Loverboy is touring right through until December behind its latest album, Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, and what’s truly a revival is that the legendary Vancouver rock act is on the road with Journey — for the first time in three decades.
The two bands linked up this summer for more than 60 dates all over North America, including some upcoming dates in Canada, Nov. 5th at Montreal’s Bell Centre; 19th at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre; 27th at Edmonton’s Rexall Place; 28th at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre; 30th at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome; Dec. 1 at Kelowna, BC’s Prospera Place; 3rd at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena; and 4th at Victoria’s Save-On Food Centre. Pat Benetar is also on the bill.
[quote]We did it all really fast the way Loverboy always recorded. We just set up and play.[/quote]“Thirty years ago, Loverboy and Journey toured together,” says frontman Mike Reno. “They had the Escape album out and we had the Get Lucky album out. The Escape album was their biggest album ever and Get Lucky was our biggest album ever. So that was a tour and a half. People still talk to me about the time they saw us together. It was a co-headlining type deal because everybody was totally into both bands.”
Loverboy — which became known for Reno’s trademark red leather pants and bandana and a slew of hits such as “Working For The Weekend,” “Turn Me Loose” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” — has sold more than 10 million albums and achieved multi-platinum status for their 1980 self-titled debut, 1981’s Get Lucky, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It.
The new album, Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, includes nine Loverboy classics recorded primarily at a 2012 Casino Rama concert in Rama, Ontario, along with three new songs, two of them produced by Bob Rock, who engineered the band’s hit albums in the eighties, before breaking out big-time as a producer for The Cult, Motley Crue, Metallica, Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams.
Last Christmas, Rock and Loverboy — Reno (vocals), Paul Dean (guitars), Matt Frenette (drums), Doug Johnson (keyboards) and bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (who replaced the late Scott Smith) — cut “Heartbreaker” and “No Tomorrow” at Bryan Adams’ Warehouse studio in Vancouver.
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“He was in the middle of doing a (Michael) Bublé record,” recounts Reno. “He wanted to take a week off or something so — he must be a workaholic. He says, ‘Let’s get together on my week off.’ So we pounded out a couple of new songs that he helped us with. It was cool that he instigated the whole thing.
“It was a fun time for me because it was my birthday weekend (January 8 is his birthdate) so I spent the weekend just recording and hanging out with Bob and the guys in the band, right in downtown Vancouver; it was great. We did it all really fast the way Loverboy always recorded. We just set up and play.”
The other new song, the title-track, was self-produced. The rest of the material — “Turn Me Loose,” “Working For The Weekend,” “Lovin’ Every Minute Of It,” “The Kid Is Hot Tonight,” “Lucky Ones,” “Always On My Mind,” “Queen Of The Broken Hearts,” “When It’s Over” and “Hot Girls In Love” — is live.
“We record live (shows) all the time and we sat around listening to these tracks and Paul and I went, ‘These are some of the best recordings we’ve got in a long time,’” says Reno.
“Paul says, ‘Listen to this,’ and he plays me a tape, and I says, ‘That’s like perfect.’ He says, ‘That was the other night.’ I says, ‘What else do you got?’ He says, ‘Listen to this song.’ So we start listening to all the songs and I went, ‘Wow. Cool.’”
Photography by: Mick Rock