In the “well, that just sucks” department, Dan Fogelberg died today at 56 years old, after a long struggle with prostate cancer.
Dan Fogelberg, to me, was one of those artists whose great songs (“Longer”, “Auld Lang Syne”, “The Leader of the Band”) were just spectacular, amazingly poignant and brilliant, ones that just resonated with something already inside me, and whose other stuff was just this side of un-listenable. I think it was something about the ’70s, as Al Stewart (“The Year of the Cat”, “On the Border”), Gordon Lightfoot (“Sundown”, “If You Could Read My Mind”) and a few other of that era were the same way for me.
I actually sang “Longer” to my wife in our wedding, and at least she liked it. It’s just sad, and it makes me feel old, when artists I grew up with start dying of, well, natural causes, for lack of a better word.
And I have to say, with Keith Richards still alive, perhaps Billy Joel was right: Only the good die young. And speaking of old, you know I’m feeling it when I start talking about 56 as ‘young’.
p.s. – One of the funniest Bloom County strips ever (and yes, I know how much that’s saying) had Opus sputtering, “Who’s Dan Fogerburp?” after his girlfriend Lola Granola scandalized him by admitting to having a Dan Fogelberg tattoo. Alas, we never found out where it was, which was apparently more scandal than Opus could have handled.