Revamped Foreigner will play Annapolis with new lead vocalist


"When the basic communication in a relationship breaks down, it's time to end it," says Mick Jones, lead guitarist for Foreigner. "Just like in a marriage."

Although Jones' partnership with singer Lou Gramm had 13 years of mostly honeymoon-like success -- including six platinum albums -- it all ended last March when the sides mutually agreed to part.

Jones' rejuvenated Foreigner, with newcomer Johnny Edwards handling the vocals, tonight will be the first major act to perform at the U.S. Naval Academy's new Alumni Hall in Annapolis. The concert at the $30-million hall, which includes a performing arts center and can hold lectures as well as stage and sports events, will be open to the public.

Gramm released his second solo album, "Long Hard Look," in late 1989. Last summer, he toured, opening a series of shows for The Steve Miller Band.

MA When word got out that Jones and Foreigner members Rick Wills

(bass) and Dennis Elliott (drums) were recruiting a singer, the band was besieged with hundreds of tapes from aspiring vocalists.

"I listened to more than 300 myself," said Jones. But one day last April, while lying in bed with the flu, Jones heard the one that he wanted.

"I really didn't know what I wanted in a singer," Jones said. "We didn't want to find a clone for Lou. I've seen bands do that and it never works out. But when I heard Johnny's tape I jumped to the phone. I knew I wanted to work with him, just like I knew with Lou 13 years earlier."

Edwards was already in a band called Wild Horses, which had just been signed to Atlantic Records, and declined Jones' invitation at first.

Now they are together on the first leg of a worldwide tour for the new album, "Unusual Heat." "We're very excited about the new voice of Foreigner and the fans have taken to him very well," Jones said.

"It's going to take some time to regain some of the lost momentum, but we're rebuilding bit by bit and I'm sure we'll get a little groundswell going."

Tickets for Foreigner's 8 p.m. show are $19.50 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY.

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