INTERVIEW with the Legendary guitarist and co-founder of ICONIC Loverboy, Mr. Paul Dean!
Deb: It is my distinct honor to catch up with Loverboy’s cofounder and guitarist Paul Dean. Thank you so much for your time today Paul. Paul Dean: “Nice to meet you, Deb.“
Deb: I wish to take a trip down memory lane just for a second Paul. I read you started playing washtub bass at the age of 12, then onto ukulele and finally guitar by the age of 13, making you a multi-instrumentalist. Q) 1. Do you play any other instruments? Paul Dean: “Bass, violin, mouth organ, piano, trumpet, sax, baritone horn (in my high school marching band), and drums. Mostly with my fingers now on my laptop with software instruments. I played one live gig on drums, half a dozen on sax in my first band, and bass in 2 bands in the ’60s. I played fiddle (violin) in early Loverboy, and just before that, in Streetheart.“
Deb: Your first bands included Cannonball, Scrubbaloe Caine and released 1 album Round One in 1973 and shortly after in 1977, you joined world-renowned Streetheart releasing a debut album Meanwhile Back in Paris in 1978. Q) 2). Tell us the story of how you met Mike Reno and formed Loverboy 41 years ago in 1979? Paul Dean: “After I left Streetheart, I was playing bass for the 3rd time in a Calgary based band, can’t remember the name, with a guitar player named Craig Blair. Mike and Craig had played in a band together, called “Spunk” (who could forget THAT name)! Mike, who had just left “Moxy,” was visiting Craig during one of Craig’s and my rehearsals. It’s kinda convoluted, but hopefully, it will all make sense. I was pretty disillusioned, having worked with so many frontmen, only to be “left for dead” once again. So my new plan was, no more singers, I’m the singer now. I was doing demos with Doug Johnson on keys, me on guitar and vocals. Then I heard Mike Reno sing. He and Craig were in an adjacent room of my rehearsal hall, just jamming, and I stuck my head around the corner, listened for a bit, and immediately put my “solo” career on indefinite hold.
The next night Mike and I wrote 2 songs, the first of many.”
Deb: Q) 3. It’s been stated by Mike Reno that the band’s name was chosen due to a dream you had. Can you elaborate? Paul Dean: “Ha, that sounds like a dream maybe Mike was having! The name actually came from the back of a magazine my wife Denise had. It was an ad for Covergirl makeup. That got me thinking, “Coverboy, that’s a pretty cool name for a band.” Then the light went on.“
Deb: Q) 4. Starting out in 1979 opening for legends KISS on the Dynasty Tour…wow! How did this occur so early out of the gate for Loverboy? Paul Dean: “My theory is, and I’m only guessing, is the regular opening band on the Canadian leg of that Kiss tour maybe got refused entry into the country, and Bruce Allen, our manager at the time, who had, and still has, a lot of clout in the Vancouver scene, pulled a few strings and made it happen. It was very last minute, but somehow we pulled it off. It was our first live show.“
Deb: Musically moving quickly up the ladder touring with Journey, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas, and Def Leppard just to name but a few. Oh my god you simply can’t forget the trademark leather pants and bandanas, you sure set a trend back then, and your fan base exploded world-wide thanks to your addictive big rock sound and high-energy live shows. Q) 5. What was your fondest Loverboy memory? Paul Dean: “Well, there’s a few, you might say!
Deb: Loverboy has recorded 9 studio albums, sold more than 10 million copies world-wide, winning a still-record 6 Juno awards, plus the 2009 Canadian Music Hall of Fame and in 1982, one was awarded to you Paul, as Composer of the Year along with Mike Reno for Turn Me Loose from Loverboy’s self-titled 1980 debut album. The band has earned four multi-platinum and a trio of double-platinum plaques and received Columbia Records’ Crystal Globe Award, you are 1 of the top-grossing tour acts in the world, performing in more than 300 cities over the years. Q) 6. When Loverboy was first on the scene, what was the best advice you were giving about the ins and outs of the business? Paul Dean: “Deb, there’s 2 parts to that question. Advice I was giving, and maybe advice I was given. Best “given” was from my Dad. Back in 1962, when I first started my pro career at the ripe old age of 16, his advice was, “Stay away from alcohol and drugs. That stuff can kill you.” Advice which I promptly ignored. Not really.
Deb: You released your 1st solo album Hard Core in 1989 cowritten with the likes of Brian Adams and Paul Stanley of Kiss, followed by your 2nd solo album in 1995 with Machine and yet a 3rd Solo album Blackstone in 1997, giving you a total of 14 albums you are included as guitarist on (between solo, Scrubbaloe Caine, Streetheart and Loverboy) and you are still touring as co-founder and original member of Loverboy, going strong, showing no signs of slowing down. Q) 7. How did you and do you find time for yourself Paul, with all your irons in the fire?
Paul Dean: ” Shameless plug – let’s not forget the album “aMuseMe” that I recently produced and played guitar on. It’s by Greg Godovitz. But to answer the question, I spend a ton of time sitting on airplanes and living in hotels most days, so I get lots of that. That’s when I work on my new solo stuff. I know I said “on indefinite hold” a few minutes back, but that’s where I am now full circle. Obviously still touring with Loverboy, but also putting the finishing touches on my next album. “
Deb: Q) 8. Have you seen or felt a shift in music today compared to 1978?Paul Dean: “I’d have to say Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Facebook, and SoundCloud, to name a few, have radically changed the business.
But people still write and record music, and then tour to promote it. Some artists make a fortune, some struggle their whole career. Personally, it’s all about playing live, always has been. Big venue, small club, as long as the band’s in the pocket,
Deb: Loverboy’s string of hits include arena rock staples like “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Turn Me Loose” and many more crowd favorites. More recently, Loverboy has released a trio of singles. These include 2016’s “Hurtin,” and “Some Like It Hot,” as well as 2017’s “Stop the Rain.” Q) 9. Will these songs appear on the bill and will you contribute some of your originals in the set?
Paul Dean: “No. We play basically the same dozen or so songs every show. I always look at it, though, as one 90 minute song, with tempo and mood changes built in, so everything flows properly. The songs are written so simply that it affords us a lot of opportunity to experiment, with different solos, rhythm guitar patterns, intros, extended endings
Deb: Q) 10. What does success mean to you? Paul Dean: “A lot of people measure their success in real estate, expensive cars, helicopters, you know? But for me, it’s the fact that it’s 40 some odd years later, and our fans still want to hear our tunes, either streamed or performed live. Unbelievable.“
Deb: I am excited to see this performance especially with close enough to
Deb: Q) 12). What do you believe is Loverboy’s secret to longevity? Paul Dean: ” I think the fact tha
Deb: Q) 13. What is next for Paul Dean? Paul Dean: “As I was saying, I have a new album coming soon. I released 2 videos from it, “Hell Yeah”, and “Be With You”, you can find them on YouTube.“
Deb: Q) 14. What is next for Loverboy, perhaps a new album to complement the most current 2014 Unfinished Business Album? Paul Dean: “Yeah, we still have a few riffs and hooks kickin’ around.”
Deb: Q) 15. What can we expect from your Living Arts Centre performance on September 11th, 2019? Paul Dean: “All my favorite Loverboy songs, hopefully yours, too!“
Deb: Thank you so much
Iconic Loverboy brings their b
About the Living Arts Centre: The Living Arts Centre is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that operates the premiere arts and culture facility located in the heart of Mississauga. A dynamic and accessible gathering place for creativity, The Living Arts Centre is dedicated to being a place for global engagement in the arts, culture, and entertainment located at 4141 Living Arts Drive Mississauga, ON L5B 4B8