A recent Facebook post by a photographer friend of mine has got the hamsters on the treadmill in my brain running at full speed. My friend described attending a concert put on by Dan Fogelberg and how much he enjoyed the 2 hour acoustic show and the 45 minute electric encore.
Reading the post, my mind started travelling down 2 different paths at once. On one hand I started thinking of what a major impact music has had and still has on my life. And I thought of all the wonderful concerts I’ve been to…From 4th grade when I learned trumpet and played in the school band, through getting my first guitar and playing in several “garage” bands at roller rinks around Wichita in my teens, to now when I pick up one of my guitars and play for a few minutes almost every day of my life, Music, more specifically Rock’N’Roll, has been a driving force of my existence.
During my rock star years in Wichita I went to every concert I could. The first major act I saw live was the Beach Boys. Others followed…The Grass Roots, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Neil Diamond, The Association and others. After high school when we moved to Seattle I saw the Youngbloods, The Guess Who, The Box Tops, and more. I saw Jethro Tull in Vancouver, BC, and Edgar Winter’s White Trash at the Paramount in Seattle. In the summer of 1968 I saw a band called Buffalo Springfield at Tiffany’s Roller Rink south of Seattle. I think for that show the cover was about $5. Amazing…
Moving back to Denver I saw Joe Walsh before the Eagles and Tommy Bolin before he got famous. At small clubs I saw Billy Joel, Robin Trower (of Procol Harum), John Cougar (before he added his last name), and Loggins and Messina (Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield, remember them?) on the same bill with Jessie Colin Young (Youngbloods) and Dave Mason. Later I saw the Eagles twice and too many bar bands to mention. In short, I LOVE live music and loud guitars.
But then there’s the other path my mind went down which brings us back to Dan Fogelberg. Dan was an amazingly talented artist and I enjoyed tremendously his early work. He hung around Nederland for a while and had most of the members of the Eagles as backup musicians and vocalists on a couple of his albums. At this point I’m reminded of the Billy Joel song “Only the Good Die Young.” Dan Fogelberg was taken from us many decades too early. 4 years ago he died of advanced prostate cancer at age 56. This year he would have been 60, the same age as me and to carry it one step further, I also have prostate cancer.
I’m lucky that mine was detected early on and treated. Dan was not s o lucky. And now this is my soapbox. I rarely get behind causes but this one is particularly close to home. If you have never before and if you never again contact your elected representatives, please do so now. A study group which advises Congress has determined that “healthy” men have no need to have their PSA levels checked, holding that it’s an unnecessary expense for insurance companies. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth.
My cancer was discovered as a result of PSA screening. As I said, it was caught early and I’m confident that upon my next checkup I’ll be cancer free but if we allow insurance companies to stop covering PSA screenings, many others will not be so fortunate. So please, please, contact your congressmen and senators and let’s show them the error of their ways. And while you’re at it, pick up a Dan Fogelberg CD. I think you’ll like it.