‘I’m going to get out of the rock business in a year or two,” says Lou Gramm, set to play Cache Creek on Saturday. Gramm, who bills himself as “the Voice of Foreigner,” has “something inside me telling me it’s time. I’ve done it long enough.”
This hardly means, however, he has no more music in him. The co-writer (with Mick Jones) of most of Foreigner’s hits, like “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” is still at it.
“Mick and I were slated to write a couple of tunes in September, but he has had some health problems and has had to postpone indefinitely” Gramm said. “I imagine we’ll get to it, though.”
What will happen to those songs once they are written remains to be seen, Gramm said.
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“I can’t think of any radio station which will play new music from classic artists,” he explained. “They play either classic songs from classic artists or new songs from new artists and that’s it. Corporate America has bought up radio and dictates who will be played and who won’t be. It’s a mess compared to what it was.
“Record companies are skeletons of what they used to be. Foreigner used to record for Atlantic and they had nine floors in a building in New York. I went by recently and they are still there but on only one floor. Eight are empty.”
So if he quits, what will he do?
“When I was booked into Reno years ago for Hot August Nights, I got up in the morning, looked out the hotel window and saw all these muscle cars,” he said. “I could not believe they were all in one place. I ran out of the hotel so fast, I’m surprised I remembered to put my pants on. I own five classic muscle cars, including a ’68 Camaro SS, black on black, with 17,000 original miles, and a ’65 Olds 442 with 33,000 original miles.
“So, one thing I want to do when I retire is put one on a trailer and go show it off at some of these shows.”
The vocalist has certainly seen his share of stage since the British-American rock outfit broke out in the late ’70s, later becoming one of the best-selling bands with more than 80 million record sold.
“We definitely had our day as Foreigner,” he said.
The show is 8 p.m. Saturday; $49 reserved seating; $35 general admission; www.cachecreek.com.