Foreigner's Mick Jones Reminisces About Opening for the Beatles — 50 Years Ago
Even Mick Jones gets nostalgic about "Yesterday."
The Foreigner guitarist, songwriter, and record producer is gearing up for a tour — it was announced Tuesday his band will hit the road with Styx and The Eagles's Don Felder this spring — but he reminisced about his early days in the business when he was the opening act for… the Beatles?! Yep, right before the Fab Four touched down at JFK Airport — 50 years ago this week — they spent three weeks in Paris with a teenage Mick.
"I was just thinking: 50 years ago today, I was saying goodbye to the Beatles," he told Yahoo when we interviewed him in New York City on Wednesday. "I was 18 or 19. I had spent three weeks with them in Paris as they were preparing to come to the United States for 'The Ed Sullivan Show.'"
Before hits like "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Feels Like the First Time" were even a thought in his mind, the British-born Jones moved to France at 18, where he was playing guitar for French singer Sylvie Vartan, who was on the same bill as the Beatles at the Olympia.
Is Mick Jones somewhere in that crowd? The Beatles with Sylvie Vartan at the Olympia in 1964. (Getty Images)
"This event in Paris — I was just playing on the bill," he said. "I was struggling, hoping to get a gig, and I ended up opening up for the Beatles."
Over the three-week period, Jones spent a lot of time hanging out with the Liverpool lads and had a bird's-eye look at their megastardom.
"They pulled me into their world," he said. "It was like 'A Hard Day's Night.' Did you see that movie? Just like that. Really. I was running in and out of their cars — the big old cars they used to have — with all the girls screaming."
Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison drew attention at a cafe on the Champs-Élysées. (Getty Images)
Jones was even staying with them at their hotel, marveling over how posh The Beatles's digs were.