What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Leader of the Band November 14, 2015

Hello everyone! Chris here once again. Megan has a full schedule over the next week-and-a-half what with rehearsals for the musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life and performances of Fancy Nancy, and as I just opened the show I was working on last night, I told her that I would love to do a post on her blog and give her some more time to focus on the shows.

The show that I just opened is Plaid Tidings, the holiday followup to the original Forever Plaid, a story of four young men who come back from heaven to perform the show they never got to in life. The show is truly wonderful, and I have the pleasure of getting to play piano for it onstage every night. This is the first show that I’ve ever played without also singing, and it has been a truly stressful yet rewarding challenge getting the show open. All that aside, one of my bassists was introducing me to his girlfriend last night and referred to me as the “band leader.”

I actually freaked out a little. I had never been referred to as a “band leader.” It sounded way too important a role for me to be taking on.

He saw the somewhat panicked look on my face and said, “Well, I mean, I look at you for entrances and other cues, so, yeah, you’re the band leader.”

And a song started playing in my head. I don’t know how many of you know this, but I grew up being a little obsessed with the music of Dan Fogelberg. And “Leader of the Band” is one of my all time favorites. It’s one of the two of his songs that I know how to play on the guitar. Dan was a legend, yet in that song he refers to himself as “just a living legacy to the leader of the band (his father).”

I don’t know why this struck such a chord with me, but it did. Dan has long been an inspiration to me. And I am so very grateful to my dad for introducing me to Dan’s music at such an early age. And I have to admit that even though I have spent much more of my life immersed in music than my dad was ever able to, I still find myself looking up to him as a songwriter, even after having written a musical. There’s just a solemn joy to his songs that I’ve never been able to capture.

I say all of that to say this. A huge thanks to Dan and to Dad. Without your music, I wouldn’t be doing what I do for a living, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.


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