Lou Gramm: The onetime lead singer of Foreigner speaks about his faith

Wednesday 20th March 2013

Tony Cummings and Mike Rimmer quizzed "the voice of Foreigner", LOU GRAMM

Lou Gramm
Lou Gramm

"I Want To Know What Love Is" is considered by many one of the greatest rock ballads of all time. It was recorded by the classic lineup of Foreigner - Lou Gramm (vocals), Mick Jones (lead guitar, keyboards), Bob Mayo (keyboards, rhythm guitar), Mark Rivera (sax, flute), Rick Wills (bass) and Dennis Elliott (drums). Gramm left Foreigner for the second time in 2002 and formed the Lou Gramm Band with his brother Ben on drums, Don Mancuso on guitars, AD Zimmer on bass and Andy Knoll on keyboards. Their self-titled debut album was described by critic Ray Shasho as "one of the best Christian rock albums ever; it's the heyday of Foreigner with a metaphysical directive." Lou was quizzed by Mike Rimmer and Tony Cummings.

Mike: For many you were the voice of Foreigner all those years, with all those massive hits. You must have got over to the UK to play with the band.

Lou: Oh, more than a few times.

Mike: Did you ever make it onto Top Of The Pops?

Lou: I think we did do Top Of The Pops, yes.

Tony: What memories do you have of England? What stands out in your mind?

Lou: How beautiful the countryside was, the age of the cities and how the architecture is just unbelievable. And the people really like to rock.

Mike: There was a time, particularly in the first part of the '80s, when we really loved you and you had all those huge hits. It must be fantastic to have hits not only in your own country but internationally. It must have been an exciting time of your life.

Lou: It was. We toured the world and I got to see some places I'd never been before and really enjoyed playing in front of audiences I hadn't played in front of before.

Mike: There were tensions within the band in terms of the direction of the band because as the '80s developed and there were more synthesizers on Foreigner records, this wasn't something that pleased you was it?

Lou: Not necessarily. I didn't mind a little touch of it for effect but pretty soon the songs had no guitars in them anymore. I was not happy about that.

Mike: Sure. Now you first met Mick Jones when he was in Spooky Tooth and you were doing something else as well, weren't you?

Lou: I was in a band called Black Sheep. We had two albums on Capital records. Our manager was an A&M Records rep and got us into Spooky Tooth.

Mike: Oh, right. Never guessing that you'd end up forming a band with him?

Lou: Yeah, because I was expecting to see Luther Grosvenor on guitar and was quite surprised that he wasn't there.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Cara Bradley in Alabama @ 21:10 on Jan 6 2019

But all things can be accomplished with god. You still have your wife and family. I know this. I am a single mother who raised my daughter by myself. There were tough times. I lost my entire family to cancer and i had to battle it 3 times myself. I turned myself over to god and he has allowed me to see my daughter grown and in college. So if through all this you and your wife made it through then treasure it because it is for keeps. God bless and keep you well.

Posted by Karen orzo in Alliance Ohio @ 01:30 on Mar 7 2018

I love lou Gramms voice especially singing i want to know what love Is i have my little Great Grandaughters singing too as we watch lou in farm side concert 1985. I love Lou even more reading how He turned his life over to the lord got off drugs survived a brain tumor hes had a amazing life yes been thru hell and back but came out on top bc ofhis faith to the Lord. Hes the Greatest.

Posted by Joann Hesseltine in Charleston @ 04:04 on Aug 22 2017

Lou Gramm has the most outstanding vocal that I have ever heard his songs have more meaning and I wouldn't mind the walk to the Lord with him courageous gentle and made it through a lot none of us a perfect but he sure has tried thanks for giving me the opportunity to listen to your words and to hear your voice Foreigner will never be the same without you.

Posted by Carolyn S. Church in Toledo, OH @ 11:09 on Dec 17 2016

I have been lucky to have seen Foreigner several times with Lou. I met him once with my daughter after a concert in Toledo,OH.. After Lou had the successful brain surgery my daughter & I went to see him (with Foreigner) in Clarkson,MI. We were both very grateful that he was alive & able to sing again. We both cried because Lou's voice didn't seem as strong & his rhythm was slightly off. Not sure how much time passed but, I went to see Foreigner with Lou again. I was lucky to be in the 1st row & after the concert I told Lou that his voice & rhythm was better. He smiled & mouthed thanks. I haven't been able to see Lou again since he has been performing with his brothers. Hopefully someday - soon. I will never go to another Foreigner concert because without Lou there is no Foreigner. Thanks to the Neuro-Surgeon & God Lou is alive & performing!

Reply by Randy in Mentucky @ 05:29 on Aug 24 2017

Yeah I saw foreigner with Lou in Germany and montrose opened for them in 1982 he sounded just like the album foreigner 4 was hot . He was a small guy with muscles and a huge voice. The Lee will be many close but just not as good as Lou he was great to us veterans best concert I ever saw

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Posted by Carole Scala in Saint Cloud, FL @ 02:24 on Mar 21 2013

Years ago, I had the experience of seeing Pavarotti perform in Tampa. At that performance, I recognized that Pavrotti was just a vehicle that the Lord was using to inspire a deeper sense of spirituality. I have been a long-time fan of Lou Gramm. When I hear his voice I recognize that the Lord has also given him the same gift. Through Lou Gramm and his faith, however, we also witness the love of the Lord. Thank you for your journey to faith; we have all learned through your continued committment to the Lord that, "If we seek, we shall find."

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