I read in Variety online, “Paramount has announced plans to fast-track a remake of Footloose, with plans to start filming in the spring of 2009, with Dylan Sellers, producer of The Replacements, and the original producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as co-producers. Chase Crawford of “Gossip Girl” will be starring.”

Wow…It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since the original “Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon, was released. It’s also hard to believe that Genghis Cohen, the trendy Chinese Restaurant which I named and hosted off and on for nine years, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary!

What do the two have in common? Kevin and his girlfriend Tracy Pollen, who also was in the movie, were two of our first regular customers. They turned Sarah Jessica Parker (who was also in “Footloose”), and her boyfriend Robert Downey, Jr., on to the restaurant. It wasn’t long before Academy Award winning songwriter Dean Pitchford, “Fame”(Pitchford/ Gore), who collaborated on the nine-song “Footloose” score with songwriters Eric Carmen, Michael Gore, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, Tom Snow and Bill Wolfer, was coming into the Chinese restaurant as well.

One night Dean brought in his “Fame” collaborator, Michael Gore who I’ve known since he was 15, when I administered his sister Lesley Gore’s publishing companies. Dean also introduced me to the producers of the film, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Being an amateur musicologist, I was excited to meet Craig who wrote a biographic book of composer Stephen Sondheim entitled “Sondheim & Co.” in 1976.

There were nights when everybody from the film would show up at the same time, which made me feel like I was on a movie set (fortunately I was wearing taps on my shoes!) During one of the quieter moments I asked Dean, who also wrote the screenplay, what he thought about the phenomonon he created.

People sometimes speak of “Footloose” as “that movie about the town where you can’t dance.”   I think that if that had been all it was, it wouldn’t have continued to enthrall and entertain audiences for the last quarter-century.  At the heart of the film is a story of loss — about a boy who has lost his father and a man who has lost his son.  And the tale of how those two characters work through their grief (Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow in the original movie) still speaks to people’s emotions year after year, all over the world.”

See and hear “FAME”, “FOOTLOOSE”, and his other hits click onto THE DEAN PITCHFORD VIDEO JUKEBOX

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne

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