‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star Kenny Loggins talks ‘Danger Zone’ return
FFor Kenny Loggins, the highway to the “Danger Zone” has been one hell of a ride.
As he explains in his upcoming Still Alright: A Memoir, due out June 14, the iconic Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated musician wasn’t even among the top choices to record the high-octane number written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock for the 1986 Top Gun soundtrack. But, through a series of events, Loggins went on to rock the song, which became arguably his most synonymous hit, instantly cemented in pop culture as a quintessential ’80s anthem.
Although “Danger Zone” was a solid number when Moroder and Whitlock wrote it, Loggins had to tinker with the tune — chord changes and lyrics — for the final product to be a massive hit. In fact, as he notes in his memoir, Loggins did enough to merit a co-writing credit, but that would have torpedoed Moroder and Whitlock’s eligibility to submit the required number of songs from Top Gun for Oscar consideration. So, Loggins’ name was kept off the tune and subsequently Moroder and Whitlock’s “Take My Breath Away” won for best original song. It would be more than a decade after Moroder sold his catalog to Warner Bros. before Loggins would be properly compensated and credited as “Danger Zone” co-writer.
And now, 36 years later, the up-tempo “Danger Zone” is back to greater pump viewers’ adrenaline in Paramount’s critically praised (97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) Top Gun: Maverick.
Loggins, who has two upcoming shows in July at the Hollywood Bowl with his former partner and collaborator Jim Messina, told The Hollywood Reporter he is equal parts elated and surprised his path has once again crossed with a serendipitous Tom Cruise project. He also sheds some light on how those random Family Guy appearances came about.
What did you think of Top Gun: Maverick? The same excitement that you experienced from the original when you first saw it all put together in the theater?
Well, I thought this was better. I like the first one a lot, but this one has an energy to it that reminds me of Indiana Jones or Star Wars. It’s really well written, with a lot of character development for the new characters, and a lot of Saturday matinee cliffhanging that really works for this film.
Seems like it was a safe assumption that “Danger Zone” would be used in another Top Gun film. How did that come about? Did Tom Cruise personally ask?
I did not get a call, but I did Jimmy Kimmel Live! about four years ago, and Tom was on the same show. And, backstage, I went up to him and said, “So, I hear you’re going to do the new Top Gun. Tell me, is “Danger Zone in or out?” And he said, “It would not be Top Gun without ‘Danger Zone.’” I thought maybe he was trying to be nice, but he meant it, and I was very pleased.
Although I am not done yet, I am thoroughly enjoying your memoir. Tell me why this is the right time for Kenny Loggins to share his story.
I have been asked if I would write a memoir a few times over the years, but I didn’t want to do it until I felt I had enough life experience to make it a fun book. And God knows now, at 74, seems like the right time. (Laughs.) If you read the last chapter, I talk about how I hesitated writing a memoir because it feels like it puts a button on your story, and that’s the end. So I address it head-on in that last chapter. You just have to be ready to think of it as a chapter in this part of life now. So, this clears the table and says, “Let’s move on.”
Source: Billboard news