Dan Fogelberg has only one analogy for fame and fortune: Just imagine being in the eye of a hurricane.
At the height of his popularity more than 10 years ago, the pop troubadour was nearly swept away by the storm.
“It really does pick you up and carries you a while,” Fogelberg said in a recent phone interview from his Colorado home. “I don’t think I was entirely too successful at not succumbing to it. I fell into the classic traps – the women, the drugs and alcohol. It ruined my first marriage.
“Fame takes you and throws you around a lot. I like the fact now that I’m in control of my life, that my relationships are solid. That’s more important than having that hurricane raging around you.”
Fogelberg has had a loyal audience ever since his national breakthrough 20 years ago with the hit single “Part of the Plan” and on through seven straight platinum-selling albums and Top-10 hits like “Longer,” “Same Old Lang Syne” and “Leader of the Band.”
Make no mistake, he’s grateful for it.
“You know, a lot of people go through the hurricane and it drops you and you’re done,” he said. “Because I have survived, now I can continue my career as long as I want to, which is wonderful and rare in this business.”
There’s a tinge of rejuvenation in Fogelberg’s voice as he talks about his split from longtime label Epic and his recent signing with Giant Records, teaming him with his former manager, Irving Azoff (now president of Giant).
“Epic and I had a wonderful relationship for a long period of time,” Fogelberg said, “and we sold a hell of a lot of records, but it was time to move on. I felt their interest waning and I felt I wasn’t getting the attention that I deserved the last couple of records.
“And creatively, I wanted to go out on a limb more and they wanted me to go more mainstream. It’s great now to be working with Irving, who’s one of my best friends. It’s great to have such a great dialogue.”
Part of the plan now is Fogelberg’s reunion with flutist Tim Weisberg on a sequel to their 1978 collaboration, “Twin Sons of Different Mothers.” The untitled album is due in September.
“I was ready to do another solo album,” Fogelberg said, “but this thing seemed to fall out of nowhere. I had written a bunch of instrumental pieces and thought, ‘Well, if I do decide to record these things, Tim would sound great on this.’ After I had about two or three more songs, I started thinking I might have a possibility for another ‘Twin Sons’ record.”
Today, Fogelberg measures his success by the quality of his work, not by sales.
“For me, it’s really about the music. Everybody in this business has ups and downs. I can’t measure it financially because I don’t think that’s the point.
“I’m very fortunate that I don’t have the type of hysteria I had 10 years ago. It’s almost a relief. My life has calmed down quite a bit, and I really prefer it that way.”
BWF (before we forget): The Fogelberg discography – “Home Free” (Columbia, 1972); “Souvenirs” (Full Moon/Epic, 1974); “Captured Angel” (1975); “Nether Lands” (1977); “Twin Sons of Different Mothers” (1978); “Phoenix” (1979); “The Innocent Age” (1981); “Greatest Hits” (1982); “Windows and Walls” (1984); “High Country Snows” (1985); “Exiles” (1987); “The Wild Places” (1990); “Dan Fogelberg Live: Greetings From the West” (1991); “River of Souls” (1993); “Portrait: The Music of Dan Fogelberg, 1972-1997” box set (Legacy, 1997).
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