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Loverboy’s Paul Dean “Working For the Weekend” with new music

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Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean, has playing the hits with his band for close to 40 years and is “Loving Every Minute of it.”Loverboy play the Enmax Centre, April 8. Photo Submitted
“I just love to play. It doesn’t matter where it is, a festival or a club or an arena,” said guitarist Paul Dean who brings Loverboy including frontman Mike Reno,  keyboardist Doug Johnson, bassist Ken”Spider" Sinnaeve and drummer Matt Frenette back to Lethbridge to play the Enmax Centre on Saturday, April 8.

“We play every weekend,” he said, adding December and January are fairly slow times for the band while June, July, August and September are their busiest months, mostly due to festival bookings.
“We play 15 to 20 shows during those months,” he said, adding they have some big shows coming up this year including the Rockingham festival at Nottingham Trent University, Oct. 20-22. They are also playing Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic  in November at the ’80s in the Sand festival with several other classic rock bands.

The last time they played Lethbridge was for Whoop Up Days in 2014.
 While most of the band is based in Vancouver, they have Albertan roots.
“My wife is from Edmonton and she has relatives in Calgary. I have 40 relatives in Alberta though I don’t get to see them very often. So it is just good to get to hang out with them,” he said.
“When I left Streetheart, I moved to Calgary and met Doug and he introduced me to Mike there and started the band there. I’ve been back in Vancouver for about three years now after living in Calgary for about seven years. It’s like my third home,” he said.

“Now, three of us live in Vancouver, Spider still lives in Winnipeg and Matt lives in Raleigh, North Carolina,” he said.

While Loverboy is known for a cornucopia of hits in the ’80s including “Working For the Weekend,” “The Kid is Hot Tonight,” “Heaven In Your Eyes,” and “Loving Every Minute Of It,” the band released three new singles last year including “Hurtin,” “Some Like it Hot” and “Stop the Rain.”

“These things really are cyclical. There were 78s — long play records and  albums and 45s and a big singles market because people didn’t want to pay 16 or 17 bucks for  an album with only one or two good songs. It’s actually been a long time since I’ve listened to an album all the way through, though I’ll Shazam or stream on Spotify or buy songs I like. That’s really the explanation,” Dean said, adding that is why Loverboy has been releasing singles.

 The band held a fan based video competition for “Stop the Rain.” Fans could download the song for free from Loverboy’s website and were asked to create their own video for the song.

“I produced the last two videos. But for ‘Stop the Rain,’ I was in the bathtub thinking of a concept for the video and it was terrible. So I thought it would be a good Idea to hold a competition for the fans. So I went to Doug first because it’s his song and asked him if that would be all right and he thought it was a great idea,” Dean said, adding they got a lot of response from fans and  some really innovative ideas.

But a  submission from a Spring, Texas fan David Napolillo really captured his attention and won the video competition with his video featuring the band getting abducted by aliens.
 “I wanted people to put their own stamp on the song. I love science fiction and loved the idea,” he said.
 “He came to to our show in San Antonio and we treated him like royalty. We gave him an autographed guitar and all kinds of swag and just treated him like royalty,” he said, adding they’ll likely hire him to do their next official video.
“He’s a stay at home dad. He takes care of his kids and makes these videos. He’s got the creativity and the know how,” he said, adding allowing fans to download music  for free from their website is a way to thank them for their support over the course of their career.

“It’s a thank you to the fans who have been with us for 40 years,” he said.

But Dean lives to play live.

“I’m a guitar player, so I love to play ‘Turn Me Loose.’ It’s a great song for guitar. It’s so sparse. The intro is the same. But I really get to experiment in the middle of the song. I also love to play ‘This Could Be The Night. Even though it’s a keyboard song, I get to have a lot of fun with the guitar parts,” he enthused, adding one of his favourite Loverboy songs to hear is “Take Me to the Top.”

“It has a great groove. There’s a great saxophone solo and I love the reggae feel,” he said, adding another favourite is “Hot Girls in Love.”
He noted the band members are always writing, so another single may be in the works, though probably not a full length album.
“We have a massive body of work. I’m sitting on probably an album’s worth of songs and so is Doug. So it’s a matter of giving  them to Mike and seeing how he can interpret them. Because people change,” he said adding their lead singer’s interpretation of the songs is essential to the band’s sound.

Their big arena rock sound evolved from their origins.
“A friend of ours gave us this big rehearsal space. It was like a big warehouse, so it was big and echoey. So arenas are a good fit for our music. Arena shows are more stripped down and sparse,” he observed.

“But we like to play anywhere. We love playing clubs, as long as the stage isn’t  too small. The audience is right there, in your face. The stage is only three or feet high . And Matt (on drums) is right there. So we can stand right next to him if we want. At festivals, the stage is 10 feet high, so you don’t have that close connection with the audience. But we can spread out and experiment,” he continued.

“But I just love to play anywhere,” he said.
He has been enjoying the spate of Canadian rock autobiographies including April Wine’s Myles Goodwyn’s, released over the past year or so, but that hasn’t inspired him to write his own.

“ Why bother, he said it all,” he laughed, noting he loved April Wine frontman Myles Goodwyn’s book so much that he effusively praised it on the dust jacket.

“We’re a few years apart. He had a lot of success at a really young age. April Wine was a great band. I had a little success with Streetheart, but I was older when it happened. I also really loved Paul Anka’s autobiography. We‘re the same age, but he had a lot if success at 15. I’d need a lot of help to write mine, asking what happened in 1974,” he observed.

Loverboy’s music has also been featured in movies and television shows like Bruce McCulloch’s series “Young Drunk Punk.”
“Greg Godovitz tried to get me into it, but I didn’t really get it. But it is always an honour when that happens. It means a lot when people use our music because it represented a part of their lives,” he said.
 Tickets for Loverboy at the Enmax Centre, April 8 are $35-$45. Local band JJ Thomas are opening the show. at 7 p.m.

A version of this story appears in the April 8,2017 edition of the Lethbridge Herald


— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 April 2017 20:01 )  
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