FOREIGNER’s 40th Anniversary Celebrated On InTheStudio; Interviews With LOU GRAMM, MICK JONES Streaming
March 8, 2017, a year ago
North American syndicated Rock radio show and website, InTheStudio With Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands, examines the birth of late ‘70s rock juggernaut Foreigner with its two creative principles, Lou Gramm (pictured above) and Mick Jones.
Foreigner was the brainchild of Englishman and former Spooky Tooth guitarist Mick Jones, a veteran musician in 1977 looking to re-energize his career with a fresh start in America. Jones teamed with fellow Brit Ian McDonald and they auditioned thirty-five singers before discovering Lou Gramm, an unheralded singer then in a band called Black Sheep from Rochester in upstate New York. After a series of auditions with Gramm, this unlikely pair found common ground in the studio, putting together a remarkable debut album Foreigner of ready-made radio hits including “Feels Like The First Time”, “Cold As Ice” and “Long Long Way From Home”.
Foreigner’s first release forty years ago would become the fastest selling album in Atlantic Records history. The skyrocketing success would later manifest as tension in the band and ultimately lead to a lineup change on their fourth effort, but it is the unique relationship between Lou Gramm and Mick Jones which would define Foreigner for a decade.
Speaking to Gramm and Jones, InTheStudio producer and host Redbeard gets a clearer picture of the relationship behind Foreigner’s hit machine.
“I felt there was an interesting chemistry... based on Mick’s rock and roll experience and Ian’s eclectic left field background, that there would be some really really interesting songs. That was really appealing to me.” - Lou Gramm
“We (Mick and Lou) weren’t necessarily people who would hang out together. We sometimes found it, and still do find it, awkward to be together sometimes... I’ve gotten to know Lou over these years and he’s gotten to know me. We have different tastes. We have different things we like to do in our spare time. We occasionally get together socially, but it’s quite rare.” - Mick Jones
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Foreigner are celebrating their 40th anniversary by bringing their friends along for a year-long celebration.
First up is a mammoth worldwide tour, set to launch in Syracuse, NY on July 11th. For the US shows presented by Live Nation, Foreigner will be alongside Rock & Roll Hall Of Famers Cheap Trick - who are also celebrating 40 years since the release of their self-titled debut album - and special guest Jason Bonham who will be bringing the music of Led Zeppelin to great night of rock ’n’ roll. Tickets available at livenation.com.
“I never could have imagined when I set out to create Foreigner forty years ago, that we’d still be touring around the world and performing the music we love all these years later,” says Mick Jones. “I can’t express the gratitude I feel when fans share stories of how our songs have been woven into their milestones and memories over the years. This summer we are going to celebrate these songs, and I can’t imagine a better group of friends to share this monumental tour with, than Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham who are sure to make it a true tribute to the everlasting power of rock and roll."
Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, Cheap Trick is undoubtedly one of the most influential classic rock groups of the past 50 years. They have performed over 5,000 shows spanning four decades and have sold 20 million records worldwide. Cheap Trick formed in 1974 and while they have evolved throughout the years, the band continues to reach mainstream and critical success. Hits such as "I Want You To Want Me”, “Dream Police" and "Surrender" have cemented the group as one of America's top rock 'n' roll bands of all time. In 2016, Cheap Trick released its 17th studio collection, Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello
“I was thrilled to hear Mick Jones wanted me to be involved in celebrating 40 years of Foreigner. I spent 3 years as their drummer and had a great time," says Jason Bonham. "Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience show will hit home run after home run with these timeless classics done to perfection. JBLZE started 7 years ago as a way to show my appreciation not only to my dad and the music of Led Zeppelin, but also to the fans themselves. With the amazing Cheap Trick along with the one and only Foreigner this is show not to be missed.”
To coincide with the tour, Foreigner - Mick Jones (lead guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums) - will be releasing a celebratory 40th anniversary album that features forty Foreigner tracks throughout the years entitled 40 - Forty Hits From Forty Years (Rhino). This album is a comprehensive compilation of original hits and several tracks from the current lineup with Kelly Hansen on vocals including “Cant Slow Down”, “Too Late” and the Top 20 AC hit “When It Comes To Love”. The album also features two new songs, “The Flame Still Burns”, and “Give My Life For Love”, a brand new song by Jones. Rhino is kicking off a year-long catalog promotion with the January 24th picture disc release of Head Games.
Since the 1977 release of their first hit “Feels Like The First Time” and their self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records, Foreigner has been universally hailed as one of the world’s most popular rock acts with 10 multi-platinum albums, 16 Top 30 hits, and worldwide album sales exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold as Ice”, “Feels Like The First Time”, “Urgent”, “Head Games”, “Say You Will”, “Dirty White Boy”, “Long, Long Way From Home”, and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is”, Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than thirty years into the game.
Recent albums like Juke Box Heroes, a new compilation of digitally recorded Foreigner hits, and The Best of Foreigner 4 & More, recorded live from The Borgata, Atlantic City, both entered the Billboard Top 200 chart. Foreigner also featured strongly in every category in Billboard's recently released Greatest Of All Time listing. Catalog sales often eclipse those of Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Def Leppard, Van Halen and most of their Classic Rock peers (Source: Nielsen SoundScan 2/11/16 - 2/3/16).
Check out the tour at any of the following stops, with more dates to be announced in the coming weeks and posted on the band’s official website.
11 - Syracuse, NY - Lakeview Amphitheater
13 - Camden, NJ - BB&T Pavilion
14 - Bethel, NY - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
15 - Hershey, PA - Giant Center
17 - Boston, MA - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
18 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
20 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
21 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
22 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
25 - Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
26 - Virginia Beach, VA - Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
28 - Nashville, TN - Ascend Amphitheater
30 - Pelham, AL - Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
1 - West Palm Beach, FL - Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
2 - Tampa, FL - MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
5 - Charlotte, NC - PNC Music Pavilion
6 - Raleigh, NC - Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater
8 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
9 - Chicago, IL - Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
11 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
12 - Burgettstown, PA - KeyBank Pavilion
13 - Noblesville, IN - Klipsch Music Center
15 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre
16 - Maryland Heights, MO - Hollywood Casino Amphitheater - St. Louis
19 - Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
20 - Austin, TX - austin360 Amphitheater
23 - Albuquerque, NM - Isleta Amphitheater ***
24 - Phoenix, AZ - Ak-Chin Pavilion ***
26 - West Valley City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre ***
29 - Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre ***
30 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre ***
1 - Marysville, CA - Toyota Amphitheater ***
2 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre ***
4 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre ***
8 - Ridgefield, WA - Sunlight Supply Amphitheater ***
9 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre ***
*** Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience not on this date
Additional dates and support to be announced.