Loverboy song inspires Weekend Chime in Robson Plaza

The new public art work Weekend Chime in Robson Plaza is inspired by the 1981 pop song Working for the Weekend by Loverboy.

Article content

Signature sounds from the song Working for the Weekend are now starting off the weekend every Friday in Downtown Vancouver.

Loverboy’s pop anthem is the inspiration for a new public art work in Robson Plaza.

But Weekend Chime is probably different from what you might expect from public art. Instead of a traditional object on a plinth, it’s an oral art work that plays notes from the song.

Every Friday at 5 p.m., the traditional end of the ‘nine-to-five’ workweek, Weekend Chime will play the two notes that coincide with “Weekend” from the line in the chorus that says: “Everybody’s working for the weekend.”

Brady Cranfield, the sound artist and musician who created Weekend Chime, said he’s liked Loverboy’s catchy song for years because of the way it describes a kind of “political awareness” of working people.

“The lyrics of the song are about having fun on the weekend, but the true meaning of the song is the relationship people have to their own working lives,” he said. “People immediately relate to that sentiment and spontaneously have a sense of familiarity and sympathy with that idea when they hear the song — myself too.”

Article content

The song, recorded at Vancouver’s Mushroom Studios, was written by guitarist Paul Dean, vocalist Mike Reno and drummer Matt Frenette.

For the record, here are the lyrics to the chorus:

Everybody’s working for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance
Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance

Weekend Chime plays on four speakers that are all painted as close as possible to the red of the leather pants seen from behind on the front of Loverboy’s Get Lucky, the 1981 album with the lead single Working for the Weekend, which hit No. 2 in the U.S.

The album’s success transformed Loverboy from a backup band into an arena headliner.

Cranfield’s Weekend Chime is designed specifically for Robson Plaza.

“That’s exactly where I wanted it because of the way that plaza is used as a popular space by people for different political demonstrations and spontaneous gatherings,” he said.

Cranfield said the different ways the public plaza is used compares with the different ways people relate to pop songs. A songwriter, for example, may intend one meaning with lyrics but people overlay what they hear with their own personal memories.

“We develop our own relationships to these songs,” he said.

Cranfield also pointed to the way the song, and especially the chorus, refers to the pride people take in their work — even though he’s very aware of how the digital workplace today blurs lines between work and home.

“The chime commemorates this history of workers’ struggle and the effort to make a working week that was livable,” he said. “It’s a kind of funny, ironic chime and a chime that’s critical: ‘What happened to our work week? What happened to the struggle?’ ”

Weekend Chime adds to the city’s distinctive soundscape, which includes the Nine O’Clock Gun, the Heritage Horns that play O Canada at noon, and the Gastown Steam Clock that plays every 15 minutes.

He said it was an “incredible opportunity” to contribute a “new sound marker” to Vancouver’s soundscape.

Weekend Chime is part of the city’s Public Art Program of artist-initiated projects.

[email protected]

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button