Kristin Burns/Jive Records
07/13/2009 at 10:00 PM EDT
After beating out the children of Bobby Brown, Olivia Newton-John and MC Hammer on MTV's Rock the Cradle
last year, Crosby Loggins (the son of soundtrack stud Kenny Loggins) went to work on his first album. With his mellow, heartfelt debut Time to Move
– featuring John Mayer
on guitar in the title track – in stores Tuesday, Loggins, 28, filled PEOPLE in on his childhood, his hidden talents and his pet chicken.
1. He recorded at the Village in L.A., which is like a clean frat house for musicians:
"It was pretty cool – Weezer was downstairs, Seal was down the hall, Mayer was next door," says the singer-songwriter, named for Bing Crosby. "And Ben Harper left me a note once, saying, 'Sorry dude, we drank all your beer.' It was really fratty – except for the grossness."
2. John Travolta was a family friend:
Thanks to his dad, Loggins grew up around other celebrities and knew Travolta as "Pilot Johnny." Jokes Loggins, "I didn't have Santa, I had Michael McDonald."3. A ska band once kicked him out for being 'too reggae':
Back when he rocked purple dreads, "I joined a pop-punk outfit that played a-bunch-of-electric-guitars-and-a-trumpet ska," he says. "I liked early Bob Marley and at rehearsals I'd say, 'You guys don't get it.' They were like, 'Reggae sucks, get your own band.' " His wild hair didn't stop there: Loggins once dyed his hair using drink mix. "My mother hated that because I'd get pink Kool Aid on my pillow."
4. He has a chicken named Hot Donna:
At his home in Santa Barbara, Calif., Loggins and his girlfriend look after Donna, who survived a November fire and recently escaped a raccoon attack. "A really gnarly and huge raccoon cased my coop for over a week, then grabbed another chicken from the coop," he says. "There were feathers out in the street. But Hot Donna, who's old and slow, somehow lived. She's a gangster!"
5. He once built houses in Hawaii:
"I put off college for a couple years to see what blue collar life was about," he says of becoming a carpenter on the Big Island from 1999 to 2001. He's since rebuilt wooden bridges on his parents' property and has plans for a bigger project down the road. "I'd really like to build a house by hand when I get married," says Loggins. "It's a romantic idea – whether I follow through with it remains to be seen."