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One-On-One with Kenny Loggins

By Nick McCabe

The Silver Legacy is bringing Kenny Loggins to the Reno Ballroom December 30th, 2018. In advance of the show, I spoke with Kenny to find out a little about what we’ll see and hear. We spoke for about a half hour on Friday morning. Here’s some of that conversation:

I mentioned that I had covered his last show here in 2014 when he had his other band, Blue Sky Riders open the show. He liked that and shared with me that they had not played together in a couple years, but were looking at doing a reunion in the near future in New York.

As far as his band that he’s bringing to town, it is a full band with three guitarists (including him), drums, bass, and keyboards. The set list will be made up of hits from his entire career going all the way back to “Danny’s Song”, and including hits like “Angry Eyes”, “Danger Zone” and much more.

With “Danger Zone” being written for Top Gun I asked him if he is doing anything for the new Top Gun movie. From his response it sounds like the subject is in discussion, but nothing has been determined yet. While on the subject of movie scores, I asked him if the writing process was different when writing for a film versus writing for himself?

“Oh yeah, in a movie you’re writing for an emotional moment that’s delivered to you,” he said. “Whatever is going on, on the screen is what you are trying to enhance with song, and when I’m writing for my own record I’m writing about my own life and reality and my own perceptions of things in my life. I’m a very autobiographical writer.

Usually they show me a rough cut of the scene. For Caddy Shack they showed me a cut that did not have the gopher in it yet, so I didn’t know what would be dancing there. John (Mandel) told me there would be a gopher puppet there dancing. I thought that sounded pretty stupid. It turned out that the whole movie was pretty funny.”

We talked about ‘hurdles’ early in his career.

“Launching my solo career after Loggins and Messina ended was difficult. There was no market for Kenny Loggins.  Then I got to open for Fleetwood Mac, and meeting them made a huge difference. When Stevie and I sang “Whenever I Call You Friend that was an important launching pad for me as a performing artist. Then “Celebrate Me Home” with Michael McDonald was another huge quantum leap for me.

NM: What is your earliest musical memory?

KL:“Good question! My older brother, Dan was a singer / guitar player, and he taught me “Down By The Old Mill Stream”. That was my beginning in learning to sing, and that’s also when I learned to harmonize. After school I would sneak into his room and take his 45s and listen to them. That’s when I discovered Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, The Platters, Little Richard… That was the beginning of rock and roll. That’s what I cut my teeth on. Then I had to get my brothers records back before he got home or he would beat me up (laughs).

NM: Tell me about your cause, Unity Shoppe.

KL: “We do a telethon every year. The Unity Shoppe is something I started with over 30 years ago in Santa Barbara that feeds people in need. We have a disaster relief fund that came in very handy this past year with all the fires and mud slides we had. [For example] if your house burned down you could come in and get whatever you need, including food. You can pick out exactly what you need for your family until you can get back on your feet.”


We finished up with a few quickie questions.

Favorite hobby?

“Pickleball! It’s a new racquet sport that’s kind of a cross between ping pong and tennis. It is the fastest growing sport in America.”

Favorite cocktail?

“A Manhattan.”

Favorite vacation?

“Jalisco, Mexico”

Someplace you’ve never been, but would like to go.

“Bali, Indonesia”

Any regrets?

KL: (laughs) “Tons of them! And they all have women’s names.”

Ticket Information: https://www.silverlegacyreno.com/event/shows/kenny-loggins


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