LOVERBOY (MIKE RENO Interview)
Monday December 31st (New Year’s Eve)
QUEEN VICTORIA PARK (Free Show)
Niagara Falls, Ontario
JUST GETTING STARTED….Not
a likely album title for a band that basked at the top of the
Billboard Charts throughout most of the eighties. The
Canadian born rockers turned it loose on the
U.S. charts with their self-titled debut album in 1980;
their second release “Lucky Ones”, which charted
years, took them to the top spawning several hits including the
Rock anthem “Working for the Weekend”,
which to this day blares over the FM airwaves to
signify the end of a long work week.
*While the multi JUNO (Canadian Grammy) award
winning band has continued to “Keep It Up” on the
tour circuit for over twenty-five years on the strength of their
“Big One’s”, they’re “Back For More”
in 2007 with the release of “Just Getting Started”.
This collection of
10 tracks is “As Good As it Gets” as the band manages
to rekindle the LOVERBOY reverberation without
compromising the classic vibe that have made them FM
radio staples. This album is the “Real Thing”
worthy of a straight through listen; each track is a tapestry of
raw energy and emotion straddling the fine line between pleasure
*Following the tragic death of Bassist SCOTT SMITH in
2000 finding any words let alone writing new music seemed almost
impossible for MIKE
The future of the band was in doubt and as a songwriter he felt
“Stranded”, it would be that feeling that would
once again set him free.
With a renewed resolve the “Temperature’s Rising”
once again in the LOVERBOY camp and it doesn’t
look like the studio lights are ready to “Fade to Black”
The ROCK RAPPORT was one of the “Lucky Ones”
who caught up with the palpable pipes of LOVERBOY
vocalist MIKE RENO to talk about the new record and
what’s in store for 2008.
Holidays MIKE Thanks for taking some time to speak with
*I know you’re Canadian and used to the cold
weather but are you sure you know what your getting into playing
an outdoor show in Niagara Falls this time of
in the band were just talking about that as we encountered some
adverse weather in
Pennsylvania at a few of our shows this past weekend.
* I think we’ll be fine, we plan on heating things up when we
take the stage along with our buds
DENNIS DeYOUNG (STYX)
HONEYMOON SUITE at Queen Victoria Park.
*The fact that it’s a free show should be enough to warm
Congratulations on the impressive
new record “Just Getting Started” it’s been
receiving rave reviews throughout the music industry.
*It’s invigorating to see a band that really has nothing left
to prove put out such a solid effort track for track; especially
in this “Idolized” age where the concept of
creating music has become secondary to commercialization.
Thank you so much I really do
appreciate the kind words. We really put our heart and soul
into these songs over the past few years; we’re proud of what
we’ve accomplished as a band and really do feel as if we are
once again “Just Getting Started”.
Ross CAT- As good as the
album is it wasn’t an easy road in getting there. These
are the result of some troubled and tragic times both within the
band as well as in your personal life.
MIKE RENO- To be honest
Ross we had been quite happy doing the tour circuit thing
throughout most of the 90’s. The Live performance has always
been and will always be what
LOVERBOY is all about.
*That being said, things started to happen to us as a band
and to myself personally, I lost my brother in a car accident
and my marriage came to an abrupt end. While coping with those
personal issues I get a call informing me that our Bass player
and my best friend SCOTT
SMITH was lost in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY in a freak boating
*Needless to say I felt the world collapsing around me; I
needed to find an outlet to channel all the devastating emotions
I was dealing with so I began to once again write songs. As it
turned out like all LOVERBOY music these songs are indeed
a piece of me and the guys in the band.
*The making of this record has been therapeutic for us in
dealing with the losses we’ve incurred. The recording sessions
allowed us to purge the feelings before they became infectious.
*I think part of the success of the album is its honesty;
it’s true to life which allows anyone whose loved and lost to
connect with the songs. I will say this as a songwriter penning
songs about yourself is extremely difficult in the sense that it
forces you to dig down deep. But once you get there it can be
Ross CAT- Let’s talk about
SCOTT SMITH who was a crucial component to the long term
success of LOVERBOY.
*The tragic way he was lost had to have made closure even
more difficult for the band due to the unnatural circumstances
surrounding his death.
MIKE RENO- To endure
something of this magnitude as a band is truly agonizing; trying
to decide the direction and the future of
LOVERBOY was something none of us
ever envisioned dealing with.
*There was a dark period immediately following the
realization that he wasn’t going to be found that I contemplated
dissolving the band. That didn’t last very long once I got over
my self pity and thought about the person that SCOTT was
and what he would have wanted and expected from us.
* Personally and professionally it was truly an honor for me
to have known and to have shared the stage with SCOTT SMITH.
Fans be sure to check out the amazing
tribute page at the bands website (www.loverboyband.com)
MIKE RENO-As a band part of
the healing process came in the form of releasing “LIVE, LOUD
and LOOSE”. It was our first live album ever released and
really captured the essence of
LOVERBOY from our torrid touring days
from 1982-1986. While going back and revisiting that special
time without SCOTT was difficult for all of us, I know it
would have made SCOTT smile and that’s what this record
is all about.
