Kenny Loggins was a big star and helped make Caddyshack
a huge success with his song "I'm Alright
" in 1980. In 1982, he had a hit with "Don't Fight It," which he wrote with Pitchford and Steve Perry, who also sang on the track. Getting Loggins for the title track was huge for Pitchford, who had never written a screenplay before and was trying to sell a movie based around 9 songs - not a popular concept at the time. Losing Loggins could have derailed the entire project, and when Kenny broke a rib from a fall he took at a show in Provo, Footloose
almost met its doom. Loggins had to take time off to recover, and the only chance for Dean to write with him was during his engagement at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he was performing before heading to Asia. Said Pitchford: "Paramount was chomping at the bit. They wanted to know that Kenny Loggins was going to be doing the title song, and if he wasn't then we had to move on and get somebody else. So it became absolutely vital that as soon as Kenny was back on his feet, I had to go and seal the deal, and the only place that we could seal the deal, he was going to attempt to get himself back on his feet in Tahoe, play one last engagement in the States, and then go off to Asia.
So it was decided that although Kenny lived at the time in the L.A. area, I should fly to Tahoe, and during the days when he was playing a show at night, we would try to at least get the beginning of a song so that I could go back to Paramount and say, 'Look, Kenny Loggins is pregnant, he is on board.' So I flew up to Tahoe in January of 1983, I think. I flew up sick, and I proceeded to get sicker and sicker and sicker while I was there. I had strep throat, as it turned out, but I could not let on to Kenny that I had strep throat, because I didn't want him going, 'Ooo, I can't come to your room, we can't be doing that.' And he was indeed coming to my room, because his wife Eva was there, and they had three kids at the time. I think she had given birth to their third, Isabella, so there were two little boys and a baby in his room. So that was not a place to work. So each day he would come to my room with a guitar and he was still taped up, with gauze and tape around his midriff while his rib was healing. He would show up with a guitar and he would ease himself into a chair, and it was obvious that sitting down was painful - if he was standing he was fine.
I was spraying my throat full of Chloraseptic to kill the pain and taking decongestants so it didn't sound like I had a cold or any kind of problems. I was running a fever, like 101, but I wasn't going to let on to him, because I didn't want him running out of my hotel room. I think it was two or three days we kept up this charade with him showing up on his painkillers and me on my painkillers, and us getting the gist of the song. We wrote the verses and the chorus melodies, we wrote the first verse, and we knew what we were going to do for the chorus. Then he went off and he left me with the melody for 'I'm Free,' which is his other contribution to the movie. While he was gone, I wrote the rest of the lyric to 'Footloose,' except the bridge. We finished the bridge after he came back to the States and I went over to his house, which may have been in the Valley. I was newish to L.A. so I was kind of foggy on where the neighborhoods were. But we wrote two verses and two choruses in advance, and then put the 'First we got to turn you around,' all that stuff was the final addition that completed the song."