Mick Jones (Foreigner guitarist)
Jones performing with Foreigner at VMWorld, San Francisco, 2 September 2009
|Birth name||Michael Leslie Jones|
27 December 1944 |
Somerton, Somerset, England
|Genres||Rock , hard rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Associated acts||Foreigner, Wonderwheel, Leslie West Band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Spooky Tooth|
|Gibson Les Paul|
Michael Leslie "Mick" Jones (born 27 December 1944) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known as the founding member of the rock band Foreigner. Prior to Foreigner, he was in the band Spooky Tooth.
Life and career
Michael Leslie Jones was born in Portsmouth, England. He started playing guitar at an early age. After attending a couple of concerts by Elvis Presley he decided to pursue a career in music. He began his music career in the early 1960s as a member of the band Nero and the Gladiators, who scored two minor British hit singles in 1961. After the demise of the band, Jones worked as a songwriter and session musician in France for such artists as Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, and Johnny Hallyday ("The French Elvis"), for whom he wrote many songs, including "Je suis né dans la rue" and "À tout casser" (which features Jimmy Page on guitar). When The Beatles toured France in 1964, they befriended Mick when Hallyday played on the same bill as they did. Between 1965 and 1971 Jones recorded in France with Tommy Brown (Thomas R. Browne) as State of Mickey & Tommy, as well as under other session names including the Blackburds, Nimrod, and the J&B.
After leaving France to return to his home country, Jones joined Gary Wright, formerly of the band Spooky Tooth, to form Wonderwheel in 1971. In 1972 Jones and Wright reformed Spooky Tooth, and after this Jones was a member of the Leslie West Band. He also played guitar on the albums Wind of Change (1972) for Peter Frampton, and Dark Horse (1974) for George Harrison.
In 1976 he formed Foreigner with Ian McDonald and recruited vocalist Lou Gramm. Jones co-produced all of the group's albums and co-wrote most of their songs with Gramm. Jones wrote the band's most successful single, "I Want to Know What Love Is". Tensions developed within the band during the late 1980s and were attributed to a difference in musical taste between Gramm, who favoured a more hard-edged rock, as opposed to Jones' interest in synthesisers. Gramm left the band in 1990 but returned in 1992. In 1989, Jones released his only solo album titled Mick Jones on the Atlantic Records label. Jones is the only person to play on every Foreigner album.
He co-wrote with Eric Clapton the song "Bad Love" on Clapton's Journeyman album, and in 2002 co-wrote the song "On Her Mind" with Duncan Sheik. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he played with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
He was married to socialite/writer Ann Dexter-Jones, mother of Mark, Samantha and Charlotte Ronson. Ann and Mick have two children, Annabelle and Alexander Dexter-Jones. Married for nearly 25 years, in 2007 Jones and Dexter-Jones divorced. He also has two sons, from prior relationships, Roman and Christopher Jones.
Album producer credits
In addition to the Foreigner albums, Jones has produced the following:
- 5150 – Van Halen (1986)
- Fame and Fortune – Bad Company (1986)
- Dead, White and Blue – Flesh & Blood (1989)
- Save the Last Dance for Me – Ben E. King (1989)
- Storm Front – Billy Joel (1989)
- In Deep – Tina Arena (1997)
- Beyond Good and Evil – The Cult (2001)
- Mick Jones (1989)
|Year||Song||US Rock Chart|
|1989||"Just Wanna Hold"||