Interview: Kenny Loggins


By any measure, Kenny Loggins has had an amazing career in music. Early success came from his partnership with Jim Messina as the duo Loggins & Messina, which gave us songs including “Danny’s Song”, “House at Pooh Corner”, and “Your Mama Don’t Dance”.

Loggins went on to become the King of the Movie Soundtrack with songs like “I’m Alright” (from Caddyshack), “Footloose” (from Footloose), “Danger Zone” (from Top Gun), “Meet Me Half Way” (from Over the Top), and “Nobody’s Fool” (from Caddyshack II). He also co-wrote the hits “This Is It” and “What a Fool Believes” with Michael McDonald, and had other hits including “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend'” with Stevie Nicks and “Don’t Fight It” with Steve Perry.

This interview was for a preview article for a concert by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald on 1/18/15 at SOhO in Santa Barbara. It was done by email, with answers received on 1/13/15.

Jeff Moehlis: This show is in support of SOhO. Do you have a favorite SOhO moment, either onstage or while in the audience?

Kenny Loggins: About two years ago my kids decided to be a rap band. Crosby, my oldest, had a solo career for a while as a singer-songwriter on Jive Records, but decided to play the bass in the Fam Band, or as Cody my second son called it, “The Loggi.” Crosby’s wife, Brooke, was on keyboards. My daughter Bella was a on drums (she’s been playing drums and she was nine years old, and is a music major from Wesleyan College). My sons Luke and Cody were rapping.

After they played their set, to everyone’s surprise my 14-year-old daughter, Hana, got up to play piano and sang one of her songs! It was a night I’ll never forget.

JM: You and Michael McDonald have written some great songs together. How did you two first meet and start working together?

KL: Michael and I met in the late 70’s after the Doobie Brothers released Livin’ on the Fault Line. We were looking for each other in order to collaborate on songwriting. The first song we wrote together was “What a Fool Believes”. We’ve been friends ever since.

JM: Going further back, Jim Messina told me that when he was first supposed to hear your songs, you showed up at his place without a tape of the songs or a decent guitar to play. What do you remember about that initial meeting?

KL: That’s true. At that time I only played my songs live. I did have an acoustic guitar with me, but it was truly a piece of shit. I think it was a Kay.

I made my living as a songwriter, and only recently decided to try for making a record of my own. I had sent my songs to the Moody Blues, to audition for a record deal for the newly created Threshold Records. They passed.

JM: You’ve lived in Santa Barbara for several decades now. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?

KL: I originally came as an escape from L.A. in 1971. I stayed with my longtime friend, Doug Inglesby, in a house on the Riviera. That’s where I fell in love with Santa Barbara and knew someday I’d have to live here.

I rented homes here for years, but didn’t buy until the late 80’s. The first house I bought was Sam Battistone’s octagonal redwood home on Padaro Lane.

JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring songwriter/musician?

KL: If you can quit, do it. This is an impossible business to make a living at.


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