Exclusive: Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder Trade Awesome Beatles Stories
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It’s hard to find a rock musician who wasn’t strongly influenced by the Beatles, and in a new exclusive video interview Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder talk extensively about their life-changing initial experiences with the Fab Four.
Former Eagles guitarist Felder goes first, recalling a mid-’60s school function as his tipping point. “I remember walking into a teen dance at my high school, and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ was blaring in the gymnasium, and it was unbelievable. It was better than the Everly Brothers, it was rocking, great vocals, and it just really lit me up.”
Styx’s Tommy Shaw describes the Beatles’ famous first Ed Sullivan show appearance as the moment “that changed the whole dynamic musically” for him and his family. He had been taking parentally-mandated guitar classes — “they were teaching ‘Down in the Valley,’ that kinda stuff” — but quickly decided a change in direction was needed. “I quit taking lessons… I never went back and I sought out people who would teach me that [instead.]”
As cool as those tales are, we’d have to say Mick Jones of Foreigner wins the prize for the best Beatles story. It turns out he spent several weeks sharing both a stage and a hotel with them in Paris, France just days prior to their culture-shifting 1964 arrival in America. “I was with them up until 48 hours before that (‘Ed Sullivan’) show. I was so blown away. They had taken me under their wing, they were playing in Paris and I was on the same bill… they thought I was French, then they heard me cursing one day… from that moment on, I guess they thought I was kind of cool, and I hung out with them for three weeks.” You’re going to want to hear about the “bread and butter pudding” incident, and the rest of these great stories, for yourself.
Foreigner, Styx and Felder recently announced their joint ‘Soundtrack of Summer’ tour, as well as a new collaborative version of the Eagles classic ‘Hotel California.’ Their trek is currently scheduled to kick off May 16 in Oklahoma City, Okla. and wrap up July 27 in Santa Barbara, Calif. We’ll have much more from our extended video interview with these artists in the near future.