Step right up for another weekly jaunt through The Funhouse! Since I’ve given all the disclaimers and apologies I possibly can about the past month’s bevy of re-posts, I’d like to change the subject this week and talk about one of the most enduring mysteries of the eighties. This morning, I tuned into the local 80’s retro station just as “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins started playing. The song was written for the soundtrack of the 1986 Tom Cruise machosexual airplane fantasy Top Gun. I’m proud to say that I have never watched that film and the clips I’ve seen over the years seem to verify that I was wise to avoid wasting 2 hours of my life allowing it to invade my eyeballs. In fact, the song “Danger Zone”, specifically tailored as it was to essentially summarize the movie’s plot in as many clichéd ways as could be crammed into a single track is sufficient to clue one in as to Top Gun’s sheer awfulness. “Revvin’ up your engine, listen to her howlin’ roar. Metal under tension, beggin’ you to touch and go. Highway to the danger zone! Ride into the danger zone!” So it’s about planes, right?
From what I’ve gathered, many people who appreciate quality rock and roll music still have enormous respect for the duo of Loggins & Messina, of which Kenny comprised one half. Want to know a secret? I have no idea what they sounded like because before I had a chance to investigate their back catalogue, I had already had more than my fill of Kenny Loggins’ ubiquitous soundtrack atrocities from their constant rotation on MTV. But how did this happen? Who decided to make Kenny Loggins the undisputed king of schlocky soundtrack mus-o-mercials? As a reminder, here is a partial roster of his songs featured in crappy movies: Danger Zone (Top Gun); Playing With The Boys (Top Gun); Footloose (Footloose); I’m Free (Footloose); I’m Alright (Caddyshack); Meet Me Halfway (Over The Top); Nobody’s Fool (Caddyshack II).
This asshole is rich now and that’s not right. If he had earned his fortune with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band or Loggins & Messina, I probably wouldn’t begrudge him a life of lavish comfort. But you know as well as I where he really made his dough: by cranking out one shitty movie plug of a song after another for an entire decade. Fuck you, Loggins. For the songs that made me want to stick sharpened pencils in my ears throughout my teens AND for your part in making Tom Cruise famous. You need to answer for your crimes.
Worry not, Dear Readers, I’m not going to subject you to anything Loggins-related for this week’s video. Instead I give you John Roberts, the voice of Bob’s Burgers’ Linda Belcher in one of his brilliant pre-Bob’s YouTube shorts honoring his Brooklyn-born, Jersey-transplanted mother. In this clip, he recreates her reaction upon learning that her son is gay: