A rock 'n' roll "hero" joined Glenn on radio Tuesday morning to pretty much just talk about life. The topics they discussed included everything from music, fame and fortune to devastating illness, healing and being born again.
Who was the man Glenn called an "absolute legend"?
None other than the original lead singer for the band, Foreigner - Lou Gramm.
Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: So my good friend, Pat, has been a friend of mine since the '80s. And -- and one of his heroes truly is Lou Gramm.
PAT: No doubt about it.
GLENN: Yeah, truly one of his heroes. And it was a big day -- it was a big day in his life at about 1992. '91.
PAT: In there somewhere.
GLENN: When Lou Gramm came into town and he came in for an interview. And we were just a couple of jokey --
PAT: Morning show hosts.
GLENN: That Lou Gramm would not remember at all. And I can sometimes make things uncomfortable for people.
GLENN: Especially my good dear friends.
PAT: Yeah. Are you surprised too?
GLENN: So Lou Gramm is on with us now and I want to see if he remembers us at all. And Pat is hoping that the answer is, not in the least.
GLENN: How are you, Lou?
LOU: I'm doing fine. And, Pat, your wish came true. I do not remember at all.
GLENN: That's great. Now, the question is, should I remind you?
PAT: I will. I will explain that --
GLENN: You know, he doesn't remember. So leave it alone. Leave it alone. Your shame.
GLENN: Has kind of been forgiven in a sort of.
PAT: That's great.
LOU: No. I've been listening to you, Glenn, for about 20 years.
GLENN: You have been?
LOU: Yes. Absolutely.
GLENN: Shut up. You're not supposed to like us. You're a rock 'n' roll guy. You're not supposed to like us.
LOU: No, no, no. Your political stance and the humor you inject is -- is right up my ally.
GLENN: Holy cow.
PAT: That is great.
GLENN: Now, can I ask you a serious question, Lou? When was it when you had a brain tumor removed?
GLENN: Is -- do you think that there's a chance that maybe they rattled some things upstairs, that that's why you like us now?
PAT: Stop it.
LOU: No. I liked you before that.
GLENN: Okay. All right. So, Lou, actually you've gone through an amazing thing. We've talked about this before you came on. You've gone through an amazing thing. First of all, Pat is -- the reason why you're here, Pat sincerely wants to start a campaign to make sure that you get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because we all that --
PAT: That's an atrocious oversight. Ritchie Valens with two songs is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's got two songs.
LOU: Yeah, but what songs they were.
PAT: Yeah. They were good songs. But what songs you guys have, I mean, Foreigner has been around for -- you know, you guys were together for, what, 25, 27 years? Something like that.
GLENN: How many albums did you sell?
LOU: I think the count is somewhere in the mid- to high 70 million.
GLENN: Wow. Jeez.
PAT: Yeah. Yeah, it's huge.
GLENN: Unbelievable. So do you feel -- I mean, Pat is behind himself. We have -- please pray for us, Lou. Because we have to listen to him all the time talk about what the atrocity is that you and Foreigner is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
PAT: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
GLENN: See, this is what happens. Does it bother you at all?
LOU: I somewhat have an idea of why we're not. And there's really not a lot to be done about it.
GLENN: Gosh. Does it have anything to do with you liking our political point of view?
LOU: No, no, no.
LOU: From what I understand, that -- when the bands of our ilk and our time period were getting inducted and we were -- we were overlooked, our management at the time went to see the -- the head of the Hall of Fame and was wondering why -- why we were overlooked because we certainly had the credentials.
LOU: And I think there was a slightly heated discussion after that. And we were told that we would never be in the Hall.
PAT: So it's essentially pettiness.
LOU: Yeah, I don't think it's based on what we've done.
GLENN: That's really done.
LOU: But a situation that was out of our hands, you know.
PAT: Really sad.
GLENN: Can I tell you something, this was -- sometime -- I don't drink anymore, and it's a good thing. But we should have a beer sometime and just talk about that. Because that is almost the same story with me on the Radio Hall of Fame. I've been told that I would never be in the Radio Hall of Fame because of an innocent thing that I said positive about Paul Harvey and it pissed the guy off who was the head of the Hall of Fame. And he -- he went to my people and said, "I just want you to know, Glenn Beck will never be in the Radio Hall of Fame." I'm like, "Okay. Well, we weren't really pushing for it anyway." But okay. Kind of sad.
LOU: Right. Yep.
GLENN: So you had the brain tumor, and you had it removed, and it changed your life. You want to tell me a little about that?
LOU: Well, it was -- it was about the size of a large egg. And it had tentacle-like features that were wrapped around my optic nerve and my pituitary.
So there was -- the optic -- my sight is fine, but my pituitary is damaged. And I need quite a bit of medication to stay functioning. But I feel great. But it was a long recovery. The operation was 1997. And I didn't start feeling about myself until about 2005.
GLENN: Holy cow.
PAT: Did your spiritual change come before that or after that, Lou?
LOU: My spiritual enlightenment came about 1991, when --
LOU: When I was in rehab.
GLENN: What was that like? And what exchanges have happened to you since?
