Kenny Loggins is lost, and I am not helping.
The soft rock superstar is winding his way through streets of Nashville, trying to get from soundcheck back to his hotel, where he's planning to pick up his girlfriend and have a bite to eat. Then he'll head to a songwriting session, and then finally to a gig tonight at the IEBA conference. That's the International Entertainment Buyers Association, filled with "the people who buy acts from shows; promoters, essentially, and agents," he says to me on his Bluetooth. Busy day.
I'm distracting him, of course, asking him questions about how he ended up the voice of Grand Theft Auto's in-game classic rock radio station. (The answer? His kids convinced him it was a great idea. "I talked to my kids – my oldest is 33, the youngest is 16 – and said, 'What's your sense of Grand Theft Auto?' ... And they said, 'Dad, this is pop culture. This is the essence of video game pop culture. It's iconic. We would love it if you did it.' So I said, 'Okay. I'll do it.' I've never actually played the game.")
Speaking of "the essence of pop culture," Loggins has a guest slot on animated series Archer coming up. Fans of the FX series will know why – lead character Archer Sterling's frequent references to "Danger Zone" (and he makes enough that there are multiple YouTube compilation vids lovingly crafted by fans) made Loggins a natural choice for an appearance.
"The [creators of Archer] don't want me to say more than that [about my role]; my kids are going [nuts]. They all want to come along and watch the voiceover."
Other things lined up for Loggins? He's writing a new children's album – you might remember Return to Pooh Corner, a classic of the Soft Rock for Kids genre – and touring a few dates with Nashville-based Blue Sky Riders. That's the trio of singer-songwriters of which he is one, that came together three or four years ago
"We discovered the three of us have this amazing vocal blend," Loggins says of fellow Riders Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr as his GPS beeps insistently in the background. "We sound like siblings."
He won't be joined by the rest of the Riders at this Friday's show at Clowes, but he will have a co-headliner: Colbie Caillat, whose hit "Bubbly" rode the top of the Adult and Contemporary charts in 2007 like "Footloose" and "I'm Alright" did in the early '80s.
And don't worry about Kenny. By the time we hung up, he was safely ensconced inside Nashville's Omni Hotel and ready for lunch. Fingers crossed his trip up to Indy is a bit more smooth.
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