Saturday Night


He is a reknowned college radio personality, a manic garage rock performer, a brain aneurysm survivor and the most amusing interviewer in the (recent) history of Canadian journalism.

In a web exclusive, here is Nardwuar The Human Serviette's encounter with Loverboy lead singer Mike Reno:





Nardwuar Who are you?
Mike Reno Who am I? I’m Mike Reno, the lead singer of Loverboy.
Now, Mike, have you seen the book Mondo Canuck by Geoff Pevere and Greig Dymond, where they talk about Loverboy? And it says, and I quote, “Acts like Loverboy, a ‘hoser cockrock outfit’ that actually released an album with the phallocentric title Keep It Up carefully followed the American, arena-rock rulebook of the day.”
“A hoser cock rock outfit,” these guys are calling you, Mike Reno!
I love it!
I think that’s a compliment! Don’t you?
I think it is too. We are definitely Canadian. Mind you, we’re in the States most of the year touring, but “cock rock!” That’s pretty good. I like that!
Would you ever sell-out, Mike Reno of Loverboy, and go punk?
Punk? We started out as punk! “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” and “Little Girl” and all the songs off the first album – we kind of had definitely a flavor of punk in the beginning.
Because there was a rumor at least that maybe your new album was going to be called Heck No To Techno.
I don’t think we even had that on the board. I don’t know where the rumours come from but I love hearing them! You should hear the stuff I hear during a week of concert touring and interviews. Heck No To Techno!? That sounds great! I’m going to write that down!
The Men of Loverboy
Nardwuar Do you remember Chris Farley stripping to “Working For The Weekend” on that Saturday Night Live sketch?
Mike Reno Absolutely! That’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen. It’s so funny and it’s... perfect, you know, they were both Chippendales and, of course, Patrick Swayze was buff and totally trim and Chris Farley and overweight and heavy and he actually ended up I think winning the Chippendales contest, and he danced to “Working For The Weekend” which I thought was awesome.
Mike Reno, you are mentioned in that book,Hitmen. Are you aware of that? There is that book about corruption in the music industry, payola, etc, and it said that CBS paid money to get Loverboy songs on the radio, or that the paying of money stopped with Loverboy.
That’s right. What happened was, in the early 1980s, the independent record promoters were kind of like a union, and CBS was putting their foot down and saying, “We’re not going to pay you guys to get these records charted, because CBS doesn’t think that we need you to do that.”

They were trying to get the independent record promoters out of the business. And, in doing so, they said, “CBS is not going to pay to have the records promoted anymore through you guys unless we contract you to it.” And, in turn, the independent record people got together and said, “Well, we’re going to pick a band out of the hat and show you how easily we can sink them, just as an example of why you need independent record promoters.”

So they picked a name out of the hat and it happened to be Loverboy, which was right when “Turn Me Loose” was breaking, and even though “Turn Me Loose” was probably Loverboy’s most popular song, as soon as it broke the Top Forty, the independent promoters went out of their way to make sure that it didn’t go any further, and that’s why it made that book, Hitmen.
What sort of groupie thing do Loverboy have? What sort of groupie thing do you have on the road now, Mike Reno?
You got an hour? I’ll tell you!
Because Courtney Love of the rock ’n’ roll band Hole has a story about Loverboy. She has said, “They were once playing at the old Paramount in Seattle with Heart, and I went up there from Portland. I was walking by the loading dock with my heavy metal groupie friends, and the drummer (not Mike Reno) yells at me, “Hey, you’d be a fox if you got your nose fixed.” It made me cry. I thought I was a fox in my spandex jumpsuit – I was fifteen – that’s it... fucker.... I bet he’s sorry now."
(laughs) Where do you get all this stuff? This is great! I’m going to phone you more often!
Well, do you remember that at all, Mike Reno? Do you remember at all playing with Heart? What was your drummer Matt like then? Would have he yelled at Courtney Love, “Hey, get your nose fixed!”?
I’ll tell you something. Loverboy is still all the original members, all original members, which you can’t say about a lot of bands nowadays. I’ve known Matt for twenty-one years, and I can’t imagine him saying anything like that.

However, a lot of times road crew guys pretend to be in the band just because that’s the way it is, especially backstage, but Matt’s a very gentle man. He’s a gentle man and he’s a gentleman. If anything like that was ever said, it was probably completely in jest, but I doubt very much that that was ever said, but I love the story! Anything you tell me about Courtney Love – she is a fox, and I’ll be the first to say it!
Drummer Matt Frenette:
"a gentle man and a gentleman."
Nardwuar Mike Reno of Loverboy, do you remember Paul Dean saying something like, “Keyboards are like condoms. We only use them when we need them”?
Mike Reno I remember that! I thought that was one of the funniest things I had ever heard, because it enraged all the keyboard players around the world.


There's Lots More
Click Here For Part Two

Story © Nardwuar the Human Serviette