Canadian rockers took the world by storm in the '80s
By Peter Lindblad
|Loverboy in 2012|
To this day, amassing a boatload of Juno Awards, as Loverboy did in the ‘80s, certainly gives Mike Reno a great sense of achievement. And seeing all those gold and platinum record awards that line the walls of his home studio has to be incredibly gratifying.
But there is another trophy sitting in his office from the good old days that Reno treasures above the rest, and the singer swells with pride every time it catches his eye.
“It’s a crystal piece made by Tiffany’s, and it comes in a leather case that opens. It’s a handmade leather case, and it’s about the size of a bottle of Crown Royal … you know, in the box,” explains Reno. “And inside is a Crystal Globe Award [from Columbia Records]. It was given to us on the top floor of the penthouse apartment at the Chrysler Building in Manhattan years ago, when Loverboy sold multi-millions of records outside of its own country.”
Not many people can claim they have one, but Reno does, and Loverboy was the first Canadian act to ever receive one. “There was only three or four of them ever given for people that sold international stuff,” continued Reno. “So we were a Canadian band that sold so many records outside of Canada that we were given the Crystal Globe Award for selling over five million [copies] of one record outside of our own country. That was a huge honor, the highest on the totem pole.”
While it’s highly unlikely Loverboy will ever move such an enormous number of units again, given the state of the music industry and radio’s aversion to playing new music from classic rock bands, Reno and company aren’t throwing in the towel just yet.
On Aug. 14, Loverboy’s new album, Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, will drop via Frontiers Records. An invigorating blast of recently recorded live versions of Loverboy classics – minus the crowd noise but still bristling youthful energy – and three infectious new recordings boasting the kind of big, juicy hooks and irresistible melodies that made them arena-rock heroes, Rock ‘N’ Revival finds Loverboy feeling a bit nostalgic.
Anxious to revisit past triumphs with an old friend, producer Bob Rock, Loverboy turns “No Tomorrow” and “Heartbreaker” loose on curmudgeonly critics who’ve already written them off as dinosaurs lost in a world that’s passed them by. Reno isn’t conceding anything, and it’s Loverboy’s adherence to its tried-and-true recording process that’s going to win the day for them.
“When we record, we don’t do a whole lot of overdubs. When you hear the keyboards, it’s a part,” says Reno. “The keyboards played a counterpart to the guitar, so the ‘na na na na na nu nah,’ keyboard, keyboard, keyboard, beat … ‘na na na na na nu nah,’ keyboard, keyboard … it’s kind of what we started doing years ago, and it’s kind of what we do. So when Doug (Johnson) gets done on keyboards, he’s going to play that, and then Paul’s going to write a part to fit where the hole is, and the bass is going to chug along really, really cool with the drums, and our drummer [Matt Frenette] is insane. He can play the most insane, high-energy stuff, and then I kind of do this piercing tenor, and I just stay right in this pocket.”
Rock, it seems, is as happy as can be to be working with Loverboy again. Though he’s known for his production work with the likes of Metallica, Aerosmith, The Cult and … (gulp!) Michael Buble, among others, Rock made his bones as an engineer working alongside the band and Bruce Fairbairn on blockbuster Loverboy albums like Get Lucky, Keep it Up and Lovin’ Every Minute of It.
Of Loverboy’s latest studio efforts, Reno says of Rock, “He was so into it, he left the control room, and came out where we were doing the track and he put on the headphones and he was like one of the band,” said Reno. “He was rockin’. He put a guitar on, and he’s just standing there rockin’ and he’s looking around. And then after we ran through it a few times, he went, ‘We’ve got it. That’s it. That’s the energy I was looking for.’ And he said, ‘I don’t get that anymore. Everybody records one track at a time nowadays.’ He said, ‘It’s such a pleasure to work with Loverboy again ‘cause I remember how you guys record originally.’”
Recapturing the studio magic of the past is one thing. It remains to be seen whether or not that translates into the kind of mind-blowing album sales Loverboy once experienced.
Recently, Loverboy went back to where it all began, the Refinery Night Club in Calgary, Alberta, to perform for a gas and oil company. Being so close to ground zero, the memories came flooding back to Reno.
“They put us in a hotel that was a half a block from where the Refinery used to be, and I went down there and I stood there, and I went, ‘Holy sh*t. This is where it all started,’” said Reno.
