Foreigner Reunite With Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ian McDonald for the First Time Since 1980
(NOTE: The above Facebook video DOES work, try it!)
The much-anticipated reunion of four of the five surviving original members of Foreigner took place at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, N.Y., tonight. Singer Lou Gramm, keyboardist Al Greenwood and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald joined Mick Jones and the band's current lineup for a three-song encore.
The reunited former bandmates performed "Long, Long Way From Home," "I Want to Know What Love Is" (both of which you should be able to see above, if not, go here) and "Hot Blooded," which is below. This marked the first time Jones, Gramm, Greenwood and McDonald had shared a stage since 1980.
“It was great to have Lou, Al and Ian join us on stage last night, and certainly brought back some special memories," Jones declared in a press statement, before dropping a not-so-subtle hint: "All the original guys are out there playing live shows and working on studio projects. A performance by the entire original band for a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction next year would be a great way to cap off our 40th Anniversary celebrations.”
Watch Foreigner Perform 'Hot Blooded' With Lou Gramm
With the exception of two years in the early '90s, Gramm had fronted the group from 1976 until 2003. The only other time he and Jones had performed together since then was when they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013 (although the duo reportedly resumed writing together a year later.)
McDonald and Greenwood were fired in 1980 after the release of the album Head Games. Original drummer Dennis Elliott, who did not participate in tonight's reunion, left in 1991 following Unusual Heat. Bassist Ed Gagliardi, who left the lineup before Head Games, died in 2014.
Foreigner's 40th-anniversary tour, which sees them sharing the stage with Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, began last week in Syracuse, N.Y., and will continue through Sept. 9 at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Wash. Interestingly enough, Bonham served as Foreigner's drummer from 2004-08.
Current Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson tells Ultimate Classic Rock that the tour is going well so far. "One of the greatest things about touring, besides playing great music in front of enthusiastic crowds, is touring with fellow bands that inspire you and even better when they are friends," he says. "That’s just what Foreigner found in our tour this year -- great bands who also happen to be friends. Pulling up to the gig and seeing Jason Bonham soundchecking was like being in a time machine! It’s been nine years since Jason was in Foreigner, but suddenly it felt like a week at most! It was so great to see him.
"There’s something very special and indescribable about the bond that develops when you’re in a band with someone -- and it was nice to see it’s all still there. And Jason’s band is incredible. They’ve taken the time and care to perform Zeppelin at a level where Zep was in their peak days. Plus, their bass player, Michael Devin, is a dear friend who joined the tour last minute. Then there’s Cheap Trick. They are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest live bands of all time. What a thrill and honor to have them on the bill with us. And of course it’s so ironic as they toured with Foreigner just around 40 years ago, so who better for us to share the stage with than someone who was also there in the beginning. Full circle, baby!"
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