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Friday, Aug 29, 2014
Arts & Music

Loverboy will do what they love at Taste of Pinellas


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Canadian rocker Mike Reno has no intention of slowing down.

The 59-year-old lead singer of ‘80s rock band Loverboy is not only remastering and mixing a new album (“Unfinished Business” out July 7), but he and the group perform 45 shows a year, including Friday at the Taste of Pinellas in St. Petersburg.

“We do the slow and steady wins the race and we always get from people, ‘You’re still playing?’” Reno said. “Well, heck, yeah, and this probably the most fun we’ve had in our whole careers.”

Loverboy’s new album is full of previously unreleased songs, now remastered. Reno says back in the ‘80s, they recorded 20-plus songs for an album and then the record company would want just nine for the album.

“There were good ones in there that just didn’t make the cut,” Reno adds.

He also said, the band is looking forward to some Florida heat.

“(We) love the Tampa/St. Petersburg area because its still cold up here in Canada and we can come down and have Cuban coffee and cigars and see some hot-looking babes before we maybe golf or get out on a boat,” he says.

Reno said Loverboy has “quietly been on the road for 35 years” but also took time off in the early 90s when “studios and radio stations just wouldn’t play guys like us and Styx and REO (Speedwagon) and ZZ Top and Foreigner and Journey and Pat Benatar.” Eventually, Reno added, “they came to their senses and, sure, they call us classic rock now, but at the time we were saying ‘What the hell?’”

And while Loverboy is sure to play classics such as “Working For The Weekend,” “When It’s Over” and “Hot Girls In Love,” Reno and company are looking forward to a reunion of sorts with Benatar in town.

“Its going to be great to see Pat and her husband again — they’re great friends,” Reno said. “But whenever we do a show, like when we played with Cheap Trick in Colorado or played with Foreigner, its like a big high school reunion. We all get together and catch up, like when we haven’t seen ZZ Top in a while, and we just love doing that.”

Reno’s love for music and passion to perform doesn’t seem to have faded.

“We’re in our 50s and I’m quite proud people say we sound better now than ever,” Reno said. “I freak out when I hear that. We really love that and you can’t go wrong if you do what you love.

“And we’re having just as much fun as the audience. That’s why we keep doing it year after year.”

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