September 25th, 2016

Honeymoon Suite still rocking the country — The honeymoon hasn’t ended for band’s fans


By Lethbridge Herald on July 24, 2015.

Stan Ashbee
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Every summer, many classic Canadian music acts travel to southern Alberta to perform at local venues to the delight of fans. Many live music fans from the county no doubt had cassette tapes, vinyl records or CDs of their favourite 1980s or 1990s bands and/or solo acts cranking in their homes, cars, trucks or tractors.
Do you remember the John Cusack movie “One Crazy Summer”? If you do, you might remember the hit, “What Does It Take” from one of Canada’s biggest bands of the 1980s and onward — Honeymoon Suite.
Honeymoon Suite was also behind some of the greatest hits in the Great Canadian Songbook including “New Girl Now,” “Burning In Love,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Feel It Again,” “Love Changes Everything,” and “Still Loving You.” The hit songs, still heard on radio stations across Canada and abroad, are thanks to primary songwriter and lead guitarist Derry Grehan, who said the band is out on the road this summer including a stop at Average Joe’s tonight with classic Canadian songstress and original “Metal Queen” Lee Aaron.
“We’ve got a pretty busy summer,” said Grehan, from his home in Illinois, south of Chicago, where he has lived for the past 12 years. “Right in the heart of the Midwest in the corn fields,” he joked.
Grehan noted the usual cycle for the band is heading out on the road in the spring and playing right through summer and into the fall.
“Fairs and festivals and casinos. In the winter, we kind of lay back a little bit and just do some select dates and try to stay out of the cold,” he added. “The summer’s crazy.”
According to Grehan, more U.S. dates have started to pop up in the band’s itinerary over the past few years.
“We don’t do a whole lot of U.S. shows, maybe two or three a year,” said Grehan, adding there are a few dates stateside this summer, which Grehan enjoys.
Johnnie Dee, the band’s vocalist and Grehan were the principal and founding members of Honeymoon Suite, which has always been associated with Niagara Falls, Ont.
The band’s first album was released in 1984 and that same year the band was nominated for the “Most Promising Group” Juno Award. In 1986, the band won the “Group of the Year” Juno Award. Honeymoon Suite also had opening stints throughout the U.S. and Canada with Heart, ZZ Top, .38 Special, Journey and Starship.
Currently, Grehan isn’t performing any solo gigs but when he first moved to Illinois he dabbled as a solo artist around town. “Just keeping myself busy,” he said.
But Grehan explained, he takes care of a portion of Honeymoon Suite’s management duties, which is close to a full-time job in itself for the guitarist/songwriter, even through the winter months.
“Other than that, I’m the main songwriter, so on my down time I’m in my studio in my basement a lot and I’m always writing,” said Grehan, adding he was also in the studio in Nashville the last few years.
“Taking trips down there and co-writing with people there and keeping myself busy like that,” he added.
Living in the United States, Grehan doesn’t necessarily keep track of the Canadian live rock and roll music scene but it seems as though it has remained somewhat vibrant since the band’s dominance in the 1980s and 1990s.
“We’ve got busier in the last three or four years,” said Grehan, adding he believes classic Canadian rock is making a comeback. “I don’t see it slowing down.”
Even with the economy slowing down, Grehan believes the live music scene — especially festivals — are alive and well.
As long as there are Honeymoon Suite fansthe band will continue to tour, said Grehan.
“We have four of the five original members of the band in the band and we still enjoy going out playing and it’s really the fans and the radio is still playing the music, so why stop,” said Grehan, adding it’s been great playing in the same band for 30 years. “It’s still fun and it pays the bills.”
July 24 will feature the ultimate double-header which will include Honeymoon Suite and Lee Aaron, who also burst onto the music scene in the 1980s with the hit, “Metal Queen.” Since then, Aaron has produced heavy metal, rock and roll and jazz albums and she has received 10 Juno Award nominations.
The double-bill kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Average Joe’s or online at http://www.thejoe.ca. Any remaining tickets the day of the show will be $35.

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