They’re reuniting for their induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame – and Gramm says it was easy to finally pick up the phone and call his former colleague as they’re being recognised for the creation of world-class tracks including Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice, Hot Blooded and Juke Box Hero.
The vocalist tells Artisan News: “I’ve talked with Mick for the first time in over ten years. He seems to be doing well; his health has improved quite a bit.
“It wasn’t so difficult, considering we were both being honoured as a songwriting team. I called him and congratulated him, then he congratulated me.
“We both knew they were expecting us to perform a couple of songs and we got right down to talking about it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Gramm left Foreigner in 2003, citing Jones’ inability to keep away from alcohol as the main reason. He later said he’d felt like a sideman during much of his time with the band, and in 2009 he told Smashing Interviews that Jones had deliberately elbowed him out of writing credits for hit track I Want To Know What Love Is. He separately suggested Jones had sabotaged the release of his 1991 Shadow King album by applying pressure to their mutual record label.
In 2011 he said the lineup of Foreigner featuring his replacement Kelly Hansen was “false advertising,” adding: “He’s put a new band together, and is calling it Foreigner. And that’s all well and good, but unless I’m singing, it’s not.”
For his part, Jones felt he had good reason for continuing under the name. He said: “Through the 90s Lou and I were really not seeing eye-to-eye. I always felt Lou was far more interested in doing a solo career. So I’d been fighting a long time. I just wanted to resuscitate the band and see if I could really present the band I felt Foreigner deserved to be.”
Jones suffered a heart attack last year. Gramm, who formed the Lou Gramm Band in 2004, underwent a brain tumour operation in 1997 and remains on medication for diabetes.
Aerosmith writing team Steven Tyler and Joe Perry will also be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame at the ceremony in New York on June 13.