Veteran Canadian rocker Greg Godovitz has known Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean long before they ever collaborated on his first-ever solo album, aMuseMe. Dean, who produced, mixed and played his signature guitar on the recording, originally met Godovitz while the two played in rival Canadian groups, Streetheart and Goddo, respectively.
“Bruce Allen asked me if I wanted to play bass in this group he was going to manage, but I told him I already had my own band,” recalls Godovitz about turning down the chance to be in Loverboy to remain in Goddo.
The two finally get to join forces on aMuseMe, Godovitz’s debut solo effort after a nearly four-decade career as singer, songwriter, producer and bassist with legendary Canadian power trio Goddo. The release, available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.
com/ca/album/amuseme/ id591811240), was inspired by the 61-year-old’s self-dubbed “tempestuous relationship” with 33-year-old singer-songwriter Carla Olive. Romantic rockers like “Sex in Blue Jeans” and the eight-minute-long epic “You Are My Drug” are juxtaposed with more sardonic, pointed numbers such as “I Ain’t Your Jesus” and “You’re Dragging Me Right Down.”
Dean’s distinctive guitar work can be heard on the country-rocking “A Jealous Fool” and the raucous swagger of “Letting You Go (Gets Easier Each Day),” while classical virtuoso Oscar Lopez lets loose with an acoustic flamenco solo on the Beatlesque ballad, “Darya,” one of just two songs not directly about Godovitz’s relationship with Carla.
The seeds for Godovitz and Dean’s reunion took place in Calgary, when Gregg invited the Loverboy guitarist to sit in on his weekly Sunday night jam sessions at the Blues Can.
“Paul is a musical genius and I don’t bandy that word around lightly,” says Godovitz about Dean’s participation in aMuseMe. “I had to drag him out of the house, but when you get bloody Paul Dean in a recording studio, you better use him.”
Godovitz has been a fixture on the Canadian rock scene since he was a teenager, sitting in with The Band at the Friars Tavern in Toronto, now the Hard Rock, where his mom and aunt worked in the coat check room. After meeting him as a 13-year-old, Greg went on to become band director for the group’s first front man, the equally legendary Ronnie Hawkins.
“My mom and her sister were there when Dylan first jammed with Levon Helm and the Hawks,” claims Greg, who started out in Canada’s version of a British Invasion group, The Pretty Ones, back in 1964, before segueing to play blues with The Pyggs, psychedelia with the Mushroom Castle and rock with Sherman and Peabody (what, no Bullwinkle?). After that, he scored Canadian Top 40 hits like “Cousin Mary” and “Turned 21” with the Fludd, then formed the power trio Goddo in 1970, going on to pen Travels with My Amp, a well-received autobiography about his Spinal Tap life experiences on the road with the band.
Like Goddo contemporaries Anvil—who used to open for them—Godovitz and the band are now the subjects of their own feature documentary, In Goddo We Trust. The film is being released by eOne in theaters equipped with state-of-the-art Yorkville amplifiers for the occasion, and will then air on Canada’s SuperChannel.
“We recorded a dozen songs, and I did all the final mixing and the solos while on the road this past summer and fall,” says Dean. “Most of it was done on the Loverboy bus while we toured North America with Journey.”
Meanwhile, Dean and Loverboy continue their successful tour with Journey through the end of February. The group recently released a new studio album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival, on Frontiers Records, featuring two new tracks, “Heartbreaker” and “No Tomorrow,” produced with Bob Rock, at Bryan Adams’ famed Warehouse Studios in Vancouver. Since forming more than 30 years ago with their trademark red leather pants, bandanas, big rock sound and high-energy arena shows, Loverboy has sold more than 10 million albums, earning four multi-platinum plaques, including the four-million selling Get Lucky and three double-platinum efforts in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It.