ASKED QUESTIONS (As answered by Dan in 2003)
“Same Old Lang Syne” - did that really happen?
Yes, absolutely it did. In 1975 or 76 I was home in Peoria, Illinois
visiting my family for Christmas. I went to a convenience store
to pick up some whipping cream to make Irish coffees with, and quite
unexpectedly ran into an old high school girlfriend. The rest of
the song tells the story.
Is it true you were a sideman for Van Morrison in your early
No, that’s not the truth. I never worked for Van Morrison.
I did however, open several concerts for Van and his band in 1971.
My manager at the time, Irving Azoff was working for a booking agency
that booked Van Morrison, so he sent me out with my guitar to open
his shows solo. Generally it was me, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
and then Van and his band. Strange show, but somehow it seemed to
Early in your career much was made of stage fright or lack of
dependability. A show at Dodger stadium with Elton John and the
Eagles is often sited. Did you cancel shows due to stage fright?
Good Lord, no! I’ve been performing in front of audiences
since I was 12 years old, it’s like breathing to me. Unfortunately,
during my 20’s, I had a set of badly infected tonsils, which
would flare up at the most inopportune times, make me very ill and
force me to cancel concerts. The Dodger Stadium show in Los Angeles
was canceled because I had a 103 degree fever and was unable to
leave Colorado. In 1980 I finally had the tonsils removed which
radically improved my overall health but lowered the pitch of my
voice. To me, it was certainly a worthwhile trade off.
In 1994 you disassociated yourself with your longtime label
Sony/Epic. Was that your doing, Sony’s or was it mutual?
Definitely my doing. I still owed Sony a couple of albums but I
wasn’t comfortable with the amount of attention or promotion
that the "River of Souls" or" The Wild Places"
albums had received. At that time Irving Azoff had formed Giant
Records and since he was my manager and one of my dearest friends,
I felt that I would be better off there. Sony was very gracious
and understanding in allowing me to terminate my contract, and I
still have a very good relationship with the people at Sony who
control and distribute most of my catalogue.
Do you still live in Colorado?
Yes I do. I’ve been a resident of the state since 1975, 8
years in the mountains near Boulder, and over 20 years at my ranch
on the western slope. I'm still quite taken by it’s majesty
and natural beauty.
What music to you listen to?
Mostly Mozart. I rarely listen to popular music, especially pop
music with lyrics. I prefer classical, jazz and Celtic. Although
from time to time I still put on the Beatles.
Who are your favorite singer/songwriters?
I think the 60's and 70's were the" Golden Years" of pop
song writing. The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and
Buffalo Springfield really formed the core of my songwriting style.
Today I’d have to say Sting stands above the rest. I’m
also a huge fan of Randy Newman.
Is it true you were asked to join the Eagles?
No, I was never asked to join the Eagles, I was considered among
many others when they were re-organizing the group before the “On
The Border” album. Don Henley asked if I would be interested,
and after a long discussion I think we both realized that I wouldn’t
be the right choice. They were moving in one direction and I was
heading in another. Eventually Joe Walsh got the job.
How did you meet your wife Jean?
Jean was a life-long professional musician who worked in bands as
well as solo, almost from the same age that I did. When I met her
she was playing guitar and singing at a cafe in Santa Fe. I started
going in on a regular basis, we got to know each other, and eventually
Who did you write "Leader of the Band" for?
"Leader of the Band" was written for my father Lawrence
Fogelberg who was a musician, educator, and band leader. I was so
gratified that I was able to give him that song before he passed
on. In his final years he was interviewed many times by the national
press because of it. He went out in a blaze of glory, which meant
a lot to me and my family.
What do you most enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
I’m an avid snow skier and ocean sailor. My wife and I keep
a home on the coast of Maine and generally spend three or four months
a year there on the water. I love to cook and entertain friends,
I enjoy fine wines and traveling the world.
If you hadn’t become a musician what other profession
might you have pursued?
I started out as a painter, and I hope to return to painting and
photography full-time in the not-too-distant future. I also find
architecture fascinating, and think I could probably be happy as
a beach bum charter boat captain.