By G.H. Harding
FOREIGNER SPECIALS CONTINUE — Foreigner announced four concerts billed as “special celebrations,” featuring all of the surviving members of the band, past and present, which will take place on Nov. 9, Nov. 10, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 this year. You can see the confirmed dates below. The brief run follows similar appearances – arranged after leader Mick Jones and former frontman Lou Gramm settled their differences several years ago – and several informal guest spots in recent shows. Ian McDonald has also shown up at several of these events.
Channeling the announcement via an exclusive interview with Forbes.com, Jones also discussed the kind of modern bands he’d like to share the stage with as they celebrate their own legacy. “For me, probably Queens Of The Stone Age and the Killers,” he said. “Josh [Homme] is a very cool guy. My stepson, Mark Ronson, produced an album recently with them. It’s good to listen to music when it’s your life and try to distinguish some of the new artists that come out. Like the Killers when they came out, I thought the freshness and the sound and the songwriting were there. Those are the things I go by and I guess I always have.”
Reflecting on Foreigner’s early years, and how their second album Double Vision broke the “sophomore jinx” and secured their future, he said: “[We] kind of looked upon ourselves as more of a R&B band at one point. Not that we sounded like an R&B band, but the feel that we played with together. … We had original ideas from the Who and we had that fermenting quietly in the background and then it came to the fore with doing songs a little rougher edged and not quite produced and all that kind of stuff.”
He continued: “The second album, Double Vision, we found ourselves suddenly vying and competing with the Rolling Stones and we were on the same label. And we actually ended up out-selling Some Girls with Double Vision and that’s like, ‘What? What’d we just do?’ It was a real euphoric feeling. I think we all felt that was the beginning of the band almost, of the ability to go out and play and headline ourselves.”
Jones also repeated his commitment to completing songs that had been started with Gramm in the past, saying sessions would hopefully take place early in 2019. Tickets for the reunion shows will be available via the band’s website.
For me, Foreigner’s best work remains Mick Jones’ “I Want To Know What Love Is.” If you’ve never heard that song, nor seen the video … it’s an instant classic. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raNGeq3_DtM
Foreigner Reunion Shows 2018
Nov. 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
Nov. 10 – Rancho Mirage, CA @ Agua Caliente Casino
Nov. 30 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock
Dec. 1 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
THE DELOREAN— Driven, the John DeLorean biopic directed by Killing Bono’s Nick Hamm, is set to close the 75th Venice International Film Festival.
The film, which stars Jason Sudeikis, House of Cards’ Corey Stoll, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Lee Pace and Ant-Man’s Judy Greer, will close the festival on Saturday, September 8 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido di Venezia following the awards ceremony.
Hamm’s film, inspired by true events is a “wickedly comedic look at a bromance gone bad.” Set in the early 1980’s California, the story follows the rise of John DeLorean, and his iconic DeLorean Motor Company, through his friendship with charming ex-con turned FBI informant, Jim Hoffman. Pace plays DeLorean, Sudeikis plays Hoffman, while Greer stars as Hoffman’s wife and Stoll plays ambitious FBI agent Benedict Tissa.
The film was written by Colin Bateman (The Journey).
Additional headline films include the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs landing in competition, alongside Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma and Paul Greengrass’ 22 July about the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway. Orson Welles’ previously unfinished film, The Other Side Of The Wind will run as a Special Event.
Hamm said, “Venice is an inspiring festival with an incredible audience. I am both honored and delighted to be invited back to share this crazy, untold story.”
CRUISE CONTROL — So, we finally got into see Mission Impossible 6: Falloutthis weekend and enjoyed it a lot more than we thought. Early reports said it was reviewed far more positively than it should have been. I have no problem with Tom Cruise, who at 56 certainly looks older and a bit more weathered, but I have to say, Cruise puts 200% into the role here and how can that not be admirable?
I think I have seen most of the previous installments, and while I enjoyed them as well, I really didn’t give the movies a second thought as I walked out. This one, written and directed by the terrific Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), uses a great trick in the narrative: it’s aware of Hunt’s previous experience and successfully incorporates that into the plot. All the actors (Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Henry Cavill, Michelle Monaghan, and an awesome Simon Pegg) worked hard for the money here.
While the non-stop action and visually entertaining stunts work well, the rush is at times overwhelming. MI 6: Fallout is the movie of the summer and deservedly so. Right now, with Cruise in production for Top Gun 2, with Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller and Val Kilmer, he’s the king of the world again!
SHORT TAKES — The legendary Chicago was at Jones Beach this past Friday performing their Chicago II album. Chicago II (released January 26, 1970), like their first release, was a double album, and contains the hits “25 Or 6 To 4,” “Make Me Smile,” “Wake Up Sunshine” and “Colour My World.” While we knew the hits, the other music was remarkably striking. While they played, images from that time and of a very-early Chicago band were played. It was particularly moving to see early footage of the band with Terry Kath in particular. The band’s Robert Lamm said that the music was written because of what was going on in the country at the time. he said, “We put our heart and soul into these songs.” Just striking; especially “In The Country,” which I always felt was overdue as a major hit. The second half of the show, which the band refers to as the longest encore ever, were the signature hits. Personally, I’ve always been a Lamm-fan since the release of his first solo Skinny Boy, in 1975. Seen in the audience was ABC weather-guru Bill Evans; WOR’s Tom Cuddy; whyhunger’s Bill Ayres; and PR-man David Salidor. Great evening … Check out he Brad Balfour-penned piece on Donnie Kehr and his forthcoming Greatest Piano Men show in Times Square Chronicles: http://t2conline.com/musician-donnie-kehr-brings-the-greatest-piano-men-to-the-stage-this-august/ … REO Speedwagon opened for Chicago and while they were good and loud, frontman Kevin Cronin brought out his daughter to sing a song. Terrific moment! … and, while everyone rocked and rolled at Jones Beach, I noticed a serious lapse in crowd control. I know it’s outdoors and all, but the people that stood during the entire concert, should have been better controlled.