Though it’s purely “conjecture” at this point, there may be more reunions ahead for members of Foreigner’s classic lineup.
Original lead singer Lou Gramm, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald and keyboardist Al Greenwood played a three-song encore with the current Foreigner on July 20 at Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY — the latter two’s first appearance with Foreigner since 1980 and Gramm’s first since 1993. Drummer Dennis Elliott, meanwhile, joined Foreigner at a recent show in Tampa. Now group founder and guitarist Mick Jones tells Billboard it may not be the last we see of everyone together again.
“Oh, it’s definitely crossed my mind,” Jones says. “I think it’s something the fans would love. It’d be interesting, the contrast of the two styles of the two bands. I think it would be appealing. It’s not carved in whatever things are carved in, but the thoughts are flowing around. But I’m still not quite sure how to forecast it.”
However, Jones reveals, there are plans for the surviving original lineup members and second bassist Rick Wills (his predecessor Ed Gagliardi died in 2014) to get together in Michigan this fall for a session that will be filmed, according to Jones, though no firm details have yet been announced.
“One thing for sure is all the musicians are getting on very well together and it’s just refreshing and we’re really enjoying it,” adds Jones, who reunited with Gramm when the duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013. “Lou is good, and he’s kept his voice. Al and Ian are playing the same as they did 40 years ago, basically, and it’s a hoot. It’s great adrenaline and very enjoyable. I think there’s no bad apple anywhere in the whole thing, so I can’t see any big problems.”
Jones is equally ebullient about Foreigner’s current 40th anniversary run, which is touring North America this summer after a spring run in Europe. “I have to say it’s just wonderful,” he notes. “It feels like the early ’80s. The crowds are flocking in everywhere. Nearly everywhere’s a sellout and people just want to be out there and have fun with us. The party atmosphere is undeniable. It feels like the old days back again, so it’s going tremendously well. I’m just so happy.”
Jones — who also published the memoir A Foreigner’s Tale this year — predicts the energy from the tour may even send Foreigner back into the studio to make some new music, the group’s first since Can’t Slow Down in 2009. “It just requires a bit of time to concentrate on writing, which I will have coming up early next year,” Jones says. “I’ve got a bunch of unfinished ideas and some ideas for song titles which I can throw around and see what we’ve got. We’re trying to put a schedule together that makes sense and try to see what we’ll come up with.”