Loverboy’s Paul Dean Remembers First Concert as 40th Anniversary Approaches

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This year is the 40th anniversary of the initial formation of Canadian rock legends Loverboy. The band was an iconic part of Canadian music in the 1980s and famous for songs like Working For The Weekend, Lovin’ Every Minute of It, The Kid is Hot Tonite and Turn Me Loose, among many others. The band returns to Windsor for a show at The Colosseum on March 8 at 8pm with another Canadian rock classic – Trooper.

“I met Mike Reno in December of 1978, so we’re coming up to 40 years together around Christmas-time,” guitarist and founding member Paul Dean told YQG Rocks. “After 40 years we’re still a big family.  We’re all emotional guys and we’re all very positive. We know we have a good thing going and who would want to jeopardize that. We’re happy to be here and doing what we do. A lot of it is politics and a lot of it is respect – it’s never easy, but once were on stage it’s an amazing thing. We’ve been to Windsor a few times. We played there last summer and it was hot, hot, hot. I have a picture from that day taken at that magical hour where the lights were just right – so yeah, I have a picture of Caesars on my phone as a memory of that day.”

Over the years, Loverboy has had many memories, but one none as wild and crazy as their first ever show as a band – opening for KISS in Vancouver in 1979.

“The original band that was going to open had to cancel, so we filled in at the last second, but what a great way to debut a band in the world,” Dean remembered. “There was no review, no promotion, no radio and no record to promote when we played. We literally had only four or five rehearsals and then our first show is opening for KISS. We were right out of the box and playing music that was really different from KISS so you could imagine the reaction. We were pommeled with toilet paper rolls. We also never got to meet KISS that night, but it was pretty exciting to see them in full makeup and costumes up close.”

Things grew quickly for the band and in 1980 they released their seminal self-titled debut album with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock at the helm. It featured hit singles The Kid Is Hot Tonight and Turn Me Loose. The band continued on touring the world and bringing home numerous Juno Awards along the way – the band was ultimately awarded a spot on the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

While the band split for a short period between 1988 and 1991, the lineup has remained consistent, with the exception of former bassist Scott Smith who passed away in 2000 and was replaced with iconic Canadian musician Ken “Spider” Seinnaeve. The remaining band members have been with the band since its official start in 1979: Mike Reno (vocals), Doug Johnson (keyboards), Matt Frenette (drums) and Dean on guitar.

“We love to play and we have a lot of respect for each other,” he said of their staying power. “Every night is a different show for us. The music allows us an opportunity to expand and experiment with it, so every night is a little different.”

While Loverboy won’t be releasing any new music this year (2014 was their last full-length album), Dean is expected to release a new solo album this spring and his 1989 album Hard Core was recently released digitally for the first time – it features guest appearance by Jon Bon Jovi and Bad Company vocalist Brian Howe, as well as a song written by Paul Stanley of KISS.

Loverboy and Trooper hit the stage at The Colosseum on Thursday (March 8) at 8pm. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.