Ross CAT- Unlike so many of
the bands from your era who are constantly making line-up
changes LOVERBOY managed to stay a tight-knit group
through thick and thin. How difficult was it for new Bassist
KEN “SPIDER” SINNAEVE to find his place in the LOVERBOY
MIKE RENO- He knew it
wasn’t going to be easy so it really took a great deal of
courage which immediately gave him credibility with us.
*The first thing he did when he walked into the studio was
open his case and pulled out a Bass guitar and handed it to me;
he said, “ take this and wrap your arms around it this was
SCOTT’S Bass that he had
once given to me and I’ve always cherished it.”
* It was that moment
that allowed us to move forward while still having a piece of
SCOTT with us.
Ross CAT- Let’s get back to the
great new disc “Just Getting Started”, the first
song written is a riveting song called “Stranded”
which once again was beseeched out of great respect for
MIKE RENO- It was the first
song I had written in a long time, it really was the catalyst
for the entire record. Once I was able to gain some perspective
on life and what had happened to me and the band the flood gates
just kind of opened up. Again I have to thank
SCOTTY for that, even without him
standing next to me he will always be a positive and powerful
presence in my life, that’s something that can never be taken
Ross CAT- I also noticed in
the liner notes that DEF LEPPARD Bassist PHIL COLLEN
contributes to the heavenly harmonies on “Stranded”,
how did that come about?
MIKE RENO- SCOTT and
PHIL were really good friends along with the rest of the
members of both bands, SCOTTY’S loss was felt deeply by
all of the music community. I think it really hit home for the
guys in DEF LEPPARD as they too had to endure unspeakable
tragedy, with the loss of STEVE CLARK and the accident
that RICK ALLEN thankfully survived to once again take
his rightful place behind the kit.
*As I was listening to the chorus to the song it occurred to
me that it was crying out for the dynamic harmonies of DEF
LEPPARD; so I called PHIL and told him that I had
written a song about SCOTT and wanted him to help out
with the chorus which he immediately signed on for. We think
the finished product sounds absolutely perfect.
Ross CAT. - Lastly MIKE,
LOVERBOY is “Notorious” for its legendary live
performances, what’s the feeling within the band strutting out
some new material for the first time in a decade?
Yeah it really has been an energizing
period for the band, we’ve put in about five of the new songs to
go along with the classics and they’ve fused into the set
*Originally the album title was going to be “Back For More”
which is another track on the disc; but after a few months of
rehearsing the new material it really did feel like we were
“JUST GETTING STARTED”
*We look forward to spending NEW YEAR’S EVE at the QUEEN
VICTORIA PARK extravaganza, and then plan on a full scale tour
in 2008. Thanks Ross and please wish everyone a very MERRY
CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from
would like to Thank MIKE RENO for taking time
out for us as the ROCK RAPPORT was “Lovin’ Every
Minute of It”. Thank you also goes out to GAIL
LAGDEN for hooking us up with the interview.
************PEACE and HARMONIES**************
GATHERING OF THE
GODS…..This past July CHICAGO most certainly
lived up to it’s moniker as it became the “Sweet Home”
of one of the most prolific guitar festivals the world has
ever seen; as ERIC CLAPTON and friends gathered for a day
of strength and healing through song at the 3rd
Annual CROSSROADS FESTIVAL.
The CROSSROADS CENTRE (www.crossroadsantigua.org)
a chemical dependency treatment facility was
founded by CLAPTON, a recovering addict and alcoholic, in
Each year the festival has grown as CLAPTON enlists
the elite to help fund the CENTRE in a quest to continue
to offer the world’s most innovative treatment. CLAPTON
explains; “The Crossroads
Festival is the realization of a dream for me, to gather a group
of amazingly talented musicians to perform onstage together for
such a worthy cause; the Crossroad performers are all musicians
I admire and respect”.
This year’s line-up featured the
exceptional talents of STEVE WINWOOD, B.B. KING, JEFF BECK,
BUDDY GUY, DEREK TRUCKS, JOHN MAYER, ROBBIE ROBERTSON, ROBERT
CRAY, JOHNNY WINTER, WILLIE NELSON, VINCE GILL and SHERYL
CROW to name a just a few.
While the performances are the focal point of the DVD
the show is spiced up with the comical antics of host
BILL MURRAY along with noteworthy footage of the back
stage banter between the artists.
Fortunately for those unable to attend this colossal gathering
of paramount players it was captured in HD by RHINO (www.rhino.com)
and is available to enjoy at home. The DVD contains
hours of phenomenal footage highlighted by jam sessions of epic
proportions including a reunion of sorts as BLIND FAITH
members ERIC CLAPTON and STEVE WINWOOD take the
stage together performing classics like “Presence of the
Lord” and “Can’t Find My Home” for the
first time in over three decades.