One frigid night in 1979, Reno found himself at the Refinery, a venue that played host to numerous international rock acts back then. Owned by Paul Blair, future manager of Loverboy, the Refinery was a place where starving rock hopefuls like Reno used to go to “get in on a free dinner.” Sated by the meal and the show he’d seen, Reno left through the back door. Outside, he heard sounds coming from an abandoned bus repair shop nearby and with some trepidation, Reno decided to investigate. It was Paul Dean playing guitar into a tape recorder.
After introducing themselves, Reno and Dean talked. As it turned out, Dean had just been let go from his band Streetheart. “They’d canned him for asking too many questions about where all the money was going and why can’t we get paid every once in a while, so the band canned him over the phone,” recalls Reno.
As the conversation continued, Reno could see that Dean “was at a low point in his life.” As for Reno, he’d just quit a band in Ontario. “I was coming across Canada to drop my girlfriend off in Calgary to finish her master’s degree at the university there,” he added, “and I was going to go visit my brother in California. So, it was one of those kinds of times in our lives where our paths just crossed. I was looking for something to do. He was obviously looking for something to do, and we were both in that mood where, ‘I don’t want to get involved with another band, but I’ll sit here and write some songs if you want.’ That’s how we did it for a while. We didn’t make any commitments to each other. We just said, ‘Let’s write some songs, and let’s see what happens.’ And that’s how it started right there. And it was on the way home from the Refinery that night, and Lou Blair was one of Paul Dean’s best friends, and he was kind of a business guy, and Paul was a rock ‘n’ roll guitar player and songwriter. And so was I, so the three of us got things started as a little team. Lou was going to manage us, and we were going to write songs, and then we kind of met guys. We met Doug Johnson. He was in Calgary. And then everything kind of started from there. So that’s really how it started.”
Almost immediately, Dean and Reno – who chose the name Loverboy while looking at the fashion magazines their girlfriends were reading when they were all gathered together to watch movies, with Reno thinking it would get “kind of a rise” out of people – discovered they had a songwriting chemistry that would take them far. In fact, one of their early jam sessions bore fruit in the form of “Turn Me Loose,” one of those fist-pumping, powerhouse anthems Loverboy seemed to produce at will in the’80s.
“I started off writing that song on a bass actually,” admits Reno. “I’m actually a drummer, and drummers and bass guitarists kind of go hand-in-hand. They work the bottom end of the groove. So, we had some people drop by. It was kind of a good time for music in Canada – everybody was playing music. There were concerts and clubs everywhere, and bar bands. So music was everywhere, and there were bands playing everywhere. We used to snag a guy if he was on his way home … ‘cause we’d stay up late. If a band would finish playing let’s say at the Refinery, a couple guys would walk over and we’d say, ‘Can you sit on the drums for a couple minutes? Mike wants to play this lick.’ So I went and started playing a drum pattern for the guy, just a basic drum pattern and it kind of goes like this. He goes, ‘Okay.’ And then I would hop on the bass, and Paul was doing something, and I’d be going, ‘Doo da, doo da.’ And finally, he looks over at me and goes, ‘If you keep playing that goddamn riff, I’d better start thinking about writing some guitar for it to wrap around it,’ because I just kept playing it all the time. I was driving him crazy. I’d play “doo da, doo da” on bass, and it kept driving him crazy until he said, ‘Let’s do something with that riff and then maybe you’ll stop playing the f**king thing.’ It was really quite simple. I was just bugging him, just playing that riff over and over, ‘cause I’m not a great bass player. That riff was just in my head, and we just decided to finish it off.”
That hooky little ear wig would worm its way into the heads of millions of record buyers, and yet, initially, none of the U.S. record labels wanted anything to do with Loverboy. So, they eventually went with Columbia/CBS Records Canada.
“We got a record contract finally after everybody had turned us down,” said Reno. “Jeff Burns [the man who signed Loverboy] saw some potential and got us a record deal – barely. So we had to work within the confines of the small amount of money we were given.”
Though Loverboy wasn’t blessed with unlimited financial resources for their self-titled debut album, which they began work on in March of 1980, they were fortunate to have, in studio, a dream team that nurtured their “all for one and one for all” recording process.
