FOREIGNER's KELLY HANSEN: 'This Has Always Been A Two-Year Farewell' Tour
December 9, 2023
FOREIGNER frontman Kelly Hansen recently spoke to Guy "Favazz" Favazza of the St. Louis, Missouri radio station KSHE 95 about the band's upcoming 2024 concert tour with STYX. The "Renegades & Juke Box Heroes" trek, which will visit venues across North America starting June 11, 2024 in Michigan, is the next leg of FOREIGNER's two-year farewell tour.
After Favazza suggested to Hansen that FOREIGNER extended its farewell tour in order to take in the STYX dates, Kelly insisted that this is not the case. "I've been saying constantly, in every interview, on stage during the show, at the meet-and-greets, everywhere I can, that this has always been a two-year farewell, because we couldn't get everywhere in one year," he explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I've been saying it all over the place. Listen, of course, I can't exactly repeat everything, every day, everywhere, all the time, but I've been saying it constantly. So if someone has not looked more than one inch in front of their face, then I can't help them. I've been saying it, so it's always been the plan to do this for 2023 and 2024. The days of touring nine months a year is over after 2024… And that is over, and I'm sure there's gonna be certain appearances or shows or something maybe along the way after that, but the days of doing this nine-months-a-year thing is over."
Kelly continued: "I am not one to go out there and say, 'It's just gonna be for two weeks,' and then 10 years later I'm saying the same thing. That's not who I am, that's never who I've been, and I've never portrayed myself like that. And so if you didn't hear it any other time during the year last year, I'm sorry, but I have been saying it constantly that it's gonna be a two-year thing."
Joining Hansen and founding FOREIGNER guitarist Mick Jones in the band's current lineup are bassist Jeff Pilson, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, guitarist Bruce Watson, Chris Frazier on drums and guitarist Luis Maldonado.
In July, Hansen was asked by Mike Hsu of 100 FM The Pike if he and his FOREIGNER bandmates already know where and when the final show of the farewell tour will take place. Hansen said: "We're just starting to kind of wrap our brains around what that might be. And listen, there's a lot of pressure from a lot of different areas to get me to continue to do this. And I can't see that I'm gonna continue to do this. So we're now looking… 'Cause when you're a band like FOREIGNER, you're already booking a year in advance. So we're already deeply into 2024. But we haven't decided yet where the last show's gonna be."
The only remaining original member of FOREIGNER, Jones suffered from some health issues beginning in 2011, eventually resulting in heart surgery in 2012. Ever since, it is never announced whether he will be appearing with the band for specific shows — it just depends how he is feeling.
Hansen told 100 FM The Pike about Jones: "He's with us whenever he's able to be with us. And he is still the architect of this band. And he and I have worked closely for many years. And the great thing about it is that we've always been very simpatico about our ideas and about how we think things should be done. So, yeah, whenever he can be with us, he is."
After singer Lou Gramm left FOREIGNER in 2003, Jones took some time off before regrouping a couple years later with an entirely new lineup, featuring Hansen and Pilson, among others.
Gramm was the voice on FOREIGNER's biggest hits, including "Feels Like The First Time" and "Cold As Ice" from the band's eponymous debut in 1977, and later songs like "Hot Blooded" and "I Want To Know What Love Is".
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