Foreigner mainman Mick Jones has revealed that his year off, officially blamed on a heart condition, was actually the result of a “virtual nervous breakdown.”
He found himself incapable of playing guitar for several months – and only fought back after his brother offered him some tough love.
And he’s admitted to regrets over the way his relationship with classic-era singer Lou Gramm collapsed.
Jones, who didn’t appear for full shows on many of Foreigner’s 2014 tour dates, tells CBS: “I’d had a virtual nervous breakdown, brought on by a bad prescribing of medication.
“It was a very dark time for me. I literally didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know who I was. I honestly never though I’d play on stage again.”
He adds: “I lost the ability to play chords for a couple of months. My brother brought a guitar over and said, ‘You play guitar. Play it. You’re a guitarist.’”
Asked how he fought back from a position he described as “terrifying,” Jones says: “You just somehow try and hold on.” The 70-year-old believes he’s back on track and reflects: “Sometimes I think, ‘What a gift to have regained.’”
He and Gramm settled their differences when they received a songwriting award together in 2013. But looking back on the disagreements that caused the singer’s departure ten years earlier, Jones says: “I can’t have been easy to work with in those days. I knew what I wanted. I was pretty domineering.”
When they met again, he says, “We hugged. I think it dawns on both of us that, wow – we did do something pretty great together.”
In September the pair announced plans to record together in 2015. The current lineup of Foreigner released a live album, The Best Of Foreigner 4 & More, earlier this month.