Big 95 Music News: Foreigner, Tom Petty

FOREIGNER:  What's next?

Foreigner capped off its 40th anniversary tour with two shows, Friday and Saturday, at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Hotel in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Captured for future release, including TV, these shows had the current line-up joined by original members -- singer Lou Gramm, keyboardist Al Greenwood, drummer Dennis Elliott and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, along with bassist Rick Wills who replaced Ed Gagliardi in 1979 (Gagliardi died in 2014).

The shows started with the current line-up doing an 11-song set, 70-minute set that saw Gramm sitting in on an acoustic version of "Fool For You Anyway." This was followed by the original line-up doing a five-song set, with Wills telling the crowd, "It's good to be back. We don't believe it. You probably don't believe it, either." Founder and guitarist Mick Jones dedicated the set's opening song, "Feels Like the First Time" to Gagliardi, and this was followed by "Double Vision," "Blue Morning, Blue Day," "Long Long Way From Home" and "Dirty White Boy."

Finally, new met old when both lineups, 12 musicians in all, wrapped up each night with "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded."

Mick Jones recently discussed the enduring power of such hits as "Feels Like the First Time."

"It gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction that, y'know, that the music has endured through all this time and it's still desirable and people still like to hear it. You get a lot of people coming up, telling you what it meant to them and some of the craziness they used to indulge in, using our music as a backdrop, you know?"

Jones was hoping this anniversary tour would be capped off with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, but once again the band was passed up in the nomination process. But, he is hoping Foreigner can do more shows like this.

TOM PETTY:  Classics are resurgent following his death last week

The public paid its respects to Tom Petty this past week in a way he probably would've wanted, by listening to his music.

Enough people bought Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits album to propel it to its highest chart position ever, as it re-entered the Billboard 200 at number-two. It was blocked from the top spot only by Shania Twain's first new studio album in 15 years, Now. The Petty album sold 84,000 album equivalent units, about 50,000 fewer than Twain's. Its previous high chart position was number-five, when it first came out in 1994. (Billboard)

Another kind of public tribute to Petty took place at the University of Florida Gators's football game versus L.S.U. in Petty's birthplace of Gainesville on Saturday. The entire crowd stood up and sang along when "I Won't Back Down" was played over the P.A. system. 



Olivia Newton-John has encouraging news on her recovery from her second bout of cancer. Set to play a pair of Southern California casino shows this weekend, she tells the Long Beach Press-Enterprise, “I am doing really well... I wouldn’t be doing these shows if I didn’t feel I was able to.”

Pat Benatar's song "Dancing Through the Wreckage" is on the soundtrack of the upcoming documentary Served Like a Girl. The November 7th release profiles female military members taking part in the Ms. Veteran America competition -- all of whom overcame serious challenges in their lives.

The Zombies have announced a three-night run at New York’s City Winery for February 27th, 28th and March 1st. They plan to add more dates soon.

Chuck Negron will be the featured musical guest on Saturday’s debut of Huckabee, the TBN series hosted by the former Arkansas governor, commentator and Presidential candidate.

Jimmy Beaumont, the lead voice of The Skyliners on such classic pre-Beatle-era ballads as "Since I Fell for You" and "This I Swear," died Saturday. He was 76.

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