Gramm hopes for Foreigner reunion
Lou Gramm is hoping to reunite with Mick Jones to give their Foreigner partnership a happy ending.
The singer quit the band for the third and final time in 1997 after he felt pressured by Jones and their management to keep working when he was too ill.
The pair hadn’t spoken in years until they were named for induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and Gramm called Jones to congratulate him.
They’ll get together to perform a handful of their classic tracks at the ceremony next month – and Gramm says that might not be the end of the story.
He tells Classic Rock Revisited: “His management and my management are tossing around the idea of a farewell tour. I would really like to do that. It would be really great to do that instead of leaving it with such a bitter and unfinished ending.”
He feels he had no choice but to bow out in 1997 after treatment for a brain tumour. “My operation was in early April,” he says, “and in September, we were playing. I was still really sick and I was very medicated. I was so out of it that I couldn’t remember the words to the old songs. I had all of the lyrics to the old songs taped on the floor.
“I had no business being on stage, but the bills had to be paid. Management and Mick were pressuring me hard.”
Gramm and Jones disagreed over the direction Foreigner should take, with the vocalist interested in hard rock and the guitarist keen to pursue softer ballad sounds. But that wasn’t the only topic that led to arguments.
“I co-wrote I Want to Know What Love Is, but he jilted me out of it,” Gramm says. “When we would complete a song, we would each write down on a little piece of paper what we each thought that the split should be. I wrote ‘Mick 65, Lou 35.’ I thought that was fair. He wrote, ‘Mick 95, Lou 5.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ He said, ‘No, I think that is fair.’ I said, ‘Well, why don’t you have all of it then? I know that is what you want.’ He said, ‘Okay.’ – then made zillions of dollars.”
But he doesn’t think it will be too difficult to take the stage with his ex-bandmate. “We hadn’t spoken in over ten years. I think he was shocked that I called him. We had a good conversation, and we knew we were going to be asked to do a couple of songs, and we said that we would talk again. We’re going to meet a couple of days before the show and rehearse – I haven’t spoken to him again, but it is coming right up.”