Foreigner’s Lou Gramm Announces Autobiography
Even after a then-revolutionary surgery, he writes in the forthcoming ‘Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Gramm was forced to keep written lyrics to hit songs he’d composed for Foreigner like ‘Waiting for a Girl Like You’ and ‘Juke Box Hero’ at his feet during live appearances, because of memory lapses. He also suffered through a notable weight gain, the result of a damaged pituitary gland and prescription steroids.
‘Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ co-written with Scott Pitoniak and due May 1 from Triumph Books, details a dizzying rise to fame from working-class Rochester, N.Y., as Gramm joins Foreigner and begins writing and performing a string of hits with Mick Jones. In fact, Foreigner’s initial eight singles all made the Billboard Top 20. Eleven years after first auditioning for the band, Gramm issued his initial solo album, and then continued an on-again, off-again relationship with Foreigner. He’s been solo since 2003, while Foreigner has gone forward with vocalist Kelly Hansen.
Still, a defining moment remains Gramm’s life-threatening battle with craniopharyngioma, which began with several physicians telling him he’d never recover from the tumor in 1997. After undergoing laser surgery, Gramm then had to struggle through radiation treatments and years of rehab.
He eventually returned to touring and recording, though it was with a different perspective. A Christian since the early 1990s, around the time he went into rehab, Grammy placed a newfound focus on faith-based compositions — notably on 2009’s ‘The Lou Gramm Band.’ He will be inducted, along with Jones, into the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony in New York City on June 13, where the two erstwhile bandmates are finally scheduled to perform on stage together again.