View Full Version : Anyone like Mick Jones (Foreigner) here?

WoodyTone com
11-17-2009, 12:38 PM
For a while I've been trying to sniff out Mick Jones' early Foreigner gear (e.g., Double Vision), but have been stymied -- until I got my hands on a 1979 Guitar Player mag with some details. If anyone here is curious about Mick Jones, you might be interested (link to my blog post below).

Also, if anyone knows the details of his amps and speakers in that period (late '70s), please let me know.


11-17-2009, 12:43 PM
Pretty definitive LP/Non-MV Marshall, IMHO.

The tones aren't anything really special.

I don't think it would matter what speakers, etc. as much as how it ws played/recorded.

11-17-2009, 04:18 PM
Yeah, I suppose so. I had a dream 2 weeks ago that I was playin Hot Blooded

Heard Jukebox Hero on the radio yesterday.I always thought that was a great solo

anybody remember Stranger In My Own House?

11-17-2009, 05:15 PM
I give Mick credit for being a good to very good producer and an good hit songwriter for the times.

Foreigner were huge in their day and now have the requisite 5 or 6 tunes on classic rock radio and a couple synth driven power ballads from the 80s that get played on all kinds of lite radio formats, still. They were easily able to cross the line into AOR, but make no mistake- Foreigner was a commericial rock band all about scoring radio hits. And they did. As well as sell out stadiums at their peak.

As a guitarist, I thought Mick got the job done. Kinda like the guy in Bad Company. Nothing special, certainly not a jaw dropping lead player...tho Mick's crunchy LP->Marshall tone was great.

Where his big contribution to that band -and radio friendly late 70s rock- lies is in the writing and production on those records. He even kept them hanging on the charts into the synth-y, new wavey world of early 80s top 40 radio with the dance-rock track "Urgent" (genius call having Junior Walker in to play the screaming tenor sax solo on that one) before finally resorting to the ballads. I hesitate to call them power ballads as they didn't feature huge guitars, they featured big keyboards and a bunch of 80s reverb,iirc.

I saw the current version of Foreigner on an all 80s bill a couple of years ago. I went to see the headliner and Foreigner second billed was sort of a bonus, I guessed at the time. I was never a huge fan back in the day, never made it to a show back then - but I didn't usually punch them off the radio. And Lou Gramm was a great rock singer.

At the concert it takes you about 10 seconds to realize Mick is the only original member of Foreigner up there. He and Lou no longer work together, Mick owns the name as he created the band, wrote/co-wrote and produced everything.

But the current version of Foreigner were really good for being one of those self-tribute bands that some older bands turn into via replacing key members. Pleasant surprise. Jason Bonham (!!!) is usually on drums, they have a young guy replacing Lou on vocals - who sings kinda like Lou (definitely does justice to the songs) while looking a little like a young Steven Tyler.

What struck me at the concert was how hit-loaded the setlist was. They had most people in that 12,000 seat venue clapping and singing along as they kept those Big Tunes coming. And that all reinforced what I've always thought about Mick. He knew what the hell he was doing and was The Man (along with Lou's voice and co-writing) behind a bunch of big radio hits during their time.

Also -I always love waiting for that first big crunching E chord! everytime I hear Juke Box Hero on the radio. That's a hook in itself.

again, imo..

WoodyTone com
11-18-2009, 08:40 AM
Good points, Steve. I've seen the current version of Foreigner only on YouTube -- the band is killer, made up of good players and singers. Never was a huge Foreigner fan.

Re: nothing special gear-wise, that's true on the surface. How his Les Paul was wired is interesting. It's also interesting that he did NOT use a boost of any kind, unlike many players of that era.

Dr. Tweedbucket
11-18-2009, 08:44 AM
I really kind of dug Foreigner back in the 80s. Mick's playing was decent and Lou Gramm had one hell of a set of pipes! :beer

11-18-2009, 08:54 AM
Is it me or has Mick Jones morphed into Rumpole Of The Bailey ??

