Peoria Haunts Me

Written by | November 21, 2012 0:14 am | 4 responses

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Richard Pryor grew up in a brothel in Peoria, Illinois.  Dan Fogelberg grew up in the same city, the son of a high school band director.  They probably never hung out together.

Fogelberg graduated from Woodruff High School in 1969 and released his first album in 1972.  He had his first taste of success in 1974 with the Joe Walsh (yes, JOE WALSH!) produced album Souvenirs, which included the Top 40 hit “Part of the Plan.” By Christmas Eve of 1976, our man Dan had three albums under his belt and on that day he was sent by his family to pick up whipping cream.  He ran into his high school hot pants (Jill Greulich, nee Anderson) and they reminisced in a convenience store parking lot while knocking back a few beers. 

Dan’s career picked up momentum in the next few years, releasing the Twin Sons of Different Mothers album with Tim Weisberg and going to number 2 on the pop charts with “Longer” in 1980, a song that is the aural equivalent of mainlining Karo syrup. 

And now that I’ve stumbled into the fourth paragraph of this rambling, I should note that I always passionately despised Fogelberg’s music.  His attempted poignancy sounded like morose self-pity.  His albums should have been released by Kleenex.  I always wanted to punch Fogelberg in the larynx when I heard his tormenting high pitched whining and he ruined that fun for me by requiring throat surgery and losing the upper end of his singing voice.  He knew how to get even with me.

And now it’s time for Christmas music and our annual trip back to the Short Stop Food Mart in Peoria.  For some inexplicable reason, “Same Old Lang Syne,” Dan and Jill’s six pack tune, has become a staple of holiday music programming.  Jill later admitted a few inaccuracies in the song.  Her eyes aren’t blue and her then husband was a phys ed teacher, not an architect.  She had dumped him by the time the song was released in 1980. 

So I will spend the last six weeks of this year like I do every year, hearing “Same Old Lang Syne” countless times on commercial holiday music stations.  Dan Fogelberg passed away from prostate cancer in 2007, yet will most likely taunt me from the grave every holiday season for the rest of my life.  Nobody gets the last laugh on Dan Fogelberg.

And the snow turned into rain.

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