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Foreigner, Farewell Tour & Pet Elephants


Well, hell. I knew this time would come, but I didn't think it would arrive this soon. I am disappointed that Foreigner has announced The Historic Farewell Tour because they put on the best shows ever: high energy, engaging, and very entertaining from start to finish. The last time I felt this disappointed was when I learned that the African elephant I adopted would not actually be living with me.


Lulu is roughly my age and lives in NorCal on an animal sanctuary operated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). When I adopted this glorious creature, PAWS sent me several communications reiterating that my adoption did not entail Lulu actually showing up at my house and living with me. Well, hell.


I was looking forward to parading my pachyderm around the neighborhood and gabbing with my neighbors as they walked their dogs. I had visions of us exchanging details about our pets and bonding over being "parents" to four-legged creatures. In all honesty, it's probably best that Lulu hasn't come to live with me because her annual expenses are roughly $75K (that's a whole lotta peanuts!), and I fear that I would not be able to maintain the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. Just like not having Lulu live with me, Foreigner announcing their final tour is tres triste, but I get it.


The band tours extensively and reports that they have lived the majority of the past 18 years on the road. Kelly Hansen (frontman) told Fox News, "When COVID came, I finally saw four seasons at my house for the first time. I look forward to spending time with my new wife and family, that's going to be great. I have a lot of other things that I'm passionate about in life."


Hansen also told reporters that at age 61 it is becoming increasingly difficult to sing high tenor songs. He has high standards for himself and the band, and would rather cease touring while the group is still at its best, which is admirable.


One member's future I'm most curious about is that of Luis Carlos Maldonado because he is the newest (joined in 2021), and youngest, member of the band. When I read the news of the final tour, I immediately wondered what Luis Maldonado thought and what his level of disappointment may be. Is he sad that it's all coming to an end, or is he ready to Netflix and chill with family for a bit? Regardless, I'm sure it has been quite the ride for him.


Change is something that many people fear, but it is the only state of being that propels us to where we are meant to be, which is a higher, more self-actualized state than our current one. Those who embrace change love harder, possess more patience and compassion, and tend to be more light-hearted. This is because those individuals who welcome change understand that everything in life is fleeting, and therefore meant to be experienced and enjoyed in the here and now. Conversely, those who circumvent change tend to be more narrow-minded, emotionally resistant, and less adventurous. Most importantly, people who are change-avoidant have low levels of trust and confidence, not just in others, but mostly in themselves. They fear their ability to be successful in the face of change, so they dig in their heels and remain loyal to a limited perspective that keeps them stagnant.


Touring musicians, by nature, are less afraid of change because life on the road is nothing but constant change: different cities, hotel rooms, venues, stages...and the list goes on and on. And, look at (or more aptly put, listen to) all the songs in the world that are about change and its purpose as a catalyst to transform and heal.


Foreigner has been through numerous changes since its inception in 1976 by Mick Jones and Ian McDonald. Today's lineup includes: Kelly Hansen (frontman), Jeff Pilson (bass guitar), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitarist), Chris Frazier (drums), and Luis Maldonado (guitarist) with Mick Jones making occasional appearances.


I met the guys pre-Covid and they were absolutely delightful and very gracious to the fans (read about my experience meeting Bruce Watson). They are offering some 'meet and greet' passes in select cities, so if you'd like the opportunity to be around them, I highly recommend it.


While you have your wallet out to purchase your Foreigner tickets, consider adopting Lulu (photo below), or any of the rescued animals. If you don't want the responsibility of adoption, you can always make a donation to PAWS to ensure that mistreated wild animals continue to experience positive changes.

My pet elephant, Lulu!


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