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Kenny Loggins heads to Peekskill, picks Bill Murray's 'best moment'
When Kenny Loggins performs in Peekskill tonight, his set is likely to include hits that are forever associated with some of the most iconic movies of the ‘80s.
After a successful career as half of the duo Loggins and Messina, and winning a Grammy for co-writing the Doobie Bros. smash hit “What a Fool Believes,” Loggins wrote a string of movie-friendly hits, including “I’m Alright” for the wacky comedy “Caddyshack” (1980), “Footloose” for the appropriately named “Footloose” (1984) and “Danger Zone” for the top-flight drama “Top Gun” (1986).
When I chatted with him last week, Loggins told me that timing had a lot to do with his movie-industry success.
“I think I got in on the pop-music craze in the movies in the ‘80s,” said Loggins, 64. “I don’t think they really exploited pop music until that point. I just lucked into three movies that would become cult classics, you know?”
But which of those three movies is his favorite? After a brief pause, he picked the one featuring two comedians who call the Hudson Valley home: "Caddyshack."
“It came at a time where [Westchester County resident] Chevy Chase, [Rockland resident] Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield were all at the top of their game, and it’s a perfect storm for those comedians," Loggins said. "And, of course, you’ve got the National Lampoon people who are doing the writing, and that was the beginning of their long, illustrious run, writing great comedies. ... And as far as [his work as] a comedian, I think it’s Bill Murray’s best moment.”
Loggins also reflected on the 2011 remake of the film “Footloose,” as well as Blake Shelton’s cover version of the movie’s title track.
“I really loved the new movie,” he said. " Blake Shelton’s version of [the song] “Footloose” — the only criticism I ever had of it was that I felt they used too much Pro-Tooling [in the editing process]. Sometimes, when you make everything too perfect, you lose that excitement that a live band can generate. But other than that, I thought the song fit him really well.”
Before Loggins busts out the movie- and radio-friendly hits Wednesday night at the Paramount Center for the Arts (1008 Brown St., Peekskill; 914-739-2333; www.paramountcenter.org), he’ll be part of the opening act: Blue Sky Riders, a Nashville-infused trio featuring him, fellow singer-songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman, and rich, three-part harmonies.
“I think the fans come to my shows now because they have certain songs that they’ve grown up with or loved or have special memories with; they come for those songs,” Loggins said. “As an artist, I want to give the people what they came for. And then, I try to fill in [with other songs] a little bit here and there, just to keep it interesting for me."
With 12 platinum albums to his name, Loggins said Blue Sky Riders are his current “passion,” regardless of what other people think.
“I was told at the beginning of making this band that I was too old to start over, and I saw that, even though it’s intellectually correct, that’s an absurd thing, because I’ve done it all my life. I’ve turned left [when I’ve been expected to turn] right, and it keeps me alive and excited and happy to do what I do.”
Loggins added, “There’s no reason to stop dreaming, and stop trying to make those dreams come true.”