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This is the tragic tale of Loverboy.

by Andrew - May 3, 2002

With a string of three multi-platnum albums and being one of the most successful hard rock groups in the early 1980's, Loverboy dared to ask the world one simple question, "Are you ready to rock?".

This is the 'loosely based on facts' story of Loverboy's rise to fame and subsequent fall from rock superstardom.

The band that would be known to millions around the world as Loverboy was formed in 1979 when guitarist Paul Dean, vocalist Mike Reno, drummer Matthew Frenette, bassist Paul Smith and keyboardist Doug Johnson came up with an idea of a band while working in a sweatshop on Canada's west coast. Not any band mind you, a band that rocks!

Mike Reno: Yeah, we decided being a rock band would be a step in the right direction. Hell, any step is a step in the right direction when you're packaging used gym socks for distribution on the very lucritive Chinese prostitution market.

And with that the quintet of rockers went off to open for KISS, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, I/O Stream, JFK's inaugural address, the 1939 Berlin Olympic games, and the list goes on.

The band was riding high until in 1984 when Paul Dean overdosed on a lethal mixture of fizzy Bottle-Caps and Jolt Cola in a small British telephone booth while trying to make a call to the President of Spain. They were never able to get him out.

Paul's death was only the first of many setbacks the band endured throughout the mid to late eighties. They went through replacement guitarist after replacement guitarist. But no one had the right sound to fill Dean's shoes.

Matthew Fernette: It was really hard in the beginning to find someone to take Paul's place. We tried everybody but nobody could make that guitar scream and bust out like Paul did.

Andrew: So what did you do?

MF: Well we obviously brought Paul back to life. It was the only thing we could do.

Andrew: How did you manage that?

MF: One night Doug and I were watching late night Scandinavian infomercials. One of the infomercials was for a Resurrecting machine developed by a brilliant Norwegian scientist by the name of Dr. Njokleskburg. And it was only 3 easy payments of $19.95! So we bought one and we were off to England where Paul had died. They still hadn't gotten him out of the phone booth.

After the resurrection of Paul Dean the band went on touring in some of Europe but mostly around Strip Clubs and amateur porn studios. Things were going even more downhill in 1987 when they're song "Chasing the Angels" was featured on the Iron Eagle II soundtrack.

Paul Smith: I told Mike that the Iron Eagle II thing was a bad idea. He thought otherwise. He cited how well that Dangerzone tune did in Top Gun. Even though we were on the Top Gun soundtrack, we just didn't have that tune that pushed us over the top. In retrospect, it was the worse thing to happen to us. I mean, Paul died on us, AGAIN!

Yes it was true. In fact by the time the 90s rolled around Paul Dean had been deceased no less than 12 times and twice he was thought to be dead, but later found out that he was just lying in the ditch for undisclosed reasons. The 90s also hailed in a new era of Grunge Rock, Power Rangers and McDonalds Pizza, things that Loverboy couldn't possibly keep up with.

So with a string of successes and a ball of failures, Loverboy won our hearts with their soothing melodic tones and outrageous guitar riffs.


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