It has been 40 years since Loverboy formed in Calgary, and the Canadian quintet is still … well, lovin’ every minute of it.
With four original members still in the lineup, the group continues to celebrate a career that includes four multiplatinum albums and a slew of rock radio hits, such as “Turn Me Loose,” “Working for the Weekend,” “Hot Girls in Love” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” while frontman Mike Reno helped the brand along with his 1984 “Almost Paradise” duet with Heart’s Ann Wilson from the film “Footloose.”
The band will play The Big E in West Springfield on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m.It has been a bit — 2014, to be exact — since Loverboy has released new music, but that’s of minimal concern. The group’s catalog is deep enough to allow the group to “Keep It Up” any time it wants.
If you’re going to the show, here are five things you should know.
1. Reno, 64, credits “songwriting and the personalities” for Loverboy’s longevity. “We give a high-energy show, and we don’t get into politics or anything — we just rock out. And people remember growing up with this stuff. They remember going to high school or college or whatever, getting married to some of these songs. We’re part of their lives, and they’re part of ours.”
2. Reno adds, by phone, that working with such producers as Bruce Fairbairn and Tom Allom gave Loverboy an appreciation for good-sounding recordings. “I got in the car the other day and I had the radio on and my stereo turned up real loud, and ‘This Could be the Night’ came on and I just melted to my seat. I sing it every night, but I hadn’t heard that song on the radio for a while, and it just sounded so good, I was like, ‘Holy smokes …’ That’s a good sign that you had good people engineering, good people producing. The songwriting goes without question, and the performances were great. It was really wonderful to hear.”
3. Loverboy’s first concert was opening for Kiss on Nov. 19, 1979, after the group had moved to Vancouver. “It was funny because we had no record out, nobody had heard of us, we didn’t even have an official bass player — Jim Clench from April Wine played with us that night. Our manager phoned us and said, ‘You’re at the Coliseum tonight. Make sure you don’t (expletive) it up!’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, how can we play at the Coliseum? We don’t even have a record yet!’ He said, ‘Your demos are good. Just play those songs,’ so that’s what we did. We didn’t get booed offstage and nobody threw anything at us, so I guess it went OK.”
4. Reno says one of the biggest surprises in Loverboy’s catalog is the 1983 hit “Hot Girls in Love.” “It’s a real high-energy, fast kind of thing, and it’s a little tongue in cheek. But it was actually one of our highest charting songs of all time. I don’t even think the band knows that. I was only aware of it because I read it somewhere recently.”
5. While 2014’s “Unfinished Business” resurrected some older material that had never been finished, Reno says coming up with new material isn’t a priority for Loverboy anymore. “We’re finding that people don’t really buy anything anymore. We could go into the studio and spend 100 grand, 200 grand, but they just steal it off the internet, so you never really make any money. Over the years, we’ve played new songs and they would just go take a pee or buy a beer or buy a T-shirt or something. They just leave the room. They really want to hear the hits, and I respect that because that’s just the way it is. I feel the same way when I go to see a band.”
Loverboy plays The Big E Festival in West Springfield on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free with admission to the festival or $29 for premium reserved seating.