The lovely return of Loverboy 

‘80s rockers play Whistler Olympic Plaza with Trooper on Saturday


"Hi there, I'm Mike Reno. We're here shooting a show for, uh, Health Nutz. I think it's in studio or Stage Three. Is there some place you'd like me to park?"

There's some fuzzy mumbling over the intercom as security personnel investigates where Reno is supposed to park for the Vancouver based film recording.

Reno then says to me, "I'm kind of an actor. I've never been an actor but I'm going to give it the ol' college try."

TV's just part of it - Reno's had plenty of opportunity lately. He now co-hosts The Bro Jake Show on Rock 101, one of Vancouver's most popular morning radio shows. And with the popular revival of his band, '80s hit makers Loverboy, he's been playing shows across the continent.

Not bad for a band that went out of style nearly two decades ago. Rarely do bands fall out of fashion only to remerge. It happened with the Beatles, with Elvis, with Journey. And now it's happening, for whatever reason, with Loverboy.

"It was one of those kinds of deals where I woke up one day and I was famous again," Reno says.

He's quick to point out, however, that Loverboy's not "back" - they never actually went anywhere. Despite a few hiatuses in their career, Loverboy has been touring and playing shows every year for the past 30.

"Maybe you forgot about us, or your brothers forgot about us, but we never stopped touring. I don't want to stop anybody's bubble, like, 'Oh, we're back?' We're actually just back in fashion," he says.

Loverboy is perhaps best known for their early 80s hits "Turn Me Loose" and "Working For the Weekend," which have become hallmarks of the decade. Their 1981 album Get Lucky was a smash hit in the U.S. and Canada. Driven by the strength of "Working for the Weekend," the album hit number seven on the Billboard 200 album chart, back when that actually meant something. "Turn Me Loose" was on of the first videos to have heavy rotation on MTV, back when MTV still played videos. Get Lucky earned them six JUNO Awards in 1981 - a record that has yet to be broken. Their albums went platinum several times over. Loverboy sold out arenas. They toured the world in their own private jet and played alongside their idols. For a while there, they bloody well ruled.

"We lived in this great, beautiful era," Reno says. "People bought music, they paid for it. They went to concerts, they bought t-shirts and they allowed us to go and do another project because they put a little more money in the kitty for recording. It was great."

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