Ex-Foreigner Singer Lou Gramm Says Guitarist Mick Jones Ripped Him Off

Ex-Foreigner Singer Lou Gramm Says Guitarist Mick Jones Ripped Him Off
Original Photo Credit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_05xuXzqkg

Rock legends Foreigner have had several hit songs, and the band has finally been nominated for induction consideration into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The group still tours, but typically performs without any original members including classic singer Lou Gramm and guitarist Mick Jones. 

Jones still oversees the band, and occasionally performs, but Gramm has performed as a solo artist for some time. 

In a recent interview with Kiki Classic Rock, Gramm talked about the rift between himself and Jones, and it appears that the main cause is due to what the singer called an unfair split in publishing money for a few songs, notably the band’s mega-hit ballad “I Want To Know What Love Is.” 

“I still don’t feel totally right with Mick,” Gramm said. “There’s a hatchet to be buried, and it’s still right between us. And if we could do that, that would be great, but it’ll be just fine even if the hatchet’s not buried. Sometimes these things never resolve.”

“I don’t dislike the guy — I like the guy — but I was not treated the way I thought I should be treated,” Gramm explained. “And that’s not to say I’m a prima donna or anything. I just did not get my worth in particular songs to the point where not only my songwriting contributions, but my vocal contributions count as nothing. And there’s more than one song that that’s happened to… I’m not even gonna mention (the other tracks). Honest to God, I don’t wanna mention. But there’s a few.”

Gramm said that generally songwriting credit would be split 50-50 or 60-40, but for “I Want To Know What Love Is,” Jones took everything. 

“It used to be when we first got together, almost everything we wrote was a 50-50 split or a 60-40 split, with Mick getting 60 and I’m getting 40,” Mick said. “And I would think about it and I would say to myself, ‘Yeah, he does deserve the 60.’ But then for something like ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ that he says the split is 95-5. And I was just stunned. And I didn’t know where that was coming from other than greed. And it ended up being 100 percent for him and nothing for me. On a song like that, that was Number One around the world three times after we recorded it. And I think the ASCAP and the publishing, they were just dumping truckfuls of money over his house. And I didn’t see any of it, nor was my name on the sheet music or the single or whatever. I worked my ass off with him on that song for months and months and months. We almost had it, but we couldn’t crack it. It was never quite finished. And there were times when we were ready to just give up on it, but we didn’t. And we put in the long hours trying to complete that song, and when we finally completed it, it was such a load off our shoulders and felt very resolute about it. And we knew we had something good here. And I’m saying ‘we’ — but apparently it’s not ‘we’.”

Gramm went on: “… It’s a sickening feeling to know that your songwriting partner and your bandmate for many years has just let you know that you’re not important… I’m just saying the sick tragedy of the way this is ending is… It’s too bad it had to be like that, but it is like that. I cannot say, ‘Oh, it’s okay, Mick,’ knowing that he’s made probably 25 or 30 million off of that song, maybe more. And even if I got 25 percent of it, it would have been monumental to me. But at five percent, I couldn’t be shamed like that. I definitely was worth much more than five percent.” 

“We worked for weeks and weeks and weeks on that song. I mean, we hit dead ends where we were ready to pack that song in and maybe it would be on the next album if we could finish it. But then we’d come back again and work a little harder, make a little headway on it. And when we finished it, we had a celebration, just he and I, that we finally got ahold of that thing and made it into a potentially great song.”

The official video for “I Want To Know What Love Is” has also charted more than 333 million views on YouTube. Gramm’s full interview can be heard below. 

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