03-14-2010, 11:34 PM
Listen to the tones that Mick Jones had in those early recordings with Foreigner. Those tones..burried somewhat on the first album (but still there all the same)...more up front on Double Vision had a huge impact on me...still does. Take Tramontane as an example...listen to it and discover a player that utilizes guitar, pickup slection/blend and amp. Though he did/does use the "wide open" guitar tones....there is significant use of both pickup being blended together....how many players ignore the tones that sit in that "in between" world?

03-15-2010, 02:56 AM
Is it me or has Mick Jones morphed into Rumpole Of The Bailey ??

Alvin, That's what happens to all guitarists of that certain "age" from London. Turn into characters from the BBC - as seen on Masterpiece Theatre.

A lot of people don't realize he is as English as the other Mick Jones.....

Best, Pete.

03-15-2010, 08:43 AM
my favorite single note in any rock and roll solo is the B that follows the G in Mick's ' 'Hot Blooded' solo. That Major 3rd interval below the the root G sounded like a mistake the first time I heard it, but it's not--it's just BRILLIANT...

03-15-2010, 08:50 AM
Kelly Hanson is singing for Foreigner now. He's 49. Hardly a young guy. Used to front an 80's hair band called Hurricane. He's got great pipes, though. I think he really does justice to Lou's vocals.

Jeff Pilson of Dokken and the movie Rock Star has been on bass the last few years. One of my all-time favorite musicians.

Mick has done a tremendous job of picking top-notch musicians to recreate Foreigner's music and keep it alive by touring and releasing new material.

03-15-2010, 10:00 AM
I love foreigner...HATE solo Lou Graham...mick jones was the man in that band...
Now I havent seen EVERY live clip available but the ones Ive seen, Micks tone is much more dirty than solo work...
he wrote some cool riffs...

Joe Robinson
03-15-2010, 10:05 AM
Is it me or has Mick Jones morphed into Rumpole Of The Bailey ??

Hilarious. Strong.

Time has also turned the other Mick Jones of The Clash into the kind of person one sees in a Dicken's story. Perhaps they could do a two man show with a bit of theater, some loud guitar, a choir and some sampled beats.

todd richman
03-15-2010, 10:06 AM
Always liked his guitar playing and production. Saw them twice on the Agent Provocateur tour in 1985.

John II
03-15-2010, 10:59 AM
I've been a fan of Foreigner since my mother brought home their debut in 1977. Great band with great songs. They get slagged here a bit for being "arena/corporate rock" but you can't blame them for writing catchy hooks.

I saw the latest version of the band last year at the House of Blues in Vegas and I, along with the rest of the packed house, was blown away by how great they were. One of the best shows I have seen. Kelly Hansen as some serious, serious pipes and to his credit was very respectful of Lou Gramm's legacy.

03-15-2010, 03:52 PM
Don't forget about Mutt Lange producing some of their hits.

03-15-2010, 04:08 PM
I saw Mick Jones with Foreigner at JFK stadium in Philly in 1978--they opened for the Rolling Stones.

I will never forget the guitar solo during StarRider. Mick utilized a natural echo as the sound from his massive guitar amps hit the back wall of the stadium and came back almost a second later. He worked with it, and created a spacey effect without effects. Very cool.

WoodyTone com
03-18-2011, 09:13 AM
Resurrecting his thread because we now have at least one new detail about his plexi -- it used 6L6s. See below, will also post in amps/cabs section in case gets missed here:



03-18-2011, 10:29 AM
I saw them this past summer. I was never really a great fan, but they put on a hell of a show. Mick gave me a smile and handed me a pick from the stage. I'm still a sucker for a kick ass rock star, I guess. I look (and listen) to them a bit differently now. Mick's big strength was as a songwriter. Hook-laden material.

03-18-2011, 10:46 AM
I'm a big fan of the 1st two records and still get jazzed when I hear songs from those records. Saw them in concert 2-3 times when touring the first records and liked their show.

todd richman
03-18-2011, 10:59 AM
Mick's a great solid AOR rock player with big tone. Saw them twice on the Agent Provocatour in 1985.

Shiny McShine
03-18-2011, 11:25 AM
Not a big fan of foreigner but Mick Jones is the ultimate rock name only eclipsed by Screaming Lord Sutch.