Saturday, October 15, 2016

Song #252: "Leader Of The Band"--Dan Fogelberg (1981)

We welcome one of the most underrated singers and songwriters of the late 20th century to our countdown in Dan Fogelberg.

Some of you may think I'm being a bit too high with my praise. But if you take 20 minutes and just read over his discography, I think I could persuade you to understand where I'm coming from.

Fogelberg's music was simple, yet complex, sometimes soothing, sometimes driving, always thought-provoking.

See, I used to think my opening statement was poppycock. But then I dated a hardcore Fogelberg fan after high school, and she helped me better understand his unique talents. If you asked her today, some 30 years later, she would probably tell you the concert she went to, finally seeing him live is still one of the best nights of her life. I regret greatly not going with her.

Today's song is about Dan's father, a musician and educator who would pass away a year after this song was released. This song gained much greater meaning to me over the past few years as my own Dad reached his final days, and even more so after his passing on October 2, 2013.

It's so true. My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band (pictured in the middle with his then two brothers, some 80 years ago, then with me and my brother Frank at my Ordination Service, June 6, 1999).

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