By Lisa Morgan
He answered his phone and brightly greeted me with a warm, “Good morning!” as he fed his 6.5-year-old “puppy,” a Cavalier King Charles, and poured himself “much need” cup of coffee. Kenny Loggins, the proud owner of 12 platinum albums, a pair of Grammys, and hits on nearly every Billboard chart across the last five decades, is quite possibly one of the most authentically down to earth individuals I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.
He patiently allowed me to recap his accomplishments as I led up to a burning question: “Did you think in the early days that you’d be doing this for this long and continue to be relevant?”
“No,” he answered immediately. “The first lecture I got from my first business manager was, ‘Pop artists have a 3 to 4-year life span – five if they’re lucky, so we’re going to put your money in safe places…’ bla bla bla… so no, I never expected a long career like this. It’s an anomaly.”
CVW: You’ve been described across the decades as ‘funky folk punk’ when you were with your first band, Second Helping in ‘77, and ‘soft rock’ during the time Barbara Streisand came onto the scene with A Star is Born and sang your song, ‘I Believe in Love,’ and ‘jazz infected rock’ in late 70s…. where did you learn to be so versatile?
Kenny Loggins: “It was just instinctive. My writing changed dramatically between ‘75-‘76. I started learning new chords and writing with different voicings and it was as surprising to me as much as it was to (Jim) Messina and the rest of the world.”
CVW: Did you ever consider an alternate career?
KL: “Fortunately, I must say, I never had to for long. However, when I turned 50, just after my birthday, I got a call from Columbia Records and they dropped me from the label. At that moment, I was half way through making a record and I realized that this career wasn’t going to go on forever and maybe I should think about something else. I entertained that idea for a while and I went a little crazy and finally came back to making music for my living. I made a record called It’s About Time, that I self-released, but the record business was nowhere ready for self-releases back then. That record basically disappeared. But the year I turned 50 was a real rude awakening about who I am in the world and what I should be doing. It’s been a continuous lesson in letting go since then.”
CVW: Have the changes in the industry helped you in the second half of your career?
KL: “I don’t know if it’s helped or not. I’ve never really been an internet artist. I think that the way information is disseminated now is just… well, I have to say, luck is more to blame than the digital age. Most people get run over by the digital age. It’s hard to keep up and compete. You have to hire people to keep you viable on the internet because it just takes all your time. My son quit at 29 years old; he was actively doing it for 5 years and he just couldn’t keep up with it. It just didn’t work. Young artists especially are faced with music being stolen basically from various website that allow music to be taken for free. It’s hard to compete when nobody has to pay for your music – I mean, how do you make a living?”
CVW: I loved seeing your band, Blue Sky Riders, at Stagecoach! Will we be hearing more from that project?
KL: “We have pretty much let it go. We’ve all got ‘day jobs’ so to speak. We finished our record and added a couple of bonus things. I’m currently negotiating with BMG for a Kenny Loggins deal that will also include the release of the Blue Sky Riders record as soon as we figure out what form that will be in – maybe taking the first two records and coming out with a ‘best-of’, so I’m not exactly sure what will happen there. I’m just finishing up a record that I’m calling Night Songs. I hope that will be coming out in about the third quarter of this year. I’ve thought of it as a follow up to Return to Poo Corner.”
Fans will be overjoyed to know that Loggins’ April 7th show at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino will be a ‘hits’ show. “I’ll cover everything from the days of Loggins and Messina through my solo career. By the end of the show we hope we get them up and dancing….I feel very lucky that this is the way I make my living, and not a lot of people can say that,” Loggins says. “I’ve been lucky that I love what I do and I get to keep doing it.”
Tickets for the 8pm Kenny Loggins performance on Friday, April 7, 2017 are $69, $49 and $39 at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, via telephone (800) 827-2946 or online at www.FantasySpringsResort.com.