“So, we had a producer, Bruce [Fairbairn],” relates Reno. “It was one of his first projects [to break through in the U.S.], and we just started kicking ass. We just went into the studio, and there was a young guy [Bob Rock] there from another band, playing in a [Vancouver new wave] group called The Payolas. And he was a guitar player, and he was mixing, and the sixth guy was running around, changing tapes, getting coffee and making sure everything was good, moving carts around. His name was Mike Frazier, and you look up Mike Frazier and you realize he’s worked with everyone from AC/DC to … I don’t know, Metallica or something. Bob Rock worked with Metallica. You look up Mike Frazier, and you’ll see what I mean. He’s a big producer. So, we started with Bruce Fairbairn at the helm, and the whole thing about Bruce is, he let us record right off the floor. He didn’t boss us around like some producers do, and some producers try to change the way you play and make everything different and sterile. Bruce got off on the fact that when we played together – we sounded better than when we played separately. So he insisted on us playing everything together at the same time – we’d set up and just play. And so basically, that’s what we did. And he let us do it.”
That first Loverboy album turned out to be a valuable learning experience for two men who would go on to do great things in the music industry.
“Bob Rock was basically cutting his teeth,” said Reno. “He was the engineer, and Bruce Fairbairn gave Bob a chance and Bob Rock gave Mike Frazier a chance, and Jeff Burns gave Loverboy a chance. And Bruce Allen said, ‘This is kind of cool.’ So, Bruce Allen, who’s managed Michel Buble and Bryan Adams and Anne Murray, and all these great people … he managed BTO for all these years. BTO had just finished, so Bruce Allen was looking for something to do and he took us on. And the whole thing just gelled from there.”
Released in November, 1980, Loverboy’s first album yielded not only “Turn Me Loose,” but also “The Kid is Hot Tonite,” both of which actually came out in 1981. Behind the scenes, the promotional machinery established by Allen and Blair was working overtime. And on the strength of those hit singles, two million copies of the LP were sold in the U.S., where evidently nobody cared one whit whether Loverboy was from Canada or Bora Bora.
“I don’t think anybody even knew we were Canadian back then,” said Reno. “It was the weirdest thing. Some people still don’t know we’re Canadian. When we started doing really well and the record started selling, America took over. New York … the record company was in New York, and they just started pumping us everywhere. We were on tour with Kansas, and then right after that, we were on tour with ZZ Top. And after that, we went on tour with Journey. And then after that, we went on tour by ourselves, taking with us Joan Jett and Huey Lewis, and different groups like that. And we were always in the States, so people thought we were American. It’s not that we said we were American. They just assumed. And we told everybody we were Canadian, but they still didn’t get it. They thought we were American, and they still do to this day.”
It wasn’t just the music that set Loverboy apart, but the clothes as well. A woman who worked in Bruce Allen’s office had a husband who owned a leather shop just down the street. She said he’d give the upstart band a big discount on anything they wanted. Reno said he tried on “… a million pairs [of leather pants]. I took a black pair and a red pair, and the red pair just fit really great. And I started wearing them around, and people kind of started saying, ‘Look at the red leather pants.’ So when they started shooting videos, I wore the red leather pants and then one thing led to another.” The thing is Dean wore them just as much as Reno did … at least according to Reno he did. As for the headbands that completed the look, Reno says they were there to simply soak up sweat “… so my hair wouldn’t look so sh*tty.”
Wanting to strike while the iron was hot, Loverboy couldn't just rest on their laurels. On the road, in support of their breakout debut LP, Loverboy was searching somewhat to find their identity. They soon figured it out, and when they got off the road, they quickly raced back into the studio to knock out another set of tunes for the wildly successful Get Lucky, which dropped in October of 1981.
“On the first album, you’ve got songs you’ve been cultivating your whole life,” said Reno. “And there were four different styles in addition to our rock thing – we had new wave, we had a little reggae, we had some heavy stuff, we had the pop stuff. That was kind of an experimental record, the first record. Then, when we played live, we realized that we were more like a high-energy rock band. And, we’d just come off a tour. We had a chance to play songs off the second album in front of people and see their reactions, and maybe we’d change a few things and rewrite some things. So we came home and we had the five weeks off and we went in the studio, between tours, and during the five-week break, I mean we cut the stuff right off the floor – just recorded it and finished it. Then we managed to squeeze another week of holiday in, and then it was back on the road. So the first record was all the things we’d come up with through our whole lives and the second album was all the things we ran off through the recording in five weeks in that break. So they were very different, but it was a really cool way to do a record. We didn’t have a lot of time to over-think it. We just cut the stuff and went back out on the road.”
