Who wears the red leather pants in Loverboy?

Singer Mike Reno tells where the pants are now

By Peter Lindblad
Loverboy's Get Lucky - 1981
In the morning, when Mike Reno wakes and goes to get dressed, he sometimes takes a moment to brief moment to acknowledge an old friend, namely the red leather pants he used to wear in Loverboy.
“They’re in my closet right now,” laughs Reno. “I say ‘hi’ to them every once in a while. When I’m packing my stretch denim jeans, I say ‘hi’ to my red leather pants. You know, those red leather pants used to leave a red mark down my leg and on my ass. Every time I took them off, I had to scrub my ass with soap for about 20 minutes to get the red leather off my butt. I got ‘em, though. I got ‘em. They’re sitting right on the hanger. I look at ‘em every once in a while. They probably fit one of my younger kids. They don’t fit me, that’s for sure. I can fit one leg and then I give up.”
It’s been more than 30 years since Loverboy’s cheeky Get Lucky album cover – the iconic one showing someone’s backside clad in red leather pants and the crossed fingers indicating that a promise made was about to be broken in some mischievous manner – stuck its gluteus maximus in the faces of record buyers looking for a little fun and some high-energy, New Wave-tinged rock and roll. Now pushing 60 years old, Reno admits he can no longer fit into the red leather pants he and the rest of Loverboy made famous. On occasion, however, they do get some use.
“Well, my son Alex used to come with us a little bit [on the road], when he was 20,” explains Reno. “He’d come on the summer tours and help out with the road crew. He couldn’t believe the response. He’d go, ‘These people love you out there. They’re going crazy. They’re throwing their underwear and bras and stuff.’ I went on his Facebook page recently, and I noticed there’s a picture of him for Halloween. And he had a wig on and a headband around the wig and my red leather pants from the closet. I guess he helped himself to my red leather pants from the closet for a Halloween outfit.”
On Aug. 14, Loverboy, one of the ‘80s biggest-selling acts, will release its new album Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, a mix of new songs and live versions of Loverboy classics, via Frontiers Records. Even producer Bob Rock has come back to the fold, working with Loverboy on “Heartbreaker” and “No Tomorrow,” two brand-spanking new tracks from the band. And in less than a week, Reno and the boys will hit the concert trail once again, this time as part of a massive package tour with PatBenatar, featuring Neil Giraldo, and headliners Journey.
“You know what it’s 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.”
As for those red leather pants, they’re probably not going with Reno this time around. So, what’s the story behind those pants anyway? Reno relates how that particular article of clothing becoming part of the band’s look.
“One of the girls who worked in Bruce Allen’s office, her name was Alison,” said Reno. “Her husband owns Metal Leather, which is a leather shop that made leather pants and jackets and stuff like that. It was a leather shop just down the street from Bruce Allen’s office. And Alison said, ‘I know you guys are just getting started. You can go down there and pick out anything you want, and you can put it on … and we’ll give it to you for half price and save you some money.’ Bruce went, ‘Oh, thanks Alison.’ So Bruce said, ‘Hey guys, get down there, pick out some stuff so you don’t look sh*tty so we can start shooting videos and stuff.’ We went down there, and I tried on a million pairs. 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.’”
Having sparked a reaction, Reno continued wearing them, and eventually, they became Loverboy’s calling card.
“So when they started shooting videos, I wore the red leather pants and then one thing led to another … and I always had a headband on when we played concerts because I was sweating so much that my hair would just get like I was in the shower,” said Reno. “So I put on a headband and it would suck up some of the moisture so my hair wouldn’t look so sh*tty. So, I wore the headband and the red leather pants, and it just somehow turned into … to tell you the truth, Paul wore the red leather pants probably more than I did. Somehow they equated it with me, probably because of the video – one of the first videos to come out, I wore them that day. Paul (Dean) wore the black ones. But if you really look at all the videos, Paul’s wearing red leather pants more than I am. Somehow they equated it with me, and I just went along with it. Why bother rocking the boat and make a big deal out of it.”
Sans red leather pants, Reno and his Loverboy band mates Dean, Matt Frenette, Doug Johnson and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve, who replaced the late Scott Smith, will be making the tour rounds this year. Below are the tour dates with Journey and Pat Benatar:
Loverboy supporting Journey and Pat Benatar featuring Neil Giraldo:
21 San Bernardino, CA San Manuel Amphitheater
22 Stateline, CA Harvey's Outdoor Arena
24 Paso Robles, CA Paso Robles Fair
26 Cheyenne, WY Frontier Days
28 Seattle WA The Gorge
29 Spokane, WA Northern Quest Casino
1 Great Falls, MT Montana State Fair
3 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
4 Boise, ID Idaho Center
6 Sturgis, SD Buffalo Chip Campground

8 Indianapolis, IN Indiana State Fair

10 Wantagh, NY Nikon Theater At Jones Beach

14 Watertown, NY Watertown Fairgrounds

15 Canandaigua, NY Constellations Brands PAC

17 Louisville, KY Kentucky State Fair

18 Des Moines, IA Iowa State Fair

22 Albuquerque, NM Sandia Outdoor Theater

24 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

25 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion

27 Pelham, AL Oak Mountain Amphitheater

28 Lafayette, LA Cajun Dome

31 Kansas City, KS LiveStrong Sporting Park


1 St. Paul, MN Minnesota State Fair

15 Mt. Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino

19 Peoria, IL Peoria Civic Center

21 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center

22 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center

25 Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum

26 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place

28 Bangor, ME Waterfront Park

29 Providence, RI Dunkin Donuts Center


2 Norfolk, VA Constant Convocation Center

3 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum

5 Mobile, AL Bayfest

6 Atlanta, GA Aaron's Amphitheater At Lakewood

9 Little Rock, AR Verizon Arena

10 Tulsa, OK BOK Center

12 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater

13 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

30 New York, NY Barclays Bank Arena


2 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena

3 Manchester, NH Verizon Center

5 Montreal, QC Bell Centre

7 Columbus, OH Schottenstein/Nationwide

8 Evansville, IN Ford Center

10 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena

11 Fort Wayne, IN Allen County War Memorial

13 Moline, IL iWireless Center

14 Sioux City, IA Tyson Center

16 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center

17 Green Bay, WI Resch Center

19 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre

24 Grand Praire, AB Crystal Center

27 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place

28 Saskatoon, SK Credit Union Centre

30 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome


1 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place

3 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena

4 Victoria, BC Save-On Food Centre

7 Las Vegas, NV Planet Hollywood

1 comment:

  1. Who wore the famous tight jeans on the rolling stones sticky fingers LP cover?