Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll; co-written by Scott Pitoniak
In my opinion Lou Gramm has one of the finest voice in Rock. I’ve been a Foreigner fan since their first album and even bought Lou’s solo albums. So I was interested in this memoir and enjoyed the behind the scenes look at his life. Hard to believe he wasn’t interested in singing when he grew up. He was a drummer. It was only later he became a singer. When Mick Jones (Formerly of Spooky Tooth, not The Clash) asked him to join his new group Foreigner, it was as a singer. Gramm had also written some songs in his previous band, so he and Jones wrote most of the songs for Foreigner together. The theme of the book is Egos, Alcohol, and Drugs destroy another band. But this story has a happy ending as Gramm finds Jesus and the Hazelded Treatment Center.
I was surprised to learn Thomas Dolby played keyboard on much of “4“. I was also surprised that Jones and Gramm fought over the direction of the band. Gramm thought they were playing too many ballads. This seems unusual for a singer, as the ballads really show off his voice. Weird too as “Inside Information” and “Midnight Blue” (Gramm’s solo album released in the same year: 1987) sound pretty much the same. A brain tumor nearly ended Gramm’s life in 1997. Gramm’s recovery story is remarkable. I enjoyed reading this book, it had a light tone, and Gramm covered all parts of his life. I left with a list of albums to track down, which is always a bonus for me.