Get Lucky [for more on how the cover was created, see our previous Loverboy post from July] came out while Loverboy was on tour with Journey, and it caught fire almost immediately, with the deliriously catchy smash-hit “Working for the Weekend” and the painful ballad “When it’s Over” propelling the LP to incredible heights. “’When it’s Over’ was a very personal song for me,” said Reno. “It was about break-up I had, where I just realized it was over. And it was kind of a tough song to sing. I almost cried singing it. Those things you never forget, right?”
Love hurts, but having a hit record is a soothing salve for any kind of wound. At its apex, Get Lucky, with that iconic cover of somebody’s backside – not Reno’s, but actually, that of a teenage girl – clad in red leather pants and fingers crossed in a very naughty manner, indeed – surged to #7 on the U.S. Billboard charts. In all, the album garnered Loverboy a record six Juno Awards. Nobody’s ever topped that.
“It was a fun record to do, and every time we play songs off that record, [fans] jump up and down,” said Reno. “I think it was our best-seller. So, yeah, [Get Lucky is] probably my favorite.”
Another factor in Loverboy’s meteoric rise was the explosion of MTV. Blissfully unaware of the potential power of this emerging medium, Loverboy was directed by management to shoot a few videos while of concerts staged in Albany, New York, while the band was on one of its earliest tours. “Loverboy sent them two or three videos for the first week they opened, because they didn’t have enough to play 24 hours a day,” said Reno. “Remember, it was rock videos 24 hours a day on MTV. Well, they didn’t have enough to play, so they played us like 10 times a day and it made us hugely famous.”
Those indelible onscreen images of Loverboy giving everything it could possibly give while sweating through a vigorous, turbo-charged workout of “Working for the Weekend” are burned into the collective memories of those children of the ‘80s, whose workaday lives still leave them pining for happy hours and rowdy Saturday nights. That song has already lived an incredible life, having appeared in movies, television shows, at sporting events and in video games. Permanently woven into the colorful fabric of pop culture, “Working for the Weekend” – a working-class anthem if there ever was one – shows few signs of aging. Reno is amazed at the song’s longevity, as well as that of the band.
“They say you can foresee things. I didn’t foresee me being 60 years old, or being 57. I didn’t foresee myself being 57, never mind being 57 and still playing a hundred shows a year,” said Reno. “I never even thought about it. We just wrote songs and had fun, and went on the road and tried to earn a living. That’s what we did. We didn’t expect it to go long or short. We had no idea what was going to happen. I don’t think the Rolling Stones had an idea they’d be going all these years. It’s kind of the same for us or at least me anyway. I’m kind of digging it. I didn’t know I’d be playing a hundred shows a year, and just loving what I do. I just love being in a rock band.”
That wasn’t always the case, however, for Reno.
On Top of the World
Between 1980 and 1984, it seemed Loverboy could do no wrong. Everything they touched seemed to turn to gold, or even platinum. With Get Lucky flying off the shelves, selling an obscene four million copies in the U.S., Loverboy was on top of the world. And with Keep it Up, the band’s 1983 LP, the band kept on rolling.
Almost dizzy with sexual desire and red-blooded riffs, the lusty “Hot Girls in Love” rose all the way to #11 on the U.S. singles charts, becoming their biggest-selling song to date. “Queen of the Broken Hearts” followed, and it took off, too, with MTV’s omniscient support. Out on the road again, Loverboy got its name on top of the marquee, as the band barnstormed its way through its first headlining tour. A year after Keep it Up did exactly what the title said it would for Loverboy, the band recorded the stirring U.S. theme for the 1984 Summer Olympics, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop You Now.”
It seemed nothing could slow Loverboy’s momentum. But, for 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It, Loverboy wanted to try something different. Opting for a heavier, edgier sound, Loverboy ultimately settled on veteran metal producer Tom Allom, of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath fame – although he wasn’t their first choice.
“We wanted to record that album wet. We wanted to get a cool, big sound, like Def Leppard and Foreigner, and so we looked at who was doing those records, and it was Mutt Lange,” said Reno. “But he was too busy. So we used Mutt Lange’s engineer … I can’t remember his name. Mutt Lange’s engineer, Mike [Shipley] … and then we stayed in this house. It kind of drove us crazy all of us staying in this house. We weren’t that kind of band. And we had a chef, and then we just cut it after three weeks, it just wasn’t working for us, so we said, ‘Let’s just drop it and forget about it.’”
