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Ian McDonald

Today we'll tell you about Ian McDonald, a musician and multi-instrumentalist, one of the founding members of "King Crimson" and "Foreigner":

(Photo: Paul Natkin)

1. Ian was born on June 25, 1946 in Middlesex, England.

2. The first instrument he played in his youth was the guitar.

3. He received his substantial musical training in the army, where he served for five years.

4. He joined the army when he was in his teens, There he learned to read music, play the clarinet and later the saxophone and flute.

5. After his release from the army, he joined the band "Giles, Giles & Fripp", which consisted of Michael Giles (drums, vocals), Peter Giles (bass, vocals) and Robert Fripp (guitar).

6. McDonald participated in the recording of one song from their album "The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp". He played brass instruments, keyboards, acoustic guitar and vocals in the song "Under the Sky", which was only included in the later releases of the album.

7. In 1969 he co-founded "King Crimson" with Robert Fripp. He was one of those responsible for the band's all-too-special sound as the one who played mellotron, flute, saxophone, clarinet, piano, organ and sang background vocals. He was also responsible for the production and for all of the band's arrangements on the debut album "In The Court Of The Crimson King".

8. After the release of King Crimson's debut album, McDonald's left the band with drummer Michael Giles. The two formed the band "McDonald and Giles" with Michael's brother - Peter Giles who played bass.

9. The band released their only album "McDonald and Giles" in 1970. Also this case McDonald was responsible for playing a wide variety of instruments, singing and musical processing. The album also featured Steve Winwood.

10. In 1971, McDonald participated in the recording of the song "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" by "T. Rex".

11. In 1974, McDonald returned to collaborate with Robert Fripp as a guest on the recording of the album "Red". McDonald's had plans to return as a permanent member of "King Crimson", but Robert Fripp had other plans and he chose to disband it.

12. In 1976, McDonald's, together with guitarist Mick Jones and singer and songwriter Lou Gramm formed the band "Foreigner".

13. "Foreigner"'s first album was released in 1977 and was an immediate huge success. It included hits like "Cold as Ice", "Feels Like the First Time", "Long, Long Way from Home", "Starrider and more, which soon made it one of the best-selling debut albums in the US.

14. McDonald plays on "Foreigner" debut album on keyboards, guitar, saxophone and flute, he sings background vocals and this time too he co-produced and wrote one of the hits on the album - "Long, Long Way from Home".

15. McDonald will continue with "Foreigner" in the next two albums "Double Vision" from 1978, which includes the only instrumental track of the band "Tramontane" which was co-written with McDonald and "Head Games" from 1979.

16. In 1980 McDonald left "Foreigner" after friction with Mick Jones.

17. In 1996 he joined Steve Hackett's backing band. As a result he co-recorded the album "Genesis Revisited" and the live album "The Tokyo Tapes", which also included a mini-reunion with John Wetton ex-"King Crimson" bassist and singer.

18. In 1999 McDonald released the solo album "Drivers Eyes", which featured guest appearances by John Wetton, Lou Gramm, John Waite and Gary Brooker.

19. In 2017, McDonald's formed the band "Honey Wes", together with guitarist and singer Ted Zurkowski. They released their only album "Bad Old World" the same year.

20. On February 9, 2022, McDonald passed away at the age of 75. He died of cancer alongside his family at his home in New York.

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