrote in the FAQ on his website:

Who did you write “Leader of the Band” for?

Leader of the Band” was written for my father Lawrence Fogelberg who was a musician, educator, and band leader. I was so gratified that I was able to give him that song before he passed on. In his final years he was interviewed many times by the national press because of it. He went out in a blaze of glory, which meant a lot to me and my family.

So with that… Thank you for the music, Mr. Fogelberg. Hope you’re up there, jamming with your dad again. Rest in Peace.

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