Then, along came Allom.
“We tried to get an English kind of a guy again, so we got Tom Allom, who had done Judas Priest, and we thought, ‘That’s cool. Judas Priest sounds like good sh*t,’” said Reno. “So we thought we’d give it a try. We kind of liked the English sensibilities, because one of his favorite quotes was [affects an English dialect], ‘Change nothing, immediately!’ And after you think about that for a second, it really makes perfect sense. So, he also liked the way we recorded in the room, and not a lot of bands do that. They try to do it, but it doesn’t happen with them. We just kept with people we could get along with, and we had a lot of fun with that record.”
In particular, Loverboy enjoyed their first U.S. Billboard Top 10 hits, the stomping, ballsy title track – written, actually, by Lange – and the romantic charmer “This Could be the Night,” written with Journey’s Jonathan Cain. In 1986, Loverboy again caught the record-buying public’s ear with “Heaven in Your Eyes,” one of the many shiny trinkets the Top Gun soundtrack offered. Doug Johnson balked at participating, however, due to the film’s glorification of war.
By now, however, Loverboy was growing weary of that familiar cycle of nonstop touring and recording that had broken so many of the greats over the years. And when the band went to work on making 1987’s Wildside, Reno admits his enthusiasm was waning.
“I kind of lost a bit of interest, and I just said, ‘Let’s just pick some songs, and I don’t care who writes them. Let’s just do this and get it over with,’” said Reno, with perfect candor. “And it kind of shows, and then I started to write songs with other people, and the guys said, ‘We don’t like those,’ and I said, ‘Well, I don’t like those.’ And everybody went … we all kind of went, ‘Swallow it.’ And kind of around the same time music was … with the record companies getting pissy and radio was changing, I didn’t know what to do. So, we were experimenting, trying to get a new sound. And it was … after a while, I just went, ‘Who gives a sh*t? I just don’t care. Let’s just record it and move on.’ And that’s kind of basically how it went to be honest with you.”
Not surprisingly, Wildside stiffed, despite the minor flare-up caused by the single “Notorious.” Disagreements over the direction of the band intensified, and a sea change was occurring within the music and radio industry that would finally derail the hit-making juggernaut that was Loverboy. Around 1990, Reno said, the band needed a break.
“It was a mixture of things. It was an equal mixture of … we’d recorded some things and had sent them to the record company, and they would say, ‘That sounds too much like your other stuff. Can you record some different stuff with a different flavor?’” remembered Reno. “So we recorded some stuff and we sent it to them, and they said, ‘That doesn’t sound anything like you guys.’ And we said, ‘Well, Christ. Make up your minds.’ And then they started saying, ‘Well, we don’t think we want another record right now. So just hang out and do whatever you want.’ At the same time, radio changed. They just started to play stuff like the Culture Club and Pet Shop Boys, and there was no room for rock ‘n’ roll like Journey, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon … you know, that stuff they just stopped playing on the radio. So the record company didn’t want anything because of that, radio wasn’t playing anything, they dropped us off. And so we just basically sat around and said, ‘Let’s just stick this out for a while.’ The record company is not interested. Radio’s changed, they’re not playing anything … what are we going to do? So we just decided to raise our kids for a few years.”
‘We’ve been sitting around for too long’
Out of the public eye, Loverboy tended to matters on the home front. On indefinite hiatus, Reno and company were in no hurry to get back to business. Then, tragedy struck, as good friend Brian MacLeod of the Canadian band Chilliwack took ill. A concert was organized in 1991 to raise funds for MacLeod’s medical care.
“A friend of ours was suffering from a really rare form of cancer, and he needed special drugs that weren’t available unless you bought them yourself,” said Reno. “Because in Canada, we have socialized medicine thing where if you get sick, they’ll take care of you, but they only take care of you with medicines that are approved at the time. And the medicines he wanted to try were going to cost like 60 grand. So we all got together to try to raise money for them. And his name was Brian McCloud, he was playing in a band called Chiliwack that did very well, and then he formed another band the Head Pins. And him and I were great friends.”
It was a shared interest in boating brought Reno, Frenette and MacLeod together.
