Episode 43: Lou Gramm

There’s not a lot we can say about Lou Gramm that you don’t already know. As a youngster he sang and played drums for his band Black Sheep that released a single called “Stick Around.” On tour with KISS, an icy accident claimed their equipment truck and the lack of ability to support its albums with live performances caused the band to disband.

Along the way, Lou met Mick Jones and when Black Sheep disbanded, it just so happened Jones was in search of a lead singer for a band he was assembling. That band was Trigger which eventually was renamed Foreigner.

The bands first eight singles cracked the Billboard Top 20 and the band was a huge success. Gramm & Jones had a volatile chemistry but their creativity was second to none. After Foreigner’s “Agent Provocateur” album took three years to release due to creative differences between Jones & Gramm, Lou felt the winds blowing him toward Solo work.

Gramm’s first solo album, 1987’s Ready or Not was met with critical acclaim and the song “Midnight Blue” cracked the top five.

The 90s saw Lou doing ample solo work along with providing vocals for Christian rock band Petra’s Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus.” On the eve the band was to head to Japan for a tour, Lou was diagnosed with a type of brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma. Even though it was benign, the treatment damaged his pituitary gland. The recovery program caused him to gain weight, which likewise affected his stamina and voice. By ‘98, he was back to touring with Foreigner, playing summer festivals and small markets.

In 2003, he again departed Foreigner to go solo.

On June 13, 2013, he and Mick Jones were reunited once again, as inductees to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Their body of work was recognized by their peers, and the duo performed “I Want to Know What Love Is”

After that, Gramm joined Mick Jones, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald and the current lineup of Foreigner for three songs at a Foreigner 40th Anniversary show at Jones Beach Theatre in Long Island, New York. They continued to do shows with original members and current members sporadically, during their 2018 tour dates, filming the shows for later release.

Double Vision: Then and Now, A Celebration Concert Series with Current & Original Band Members will be released in October of 2019 and there’s talk of some new recordings coming out with Lou Gramm on vocals.

On Saturday, August 17, Lou Gramm will be performing as part of the 80s in the Dells show alongside Asia on the Crystal Grand’s Indoor Stage.

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