Kenny Logginswriting his memoirs was “a cross between treatment and sedimentation.”
The book, which came out this month, challenges him to recall tales of his overly fertile music career: as a popular pop singer with Jim Messina in the ’70s, an undeniable czar of ’80s movie soundtracks, a thoughtful ’90s environmental advocate and yacht rock champion from today.
But “I’m Still Well” (Hachette, 304 pages), co-written with Jason Turbo, isn’t just a musical account of the man. Famous for ‘The Freestyle’ Because it’s “Danny’s song” and forever “House at Pooh Corner.”
Tales of drug abuse and salty language throughout are the inverse of Loggins’ image of contemporary soft-jacket sports. He jokes to USA TODAY that he hopes to spread that impression with satirical looks The The TV animated series “Archer” and “Family Guy” for the past decade.
To promote the book, which began writing in late 2020, Loggins will walk into a few West Coast bookstores this month to sign. And on July 15-16, he will do it Play Hollywood Bowl With Messina on the duo’s 50th anniversary, which Loggins confirms will be the last time they play together.
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“Hard to believe from where I’m sitting – how did I become this old?” Loggins, 74, asks rhetorically. “It happens very quickly when you look back.”
In a recent interview, the musician frankly explained some of the themes of his book – Michael MacDonald “Top Gun” – Explanation of His Philosophy for Great Memoirs:
QUESTION: So it looks like the “Top Gun” sequel is popular. What is your reaction to the renewed interest in the “danger zone”?
Kenny Loggins: The word amazed is appropriate. We knew something big was going to happen (with the new movie), but it’s just way more than any of us can imagine. When Tom (Cruz) told me he wanted to use the song (in the sequel), I was skeptical at first because he’s such a nice guy and generous with everyone, so I thought he might be nice. But he meant it sincerely, and said, “Top Gun wouldn’t be ‘Top Gun’ without ‘Danger Zone’.”
Q: Are you satisfied with the diary, now that you’re out?
Logins: I was very careful to tell the truth, but in a way that people wouldn’t get angry at me. I didn’t want Jimmy (Mesina) to go, “(expletive) you,” and my ex-wives, I let them read their chapters before applying (that).
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Q: In the closing word, you noticed that you didn’t really want to write that part of the book because it felt like something was coming to an end.
Logins: I feel like I’ve turned the page and I’m ready to get into a more creative activity. Like a lot of people, 2020 has taken the wind off my sails with nowhere to go, no audience. (My girlfriend) Lisa (Hawkins) We were riding e-bikes, and my search was to find different donut shops. You won COVID 10 (pounds)! I stopped moving in a creative direction, feeling the difference emotionally and mentally. I want to write a little at least once a week. Something happens to the brain when you’re in a creative space and without it I feel sad.
Q: You wrote a lot in the book about your partnership with Michael MacDonald. What is your relationship like now?
Logins: We are still good friends and appreciate the history we made, which is OK for the rocky yachting thing. We performed at the Hollywood Bowl (in 2018) and there were a lot of yacht hats in the audience, and that’s okay. It kind of defined the things we were doing in a way that we valued.
Q: Do you feel that Michael was – and may still be – your musical companion?
Logins: I think in some ways, yes, I’ll give you that. It might be overly dramatic, but we’re definitely (sympatico) a musician. Every time we get together, we write something musical that we wouldn’t have done alone. I can’t explain it, but I think we didn’t really take our chances in the ’80s. I wish we wrote 100 songs and let 80 of them suck. When there is chemistry in there, don’t waste it.
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Q: Fans will be interested to know that “This Is It” stemmed from a conversation you had with your dad before he underwent surgery.
Logins: Michael and I initially thought This Is It was just a love song. But this muse, the bridge between Michael and Kenny, is the third entity in the room, and this entity insisted that the song be more than that. Once I had that conversation with my dad and brought up the line “You have a choice about how it goes” to Michael, it just fell out of us.
Q: Did something frustrate you while writing the book?
Logins: I rewrote a lot of what Jason got from my interview. I tell him, you’re using proper grammar and I’m not talking like that! I’ve read Mary Carr’s book (“The Art of Memoir”) and really got the idea that voice should be unique and that stories should define the way I’m going to tell my friends at a dinner party. This is how Jason has worked so well together – he was putting stories up in the air and putting my exclamations and acceptances… I just finished my audiobook a couple of weeks ago, and it was harder than I expected. I would go to my iPad and color different words for degrees of reflection. You tend to go to autopilot and then you Not It looks like the person at the dinner party.
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