by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Dennis DeYoung (STYX)
Monday December 31st (New Year’s Eve)
Niagara Falls, Ontario

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 for 2 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 and pain.
    *Following the tragic death of Bassist SCOTT SMITH in 2000 finding any words let alone writing new music seemed almost impossible for MIKE
RENO.  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” just yet.
    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.
Ross CAT-Happy Holidays MIKE Thanks for taking some time to speak with us.
    *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 year?
RENO-The guys 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
    *The fact that it’s a free show should be enough to warm everyone’s heart.

    Ross CAT-
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.
MIKE RENO- 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 10 tracks are the result of some troubled and tragic times both within the band as well as in your personal life.
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 accident.
    *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 very
    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.

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

    Ross CAT-
Fans be sure to check out the amazing tribute page at the bands website (
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 family?
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 SCOTT SMITH.
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 away.
    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?
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?
    MIKE RENO- 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 nicely.
    *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
We 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.

****************HAPPY HOLIDAYS********************
************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.
Antigua, a chemical dependency treatment facility was founded by CLAPTON, a recovering addict and alcoholic, in 1998.
    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”.
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 ( and is available to enjoy at home.  The DVD contains over
4 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
Madison Square Garden 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  (; 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 Buffalo the 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 COLORADO.                                        *JOHNNY RZEZNIK can also be seen every Friday Night on FOX as he is one of the celebrity judges on “The Next Great American Band”.
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 @ 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.
    *Fogerty spent 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
KENNY ARONOFF( just finished up the “Revival” tour, look for more dates in the New Year. Check out to pick up the new disc and tour reviews.

    “TIES THAT BIND”…..ALTER BRIDGE 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”.
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.”
ALTER BRIDGE just finished up a string of U.S. dates in support of “BlackBird” and will be heading to the UK for dates in January.  Go to

*****HAPPY HOLIDAYS********

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