Paul Dean from Loverboy lends his talents to Musicians Care for Kids Concert
BY MIKE BELL, CALGARY HERALD FEBRUARY 11, 2014
It may not be kosher to admit it, but when you’re involved in charitable events it actually really is OK to do it, even in part, for your own personal and somewhat indulgent reasons.
As long as it’s a win-win for everyone, there’s nothing really wrong with it
So you’ll forgive Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean if his participation in the Musicians Care for Kids Concert Wednesday night at Flames Central has altruistic intentions but with a side of selfishness.
“It’s going to be a really, really cool event,” Dean says. “Musically, I’m really looking forward to it.”
You can’t really blame him. The annual charity concert raises money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, with all of the proceeds going to the Avenue 15 program, which provides temporary shelter and basic needs to runaways between the ages of 12 and 17.
Now, in celebration of its fifth year, the songwriters circle event is stepping things up slightly, moving away from its lower key lineup that featured unsigned but up-and-coming Alberta talent with, usually, one bigger name artist anchoring things.
This year the event is filled with Canadian star power, including country artist Jason McCoy, Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson, Wide Mouth Mason founder Shaun Verreault and classic rocker Greg Godovitz, backed by a house band of local giants including leader Russell Broom, Mike Lent, Mike Little and Pat Steward, with special guest, Mr. Dean.
And, again, while the opportunity to help kids in need is something he has an incredible amount of empathy for — partly as the father of a 17-year-old son — there was another opportunity here he didn’t want to pass up.
“The reason I signed on, besides the fact that it’s for an amazing cause and my heart really goes out to these kids … was because Shaun Verreault was going to be there,” says Dean of the guitarist, whose talents he was introduced to via YouTube clips.
“I would have done it regardless of Shaun, but that’s going to be the real cherry for me, personally.”
Dean was enlisted into the evening by friend Godovitz, whom he became close friends with over the past decade while both of them were living in Calgary, playing together weekly at the Blues Can and recording with one another.
He was also familiar with the people behind the event after meeting and hitting it off with local promoter Jeff Parry backstage at the Alberta Flood Aid concert — Parry’s promotion and production companies were heavily involved in putting on the McMahon Stadium fundraiser, which Loverboy performed at.
So performing another well-run and worthy charity event with such a stellar group of musicians was a no-brainer for Dean.
Just don’t expect to hear any of the hits from his past.
“That is not going to happen,” Dean says. “There will be no Loverboy.”
No, he won’t be turned loose. The guitarist says his role in the evening will be entirely as musical support for the other artists who are taking part, backing them as they run through their material and tell the stories behind the songs.
Besides, it’s not like you can’t hear Loverboy tunes everywhere else these days. There was, of course, Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy on Conan O’Brien’s show singing Working for the Weekend as the campaign song for Rob Ford.
More recently, and a much bigger deal, was the hit being used for RadioShack’s ’80s themed Super Bowl commercial, which featured cultural figures from that era such as Alf, Mary Lou Retton, Twisted Sister and the California Raisins.
“I thought Chucky was amazing in that (commercial),” Dean says with a laugh, noting the band had no advance warning of the spot. “That was my favourite part — that was so funny.”
And there could be some new hits on the way soon, as Dean says Loverboy are currently “in negotiations” with several labels to have a recently completed record released this year.
There is also another album coming from his other beloved Canrock project Streetheart, who reunited in Winnipeg in 1993 for a concert — Dean describes it as a “pretty smokin’ night” — which was recorded and will also be released in 2014.
But for now, the guitarist is focused on the task at hand, getting ready for Wednesday night’s Musicians Care for Kids show, which, if you haven’t already guessed, he’s predicting will be a night where the money raised may only be trumped by the good times had.
“It’s going to be nothing but big grins,” he says. “Grinning for the kids.”
Musicians Care For Kids featuring Jason McCoy, Gordie Johnson, Paul Dean and others goes Wednesday at Flames Central.