As promised in my last post, here’s another set of photos from some of the ‘big hitters” that I photographed, over the years: Foreigner, supported for this appearance, by regional radio favorites, Head East.
This was another occasion, on which I shot from the audience, and thanks to the professional lighting, I was fortunate to get some very nice results, with my black & white film – although, once again, it was near impossible to get either band’s drummers into clear view. I had seen Foreigner opening for Heart, the year before, in Louisville, and between their first singles, and that appearance, it was clear that they were going to be headlining before long, on their own merits, and – sure enough – here they were, on a roll, and starting their long career, as “top of the bill”.
Head East, the opening act, has quite a long history, with numerous personnel changes, which is best covered on their Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_East. This band’s rise is the stuff of many an early group’s dreams; putting out their own record, on a private pressing, and creating a name for themselves by gigging, and eventually gaining regional radio airplay, which would lead them to a major label contract. In the late 60’s and into the 70’s, this is sometimes how these matters would play out, if you were intent on becoming a national name.
The line-up pictured here, is basically the same as the one which recorded their most famous single, “Never Been Any Reason”, which features that signature keyboard part [some contend that another band had seized upon that sound, for their own hits, a few years later]. In any event, that song was in heavy rotation, there, for a few years, on our local airwaves.
First up, frames of the recently deceased lead guitarist, Mike Somerville:
Vocalist John Schlitt, who would later front the group Petra:
The only frame I could get, of drummer Steve Huston, and a couple of images of bassist, Dan Birney:
The mainstay of the band, throughout its career, keyboardist Roger Boyd:
The main act on the bill, Foreigner, got my interest, from the beginning, due to the curious mix of musicians found in the line-up. I was already a long-time King Crimson fan, a group that Ian McDonald had been a major part of, on their first album. It was a habit of mine to take note of anything that members of groups that I enjoyed listening to, whose members formed “splinter projects/groups”, or who guested on other recordings, and I would often buy those records, which often led to other nice discoveries [such as lyricist Peter Sinfield‘s album “Solo”]; and so, this cycle of musical adventures would continue to deliver a fairly good return on investing that trust of instincts. One such “jewel” was the subsequent project, McDonald would form with the original Crimson drummer, Michael Giles, simply entitled “McDonald and Giles“, a recording I still get an immense amount of joy listening to, after all of these years…
Another group which would provide a key founding member to Foreigner, was Spooky Tooth. In much the same way, from the eventual ashes of that group, members would go on to form other bands that I was a very big fan of, including the bassist for the rhythm section that drove Humble Pie for its entirety, the late Greg Ridley https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Ridley. I loved seeing them perform [just after “Smokin’” was released, and the tour afterward, around the time of “Eat It!“], one of the best rock ‘n’ roll outfits I ever witnessed live. The original guitarist from Spooky Tooth, Luther Grosvenor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Grosvenor, would also record on his own, and also appear with an additional favorite of mine, Mott the Hoople, although under the name Aerial Bender. His solo album, “Under Open Skies“, was another which would find its way into my record collection, shortly after its release. After Grosvenor left Spooky Tooth, he was replaced by the eventual founder of Foreigner, guitarist Mick Jones.
More album covers for you, including the promotional poster of one of my favorites, due to its humor, as it originally appeared in the U.K.:
The other members that would eventually form the original line-up of Foreigner, were unknown to me, at the time, but I would be initially puzzled as to the sound of the first singles that I was hearing on the radio, seeing as it was not what I expected, given the previous recordings these Englishmen had been involved in, before – okay, yes! “21st Century Schizoid Man”, was a heavier tune, and certainly a number of Spooky Tooth’s songs were on the slow and heavy side [for example, their version of “Tobacco Road”], but Foreigner was a completely different beast: very much “radio friendly“, as the expression goes. I was not really sure what to make of them, until I saw them open for Heart, in the spring of 1977 – and they were good!! [some might even say they gave Heart a run for their money…. but I enjoyed both of them, on that particular evening, having also purchased the first two Heart releases – but more on that, when I share the photographs from that show, sometime in the near future].
Sorry to say, I could not capture any photographs of the drummer, Dennis Elliott, as the angle from my reserved seat, would not allow much movement to do so. Instead, I have others of the original line-up, including those of the late Ed Gagliardi, on bass guitar and vocals:
Original keyboardist, Al Greenwood:
Another image which includes Al Greenwood, along with Mick Jones and Lou Gramm during an instrumental moment of a song:
Images of Ian McDonald, demonstrating his multi-instrumental skills:
Singer Lou Gramm, at various points during the performance:
Another, which includes Al Greenwood in the frame:
A series of images with Mick Jones, as the central figure:
A few more frames from the show, to finish this presentation with:
“.. Should I lend you my key?“
Some links to check out, related to the above bands and members:
Head East – Wikipedia entry:
Head East – Official website:
Head East – “Never Been Any Reason“ [full version]:
Foreigner – “Hot Blooded”, live at the Rainbow, in 1978 [very good, indeed!]:
Foreigner – Wikipedia entry:
Foreigner – Official website link:
Lou Gramm – Official website:
Spooky Tooth – Lost Broadcasts [Live and Lip-synch footage]:
McDonald & Giles – “Tomorrow’s People – The Children of Today”:
Ian McDonald – Wikipedia entry:
Ian McDonald – Discogs entry:
Michael Giles – Discogs entry:
Excellent live version of “I Talk To the Wind” by Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Ian McDonald, with accompaniment:
King Crimson – “21st Century Schizoid Man“:
NOTE: A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WATERMARKS ON MY WORK
While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.
No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs. On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night.
Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then. Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers: a venue for discussion.
Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here. This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.