By Bob Andelman
Originally published March 8, 1986
Mike Reno, the lead singer, gave her a big hug and a kiss.
So did the other four members of the rock ‘n’ roll band.
They also signed her handmade, blue Loverboy scrapbook- full of pictures, headlines and ticket stubs, with a page devoted to each musician – and a white hotel towel with an arrow green stripe down the middle. “I got this towel- it was around Mike’s neck at the Blossom in Ohio,” recalled Kelly Thorsby. “I tried to get ‘onstage and a roadie gave me this.”
Miss Thorsby, a 17-year-old high school senior dressed in green blouse, skirt, beads and earrings, was quaking with joy, shaking in disbelief.
SHE WAS one of more than 700 fans of the rock ~ Loverboy to stand in line for autographs, pictures. arid’ kisses in the Peaches record store on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The band stopped by Friday afternoon on the way to play a concert in Lakeland.
Are you okay?” asked her friend, Kelli Kovalchik, 18, who flew in from Ohio with Miss Thorsby.
“No,” Miss Thorsby answered. “I’m gonna pass out.”
“She paid $400 for a plane ticket to fly here for the weekend to see them,” her friend explained.
Told by her sister to calm down, Miss Thorsby- in tears – said, “I can’t, I can’t! This is my _dream, my ultimate dream. to Seconds later, she burst out: “I knocked Paul (Dean) off his chair! I can’t believe I did that!” Mike Reno’s response to his fan’s devotion?
“HE LAUGHED at me. Mike Reno… he kissed me! Did you see it? He’s going, ‘Just don’t attack me.’ … He got marker on my hand. I’ll never wash it.”
The surprising thing was that Miss Thorsby traveled so far just to get an autograph. She wasn’t planning to go to the concert, referring to wait until the hand plays Cleveland next week.
“She’s not to going to see us at the concert?” drummer Matt Frenette asked later. “(She) just came to see us here? Unbelievable.”
A vast majority of the autograph seekers were women. And for a band with hits like “Get Lucky,” “The Kid Is Hot Tonite,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and “Hot Girls in Love,” there could be no more appropriate fan.
Pretty women – chosen by band members – were taken aside by the band’s road manager and tempted to the night’s show with back stage passes.
IN THE meantime, mother surged their daughters to kiss the boys in the band while they took pictures.
But one of the most interesting interactions between the band members and their fans came when a woman carrying a small baby arrived at the front of the line.
“Oh! What a cutie!” sighed Frenette. “What’s her name?”
“Tiffany,” said the mother.
“She a good kid?”
“She’s a very good. kid.”
As mother and child took their leave, the 32-year-old musician waved.
“Bye!” he shouted. “Have a nice life!”
Copyright 2018 Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman