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Gazette Premium Content Foreigner plays at the Pikes Peak Center

By Jen Mulson Updated: October 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Editor's note: We have been told that Foreigner's only original member, Mick Jones, second from left, may not play the Springs concert. A publicist said, "He chooses the shows he plays in."

Channeling music is a daily process for Jeff Pilson, and he's got a full-time day job to prove it.

He's been the bass player for the rock band Foreigner since 2004. Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Lou Gramm founded the British-American band in 1976 and went on to huge popularity, with a string of hits including "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice" and "Hot Blooded." Jones is the only original member of the group remaining.

Foreigner plays the Pikes Peak Center on Sunday.

When Pilson joined, he was no newbie on the rock scene. He played bass in the heavy metal bands Dokken and Dio for much of the '80s and '90s. But it was the 2001 film "Rock Star," which starred Mark Wahlberg, in which Pilson was appropriately cast as a bass player, that earned him his current gig.

"That was great fun," he says. "Just a magical experience."

During filming, he met drummer Jason Bonham, who was trying to convince Jones to revamp Foreigner. They invited Pilson to play with them.

"We had immediate chemistry," Pilson says. "They asked if I could join, and I thought they had great songs and great records. I loved the performance and everything about it. For me, it was a blast, a great honor."

In 2011, the band released "Acoustique," an album of acoustic versions of their hits. It was inspired by an acoustic version they did of their song "Say You Will" during a concert. It earned much acclaim from fans.

Pilson is a busy man. Not only does he tour with Foreigner, but he also makes music with the band Starship and George Lynch, a former member of Dokken.

"Good music varies," he says. "Ultimately, it's an art, not a science. It's whatever affects you emotionally. If I get an emotional resonance with it, that's when I feel it's good."

Questions From Facebook Fans

Who inspired the song "I Want to Know What Love Is?"

"That was Mick's soon-to-become his wife. They were just going out at the time," says Jeff Pilson, Foreigner bass player since 2004. "They just had a very passionate thing going on, and the night he came up with the basic idea of the song, he ran into the bedroom and told her what he came up with, and she said 'What the hell does that mean?'"

Who inspired "Juke Box Hero?"

"They were doing a show in Cincinnati, and a fan was literally waiting out in the rain, waiting to get in," Pilson says. "The band heard about it, that he was really disappointed he couldn't get a ticket. It was a sold-out show. So the band invited him to hang out by the side of the show, and it was the thrill of this guy's life. So the song is a true story."

Why did you let Mariah Carey cover "I Want To Know What Love Is?"

"It's a very different version. You don't really have control over that. It's X amount of years old. Why wouldn't you want Mariah Carey to cover that? She's a great artist."

Foreigner

When/where: 6 p.m. Sunday. Nov. 4; Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

Tickets: $49-$68.75; 520-7469, ticketswest.com

Other Events

"Steel Magnolias" - By First Company, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Nov. 8-9, 2:30 Sunday and Nov. 10, First United Methodist Church Theatre, 420 N. Nevada Ave., $5-$18; 471-8522, fumc-cs.org/drama/visual-arts.

Paula Vogel - The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright speaks in the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Prologue series, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, UCCS, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, free; 255-3232, theatreworkscs.org.

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Jennifer Mulson, jen.mulson@gazette.com, 636-0270

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