Rock fans can start working for the weekend as Canada’s favorite sons, Loverboy, bring their brand of pop rock to Southern California for two shows!
Since they first hit the music scene in the early 80’s Loverboy has been pleasing fans all over the world with such chart topping hits and FM radio staples as “The Kid Is Hot Tonite,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Working For The Weekend,” “When It’s Over,” “Hot Girls In Love,” “Lovin’ Every Minute Of It” and many more!
Founding members Mike Reno (vocals), Paul Dean (guitar), Doug Johnson (keyboards) and Matt Frenette (drums) plus long time member Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (bass) will hit the stage for two shows in The Golden State on Thursday October 24th at The Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA and on October 26th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA.
I had the pleasure of asking guitarist/songwriter Paul Dean some questions about the band and what the fans can expect next…
PF: How instrumental was producer Bruce Fairbairn in developing the band’s sound?
Paul Dean: Bruce had a lot of ideas, like asking me to simplify my guitar part in Turn Me Loose, (I play it live how I wanted to in the studio), and getting us to slow down The Kid Is Hot, speed up Lady of the 80’s, and add a keyboard intro to When It’s Over. He also brought in Nancy Nash to sing backing vocals on a few songs. He didn’t write any keyboard, bass, guitar, or drum parts, or change the structure of the songs, that all came from the band. His job was to get a high energy drum performance out of Matt, and generally keep the peace, which he excelled at. And keep the label happy, by bringing the album in on time and reasonably within the budget. Bruce had a couple of sayings – “Whatever it takes”, and “It’ll never be perfect, but it will always be great.” Words to live by!
PF: Did the band intentionally try to come across as new wave on the debut album?
Paul Dean: The Cars were a big influence on us, so I guess their style crept into our approach. But that’s only one direction we were going. If you were to break our debut album down song by song, I think you’d recognize a few styles. New Wave to be sure, but R’n’B/dance, blues, reggae, rockabilly, 60’s pop, and hard rock are all there as well.
PF: How important was MTV in breaking the band?
Paul Dean: I think MTV definitely took us to the next level. They supported us like you wouldn’t believe. We were guest V-J’s on many occasions, and they sponsored a couple of contests with us. One was, “Join Loverboy in the Concord, fly to Lapland, and meet Santa Claus”, and the other was, “Enter to win an appearance in Loverboy’s next video”, which was for Queen of the Broken Hearts. I’ll never forget the amazing black team jackets they gave us, with their blue MTV logo, our individual names, and red leather sleeves. One night we performed in Charlotte, and had a big after party in the dressing room. Someone spotted it hanging in the next room, and unfortunately, I wasn’t the one wearing it home that night. Never to be seen again. I keep checking eBay, hoping to spot it, along with all the guitars I’ve had swiped over the years.
PF: Is there a song you have to sing every night that you would rather never play again?
Paul Dean: I never get tired of playing our tunes, the reason being, they’re so simple and basic, it allows us to stretch out and try different things, keeping the essence intact. It’s like there’s no end to the variations we can apply – different tempos, solos, grooves, endings and intros. Sometimes even the lyrics change. Pretty subtle stuff to a non band member, but it keeps it interesting and challenging, especially if we go too far, and have to find our way back. Sometimes we seriously mess with the songs, but for the most part, we’re able to laugh it off. Or pretend not to notice. “Hey, I meant to play that, ok?”
PF: Your “Get Lucky” album has one of the most iconic LP covers of all-time who came up with the concept?
Paul Dean: That idea came right from the top – somebody in the art department at Columbia Records. We had the title already, we were wearing leather pants most nights, and they came up with the concept. The first draft they sent us, the color separation was off, and the pants were more pink than red. We suggested they might want to change that, but I guess that was well before Photoshop, and they had to decide between flesh colored arm and pants, or red arm and pants, they couldn’t do individual colors. So… red it was. Just for the record – the only person at the shoot that could fit into the pants, was the photographer’s 14 year old daughter. The arm apparently belonged to the lighting guy. I would love to see a YouTube on “The Making of Loverboy’s Get Lucky Cover”. Anyone?
PF: Of all your accomplishments which are you most proud of?
Paul Dean:It was a pretty big deal for me to stand on the 1982 Juno stage in Toronto with Bruce Fairbairn, and receive the award for Producer of the Year. That was a big acknowledgement to Bruce and me, for all the hours we spent in Little Mountain Studios – we basically lived there for 2 months. But like Bruce would always say, “Whatever it takes!” Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time.
PF: After all these years how do you keep your voice in such good shape?
Paul Dean: You’re the first to ask me that question. That’s usually aimed at Mike, as he sings about twice as much as I do, live. But I take quite a bit of pride in our two part harmonies. We both warm up every night before going on. My favorite of Mike’s is, when he starts singing, “Bup, bup, bup”, I know he’s ready to rock. I’m usually trying to relax, like my instructor emphasized many years ago, and get the most resonance out of my voice that I can. I learned that from watching Mike sing in the car. He should definitely get on Carpool Karaoke!
PF: Can Loverboy fans expect any new music in the future?
Paul Dean: I’m putting the finishing touches on my third solo album, not technically a Loverboy album, but Mike is on a couple of co-writes, and Matt and Spider, our bass player extraordinaire, appear on half the songs as well. I released a couple of YouTube videos for it, “Hell Yeah” and “Be With You”. Check them out!
Thanks Paul and fans should also check out Loverboy doing what they do best… playing LIVE and LOUD! Direct links to buy tickets for the October 24th and 26th shows can be found right here on the band’s website: loverboyband.com/event-directory
Don’t miss your chance to this classic rock band playing all their hits in a show that will have the guys pumping their fists and the gals dancing in the aisle. Both shows start at 8:00 PM so get your tickets now and don’t be late.
Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.