Lace-trimmed memories of Dan Fogelberg.

By Tom Doherty


Spokane, Washington, 1972.

At the ticket turnstile, right behind the guy who tears the tickets, is a guy selling LSD, like it's part of the official service.

"LSD?" he asks me.

A little taken aback, I say, "No," and he looks at me dumbfounded, like I am the only guy in the whole line who has not said yes.

"What's a Jethro Tull concert without acid?" he asks.

Anyway, the show is 40 minutes late and everyone has timed their drugs for Tull -- and finally, out walks Dan Fogelberg, with nothing but his acoustic guitar and soft-rock sensitivity. I have never seen a concert crowd be so brutal to a performer. They shout vicious catcalls, they boo, they throw stuff -- they basically force the guy offstage before he can complete two songs.

Next up are the Eagles, who are just moving up the charts with "Take It Easy" -- I think this was their first tour. They do "Take It Easy" and another electric-guitar rocker, and the crowd is mollified. Then they take up their acoustic guitars, and the crowd turns real ugly immediately. Unperturbed, they do "Peaceful Easy Feeling" -- the first time any of us have heard the tune -- and even the Tull crowd is soothed, pacified, mellowed. The girl next to me, also straight -- not my date unfortunately but the guy she came with is utterly stoned -- says to me, "These guys are going to be BIG."

That's my Dan Fogelberg memory.

Comments (1)

Greg Burk:
I have few memories of that summer, because I got amnesia after falling off Tom Doherty's shoulders and hit my head while trying to change a light bulb. We were living with a bunch of guys in a decrepit condemned house in Spokane, and listening to Exile on Main Street. We were not very sensitive. I saw the same concert in Seattle, and all I can recall is that Jethro Tull's Martin Barre played the loudest guitar solo I have ever heard. Thomas Doherty is the author of several fine books on film, including the new "Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen & the Production Code Administration."