I’m dedicating this post to another blogger/writer who also lives in my hometown, Vickie Lester. Ever since I discovered her Beguiling Hollywood site, it has become a regular haunt of mine. Totally enamored I’ve become of whatever she places up there on her blog for almost a year now. Her byline says it all:
Heir apparent to Hedda and Louella (for those old enough who remember that famous pair), she covers this company town of ours like few others. From sharing its stories, to the beautiful imagery of Hollywood (and Los Angeles) we’ve become known for, she truly does give this area of ours some added perspective. Her “vile harpy” posts another highlight, by the way.
She’s even put in an appearance on my blog with her deft comments on occasion, surely putting up with my known rancor from time to time, bless her heart. Still, she and I share something else.
The two of us are not afraid to place within earshot of weblog content our feelings toward the spouses we each hold dear. A couple of weeks back, her mister flew out for location work, and well, I thought this title, a favorite song I queue more often of late, would send some good karma her (and her hubby’s) way till his return.
Best to you, Vickie :-).
This will come as no surprise to those who either know me, or read what I blather on about here, but I’m a romantic at heart. Hopefully, till the day I die. She-who-must-be-obeyed will back me up on this regard, especially since she periodically has to dial me back some on this. “Whoa, Trigger!”
So it should not catch people unawares that the late-artist Dan Fogelberg holds some slots on moi’s ‘Ye Old iPod. Yes, yes, I suppose many listeners don’t care for what they believe were those sappy love ballads from the late 70s and early 80s. They’re fair game to an extent. Yet, I still think Mr. Fogelberg and his work underrated.
Obviously, the singer, instrumentalist, and lyricist was influenced by a certain psychedelic-era. His contemporaries Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, who began in the 60s and 70s, all raised the folk song to a popular art form. If you’re of a certain age, it’s easy to recognize the effect. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
As Allmusic described him in their biography:
“If James Taylor epitomized the definition and the original, late-’60s incarnation of the term singer/songwriter, Dan Fogelberg exemplified the late-’70s equivalent of that term at its most highly developed and successful, with a string of platinum-selling albums and singles into the early ’80s and a long career afterward, interrupted only by a health crisis that led to his untimely death in 2007.”
Dan had some kind of talent. Still, more than few considered him nothing more than a balladeer of love songs. Well, I know some hard rockin’ metal heads who’d argue otherwise. To that end you’d best keep his Longer tune close by, especially if you plan on attending a marriage reception this month.
The line, “Through the years, as the fire starts to mellow, burning lines in the book of our lives… Though the binding cracks, and the pages starts to yellow, I’ll be in love with you” still registers something fierce at those events, and with me.
His Leader of the Band makes me a tad wistful. That being quite a feat for the tune given my relationship with my father was among my rockiest. How the Hell did that happen? I’d say it’s Dan and his mastery with the heartfelt lyric that brought on the favoritism.
Anyway, the singer’s critics would be missing out on a varied discography by said artist.
A few years ago, a blogger and friend who I miss and still think of, turned me on to Dan’s marvelous cover done at a live concert in 1997 of a George Harrison classic (from the HELP! soundtrack and album), I Need You. The man could do wonders with a high-string guitar while he’d lent a voice for those who’d care to listen.
It’d probably surprise some that Dan Fogelberg could do, and do well, songs with a Rock & Roll edge to them. Songs like The Power of Gold and The Language of Love among the standouts. Yet, I’m of the mind nothing was more emblematic than the 1982 single, Missing You.
It was one of the two new songs assembled onto his Dan Fogelberg – Greatest Hits LP out that year. BTW, that’d be one of the very few platinum albums ever with a cover originally printed on the diagonal. The song has made every compilation, ‘best of’ album released since, and remains a favorite of mine (even over those already mentioned).
The best song he ever recorded? Perhaps, inasmuch I keep coming back to it. The track had a rousing electric guitar rhythm for its kick-off. As a reviewer stated, “…almost an 1980s Santana feel to it as it opens.” Doesn’t sound like something overly sentimental, you ask? Well, its lyrics surely were pure yearning.
The type of longing reserved for those out on the road, or left with the heart and soul at home doing the waiting, as one could expect. Again, might as well play to your strength.
The song, composed by Dan Fogelberg and Richard Bright, showcased the artist’s underestimated vocal range for what the tune demanded from the singer (harmonies as well as lead), along with the undeniable skill on the stringed instrument.
Missing You certainly featured both. In fact, this song’s guitar riff, performed by Fogelberg himself I reckon (a fine musician in his own right), was one of the best that year. For those with a loved one away, I daresay you’d be hard-pressed to not recognize, or share in, the feeling expressed. Have a great weekend, folks.
Hard days I'm travelin' alone for too long Ooo I'm missing you I'm always somewhere that I never belong Ooo I'm missing you I'm moving so fast now it doesn't seem true Ooo I'm missing you I'm getting closer but I don't know what to do Ooo I'm missing you Oh if I had you beside me Then I just might sleep through the night Your love is the promise that guides me All of the days of my life This life I'm living's gettin' so hard to feel Ooo I'm missing you The days are empty and the nights are unreal Ooo I'm missing Oh if I had you beside me Then I just might sleep through the night Your love is the promise that guides me All of the days of my life All of the days of my life Hard days I'm traveling alone for too long Ooo I'm missing you I'm always somewhere that I never belong Ooo I'm missing you Oh if I had you beside me Then I just might sleep through the night You love is the promise that guides me All of the days of my life All of the days of my life All of the days of my life