When “Working For The Weekend” rockers Loverboy first toured with Journey back in 1982, they were riding high on the success of Get Lucky, their biggest album to date. Times were a bit different than they are now for both bands, but that didn’t stop an on-the-road reunion from kicking off last week. Just don’t expect the same tomfoolery as 30 years ago, Loverboy frontman Mike Reno says.
“There’s always crazy stories that you can tell, and there’s always crazy stories that you can’t tell,” Reno tells CBS Local. “Thirty years ago, when we first toured America together, Loverboy had a top-10 album and so did Journey. You can imagine some of the shenanigans that went on after hours. It was bunch of guys being guys, on the road, in the ‘80s. You gotta use your imagination and then times it by 10!”
Joining them for the 74-date North American tour – a reunion Reno calls “an outer limits moment” – is fellow ‘80s phenom Pat Benatar, alongside her guitarist-husband Neil Giraldo. Among the performers there are countless ‘80s hits, which Reno and co. are more-than-pleased to present every night (in addition to a few new songs off upcoming album Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival).
“Here’s the thing about playing your biggest songs: Sometimes you say to yourself, God I’ve played this song about a 100,000 times, but when we do the intro to ‘Turn Me Loose’ and people hear that keyboard intro with the high hat, people cheer like the President of the United States just walked in behind us. We turn around to see who walked on stage! I just can’t feel bad about singing it, because people just go nuts for it – and they know all the words. I don’t even have to sing it because the crowd would sing it for me.”
It’s the zeal of a crowd that Reno says fuels the band, especially on a tour of this length.
“I know a lot of people think you’re living the dream on a million dollar tour bus – and it is pretty darn nice – but after 10 hours on the highway, you start asking yourself, ‘am I doing the right thing? Is this really what I want to do with my life?'” Reno says. “After the 10-hour drive, you hop onstage after you’ve barely had time for a shave and a shower, and you walk out and there’s 14,000 people there, you’re doing the right thing.”
Just this week, even more tour dates were added to an already intense schedule. Currently, the Journey/Loverboy/Pat Benatar tour of North America runs through mid-December, and Reno is optimistic about more extensions.
“I was calling my friends and family and telling them, yeah there’s 70 shows, and before I hang up the phone, there’s 74!” he says. “It’s kind of like a dinner party where you invite three people and before you know it, there’s 13 people at the table.”
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local