By: Jeremy Scott
Fulton County is prepared to rock this Labor Day weekend by welcoming one of the most long-standing rock bands still in existence, Foreigner.
Foreigner has sold over 70 million albums with nine Billboard Top Ten Hits. Songs like “Double Vision”, “Urgent”, and “Feels Like the First Time” has made them mainstays on classic rock stations across the country, consistently landing them in the Top 20 for airplay.
The band will be performing on September 1st at the Fulton County Fair. I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Gimbel from Foreigner about the upcoming show. “We love playing at the fairs, the people really get into the show”, Tom told me during a phone interview.
Tom’s story of joining the band briefly in 1992 and rejoining in 1995 to the present day begins with his love of music at a young age. Tom began his love of music by playing drums before switching to guitar. After high school Tom applied to and was accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music located in Boston. He said that when he got there, there were too many guitarists, and many of them had been playing since they were young. “I just wanted to play power chords,” Tom laughed.
Because of this Tom decided to switch his primary instrument to the flute. He was also required to pick a secondary instrument. Tom chose the saxophone, and it quickly turned into his first love. Tom played around for a few years after college before landing a gig being a touring musician with Aerosmith from 1989 until 1995 where he played keyboards, sax, percussion, backing vocals, and was even able to bust out the flute from time to time. Tom took over for Scott Gilman of Foreigner between 1992 and 1993, then returned in 1995 where he remains today. Tom plays guitar, saxophone, flute, additional keyboards, and provides back up vocals for the band.
An especially unique part of the show will be the inclusion of local high school choir signers to help perform Foreigner’s #1 hit “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Seven Fulton County schools will be represented. The band will also donate $500 to the choir for appearing. The choir will also be selling Foreigner CDs at the concert to raise money for Foreigner’s charity partner, The Grammy Foundation. The Foundation helps to promote music education in high schools throughout the United States.
In asking why Tom thought that the impressive catalog of Foreigner songs were still so relevant today. You can here their music still today being used in commercials, movies, and film. He credits the longevity to the songwriting of Mick Jones and Lou Gramm. “The songs are so relatable,” says Gimbel.
You can purchase tickets for the event by visiting fultoncountyfair.com or calling the fair office at 419-335-7469.
Jeremy can be reached at email@example.com