Kenny Loggins Talks Autobiography, Addiction & That Unexpectedly Iconic ‘Top Gun’ Volleyball Scene

Kenny Loggins Talks Autobiography, Addiction & That Unexpectedly Iconic ‘Top Gun’ Volleyball Scene

Kenny Loggins’ New Autobiography Still good chronicles his entire career, from his days as half of Loggins & Messina to that duo’s revival through the weirder-than-non-fiction satire series hunting rock† And in between, there’s a really thick chapter titled “At the Movies” – because in the 1980s, when Loggins went solo, he was basically the soundtrack GOAT of the decade. “Writing for movies gave me the freedom to write in any style I wanted because I didn’t feel like I had to stick to something I’d done before,” he told Yahoo Entertainment for our Under the Covers series. . “I think I was just naive enough to believe I could sing in any style, so that allowed me to do it.”

Loggins was the first male solo artist to chart four top 10 singles on four different soundtracks — “I’m Alright” by caddyshack“Nobody’s Crazy” by Caddyshack IIthe theme of footlooseand “Danger Zone” from Top Gunthe latter of which is experiencing a revival due to the huge success of its new sequel Top Gun: Maverick. “Obviously I love what’s happening with ‘Danger Zone’ and Top Gun, that suddenly a million streams are being streamed a day, which is amazing. I didn’t feel like it had the kind of showcase that the original did in the first movie, but apparently it did because there’s still a really strong response to it,” Loggins says.

However, there is another classic song and scene from the original Top Gun to this day, this also evokes strong reactions: Loggins’ cult favorite ‘Playing With the Boys’. The upbeat, aerobics-worthy bop scored the film’s (perhaps unintentionally) gay-erotic beach volleyball game featuring a well-oiled, shirtless Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer—a scene that was a sexual awakening for both gay boys and straight girls of the ’80s, and later became parodied on Family manAmerican father!and It’s always sunny in Philadelphia† But amazingly, Loggins never imagined that scene would be a standout moment in Top Gun† In fact, he pitched specifically to write for the volleyball scene because he didn’t think he had a chance to write for the opening scene which eventually featured his other soundtrack contribution, “Danger Zone.”

“My co-producer and I, Peter Wolf – not J. Geils’ Peter Wolf! — we watched a showing of Top Gun† A lot of acts came to different screenings to write music for the film, so I thought the competition would be fierce and plentiful,” explains Loggins. “We got to the volleyball scene and I turned to Peter and said, ‘We have to write for this, because we won’t have a competition!’ It seemed to me that no one would write for the volleyball scene. I saw it as a secondary scene for the movie, just a little fuzzy moment. It was not anticipated that it would take on a life of its own.”

“Playing With the Boys” became an unexpected club hit and a Pride anthem. “Sometimes songs get adopted in ways you never see coming,” says Loggins. “I think lyrically for me, it was a metaphor for the dangers of a relationship: ‘Said it was wrong for me to do/I said it’s just a boys game, but girls play too.’ There’s a line in it about how people get hurt in this kind of game I think that was a message that I’m not going to play that game but apparently that message I wrote in that text has nothing to do with how people use the song to belong!”

Loggins recently reconstructed “Playing With the Boys” with a strange female perspective for Top Gun: Maverick, along with Australian singer-songwriter Butterfly Boucher. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be a big shock to them and it could be a great approach because she’s a rocker.’ Sadly they didn’t use it in the movie but you should check it out if you get the chance – it’s still very much in that ethos of…what we’re celebrating this [Pride] month,” he says.

Another fun fact about Loggins and Top Gun he was far from the first choice to sing “Danger Zone”: Bryan Adams, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon and Mickey Thomas of Starship were among the many in the running for the job. It was Loggins’ work on “Playing With the Boys” that brought him to the attention of “Danger Zone” producer/composer Giorgio Moroder at the last minute – giving Loggins another chance to rock out completely and further distance himself from his 1970s soft rock persona.

“The lawyers had screwed up, and suddenly Giorgio found that he had a song he had to include in the film within three days, which was ‘Danger Zone’ — and no singer for it. And he heard I was working on “Playing With the Boys” in the studio down the street. So he called me and said, ‘Are you interested?’ And I only asked one question, which was, ‘Is it a rocker? Because I need something up-tempo for my show.’ And he assured me it was great,” Loggins recalls. “Two days later I am in Giorgio’s studio and he and I have been working on the melody vocally. My inspiration for my vocal approach was Tina Turner, because I wanted that edgy thing she was developing – her new rock character with that classic R&B voice that had pushed her more in the direction of Rod Stewart. So, when I had to do’daaaaangerrr sunnn“I definitely did my version of Tina.”

