Band History

LOVERBOY, the early years!!

There is a lot of history to a band that has been around for more than 20 years....some good, some not so good, but all of it classic.

LOVERBOY first came to light shortly after Paul Dean had been asked to leave another Canadian Rock Band, Streetheart. He continued to play at various jam sessions in Calgary, Alberta and it was at one of these sessions in January 1979 that he heard Mike Reno (ex-vocalist of Moxy) sing. The two were introduced and they began writing together almost immediately.

Another session player, a keyboardist by the name of Doug Johnson joined shortly after, and in the spring of 1979 the band became a quartet when Paul's old Streetheart bandmate, Matt Frenette, joined the fold. The band needed a name and Paul came up with one, after thumbing thru a fashion magazine......Covergirl became Coverboy and finally LOVERBOY was born.

The guys headed for Vancouver where their management was based (Lou Blair & Bruce Allen) and continued to look for the missing piece of the puzzle, a bass player, while carrying on with their songwriting and demo-recording. Finally it happened and one week before they were to open for Kiss at the Vancouver Stadium (November 19/79), Scott Smith left his band, Dalbello, and joined LOVERBOY.

Impressed with the band's demos, CBS Records signed the band to a recording deal and in July of 1980 "Loverboy" was released in Canada with "The Kid is Hot Tonite" as the first single. The album was released in the US in September of 1980 with "Turn Me Loose" as the first single and then released in Europe, Japan and Australia in April of 1981. The guys toured almost non-stop throughout 1980-81 supporting that album opening for acts like Cheap Trick, Bob Seger, Kansas and ZZ Top.

"Get Lucky", the band's second effort was released in Canada and the US in October of 1981 and LOVERBOY headed out on the road with Journey almost immediately. At the same time, the first album was certified Platinum in the US and Quadruple Platinum in Canada....not too shabby for a debut album!!!

January of 1982 brought the band's first headlining tour of the US, followed by a clean sweep of awards from the Canadian Music Industry at the Juno awards (6 in total - a record still unbeaten by any other Canadian band!!). The band was on top.....sold-out shows, TV appearances on shows like American Bandstand, Saturday Night Live and the Guiding Light and a head-lining tour to Japan....closing 1982 out with a New Year's Eve concert at the L.A. Forum.

1983 brought two more Juno Awards to the band and "Keep It Up" was released in June of that year with the album selling a million copies in just over a month. The boys hit the road again and stayed there for the rest of the year and into the spring of 1984 when they won yet another Juno Award and finally took a much needed break.

LOVERBOY at the Junos

After a well-deserved vacation and a few studio and production changes, LOVERBOY finally returned in August of 1985 with "Lovin' Every Minute of It". By spring of 1986 the album had sold over 2 million copies and had produced three hit singles, the album's title track, "Dangerous", and "This Could Be the Night"....the guys hit the road in January of that year in support of that album, playing shows throughout the US and Canada, releasing a fourth single off the album, "Lead a Double Life" and having a monster hit with "Heaven In Your Eyes" off the "Top Gun" soundtrack. This was not without controversy, however, as Doug refused to play the song live due to the issues surrounding the topic of the film.

By December of 1986 the band was ready to hit the studio again to record the next album, after some very successful writing while on the road. Wildside was released summer of 1987 with the song "Notorious" being the first single. The boys followed the release of the album with some dates in Europe but a full-fledged North American tour never came to pass. "Love Will Rise Again" was released off the album as second single but unfortunately with Grunge coming into the music picture...the album didn't do as well commercially as the guys had hoped and they all took a step back to evaluate the future and whether or not it included LOVERBOY.

Never actually officially disbanding, the fan club shut its doors with the final newsletter being printed in Fall/Winter of 1988 and each of the members went on to do their own thing. Paul released three solo albums, Mike went on to do some recording with some friends and played around the Vancouver area, Matt went on tour with Kim Mitchell and Tom Cochrane, Scott became a DJ at the Vancouver radio station CFOX and Doug officially quit LOVERBOY to concentrate on his solo career,writing a lot more keyboard-oriented music than he had done with the band.

