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TOUR Fans flock to hear Loggins & amp; Messina together



Published: Sat, August 6, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The pair will perform at Blossom Music Center on Tuesday.

By JOHN BENSON

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

CLEVELAND -- Perhaps the best thing about the reunion of Loggins & amp; Messina -- Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina -- is the fact an entire generation of music fans is now learning that "Your Mama Don't Dance" wasn't written by a spandex-wearing band in the late '80s.

"It's funny too because it's one of the songs that we never took seriously," said Loggins, calling from a tour stop in Cincinnati. "It was just a joke." Which oddly enough seems apropos considering Poison gravitated to the track.

"It was perfect," laughed Loggins.

Perfect may also be used to describe the public's perception of Loggins & amp; Messina, which for a five-year span beginning in the early '70s produced folk rock music for the masses, scoring radio hits, selling more than 16 million albums and becoming a touring giant. However, the duo's relationship was as strained as it was complex. While they were both the same age, they couldn't have been any different.

Working together

Loggins was the up-and-coming star while Messina was already rock royalty, having performed with and produced Buffalo Springfield and Poco. For Loggins, the relationship had a mentor/student feel, which never truly changed with time.

"When we first started out, he didn't have any chops," said Messina, calling from Cincinnati. "He didn't have anything and my job was to get him rolling and in front of an audience, which was Poco and Buffalo Springfield. Get some history behind him so that he could then go out and have a career. Which is what I did and subsequently, he's had a wonderful career and now we can come back together and work as artists."

Oddly enough, the band's first album "Sittin' In" was supposed to be Loggins' debut release, but the record company liked what it heard with producer/contributor Messina in the mix.

"Even though I think it was a good idea at the time and has probably worked in other situations, it wasn't right for us," Loggins said. "But we committed to a six-record deal and that's why I was very ready to go solo by the time Loggins & amp; Messina broke up, because I was ready to go solo when we started."

Still tense

While charitable benefits over the last few years brought the two distant friends back together, leading up to the current tour, an undeniable sense of tension remains. Still, the band's reunion outing, which plays Tuesday at Blossom Music Center, is a success and fans are flocking in droves to once again hear such classics as "House at Pooh's Corner," "Danny's Song" and, yes, "Your Mama Don't Dance."

For now, the twosome is taking it day by day, performing its Everly Brothers-inspired melodies for longtime fans without making any promises about tomorrow. Loggins, who scored major soundtrack hits in the eighties, remains optimistic.

"There's a possibility of doing some writing together but we'll see what happens," Loggins said.

Added Messina, "We're not sure yet. We're entertaining the idea. We're enjoying the idea of playing together and it was never intended to do more than this one tour. And it was never intended to do more than the music that we're doing right now, so if something comes from it, then great. At this point, it's all so fresh and new."

IF YOU GO

Who: Loggins & amp; Messina

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Blossom Music Center

Tickets: $25 to $75 at Ticketmaster outlets

INFO: (330) 747-1212 in Youngstown or www.ticketmaster.com




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