"Lou Gramm remembers standing outside the Rochester War Memorial in the rain as a teenager in the mid-1960s, ear pressed against the corrugated metal back stage door so he could hear the rock band playing inside. He didn't have a ticket to the concert, but he did have a dream. One day, he would be on that stage, belting out songs, feeding off the energy of an adoring, raucous crowd."
Accomplished musician, lead singer and songwriter of the iconic band Foreigner, LOU GRAMM is ready to tell his story.
In JUKE BOX HERO: MY FIVE DECADES IN ROCK 'N' ROLL, due out May 1 from Triumph Books, GRAMM details his rise from humble, working-class roots in Rochester, N.Y. to become one of rock 'n' roll's most distinctive and popular voices. Working with best-selling author Scott Pitoniak (nationally honored newspaper columnist and author of 16 books), GRAMM recounts his extraordinary life in a compelling and candid behind-the-scenes memoir. The book will be available at www.triumphbooks.com and wherever books are sold.
Throughout JUKE BOX HERO: MY FIVE DECADES IN ROCK 'N' ROLL, GRAMM poignantly recounts how he realized his dream. Sadly, though, like many rock stars, GRAMM would succumb to the trappings of wealth and fame. Foreigner's remarkable success was due in large part to the song-writing synergy between GRAMM and the band's founder, Mick Jones. However, creative clashes between the two would become more frequent and the tension would result in GRAMM's departure, not once but twice, the second time for good.
But GRAMM's recounting of his life is also is a story of redemption. In the early 1990's, he finally confronted his demons and checked into a drug rehabilitation center for a month. He came out a changed man and has remained sober ever since. Several years later, GRAMM faced an even bigger challenge when diagnosed with an egg-sized brain tumor. After being given a death sentence by several physicians, he learned of a then-revolutionary laser surgery being done by a doctor in Boston. GRAMM underwent a life-saving operation to remove the tumor and then courageously battled through radiation treatments and several harrowing years of rehab.
Other JUKE BOX HERO: MY FIVE DECADES IN ROCK 'N' ROLL highlights include:
- GRAMM's difficult, courageous comeback from brain surgery. Just several months after his operation, he was contractually required to tour with Foreigner and dealt with memory problems that forced him to keep written lyrics at his feet--lyrics from songs he had helped write and had sung thousands of times before.
- The musical influence of GRAMM's father, a trumpeter who ran a big band, and his mother, who was a vocalist in the band.
- How much the music industry has changed and how difficult it is for heritage rockers to get their new material out there.
About Lou Gramm: Gramm is one of the most successful rock vocalists and songwriters of the late 1970's and 1980's as the lead singer for the multi-platinum band Foreigner. Described by Circus magazine (upon the release of the band's 1978 Top 3 hit "Hot Blooded") as having a voice that Robert Plant might envy, Gramm's unique vocals have made Foreigner one of Billboard's Top 100 artists of all time. Gramm--who will be inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame June 13 in New York City--was the lead vocalist on all of Foreigner's hit songs, including "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice," "Long, Long Way from Home," "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Blue Morning, Blue Day," "Head Games," "Dirty White Boy," "Urgent," "Break It Up," "Say You Will" and "I Want to Know What Love Is," which was a #1 hit internationally in 1985. He co-wrote most of the songs for the band including "Waiting for a Girl Like You," which spent ten weeks at #2 on the 1981-82 American Hot 100, and "Juke Box Hero," another Top 40 hit. Beyond his work with Foreigner, Gramm released his first solo album, the critically-acclaimed Ready or Not, which featured the top five single "Midnight Blue" and 1989's Long Hard Look, which included "Just Between You and Me" (a Top Ten Hit) and "True Blue Love" (a Top 40 and Mainstream Rock hit). Gramm also contributed a track, "Lost in the Shadows," to the soundtrack for the 1987 movie The Lost Boys. Gramm has been touring internationally as a solo artist since 2004 and continues to draw enthusiastic audiences worldwide.
About Scott Pitoniak: Scott is a nationally honored newspaper columnist and the best-selling author of 16 books. A native of Rome, N.Y. and a magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University, Pitoniak resides in suburban Rochester with his wife and two children.