Moroder, of course, had just had an Oscar-winning success with the theme of flash danceand shortly after, Loggins wrote the theme for a movie that could be considered flash dance‘s male counterpart: footloose† (Another fun movie fact: Two of Loggins’ reference points for “Footloose” were David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With a Blue Dress On.”) Loggins would actually write a song for flash dancebut like the aforementioned Butterfly Boucher remake of “Playing With the Boys,” that was another rare missed opportunity.

“I’m never really ready” [the proposed Flashdance song]† It was a song I called “No Dancing Allowed” — before I fully realized that [concept] was exactly footloose† Loggins chuckles. Loggins first turned down film producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s offer to write a song flash dance because Bruckheimer’s deadline conflicted with his busy touring schedule; however, when Loggins found himself at home due to a stage injury that derailed his tour, he decided to rethink the idea.

“I took a step too far to the podium on the left and fell off the podium, flipped back in mid-air and hit the packing cases that were on the floor behind us and broke three ribs. I went home and they gave me a lot of painkillers,” Loggins recalls. “And while I was on the painkillers, I suddenly believed I could go into the studio, because I’m not on tour anymore and I feel ‘fine’. So why don’t you just finish the song and go into the studio to write it and record a song for flash dance† I recorded a song and it turned out fine… and then I realized I cut it in a key that was too high for me because I was too damned stoned to think about what key that damn song was in! So it was too high. And after about three days in the studio I realized I was in real pain. I had really broken ribs. I was just a little too Percodan’d. And I just said, ‘Okay, I’ll throw in the towel. I am gone.'”

Credentials flash dance/Percodan incident eventually became a funny anecdote in Still good† But the autobiography — which includes not only his many musical achievements, but the highs and lows of his personal life — more seriously reveals that prescription medication became a real problem for him in 2004, when he went through a painful second divorce and was prescribed benzodiazepines to to calm his nerves. ‘I think such drugs are miracle cures, because they are too good at what they have to do. You know, it just makes everything easy,” he muses.

“My addictions were mainly benzodiazepines, which came from my doctor,” explains Loggins. “He said, ‘You’re going through a rough time. … Take these benzos, but you know, try not to take them for too long.’ I had two little kids, so when it was childhood I wanted to be together And it was hard, you know – I don’t know if you went through… [a divorce]but they can be very, very hard, and the second [from Julia Cooper] was especially difficult for me.” After first, Loggins was able to come off the benzos on his own, but he relapsed after back surgery and “had to go to a clinic in, of all places, Florida”, says the hunting rocker.

“This takes about a week before they go, ‘Yes, you are, you are no longer physically addicted. … And [then] the emotional part of the addiction to kicking in, and also physically to the point where I went five days without sleep. When I first got home, my brain couldn’t shut down,” Loggins reveals. “But the emotional aspect of the benzos, which you initially took it for, that didn’t happen in my life anymore. So as for the trauma of the separation, I could move to a more meditative place to deal with that.”

Loggins, now 74 years old, generally finds himself in a meditative spot these days as he reflects on his life in Still good, which he says was “therapeutic and cathartic” to write. “You know, we have more than one emotion at a time. Take the divorce itself, for example, which is probably one of the worst things – other than the death of a family member or friend – that we humans have to go through. On the one hand I can say, ‘God, that was just the worst moment of my life’, and on the other hand I can also say that it was the most learning experience I’ve had. It taught me a lot about myself and my beliefs. And so, is it a poor moment or a good moment? It is a difficult moment. But looking back, I think I learned the most from my toughest moments.”

Still good coming out June 14th via Hachette Boeken† On July 15 and 16, Loggins and Jim Messina will play their first Hollywood Bowl shows together in 50 yearsfollowed by Loggins closing each night with a solo set of greatest hits including “I’m Alright”, “Danger Zone” and hopefully “Playing with the boys.”

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

Top Gun: Maverick filmmakers on the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, a tribute to the iconic volleyball scene

The Revolution remembers making Prince’ “Purple Rain”: “He frantically told us we were making history”

Maxwell Caulfield on accepting underrated cult classic ‘Grease 2’: ‘I used to be almost an apology for the movie’

· The Tubes’ Fairy Waybill recalls the crazy ‘Xanadu’ scene: ‘What, are you a disco band now?’

Debbie Allen recalls the grittiness of ‘Fame’, 40 years later: ‘It wasn’t a Disney movie’

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