Everybody get Footloose!
Kenny Loggins has worn many mantles in his nearly 40-year career: crack songwriter-for-hire, half of 70s hitmaking duo Loggins & Messina and soundtrack king. But on his latest album, How About Now, Loggins is living for the present.(How About Now) was the title of the first song that I wrote for the record its sort of my marching anthem, he said. You say to yourself in times of struggle, things are going to get better, Im going to get better soon. Well, the response internally is, how about now? It has to do with that emotional center on the record.The record came on the heels of a reunion tour with Jim Messina, which encouraged Loggins to start writing on acoustic guitar again after years of writing on piano and keyboard.Id been collaborating with keyboard players with more of an R&B style, but after Messina, I got back into that approach where Im writing on acoustic guitar, Loggins said. I started writing with these guitar players which took me to Nashville. It put a whole different feeling into the record. Its maybe more of a Loggins & Messina sounding record, rather than like, say, Leap of Faith.After years as a successful solo and duo performer, Loggins appreciated his reunion with Messina but he still enjoys his freedom as a solo star.It was really fun being on the road with Jimmy, but I love doing my own thing, he said. Im lucky to get to be my own boss and play music I want to play. We did about 40 shows together, which was about right. Thats music that I wrote as an 18-year old; times have changed.As if scores of platinum records and an enduring fanbase werent proof enough of Loggins long-term success, he was also inducted into Hollywoods Rockwalk of Fame.I think it was more surreal than anything else (my name is in front of) a guitar store I used to go get supplies from, he said. Making it on the Rockwalk was an interesting milestone on a career level; its a circle being completed, and an interesting way to revisit my childhood. Its just a reminder of the road that Ive been on for such a long time.
Loggins has maintained a strong pop cultural presence, even while his songs have gone on to top the Adult Contemporary charts. Loggins songs have been featured in recent episodes of both The Office and Family Guy.Im grateful, even if (my music) is lampooned, he said. It keeps the name out there, and it helps keep me working.Much of Loggins permanency can be attributed to his soundtrack work; when the subject is even brought up, an impromptu debate erupts in the office about whether Loggins ultimate soundtrack song is Danger Zone from Top Gun, Im Alright from Caddyshack or the title song from Footloose.A couple of those songs were written specifically for the movies, like Footloose and Im Free, Loggins said. Both of those songs were being pitched as they were writing the screenplay; we didnt even have visuals to write to.Other movies matched themselves to melodies and music already floating in Loggins head.I had another piece of melody floating when I saw the movie Caddyshack, he said. And I thought that melody was perfect. I wrote the words and rest of the melody until it got to Caddyshack and became Im Alright.Caddyshack, Top Gun and Footloose became touchstones for a generation, and Loggins songs maintain a timeless aural connection that will probably never be lost.Theres something about the power each medium brings to the other that keeps it classic, he said. Caddyshack, Footloose, Top Gun those are three (movies) in a row that mark the time period. Those movies are heavily seen, and it helps the song stay alive. Im lucky. Arts & Entertainment Writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or email@example.com.