NY Times: Mick Jones: A Quiet Day, for a Juke Box Hero

Mick Jones: A Quiet Day, for a Juke Box Hero
By JOHN LELAND | June 15, 2014 | New York Times

Mick Jones, original lead guitarist of the band Foreigner, at home. Credit Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

It is an amusement of New York life that rock stars live among us, picking up dry cleaning or going to the dentist just like everybody else. And it is a quirk of contemporary rock stardom that its constituents now come in all vintages, with hairstyles and heydays stretching back for decades. So it is that Mick Jones, 69, original lead guitarist of the band Foreigner, has been living near Central Park since the í70s, long enough that he can say, in the accent of Somerset, England, ďIím really a native New Yorker.Ē These days he is sometimes eclipsed by his stepchildren and children, who include: the D.J., singer and producer Mark Ronson, 38; the fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, 36; the singer and D.J. Samantha Ronson, 36; and the actress Annabelle Dexter-Jones, 27. Foreigner will perform with Styx and Don Felder at Jones Beach on Long Island on June 28.

MORNING CHEER Usually I get up at 9:30, 10 oíclock on Sunday. But Iím a big English soccer fan, so I get up really early if thereís a great game on. They start broadcasting about 8 oíclock in the morning. My team is Liverpool. And Iím also a Formula One enthusiast. Sometimes theyíre broadcast at 3 in the morning. It has to be a really exciting race for me to hang in for that.

Out on a Sunday. Credit Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

TEA AND COMPANY I get up, make myself a nice cup of English tea, have maybe an English muffin and some fruit, try to have a healthy beginning to the day. Then I usually pick up the phone and call around, check with a couple friends, maybe see what some of the kids are doing.

ITíS ALL A BLUR Iím a night person, even though I donít do a lot of night life things at the moment. When Iím writing I tend to stay up late. Thereís not a lot of distinction between the days for me, as much as there is for someone who works a five-day week.

GATHERING THE TRIBE We usually end up with late lunches. That could be anywhere between 2 and 5 oíclock. Iím friendly with the owner of a restaurant called Bilboquet, which is on 60th Street between Madison and Park. Or thereís a little place on 62nd called Amaranth, which is a nice bistro to relax in. Itís my local.

At Central Park Zoo with his daughter, Annabelle Dexter-Jones.
Credit Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

Weíll do it uptown near me, and then go down to where a couple of my children live in the Village. We tend to be not too organized, so you have to be kind of loose. We donít plan lunch a week ahead of time. Never have.

NO DISGUISES I donít get noticed a lot. The band has historically been low key as far as not doing any of the sort of press that would lead to people recognizing you so much. So for me itís a healthy amount, just enough to keep me saying, ďOh, thatís nice.Ē I donít have a problem walking around New York. Just an occasional, ďYo, Mick.Ē Nothing that is bothersome. People know my stepson Mark from his press and his success. Samantha has a big following on social media. But itís nothing that we have to be careful about.SUNDAY IN THE PARK Something I do occasionally with my daughter Annabelle is go to the zoo and just spend an hour in there. Weíve done it since she was young. I like going down to see the penguins. Theyíre very funny. I could stand there and watch them for hours. Weíll do that, or my daughter is very interested in art. She usually has a look-see whatís going on this week. Weíll go to the Frick sometimes.

Dining with, left to right, Ann Dexter-Jones, his former wife; Charlotte Ronson, one of his
stepdaughters; and Annabelle Dexter-Jones.
Credit Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times