All was silent on the LOVERBOY front as the guys went ahead with their solo careers and raising their respective families until 1993 when the band reunited to do a benefit for a sick friend . After playing live together again and with the release of "Big Ones" and "Loverboy Classics" they realized the spark was still there and the guys once again hit the road....this time playing smaller clubs and festivals. They soon found the fans were still there as well!! They continued doing the summer festivals and smaller clubs for the next couple of years....Doug re-joining for awhile and then heading off on his own again.

1997 brought the release of the first new LOVERBOY material in 10 years and for those of us privileged enough to have the album, "Six"....we can definitely say the guys are back...a little bluesier and a little older but they can still rock with the best of them!!! The guys have toured every year since and finally for Tour 2000, the five original members were together again...playing to great sized crowds and doing what they love best.....playing live!!

Mike and Scott Live August 2000!!

The year 2000 should have ended on a high note for the band....after a great season of touring the guys wound down for the year, playing one last show on the 25th of November, a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Canada, raising over $62 000 for research. Sadly, this would be the last time the original five members of LOVERBOY would play live together.

On November 30, 2000, tragedy struck the band. Scott decided to spend his time off sailing, heading down to Mexico with girlfriend, Yvonne and another friend. The boat hit stormy waters 4 miles off the coast of San Francisco and a rogue wave swept the boat, taking both Scott and the steering wheel overboard. A two-day search by the coast guard, family and friends of the bassist turned up nothing....Scott was lost at sea.

Family and friends gathered for a memorial service in late December and then all fell silent on the LOVERBOY front.

After much soul-searching and the overwhelming support of Scott's family, friends and fans from all over, the band decided in January that Scott would have wanted them to continue. Auditions were held and Streetheart veteran, Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve proved to be the best choice the band could have made. The band played their first shows with Spider in February of 2001 and the fans welcomed Spider with open arms.

2001 brought the release of "Live, Loud and Loose" which is a must-have album for any LOVERBOY collection and also includes a touching tribute to Scott Smith. The release of LOVERBOY Love Songs followed in 2003 and the band continued to tour on an annual basis doing an average of 75 - 100 dates per year.

2005 started off with a bang for LOVERBOY...not only was it their 25th anniversary as a band, but there was a huge resurrection of '80s pop culture including NBC's "Hit Me Baby One More Time", a variety show that gave bands from the past a chance to show they could still rock and roll with the best of them. LOVERBOY's performance on June 2, 2005 garnered them much publicity, not only earning them a new bunch of fans, but also re-introducing them to fans of the past who didn't realize they were still touring.

In 2006, twenty-five years after its initial release, Get Lucky was remastered and re-released with several previously unreleased songs, including the original demo of "Working for the Weekend".

Much to their fans' delight a new album titled Just Getting Started was released in October 2007, garnering radio airplay with the single "The One That Got Away." The band continued to tour throughout Canada and the United States, promoting the cd as well as continuing to play the crowd favourites.

In 2009, the band was finally inducted to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno awards with a touching tribute from many of their peers and former bassist, Scott Smith's sons in the audience.

2010 brought more touring, highlighted with a performance at the Vancouver Winter Olympics Medal gala.

In January 2011 Mike Reno added "morning radio co-host" to his resumé, joining the Brother Jake show on Classic 101 for a one-year stint in Vancouver. This presented another highlight for Reno, a die-hard Vancouver Canucks fan, when he recorded the anthem "Flying High" to support the team on their path to the Stanley Cup Final. Even with Mike's new DJ duties, the band performed throughout the year, along with releasing a music video for their latest song "Heartbreaker" which is available on ITunes for download. Over 30 years and still rockin', LOVERBOY continues to give their fans a reason to love every minute of it!

Loverboy now

Please note: I used various sources for this band history including old fan club newsletters, magazine articles and books....however, it is only as accurate as what I can research. I am not associated with the band in any way other than being a huge fan so please don't flame me if there are errors!!! If anyone feels I have made a huge error or omission, please contact me and I will do my best to rectify it.....thanks!!