The leather pants, the headband and the hard rocking music. For Mike Reno and Loverboy, the signature style that propelled the Canadian band to the top of the charts at the dawn of MTV is making a comeback.
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And the guys are lovin’ every minute of it.
"I'm happy and gratified with what we're doing now," Reno said, "We're still here, the fans are still here, now they're bringing their kids. For me, it just couldn't get better."
Life is good for Loverboy. The group that sold 10 million albums with hits like “Turn Me Loose” and “Hot Girls in Love,” and whose smash “Working for the Weekend” helped make a "Saturday Night Live" sketch into a classic, is going strong these days with a brand new song and a tour that has grandparents and children singing along.
"We are surrounded by a whole new breed of youngsters," Reno said, "they know all the words. They got the headbands on, they got the T-shirts, it has to be the Internet."
Lead guitarist and founding member Paul Dean also believes the Web is generating new interest in Loverboy. "We still fit that mold," he said, "and there are a lot of tweens at the shows. I couldn't be happier. And to be a part of it still, wow!"
The group recently released its new single “Heartbreaker” and is premiering the music video for the song exclusively on TODAY.com ( click here to watch it (on this page) ).
While the Loverboy sound has stayed the same over the years, Reno’s appearance has not. The front man struggled with weight and gained more than 50 pounds, and it was taking a toll on his health.
“My ankles were sore, my hips were bothering me, something is going to happen here,” he said.
Sensing that he was at a crossroads, Reno changed his lifestyle and starting eating better.
“It was a healthy diet, I lost 50 pounds and I have never felt better,” he said.
Loverboy can also laugh at itself. Whether as part of a running joke on "30 Rock" or as the soundtrack to Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze’s Chippendale’s try-out on 'SNL,' the band has become fodder for comedians. But that’s perfectly fine with them.
“They can make the biggest jokes because they are talking about it,” Dean said. “I’m the biggest fan of that. I get a charge of that.”
Reno recalled the moment he watched the Chippendales routine for the first time.
“I was sitting at the end of my bed, I was packing for the next morning and out comes this thing and I laughed so hard I rolled on the ground, he said. “To me that was the biggest compliment.”
Reno and Dean might have the last laugh. They said the royalties for “Working for the Weekend” continue to stream in. “We go to the mailbox, it’s still a good part of our lives, opening those checks,” Reno said. “I think we get a nickel every time it’s played,” Dean added with a chuckle.
Loverboy is embracing its past while setting its sights on a future that Reno hopes will bring them more music, fans and fun.
“For me it just couldn’t be better,” Reno said.
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