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Kenny Loggins Opens Up About Feud With Garth Brooks in New Memoir

"Garth actually showed up in the courtroom with an acoustic guitar."

Do you remember that time when Garth Brooks brought his guitar to court, ready to defend himself through song? If not, Kenny Loggins' new book is here to give you a refresher. In 1991, Loggins and his guitarist Guy Thomas wrote the song "Convictions of the Heart." Two years later, Brooks released a song titled "Standing Outside the Fire" that Loggins and Thomas thought sounded a little too similar to their composition.

Eventually, the musicians ended up in court together. And now, decades later, Loggins is looking back on the lawsuit in his new memoir, Still Alright. In the book, the "Danger Zone" singer shares his recollection of how the lawsuit went down, as well as what he says Brooks admitted to him. Read on to find out more about the feud between the two musicians.

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Loggins says he tried to avoid a lawsuit.

The cover of "Still Alright" by Kenny Loggins
Hachette Book Group

In Still Alright (via Page Six), Loggins explains that Thomas contacted him when he realized that "Standing Outside the Fire" sounded similar to "Convictions of the Heart." The "Footloose" singer says that his co-writer was ready to sue right away, but that he wanted to try to talk to Brooks first and see if they could settle things on their own.

Loggins claims that Brooks admitted that he'd borrowed from his song, and so Loggins suggested that he and Thomas should receive a percentage of the sales. "Garth didn't like that idea at all," Loggins writes in the book. "His tone grew steely and defensive." As reported by Variety at the time of the lawsuit, Brooks maintained publicly that he did not copy the song.

The two stars went to court to battle it out.

Garth Brooks performing at the 1998 Billboard Music Awards
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

As reported by Page Six, Loggins and Thomas then sued Brooks for $5 million. When it was time to appear before the judge and jury, Brooks arrived ready to perform and demonstrate the difference between the songs. "Garth actually showed up in the courtroom with an acoustic guitar, ready to play the song live for the judge," Loggins writes.

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The case was settled.

Kenny Loggins at Time Warner Honors Quincy Jones' 50th Anniversary in the Music Industry in 1995
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Brooks' guitar didn't end up being necessary. The judge called Thomas and Brooks into his chambers, and "when they emerged, Garth was ready to settle," Loggins writes of the 1998 court appearance.

The agreement meant that the amount of money involved couldn't be shared, "although Garth had to admit to settling the suit," Loggins writes. "Afterward, he said publicly something like, 'Sometimes. you just have to pay to get people off your back,'" Loggins continues, "I let that one go. I haven't seen him since."

"The matter has been amicably resolved," Brooks' lawyer told Variety.

Loggins claimed in a recent interview that Brooks copied the song with "conscious effort."

Garth Brooks at the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Awards
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

"I hope he doesn't sue me again for mentioning that I sued him [laughs]," Loggins said in a May interview with Spin tied to his new book. "Sometimes you just have to draw the line. Garth is infamous for being inspired by other people's work. He said to me, 'Well, I love that song.' What he said to his co-writer was that I came really close on 'Conviction of the Heart' and just missed, so he kind of took it and made it what he thought it should have been."

Loggins explained that "intention" was important when it came to suing Brooks, because in court, the question is, "Did they borrow from the original song intentionally, or was there a subconscious thing, where you tap into the music that's hovering over all of us, and you pull something down?"

Loggins again claimed that Brooks told him he consciously took from the song. "[I]n this case with Garth, it was a conscious effort. He told me so. He said 'I want something just like this' to his co-writer. That's why it wound up on the steps of the courthouse."

Best Life has reached out to Brooks' representatives for comment but has not yet received a response.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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