Monday, December 17, 2007

Farewell to The Leader of The Band

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

(Dan Fogelberg, "Leader of the Band")

The "leader of the band" was his dad, but Dan Fogelberg's song about their relationship and the bond they shared in music touched an awful lot of people (as so many of his songs did). So it was a real sadness to read that Fogelberg had died of prostate cancer Sunday, at age 56.

He was a marvelous composer, writer, and musician. His classic songs ("Longer," "Another Old Lang Syne," "Part of the Plan") helped shape my musical landscape.

His songs reminded us of the power of love, and to say "I love you" to the people who need it, and his illness and death remind us men that prostate cancer screening is something we ALL should be doing, anytime after 30 but especially after 50.

My bet is that the music in heaven is a little sweeter, this day...

Update: for some of my readers who never were familiar with Fogelberg's music, some YouTube links. For anyone with a father, anyone who struggles with their place in the world, and anyone in love (especially Make Love Stay), these are required listening...

Leader of The Band
Part of the Plan
Same Old Lang Syne
Make Love Stay


Diane M. Roth said...

great post on Dan Fogelberg. I think my first album was his "souvenirs". And "Leader of the Band" is such a tribute... I loved hearing the sound of the marching band in the fade at the end of the song...

Kyle said...

sounds like a great guy. It's always a little sad to hear about great guys dying so young.