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Just as Top Gun: Maverick pushed his soundtrack tune “Danger Zone” back into red-line overload, Kenny Loggins decided to cool his jets.
The blockbuster sequel thrilled Loggins but didn’t deter him from plotting a farewell tour, appropriately titled “This Is It,” which kicks off this month. Loggins will be on the road most of the year with a show that’s roughly 60 minutes of hits and 45 minutes of deep cuts. It caps 51 years since he first found fame with harmony-driven duo Loggins and Messina, before going solo in 1977 and striking gold with such hits as “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend’ ” and “This Is It.”
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He was crowned the soundtrack king after “Footloose,” “Danger Zone,” “I’m Alright” (Caddyshack) and “Nobody’s Fool” (Caddyshack II). His legacy secure, the twice-divorced Loggins tells AARP about his happy home life, yacht-rock past, semiretirement plans and the secret to singing better at 75 than he did in his 30s.
Was getting off the road a tough decision?
It’s a good time to call it quits. Lisa [Hawkins, his girlfriend] and I have been together five years. I want to put more time into that — and not lose that. And spend more time with my grandchildren. The road gets more difficult every year. I decided, let’s go out on top rather than wait until someone says, “Kenny, you should get out of the way.”
What was your reaction to the resurrection of “Danger Zone” in Top Gun: Maverick?
Here we go again! It’s fun to have another shot at the brass ring. The staying power is interesting. When I finally met Tom Cruise in 2017, I said, “What do you think? Is ‘Danger Zone’ going to be part of the next Top Gun?” He said, “It wouldn’t be Top Gun without ‘Danger Zone.’ ’’ I’d be shocked to see a Top Gun III without “Danger Zone.”
You recorded an updated version. Why did Cruise reject it?
He just felt that the original conjures all the magic of the first movie and that the right way to start the movie was to bring that vibe back so you feel you’re where you left off. The new recording is basically the same song, just a little more cinematic, with 5.1 surround sound. He wanted to stick to the original stereo.
How’d you end up with so much music in the Caddyshack movies?
In 1976, my first solo single, “I Believe in Love,” was used in A Star is Born, starring Barbra Streisand. The producer, Jon Peters, was Barbra’s boyfriend. After they broke up, he called me for Caddyshack. I thought the movie was hilarious. I ended up having four pieces in it.
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