“We both had boats. He lived on a boat. We recorded songs on his boat. We went on trips on his boat and my boat, and our drummer Matty had a boat,” said Reno. “We became the Royal Vancouver Rock ‘N’ Roll Yacht Club, and we went away, did things and had fun, and we were always cutting up. He was just one of those guys who lived in the studio every day, and I ended up writing a lot of songs with him and hanging out. When he got sick, we were all pretty much devastated. We would do anything to help him, ‘cause we were taking a bit of a break at the time.”
Some of the biggest stars in rock at the time gathered together to do what they could for MacLeod.
“I think it was Bryan Adams who said, ‘Let’s raise some money for the guy,’” said Reno. “And in town that month were The Cult, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Bryan was home … Bryan Adams, all the guys from Chiliwack. We just said, ‘Let’s get our groups together, do one set each. Offer the tickets for whatever … $40,’ and even the bar went to the guy. So we raised all this money for him, but what we’d done is we kicked open his guitar case – it was a sellout – put it up on the monitor, and we played the set list, and the audience response to our show was so enlightening that both our managers and us … as we walked past the audience, we said to our managers, ‘Book us some shows. We’ve been sitting around for too long.’ And that’s how it started. That’s how we got back at it. We’d had our break, and we’d been forced out of it by doing this benefit, and then we were back at it.”
Various greatest-hits packages and live albums – including 2001’s Live, Loud and Loose – have satisfied fans’ desire for new recordings, but where Loverboy – who have carried on with Ken Sinnaeve (Guess Who, Red Rider, Steelheart] after bassist Scott Smith was declared dead in 2000 after being lost at sea – really shines is in a concert setting, where their exuberance and unbridled excitement always carries the day, just as did one particular time in a football stadium where they shared the bill with a host of rock ‘n’ roll heavyweights.
“We were in Denver or something and we were playing JFK Stadium in Philadelphia,” Reno recalls. “We got kind of invited at the last moment, and it was a three-day drive. And you had to drive constantly to get there, and we finally got in this tour bus … we’re driving as fast as can, basically hanging out there and kind of getting directions. And we get into the JFK Stadium, pull the bus up, we’re on in less than an hour … basically, all we had time to do was run a hose over our hair, slick it back, throw on some rock and roll clothes and jump on stage, having the crew set up equipment and stuff. We went up onstage and started playing and got in front of the audience and there were 90,000 people at JFK Stadium rocking to Loverboy. And we did this thing where we split the audience in half, and one half said ‘bullshit’ and the other half said, ‘F- you.’ Paul and I were doing this thing and we were getting into it so much, and we had 45,000 people saying ‘F- you’ and the other 45,000 people saying ‘bullshit.’ And everybody was psyched and getting louder, and we’d just had this whole routine worked out. We’d just gotten off the bus after a three-day drive and had wet our hair down with a hose backstage, threw on some leather pants, and we looked from the side of the stage and there were all these people from the Kinks to the Pretenders and Foreigner, and they’re all watching us because they couldn’t believe how we’d gotten the audience going. They came out of the dressing room going, ‘What the f**k is going on with these guys, right?’ That was very memorable.”
Loverboy hopes to create more unforgettable moments on tour in 2012 with their old friends Pat Benatar and Journey. “You know what it’s going to be like? It’s like going to a high school reunion,” said Reno. “We know all the guys in their bands, and they know us. We’ve got big hits and they’ve got big hits, it’s just going to be a hit fest, really. We’ll play like seven songs that were all in the top Hit Parade, then Pat Benatar’s going to play seven or eight songs that were all on the Hit Parade, and then Journey’s going to come out and play 14 or 15 songs – ‘cause they’re the headliners – and they’re all going to be from the Hit Parade. You know, it’s going to be like a family reunion. It’s going to be a total riot to go to that concert. It’s going to be nothing but hits.”
And for the most part, so is their upcoming LP release. Whether any of their newest creations cause the kind of sensation that “Working for the Weekend” did years ago remains to be seen. About the first single, the stirring title track that kicks things into high-gear on the record, Reno explains, “It wasn’t [written in] anger. It was angst. I had a little angst because I didn’t hear anything I liked on the radio. You know, chances are, they won’t play it, because we’re a classic rock band and nobody plays any new classic rock songs anymore, which is another frustrating problem. But, at least I gave it a shot.”
That’s all anybody can ask of them at this point.