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The Story Behind Loverboy’s ‘Working for the Weekend’

Mick Rock

What came first the lyric or the catchphrase?

It’s part of everyday vernacular now: “What are you up to?” “Working for the weekend.”
Originally found on Loverboy‘s 1981 album Get Lucky, “Working for the Weekend” (the song) has found its way into the pop culture consciousness, making appearances in everything from a Saturday Night Live skit and a 30 Rock episode, to a scene in Zoolander and a Regular Show clip.

With “Working for the Weekend” being over 30 years old now, Noisecreep wondered where the phrase came from? Did the band invent it or was it existing slang? There’s even a page on wiseGEEK asking what it means, but it makes no reference to its origin.

So Noisecreep asked Loverboy frontman Mike Reno, who wrote the song that originally reached No. 2 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart in 1982, about its origins.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question, which is cool,” says Reno. “You know what happened is Paul [Dean, guitarist] had written most of the song and I was coming in to finish it up and turn it into a Loverboy song.

“Paul sometimes starts a song and sometimes I start a song. In that case, he had the chorus. He had this line: ‘cause everybody’s just waiting for the weekend.’ And I started playing around with it and as soon as it came up and the band started going [bah dah], I went [sings], “‘cause everybody’s working for the weekend.’

“And he just stopped everything and went, ‘Oh, wow, that’s so much better.’ He said, ‘That’s it. That’s the title.’ So that’s how that happened.”

So you coined the phrase? “Yeah, I coined the phrase.”

“They say it a lot now,” Reno says. “I kind of made a joke about it over the years because for the last, I don’t know, 15 years, we do a lot of show on the weekend – We’ll take the week off and then play like Thursday, Friday, Saturday – so now I’ll tell people, ‘I’m working on the weekend.’ It used to be working for the weekend, now I’m working on the weekend.”

Watch Loverboy’s ‘Working for the Weekend’ Video

Loverboy’s latest album, Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, will be out on Aug. 14. Catch Loverboy on tour with Journey and Pat Benatar on the following dates:

AUGUST

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

SEPTEMBER
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

OCTOBER
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

NOVEMBER
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

DECEMBER
1 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place
3 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
4 Victoria, BC Save-On Food Centre
7 Las Vegas, NV Planet Hollywood

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