When listening to the singer songwriter genre of music the lyrics are the main focus. I was trying to find a sappy song with lyrics I could goof on and the first name that popped in my head was Dan Fogelberg. I know very little of Fogelberg’s work other than his hit song “Longer” so I did some listening and had a Dan Fogelberg marathon on my earbuds. I was hitting the next button for about a half hour of listening until I heard the mother of all lines in one of his songs and I just lost it. Alas I had found the perfect song and it is called “Leader of the Band”. This autobiographical sappy ballad tells the story of a cabinet makers son who’s “hands were made for different work” so he leaves home to be a light rock, dentist office waiting room musician. If you ask me it sounds like he left home because his cabinet maker father spent too much time with Dan in a dark tool shed out in the backyard. The lyrics “thundering velvet hand” implies the power of his father’s love but also sounds like he was gentle man. I’m thinking basically his dad was a power top that had a velvet glove on his left hand as he silenced a young Dan’s mouth and did God knows what with the other hand? This song is typical 70’s singer songwriter dreck that serves as the perfect background music for an assisted suicide. When I hear the song I can visualize a futon mattress on a basement floor, fake pine wood paneling on the walls, and three IV bottles hanging off of a wire coat hanger as a hazy figure stares down at me waiting for me to slip away. If Dan Fogelberg is the leader of the band then I quit! I think James Taylor needs a drummer? This is just my two cents on a three cent matter but “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg strongly qualifies to be the shit song of the week.
Drummer, Writer, Podcaster, Advocate