’80s rockers keep the good times going

First Published Jul 18 2014 02:48PM      Last Updated Jul 18 2014 03:25 pm

Tom Gibel, and the rest of the 1980s band Foreigner, perform with Styx and Done Felder of the Eagles Wednesday, July 23, at USANA. Courtesy | Emily Jones

What it’s like touring with ’80s rockers Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder?

Tom Gimbel, the multi-instrumentalist from Foreigner — he ­plays rhythm guitar, saxophone, flute and keyboard — gave a little insight during a recent telephone interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.

"It’s funny when you get on a tour like this, everyone always immediately has something in common," he said. "It’s like we’re all in love with the same girl and that girl is music. It’s not like we chose music; music chose us. It’s really cool to have that common bond. And we play some golf together. Don Felder is an excellent golfer, and he’s an excellent comedian on the golf course."


Back to the ’80s

Popular ’80s bands Styx and Foreigner will perform. Opening act: former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Special guest performance by Cottonwood High School Choir.

When » Wednesday, July 23, 7 p.m.

Where » Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City

Tickets » $29-$60; Smith’s Tix

In a sense, the tour lineup constantly changes. Foreigner has a long-standing tradition of hiring a local high-school choir — usually chosen through a radio contest — to perform "I Wanna Know What Love Is" live during the concert. The band also donates $500 to the choir. The Cottonwood High School Choir got the nod for Wednesday’s show at Usana Amphitheatre.

Gimbel, who grew up in California, graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and started touring with Aerosmith, playing keyboard and saxophone, in 1989. He joined Foreigner in 1992.

The band went on hiatus from 2002 and 2005, then got back together and started touring again. Gimbel said it makes about 120 stops during the year.

After the U.S. tour ends in September, the band will head to Europe to spend the winter playing acoustic sets in ancient German castles.

Gimbel talked about life on the road and his memories of Salt Lake City.

About the tour

Well, I think it’s an opportunity for people to see a lot of great songs on the same bill. Don Felder with those classic Eagle songs. Styx songs that people know and love. We put our Foreigner songs on top of that. There’s also lots of staging and things and lights and production. We get to have a great time playing live.

Life on the road with Foreigner and Styx

I’m always excited about playing live, great concerts and great crowds. The energy that goes back and forth, that’s the magic that keeps us coming back year after year. It’s a great adrenaline kick.

Life is good on the road. As a bachelor, I get used to the comforts of hotels. If you have dirty towels on the floor, you come back and they’re clean. You don’t have to do the dishes. When I get to my house, I keep trying to call room service and no one answers. They’re both great, just different.

We’re just lucky because there’s not a lot of fighting. If you talk to people in the business, that’s not always the case. We’re pretty much a family. We spend a lot of time together in airports, on planes. We’ve got a really hysterical comedian bunch of people right now. So we’ve had a lot of laughs.

Favorite moments

Either playing golf with Don Felder or joking around with the Styx guys. One time, I was walking around backstage with my saxophone and one of the Styx guys came up to me completely naked and said, "Hey, can I play your saxophone?’



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