Loverboy singer Mike Reno talks about his hits and his 2022 tour from Greensburg
GREENSBURG — If all had gone according to plan, Loverboy would have released a song called “Everybody’s Waiting for For the weekend.”
But singer Mike Reno missed a word in the chorus the first time he tried to record his lead vocals, mistakenly singing “Everyone’s working for the weekend” instead.
When he heard this error, co-lyricist Paul Dean rushed into the vocal studio and said “Holy (cow) that’s so much better!”
Right there on the spot, Loverboy changed the chorus from “waiting for the weekend” to sound more active”job for the weekend”, which corresponds perfectly to the philosophy of the blue-collar workers of the early 80s.
And before Loverboy knew it, they had an anthem on their hands.
“So it sort of happened by accident,” Reno said, assuring fans they’ll hear “Working For The Weekend” in all its original glory during the classic rock band’s US spring tour. which opens March 9 at the Palace Theater in Greensburg. . Tickets on palacetheatre.org cost between $56 and $125.
Other notable stops on the tour include Spyglass Ridge Winery in Sunbury, Pennsylvania on May 21; Blossom Music Center near Cleveland on June 1 and Camden, New Jersey, just outside Philadelphia on August 13.
Also announced last Friday: Loverboy will be supporting REO Speedwagon and Styx on a summer amphitheater tour playing The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown on September 10. Other regional dates include Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, August 1; Waterfront Music Pavilion, Camden, NJ, August 13; Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY, August 17; PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ, August 20; Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY, August 21 and St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater, Syracuse, NY, September 9.
But that tour was still under wraps when Reno gave a phone interview on February 8 focusing on Loverboy’s headlining tour, which Reno says will be interesting.
“It’s going to be obvious that we haven’t done this in a while, but it’s going to be awesome,” Reno said. “I’m a little nervous to be honest with you. I said that to a guy I was playing golf with the other day, and he was like, ‘But that’s what you do.’ And he’s right. It’s what I’ve always done. And I missed it.
The Greensburg show was originally scheduled for April 28, 2021. This will be the Canadian band’s first tour in two years.
And yes, they still wear the red leather pants and bandanas, Reno said.
“You’re right bro. We wouldn’t go anywhere without it,” Reno said.
This bold look paired with simple yet relatable lyrics and irresistible hooks propelled Loverboy to the top of the rock radio heap in the 1980s.
They were “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” to quote a Loverboy hit song, until artistic differences between Reno and Dean briefly split the band in 1989.
There would be meetings and tours, once the grunge started to wear off.
In 2000, bassist Scott Smith died in a sailing accident, leaving grief still felt by his bandmates.
But Loverboy persevered, and it will be four original members – Reno, Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson and drummer Matt Frenette – who will take the stage together on this tour along with longtime bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve who had played with Dean in a pre-Loverboy Band.
“So the new guy in the band has been with us for 22 years,” Reno said.
The secret to their longevity together?
“Other than Paul and I taking our time picking the right guys, we wanted it to be for the long haul,” Reno said. “Of course, without knowing it would be 40 years. That’s quite a long time.”
The transport began in 1979, when Reno met Dean at the Refinery Night Club in Calgary. After years of hooking up at clubs and truck stops, Reno had planned to put singing aside and take an extended stint in Los Angeles to visit his brother.
“I had no desire to start a band by any means,” Reno said. “I just started talking with Paul, and we started writing a few songs and it just happened naturally. Paul said ‘Why don’t we keep doing this?’ I agreed with him.”
Once Loverboy’s lineup solidified, the band quickly struck gold with the soon-to-be-40 “Turn Me Loose” becoming a monster rock radio single.
“This song has a power that has crept over you…it just keeps going, and the lyrics make you want to get up and do what you should have done in the first place, whether it’s leaving a relationship or leaving a job or quit school and start a job,” Reno said.
The band found themselves playing mega tours with Journey, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas and Def Leppard, and became MTV darlings, as one of the first bands featured. on the music channel.
“Get Lucky,” 1981’s second album, spawned classic rock staple “Workin’ For The Weekend.”
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“When you hear that cowbell and that snare drum, like a charge going through you,” Reno said. “And it continues a bit ahead of the beat. It’s another one that’s grown exponentially. We’ve had requests for sports programs, sitcoms, commercials. It’s like the Energizer Bunny of songs rock.”
Reno said Dean wrote the lyrics while living in a downtown apartment, often noticing that on Friday afternoons people would carry their dry cleaners on their shoulders, or a case of beer or a bottle. of wine, getting ready for the weekend.
Many remember that “Workin’ For The Weekend” was used in the legendary sketch “Saturday Night Live” where Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze compete to become Chippendale dancers.
Reno remembers packing for a trip when he randomly turned on “Saturday Night Live” and saw this skit.
“They never even told me they were doing this, so I saw it for the first time live on TV like everyone else,” Reno said. “I almost (wet) my pants. It’s still one of the funniest skits.”
Reno is also home to fun memories of Loverboy’s 1985 hit “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” used prominently in a National Car Rental ad where the band met “Seinfeld” actor Patrick Warburton.
“What a guy,” said Reno, swearing Warburton’s deadpan humor is even funnier off-screen.
Reno achieved record sales outside of Loverboy, including his duet with Heart’s Ann Wilson on “Almost Paradise”, the love theme from “Footloose”.
Wilson arrived late for this studio session, “but it was worth the wait,” Reno said.
After he arrived, “We closed the curtains and had a few drinks, easy stuff like light beer,” Reno said. “I asked him ‘Do you know the song?’ She said ‘yes.’ So there we were on the same mic, face to face and we sang it once, and then (producer) Keith Olsen came running in and said, ‘Thanks, that’s it. “We got it the first time.”
While this one probably won’t be on Loverboy’s setlist, the band’s big hits all will, each sounding as good as ever, Reno said.
“The way we play them is how fans first heard them. Because these are songs they grew up with and have special memories of what they were doing back then, who they were, and you have to respect those memories,” Reno said.
“Maybe the solo will be two or three times longer, the intro might be a little different, the release might be a little different. But the essence of the sound that made us popular, we don’t want to mess with that.”
A self-proclaimed Pittsburgh Steelers fan and Penguins admirer, Reno looks forward to the tour kick-off show in Westmoreland County.
“I’m going to be so happy to see the crowd. All the guys in the band are so happy to start. It’s going to be the best time we’ve had in many years.”
Scott Tady is the local entertainment reporter for the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He is easy to reach at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady.