Foreigner founder Mick Jones promised at least one reunion of the band’s original members to commemorate the group’s 40th anniversary — and it happened Thursday night (July 20) at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y.
Singer Lou Gramm, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald and keyboardist Al Greenwood performed together with Jones for the first time since 1980, joining the current Foreigner for the encore of “Long, Long Way From Home,” “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded.”
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It marked Gramm’s first performance with Foreigner since 1993, though he and Jones did appear together at the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction, while McDonald and Greenwood have been absent since they were dismissed 37 years ago.
Drummer Dennis Elliott did not take part in Thursday’s reunion, and original bassist Ed Gagliardi died in 2014. It’s not known if there will be any more Foreigner reunions as part of the group’s tour, which stretches through the summer.
Jones — who’s also publishing a memoir, A Foreigner’s Tale, this year — tells us that he’s enjoying the 40th anniversary celebration with the current incarnation of the band:
“I think it’s fitting at this point that we do this…I’m very proud of the way the band has fought back for me and the heritage of Foreigner. It’s a great band to play with. There’s a lot of energy, which I feed off, and they’re great musicians. It’s kind of the way I always dreamed Foreigner would appear, as a very exciting live band apart from recording and everything else that goes along with it.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.