By Chuck Cohen/ Managing Director, Benco Dental
Last week, I was privileged to attend the annual Seattle Study Club Symposium in Scottsdale. I attend about 10 dental meetings a year, and the SSC Symposium is, by far, the finest. Not only does the program feature world-class clinical lectures and inspirational, non-clinical keynotes, the SSC team is famed for its memorable evening entertainment.
I was super excited when I heard that 1970s singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins was booked for this year’s Symposium. You see, I’m a Kenny Loggins fan from way back. Before Footloose. Even before Caddyshack. I mean, way back to Loggins & Messina’s 1972 rock hit Your Mama Don’t Dance. I’m proud to report that I’ve attended several of his concerts over the years, including one in the late 1980s when he packed New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.
So, imagine my surprise when Loggins appeared on stage not as a solo act, but as a member of a country band called the Blue Sky Riders. And, instead of an evening of recycled 70s folk rock tunes, we were treated to fresh country songs from their new album ‘Finally Home.’ I think it’s safe to say that no one in the audience of about 250 had ever before heard any of the songs, except for the Loggins classic ‘House at Pooh Corner,’ which he offered as a mid-concert appeasement to nostalgic fans like me.
I admit that I was disappointed for the first half-hour of the concert. I wanted a Ricky Nelson style ‘Garden Party,’ where Loggins ‘played them all the old songs, thought that’s why they came.’ Then, as I watched this little-known Nashville band charm the crowd into enjoying music from their obscure new album, I realized that I was witnessing an inspiring life lesson. As Loggins told the story from the stage, a good friend said he was crazy to start a band at 66 years old, an age when most people are collecting Social Security. But he did it anyway.
While contemporaries like James Taylor and Jackson Browne are cashing checks by reliving the 1970s for Baby Boomers across the country, Kenny Loggins is headed down a different path. New band. New genre (pure country, this time). Small clubs. Tour buses instead of planes. Tiny crowds, with old fans (like me) that have to be won over, night after night.
The concert was great, even if the music was unfamiliar. The lesson about taking risks and starting over was even better. I hope I remember it when I’m 66.
(In the photo, Kenny Loggins is on the left, Georgia Middleman is in the middle, and Gary Burr is on the right.)