Singer/songwriters Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr have created the new band Blue Sky Riders, and were profiled by Huff/Post50 in February. The band will release their debut album, "Finally Home" on January 22, 2013 and will be chronicling their experiences as a band in this blog.
A few days ago it came to my attention that a fellow HuffPo writer named Ilene Angel (Real name? Really?) had written a very flattering review of Blue Sky Riders in the Entertainment section, and a very funny and searingly honest blog about trying to catch my eye after a Blue Sky Riders concert in NYC.
In it, she asked me the questions she wished she'd have asked me backstage, as apparently she was too tongue-tied that night to actually speak to me. I guess I was convinced she was a mute of some kind, so I just kept on walking and shaking hands. But her article seemed semi-coherent to me, so I figured it might be fun and informative to print her questions here, with my answers, too. Just to blow her mind, ya know. I don't think she ever really thought I'd see it. So let's see if she has anything to say for herself now. :)
Here are her questions:
What has being in Blue Sky Riders taught you about yourself that you didn't know before?
So start right off with the easy questions, eh? Well, let's see... I seem to have more difficulty sharing the reins than I'd expected. Thirty-some years of autonomy have taught me that my instincts are pretty darn good, so I think I'd begun to calcify around the old "my way or the highway" thing. Gary sets that shit straight every day. Being one-third of a band is humbling, but I wanted to share my life when I started this thing, and that seems to be what's happening. I asked the Universe to bring me a new family, and as we all know, being in a family requires "lots o compromises."
The challenge for me now is to not let my KL persona recede too far away either. To be fully present while I engage Gary and Georgia to do the same, now THAT'S a challenge.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Did you ever see a movie called Cat Ballou? (1965) In it, Lee Marvin plays the washed up, drunken gunfighter named Shelleen-Strawn.
I, as an impressionable young man, found the scene where he's getting ready for his first gunfight in many years eye-opening for me.
As Shelleen put on his gunfighter outfit, he was transformed from an old rummy into the God he once was. Each piece of adornment: the black shirt, the conch belt, the shiny silver guns with the tooled leather holsters, the boots, the hat, each piece makes him stronger and more ready to kick ass.
Some nights, when I'm too tired to go on, as I prepare for the stage, the fur-lined pampers, the nose and glasses, the sock, the boots, the wig... each thing prepares me mentally for the performance. All fatigue melts away, and I become the Rock God that sleeps within. Aaaargh! I'm doing one-handed pushups right now just thinking about it.
Plus, I warm up vocally for an hour every night. And yes, I put on boots to do it.
What do you think that Blue Sky Riders has to say that hasn't been said before?
I am discovering that we seem to have a role in speaking for our generation again, simply by telling our personal stories and sharing the inspirations that continue to move us forward emotionally, and continue to keep us on fire creatively. What a great gig! We sing of perseverance and dedication, reinvention, courage, love and faith. Seems to be a message folks are eager to hear again.
What do you do with your days off or any spare time on the road?
Masturbate. Relentlessly. No...though...no. I get help with that...wait, no... (Kidding.)
I usually stay in my room, learning a third or fourth language, or I volunteer at seminaries serving soup to stray dogs. You know, something to better humanity... wait, nope.
When I'm on the road, I try to see where I am, walk around, enjoy a park, do something unique to that town IF I can get a ride or enlist a local friend as a guide. There are a lot of really cool towns in this country, and discovering them can be a lot of fun.
Do you think being successful from a young age helped or hurt you in any way?
Helped: Good fortune has made me feel "I'm lucky like that." I've developed a relationship with my inner spirit, my heart, if you will, that has helped me learn how to listen to it and trust its answers.
Corporate leaders call it their "gut," and most successful businessmen trust theirs implicitly. What I call "the heart" is the same difference, really, just different packaging.
Hurt: However, the negative has been that I never developed the skills that a young man would normally develop in his 20's, primarily because I made enough money from Loggins & Messina to jump around them. But over the last seven years, I've had to learn to develop them.
What are they? They would be everything from learning how to shop and cook, to learning how to be alone. (That's a big one!)
Do you have a nickname, and if so, how did it originate?
Strangely, Gary hasn't landed on anything I care to repeat. Is "sugar-pie" a nickname? I think not.
What would you tell your 25-year-old self, if you could?
I'd tell him to hang in there, to relax and enjoy the ride. Your life is not something that has to be done by noon.
I'd tell him that there's more to life than the acquisition of stuff. I'd tell him to educate himself in the class called Life: to learn to cook, and maybe learn to speak Italian. And to visit Italy and meet his cousins there. To get another dog. To learn to ride a horse or climb a mountain. And go camping more... really. Not just with a "road manager." In general, to simply just learn to be more self-sufficient.
I'd tell him to respect women. Sooner than later. That they're not just acquisitions too, but beings that can enrich your life, if you let them. (Okay, so will that get me laid? ;) )
I'd tell him to have faith: Love is coming. I'd tell him to trust his heart and to trust God. And I'd warn him about Gary. :)
There's a saying that our lives will either serve as an example or a warning. What do you think your life serves as an example of, and what is it a warning against?
My life as a warning? If I move into regrets, I only regret not spending more time chasing my kids and less time chasing after success. I am paying for my absences.
My life as an example? On the high side of the same coin, I'd like to believe that I have shown my children the kind of dedication it takes to follow a dream, and that they each can have one and make it come true, if they want it badly enough. Maybe even more than one dream, eh? And maybe, since I've grown and changed within their view, hopefully I've shown them that, in the end, they can, too. That love and family are the most important things in our lives.
So, Ilene, now I invite you to answer some of my questions in your HuffPo blog...