The New York Times’ “Frequent Flier” — an often amusing guest editorial in the paper’s business section penned by a wide variety of heavy travelers — featured the headline, “Even A Rock Star Has To Be Careful” this past Tuesday. If you were thinking this week’s author might be, for instance, Blues Saraceno or Sully Erna, prepare to be deeply disappointed, as the Times has scrapped the very bottom of the state fair circuit barrel in soliciting Foreigner’s hired hand vocalist, Kelly Hansen.
Sometimes people recognize me. But what generally happens is if we’re traveling in a group, passengers might start to talk among themselves, wondering who we are. That’s kind of fun because usually they know all of our songs.
If I’m traveling alone, I don’t mind talking to seatmates, but I’d sooner just enjoy the flight. If someone asks me what I do, I generally reply, “I’m in music.” But if they ask what band, I say Foreigner. Either people break into a smile, or they say, “You mean, Foreigner, Foreigner?” I always want to say, “No, the other Foreigner.” But I don’t.
A lot of times the crew knows who we are, and word spreads that way. There was one flight where the attendants must have told the pilots. A little while into the flight, the pilots came over the P.A. system, and they just started singing a medley of Foreigner songs, including “Feels Like The First Time” and “Hot Blooded.” Everyone got a good laugh. I wasn’t worried about my day job. I thought as singers they made great pilots.
OK, I’m calling bullshit on this “sometimes people recognize me”. I will bet you $10 that unless that unless Hansen is flying with someone unlucky enough to have caught his performance at The Boat Show or a supermarket opening the day prior, there’s no fucking way he’s getting recognized. And if there’s a look of disbelief from fellow passengers upon learning he’s ostensibly a member of Foreigner, who can blame them?
The simple fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of the public, Foreigner will forever be associated with the dulcet tones and dynamic stage presence of Lou Gramm (shown above) . To pretend otherwise is duplicitous, delusional and another blow to The Gray Lady’s journalistic integrity.
On the bright side, there’s every chance the paper will feature a survey of the nation’s truck stops penned by
Ron Reyes Ripper Owens.