Dan Fogelberg 1951-2007

I was saddened to learn that one of my lifelong musical idols died this past week. I remember my first experience with Fogelberg’s music. It was a Jr. High ski trip to Ruidoso, NM and someone brought a homemade compilation tape that included the song Lahaina Luna. I was fascinated by the sound of the song, an instrumental tune from the mostly instrumental album Twin Sons of Different Mothers.

I returned home from the trip determined to find another album by this guy named Fogelburg. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of his albums contained singing as well. Even better, he was an amazing guitarist. And as I investigated even further, I found that he played the majority of the instruments on his albums. I was hooked.

I had already been involved in guitar lessons under Dave Branson for several years. I found that Fogelberg’s finger-picking style was a great match for the style that Dave had started me on. I began learning as many Fogelberg songs as I could. I became somewhat of a Fogelberg junkie.

I even remember a night in college on a quartet tour in California. Robert Hinds and I had the Greatest Hits LP (that’s a vinyl record for you young-un’s) and we were playing it backwards ala Beatles backward masking style. Sure enough, during the song Power of Gold, we could clearly hear Fogelburg say, “Oooh, you can sleep with anyone, sweet Melinda is the one.” Scandalous. He wasn’t saying that when the album was going forward. Like I said, Fogelberg junkie.

It’s 30 years later and I am still playing his stuff. He made a big impact on me. I would like to think that wherever he is now, he is still playing. Unfortunately, I never saw any evidence that he ever found the true Inspiration for playing. Such a loss…

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