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Foreigner’s Mick Jones Reveals the Real Reason for His Absence from the Band’s Live Lineup

Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images

Foreigner leader Mick Jones blamed complications from heart surgery for his temporary absence from the road awhile back, but as he recently revealed during an interview with CBS News, that wasn’t really the whole story.

In fact, admits Jones now, his problems were more emotional than physical in nature. “I’d had a virtual nervous breakdown, brought on by a bad prescribing of medication,” he recalled. “It was a very dark time for me. I literally didn’t know where I was anymore. I didn’t know who I was. I mean, honestly I never thought I’d play on stage again.”

So serious was Jones’ condition that he lost touch with the instrument that made him famous. “I lost the ability to play chords briefly, only for a couple of months,” he continued, noting that it wasn’t until he found himself on the receiving end of some tough love from a sibling that he found his way back. “My brother brought a guitar over for me and said, ‘You play guitar. Play it. You’re a guitarist. Play the guitar, you know.'”

The conversation found Jones in a reflective mood overall, admitting he has regrets over the way his partnership with former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm splintered (“I can’t have been easy to work with in those days”) and striking a note of gratitude for his eventual return from debilitating illness.

“Yeah. It does,” he nodded to the suggestion that “it must feel good” to get back on stage. “Sometimes, I think, yeah, wow. What a gift to have regained.”

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