This performance would prove to be a catalyst for an
upcoming series of shows at the famed
as CLAPTON and WINWOOD will
be playing 3
what is sure to be sold out performances on February 25th,
26th, and 28th.
Stay dialed in to the ROCK RAPPORT as we will be in
attendance. For ticket information check out (www.ericclapton.com);
also available for the music maven on your Christmas
list is the riveting CLAPTON autobiography as well as the
“COMPLETE CLAPTON” CD a 36 track career
retrospective both well worth a look and listen.
“SMASH” HITS…..The musical pride and joy of
GOO GOO DOLLS have put together their very first
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 package. The fourteen track disc
includes #1 hits “Iris”, “Slide” and a new version
of “Name”. Also featured on the disc are the
groups numerous top ten hits “Black Balloon”, “Dizzy”,
“Broadway”, “Here is Gone”, “Big Machine”,” Sympathy”, “Better
Day’s”, “Stay With You”, “Let Love In” as well as a
remix of “Feel the Silence”. This disc is most
certainly a must and should be “Tucked Away” under
the tree this Christmas.
In other GOO related news expect Vol. 2
sometime in early 2008 which will include new recordings,
remixes, B-sides, and more of the bands favorite covers. Also
due out in early 2008 will be a concert DVD of the bands
highly successful “Let Love In” tour recorded this
past June at the revered RED ROCKS AMPITHEATRE in
RZEZNIK can also be seen every Friday Night on FOX as
he is one of the celebrity judges on “The Next Great
Keep your “Eyes Wide Open” for
JOHNNY, ROBBY and MIKE as they are planning on
spending the New Year recording the follow up to
the “Certified Gold” album “Let Love In”
right here in
Be sure to check out the bands website @
www.googoodolls.com for more great
gift ideas. Also available for download is the new single
“Before its Too Late”.
BACK TO THE BAYOU…..Earlier this month 1993 Rock ‘n’ Roll
Hall of Fame Inductee and founding member of CREEDENCE
CLEARWATER REVIVAL JOHN FOGERTY released his first solo
record with FANTASY RECORDS in over thirty-five
years. The Rock ‘n’ Roll “Gunslinger” comes out
with both barrels blazin’ with an unabashed enthusiasm on the
ironically titled disc “REVIVAL”.
The twelve track collection of instant classics melds
perfectly into the scope of songs FOGERTY has written in
his illustrious career. From the vintage vinyl spanning back to
the first “Summer of Love” to his present day
“Revival” his songs remain relevant and essential.
FOGERTY explains; “It
just seemed like all the records I’ve made since CCR have all
been sort of pushed off center. I felt like I was dancing
around the outskirts of what is my true center. With this album
I really wanted to stay on the mark, right in the middle, right
where Rock ‘n’ Roll lives.
the early portion of his post CCR career boycotting the
CCR catalog over incessant legal matters with record
labels which ultimately broke up the band permanently. The
Swamp Rock Roots Poet has long been a man of
credence and conviction staying true to himself and his
timeless treasure of tunes.
FOGERTY and his musical talents are limitless in 2005
he was recognized for his crafty songwriting capacity with a
well deserved induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
One must see FOGERTY perform live to appreciate his often
overlooked mastery as a guitarist, he was voted by Rolling
Stone Magazine at #40 greatest guitarist off all time.
At 62 years young FOGERTY is still starring in
“Centerfield” and swinging for the fences. He and his
“Travlin’ Band” which includes dynamic drummer
just finished up the
“Revival” tour, look for more dates in the New
Year. Check out
www.johnfogerty.com to pick up the new
disc and tour reviews.
“TIES THAT BIND”…..ALTER
has just released its sophomore disc “Blackbird”,
the highly anticipated follow up to their Certified Gold
debut “One Day Remains”.
Following the collapse of CREED in 2004
guitarist MARK TREMONTI, drummer SCOTT PHILLIPS,
and original bassist BRAIN MARSHALL enlisted the lofty
talents of singer/songwriter MYLES KENNEDY.
The diversity that KENNEDY brings to the
band as writer and musician has brought a new found musical
freedom for the former CREED members. Leaving the drama
behind them “Blackbird” soars into a new musical
dimension with a vision and purpose. The talent within the band
has never been in question; it’s the addition of the magnanimous
singer/songwriter KENNEDY that has helped this band
“Come to Life”.
TREMONTI and KENNEDY not only share
songwriting credits on the new disc they also share guitar
duties, MARK explains; “It’s
a natural evolution after working together for 3 years. We knew
MYLES was an amazing singer, that’s why we hired him. What we
found out when we toured on the first record was that he’s an
incredibly talented guitarist and lyricist. As a band we felt
is would have been a crime not to utilize all that talent; we
wanted to use every weapon we had in the arsenal on this album.”
just finished up a string of
support of “BlackBird” and will be heading to the
for dates in January. Go to