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Kenny Loggins Singer/Songwriter
Kenny Loggins has reached every generation out there. His songs have covered the 1970's with Loggins & Messina
and his songs from the biggest movies of the 1980's hit the next decade of kids. His "Return to Pooh Corner" album is the
biggest selling childrens album of all time. Kenny Loggins music has been different things to all ages of people so to
sit down and talk with Kenny Loggins before his concert in Orange Park, FL was pretty special.
Q. You’ve been in music for over 30 years…when you were a kid growing up- did you want to be a musician? And what sort of inspired you?
A. Well, I had two big brothers and they were both really into music but really my brother Danny who’s 4 years older than me and he collected records back then and would turn me on to all the new music and so that
Probably started at about 6 yrs old. He was always inundating me on rock and roll and that was the beginning of my education of what was fun and cool and musically, I was way ahead of the other 5 year olds and one thing led to another and the next thing I know I was learning to play the guitar and that was about 9th or 10th grade and that just led to performing. But I never really thought of it as a career until my second year of college when people started to pay me to do it. It just sort of became a career and I just kept going.
Q. All kids have obstacles they have to overcome, When you were a kid what was difficult for you and how did you overcome it?
A. Well, ..braces, I would say that’s how I overcame it. I had bucked teeth even up through high school and that was a bit of an obstacle, but not a big one, it just made me very shy and that’s the real answer to your question is I was always a very shy kid and when you become a singer and perform you have to overcome that shyness and get up on stage in front of people and I found that that was the place I felt I was really comfortable for me and I discovered that I had a good voice and I could use it when I sang. I meet people I normally wouldn’t so it became sort of my passport out of shyness.
Q. When I Talked to performers their favorite songs seem to be the ones that people or fans really love the most..Is that with you too? And what’s your favorite?
A. You know songs like “Footloose” or “I’m All Right” can be favorite songs
For me because the people love them so much and to me, “Footloose” is like an old time rock and roll song - it’s just a fun song but I also have favorite songs that I can connect with that are personally, that matter more to me in the history of my life or it could matter to anybody who adopts a song that’s the theme song .. That’s going on in their lives. A song like “The Real Thing” or “Conviction Of the Heart” that came from an album called “Leap of Faith and those would be some of my favorite songs as well. And I just started writing with some writers in Nashville and we sat down and wrote some new tunes and they are my favorites now so I’m very fickle. That way, my newest song is usually my favorite song.
Q. You were a guest judge on American Idol. Was it tough being a judge?
And could you feel the singers fear or excitement? Are you watching this
A. It was tough only that it was a two day job and a lot of the people that came to audition were really horrible so the hard part is how to tell them how horrible they are without being so rude. Simon was an expert on being rude but I didn’t think that was my job you know, so most of the time I would try to tell someone that they weren’t good in the kindest way possible - that is
Sometimes draining. But Simon felt that it was his job to derail people who were delusining themselves into thinking that they could have an easy ticket to stardom and were using that idea as a way to evade their lives. And he sort of had this idea in his mind that he was doing them a favor by figuratively “slapping them in the face” and saying “wake up you don’t belong in show biz - go get a job,” and I think in most cases I agreed with him. I thought that 90% of the time he was really doing that person a favor by getting them to face reality. But I’m not watching this season.
Q. In your Cd “All Join In” and the videos[from the songs for this cd], your
Kids are a part of that project so working with Kenny Loggins (the parent)
What do you think is the coolest thing about their dad and what do you think they’d say is the uncoolest or craziest thing about their dad?
A. I wish you could interview my kids (laughing), but all my kids sang on the
Record called “All Join In” and it’s not out yet. We have it on the website for a while but right now it’s on Disney’s shelf and Disney records but it will be coming out. My daughter Hana sang on it when she was 11 and she’s now 13 and it was a real joy for me. It was the first professional singing she’d done and all of her friends from drama class came and sang with her, so they were all very excited to be in a recording studio. They have never been in a recording studio before and you can feel their excitement in the record and Hana and I just love singing together and luckily I’m not so uncool..but even at 13, she likes to sing with me so we try to do a lot of that. And my daughter Bella is 23 and I’m very uncool to her so she never sings with me. I try to send her the tapes and let her sing her parts. She lives in NY and she will sing her part in a studio in NY and I just don’t get in the way.
Q. What do you tell your kids - since they’re in music now? What advice do you give them for being happy and successful in life?
A. The most important advice is to follow your heart…you do what feels fun…it should feel like this is the place I want to go and you get excited about this ..this feels to me (and as you may know).. doors open they fill your excitement and good things just happen. When you’re a parent you need to nuture the talents of all your kids and all of my kids, I need to help them get even better at what they are naturally good at. So like Hana, she has a good pitch. She’s a natural dancer. So it’s my job to help her get piano lessons…
to help those talents and let them grow into what can lead her somewhere really wonderful so if she wants to lead in “Footloose” [the broadway show],
when it shows up in town and she auditions for it, she’ll have a better chance at it and that’s the same with all my children or whatever way they want to go. My son Luke is 17 & he’s a baseball player and so all his life I’ve helped pave the way to take the natural talents he had for baseball and give him baseball lessons & help him with special workouts so he gets big and strong.
Q. You do a super job with kid songs. Jack Johnson did the Curious George
Songs and told me after his tour he might do some kid songs again and
Matisyahu did a kid Reggae song on a Disney album and you do cool kid songs- have you ever thought of putting a cd together [with them]?
A. Actually I’m thinking about putting together a festival…we’re aiming at green parenting and environmentally aware parenting..non-toxic parenting and bringing music to the core center of that. And I would love to bring Jack Johnson on that and Matisyahu - who I’ve worked with…he’s a great guy. My goal is to get artists in the adult market and who have shifted left for a minute and have made a childrens album, to all come together in a festival organization that’s surrounded with information about how new parents can green their home and green their lifestyle to become more environmentally friendly.
Q . Plans
A. Actually I’m writing and recording as part of a trio. Her name is Georgia Middleman and his name is Gary Burr and we’re doing sort of a country rock thing and we call ourselves “Blue Sky Riders” and we’ve written half the record now and pretty soon we’ll start recording it and it’s very exciting to be starting a new band!
Besides working in Nashville with his new band, Kenny Loggins is also currently touring across the world (He’s touring nationally until May when he’s performing in Phillapeans and Singapore). It was great talking to him because he’s really great around kids and his touring group were super nice too.
To be performing for so long and have so many successful songs for each decade, and so many awards for songs and songwriting, I’m sure he’s considered a legend. But as we’re sitting in the room backstage, and he’s wearing a plaid shirt, eating a doughnut, talking about his kids…can I call him a pretty cool legend?