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Legendary Voice of Foreigner Lou Gramm Discovers What Love Is

The 700 Club's Scott Ross sits down with original lead singer for the multi-platinum rock band Foreigner, Lou Gramm. On the strength of hits like “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner sold over 50 million albums worldwide with Lou Gramm behind the mic. Decades later, Lou is still performing after battling a brain tumor that almost killed him.

Lou Gramm: I’m left taking about 15, 16 prescribed medications twice a day.

Ross [reporting]: Even still, Lou enjoys remembering the late 1970s when Foreigner was rock’n’roll royalty.

Gramm:  It’s pretty staggering, and it happened extremely fast.  It seems like we would come right off a tour, into the studio, and the last two weeks of the tour, we’d be putting ideas together for the next album.

Ross [reporting]: One song seemed to stand out and blew the world open at the time: “I Want to Know What Love Is”.

Gramm:  When the New Jersey Mass Choir sang, “I want to know what love is,” and we were in the control room, I can remember the short hair on the back of my neck standing up.

Ross [reporting]: But after 15 years of drugs, sex and rock’n’roll, Lou had a revelation.

Gramm: I think it was a night after we’d played Madison Square Garden. I really believed that the lifestyle had the better of me and that I couldn’t walk away from it now. I needed it more than it needed me.  I prayed for the strength and the sense to break the chain.

Ross [reporting]: The next morning, Lou checked himself into rehab and was soon praying the sinner’s prayer with a staff pastor.

Ross: This pastor prays with you, you pray, Jesus Christ comes into my life?

Gramm:  Yes

Ross:  It was one of those kind of prayers?

Gramm:  Absolutely.

Ross: It was a conversion prayer?

Gramm:  It certainly was.

Ross:  Did you tell your band mates?

Gramm:  Not right away. I waited until the next tour, and we were on the bus . The cocaine lines and the joints came out, and I let them know that I wouldn’t be doing that with them and that I wouldn’t be doing that anymore.

Ross: And their response was?

Gramm: “What in the world’s wrong with you?”

Ross [reporting]: Lou remained with Foreigner for years, finally parting ways in 2003. Around that time, while recovering from brain surgery, he remembers feeling called to sing a new song.

Gramm: After my operation, which there was a very good chance I might have died on that operating table,  I had thought long and hard about making a Christian rock album.

Ross:  The Lou Gramm Band.

Gramm:  Yes it is.

Ross:  With the Graham brothers.

Gramm: You better believe it.

Ross:  Singing…this album is Jesus?

Gramm:  Yes it is, and it rocks hard!

Ross: So, Lou Gramm is back? 

Gramm:  Yes. I think about the years wasted before I knew the Lord. Everybody has to go through something different. I don’t mourn those years, because I am where I am now and that’s the best news ever.

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Scott Ross [reporting]: On the strength of hits like “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner sold over 50 million albums worldwide with Lou Gramm behind the mic. Today, 30 years later, Lou is still performing after battling a brain tumor that almost killed him. Lou Gramm: I’m left taking about 15, 16 prescribed medications twice a day. Ross [reporting]: Even still, Lou enjoys remembering the late 1970s when Foreigner was rock’n’roll royalty. Gramm: It’s pretty staggering, and it happened extremely fast. It seems like we would come right off a tour, into the studio, and the last two weeks of the tour, we’d be putting ideas together for the next album. Ross [reporting]: One song seemed to stand out and blew the world open at the time: “I Want to Know What Love Is”. Gramm: When the New Jersey Mass Choir sang, “I want to know what love is,” and we were in the control room, I can remember the short hair on the back of my neck standing up. Ross [reporting]: But after 15 years of drugs, sex and rock’n’roll, Lou had a revelation. Gramm: I think it was a night after we’d played Madison Square Garden. I really believed that the lifestyle had the better of me and that I couldn’t walk away from it now. I needed it more than it needed me. I prayed for the strength and the sense to break the chain. Ross [reporting]: The next morning, Lou checked himself into rehab and was soon praying the sinner’s prayer with a staff pastor. Ross: This pastor prays with you, you pray, Jesus Christ comes into my life? Gramm: Yes Ross: It was one of those kind of prayers? Gramm: Absolutely. Ross: It was a conversion prayer? Gramm: It certainly was. Ross: Did you tell your band mates? Gramm: Not right away. I waited until the next tour, and we were on the bus . The cocaine lines and the joints came out, and I let them know that I wouldn’t be doing that with them and that I wouldn’t be doing that anymore. Ross: And their response was? Gramm: “What in the world’s wrong with you?” Ross [reporting]: Lou remained with Foreigner for years, finally parting ways in 2003. Around that time, while recovering from brain surgery, he remembers feeling called to sing a new song. Gramm: After my operation, which there was a very good chance I might have died on that operating table, I had thought long and hard about making a Christian rock album. Ross: The Lou Gramm Band. Gramm: Yes it is. Ross: With the Graham brothers. Gramm: You better believe it. Ross: Singing…this album is Jesus? Gramm: Yes it is, and it rocks hard! Ross: So, Lou Gramm is back?  Gramm: Yes. I think about the years wasted before I knew the Lord. Everybody has to go through something different. I don’t mourn those years, because I am where I am now and that’s the best news ever.

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