Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lou Gramm--Midnight Blue (1987)

     Gramm's real name is Louis Grammatico and was born in Rochester, New York. He began playing in local bands during the mid-60's eventually becoming lead man of the group Black Sheep who had the distinction of being the first American band signed by Chrysalis Records in 1973. The next year the group signed with Capitol and with the release of two more albums, and a gig opening for KISS on the east coast, things were certainly looking up. However, on Christmas Eve of 75, an accident involving their equipment truck brought things to an end as the group couldn't raise enough money to play live, and without that to support the albums, the band came to an end.
     About a year before this, Gramm had met Mick Jones who was playing in the band Spooky Tooth. He had given the guitarist a copy of the first Black Sheep album. Now, looking for a singer for a new band he was putting together, contacted Gramm after hearing about the unfortunate circumstances with the truck and asked if he wanted to try out for this new group called Trigger. Grammatico got the lead spot, Grammatico became Lou Gramm, Trigger became Foreigner and they set about recording their first album. This began a long and fruitful role which netted nine top ten singles over the next ten years.
     Jones and Gramm had a tempestuous relationship as band mates, and it was not a great surprise that both men chose to not only continue with the band, but to record separate albums. Gramm's album, "Ready or Not" made it to the top 40 on the strength of the single, "Midnight Blue". He closed out the decade with another single, "Just Between You and Me" which made it to the top ten.
     Gramm finally left Foreigner in 1990 just to return two years later. He remained with the group until 2003. Having become a Christian in the early 90's during the time of stint in rehab, he formed a Christian rock band in 2009 with his brother Ben on drums.


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