Every story, no matter how beautiful, has an ending, and the story of England Dan Seals, the squatter half of England Dan and John Ford Coley, ended the other day in Nashville Tennessee, where the "Man in the Horrible Green Leisure Suit" succumbed to lymphoma. He was 61.
How can we say enough about ED & JFC? We saw them hit their smooth groove live, back in '76, at some theme park or another, and we knew right then we were in the presence of greatness. They were reeling in the success of soft-rock highwater mark "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight", and to see them in person, with their terrible hair and even more terrible mustaches, was to have an experience you'd never forget, at least not without therapy.
They had other hits, but not for us. When they sang, "there's a warm wind blowin' the stars around" we knew what they meant; they meant our youth would go on forever. Well they lied, or we misunderstood, but the point is that from that moment forward the two least-likely looking pop stars in the entire universe, who should never have put their faces on their own album covers but did it anyway, always held a special, if awful, place in our heart.
England Dan went on to a successful country career, but who cares? Mainstream country is an idiot's business. ED was slumming, but still we were happy for him, because (a) he looked better in a beard and cowboy hat than he did in leisure wear and (b) he would always be England Dan, and not Dan Seals, to us.
We don't know where John Ford Coley is tonight, but all three of his names must be hurting. We're all hurting. England Dan, you weren't talking 'bout moving in, and you didn't want to change our lives, but you did it all the same.
Rest in peace, friend.
Mrs UF: "He looks like the dog on the Muppet Show"