Juke Box Hero
Lou Gramm and Scott Pitoniak
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Buy *Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock 'n' Roll* by Lou Gramm and Scott Pitoniakonline

Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock 'n' Roll
Lou Gramm and Scott Pitoniak
Triumph Books
240 pages
May 2013
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Foreigner singer Lou Gramm had one of the best voices you'd ever heard in rock 'n' roll. He brought power and passion to the music of Foreigner, and as a co-writer of such iconic hits as "Juke Box Hero" and "Waiting For a Girl Like You," he was inextricably linked to the success of that band. In his poignant tell-all, Lou Grammatico reveals his unbelievable rise from a musician in a local band to the lead singer in Foreigner, a band that would go onto sell millions of albums and be listed in Billboard's Top 100 bands of all time.

But it was not all positive. Along the way, Gramm succumbed to drugs and checked himself into a rehab center in the 1990s. A few years later, he faced his biggest obstacle when an egg-sized brain tumor nearly killed him. On top of all of that, he was dealing with Foreigner mainman Mick Jones' outsized ego.

Here, Gramm talks about his fall into addiction.

"My moment of truth arrived in november 1991. I had just played a concert in New York and when the music ended, the party began. It was all there--anything an alcoholic and drug addict wanted. The buzz buffet line included top-shelf booze, cocaine, marijuana, hashish--you name it, it was available. I wound up being so gone I don't even remember what I imbibed or smoked or snorted that night. All I know is that I stumbled into my hotel room at about 5:00 AM totally disgusted with myself. I really believed I was going to die--not necessarily that day but in the coming weeks or months if I continued down this path."
It's an honest and disturbing account of how the excess of success can lead to some very bad habits. But Gramm also talks about watching the Foreigner albums race up the charts and touring the world and buying expensive cars. It's a true local-boy-made-good story.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2013

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