LOU: Well, I -- before I went to rehab -- we had just played -- Foreigner had played Madison Square Garden. Sold out. And there was -- of course, there was a big party afterwards. And I found myself in my hotel room at 3:30, 4 o'clock in the morning, and in -- in a condition that I had been in a number of times before, and I just -- I just felt like I -- I -- I didn't want to be there anymore. And that if -- if this accelerated anymore, that I'd probably be a statistic. And all the lights were off. And I just fell to my knees in prayer and called a friend of mine early next morning, and he booked me a flight to Minneapolis. And I spent 30 days in Hazelden, which changed my life.
GLENN: Did you -- was it unusual for you to fall to your knees and pray? Were you a praying guy?
LOU: I was. But not the desperation that I had that night.
GLENN: So now the Lou Gramm Band, how has your music changed?
LOU: We do all the hits from the Foreigner albums and my solo albums. You know, some of those songs are very suggestive. And, you know, I -- I have to do what I have to do. I can't start eliminating big hits.
LOU: But, you know, it does feel a little funny performing them when that was me as a young stud and it's not me now.
PAT: But you also have a complete CD filled with Christian music, right?
LOU: Yes, absolutely.
PAT: And you wrote that?
LOU: Yeah, with some of the guys in the band. It rocks pretty hard, you know. But the message and the tone where it's coming from is from a different place.
GLENN: So you started feeling well again 2006, you said?
GLENN: And I'm sorry. I'm not obsessive about Pat, I don't know what size pant you wear or anything else like Pat I think does. But have you been back on tour?
LOU: I started touring again in 2005, even when I wasn't feeling well.
LOU: Actually I was touring about 2000 with Foreigner. And left that band in -- at the end of 2003.
GLENN: How did you do that? How did you make it?
LOU: It was not easy because, you know -- one of the other things I developed was sleep apnea.
GLENN: Oh, horrible.
LOU: And it was just -- I -- my short-term and long-term memory was very spotty. So when I had take the stage, I had the lyrics to all the songs written on white paper with a black marker, and it was taped on the floor.
PAT: Wow. But that's --
GLENN: How did that -- how did that make you feel while you were going through it?
LOU: I knew that I had no business on stage. And -- and I -- I felt like an invalid and that I couldn't be doing the band any good.
GLENN: Now how are you feeling? Now how much of this is -- have you returned full strength now?
LOU: I think so, yeah. Yep. You know, I was taking massive steroids back then too. And put on almost 100 pounds.
GLENN: Holy cow.
LOU: My weight as an adult has been 140 to 145 pounds.
GLENN: 140 -- hang on.
GLENN: I think I've gained and lost 140 pounds in the last year. And -- that's what your scale says is 140? Because that's like one leg. Holy cow!
You suck. I don't like you.
LOU: Well, I got a small frame, you know. But taking the steroids, it was incredibly tough to lose anything.
STU: Yeah. Glenn did all of his weight gain without steroids which I thought was pretty impressive.
PAT: It was with food. Something called food.
GLENN: It was medication-related.
GLENN: It was. It was.
PAT: If chocolate milkshakes are medication, yes. Yes.
GLENN: Thank you. Write another prescription, please.
PAT: Things have been kind of famously chilly between you and McJones.
LOU: Well, they were for a number of years --
PAT: Is it better now?
LOU: -- after I left the band.
Yeah, two years ago, we were both inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And there was a big ceremony for us and a number of other people in New York. And they asked us to play. They had some studio musicians and background singers and this and that. And so we rehearsed two days before the awards ceremony, and we kind of broke the ice and rekindled a friendship.
GLENN: That's great.
PAT: Oh, that's great. Because it seems like that happens with almost every popular band. Some kind of friction between the band mates.
LOU: Yep. You know, it was -- it was a number of things that I think were -- were just building over the years. And I just -- I just thought I -- you know, I had been with the band over 25 years. And I just thought I had enough, you know.
PAT: How is it now with your brothers? Because aren't two of your brothers in the Lou Gramm Band?
LOU: Well, two were in the band. One is in the band now.
LOU: But it's good. It's good. Everybody in the band is from my hometown of Rochester. So, you know, it's what -- we all fly out of Rochester. We all fly home to hear it. It's good camaraderie. And they're very good players too.
GLENN: Let me ask you this: How difficult is it to be Lou Gramm, the guy from Foreigner that was -- I mean, you're Lou Gramm. And then your body changes. Your life changes. You change. Music changes. And you don't have that -- I mean, even Aerosmith. What's his name. Steven Tyler.
GLENN: He's -- really, maybe it's Steven Tyler. But pretty much, only the people from the Rolling Stones that still will sell out those stadiums and they're still kings everywhere. How do you keep a handle on today, that today is all that's important, yesterday doesn't mean anything. Does that make sense to you. Do you know what I'm saying?
LOU: Yes, I definitely do. And, you know, when you had the success that Foreigner has had for the amount of years that we've had, I mean, radio has changed. Radio is owned by -- most radios are owned by corporations now.
LOU: And pretty much, there's not even program directors that there's a set list which is -- which is played over and over again. And it's -- it's not the freedom to put in whatever song they feel like anymore.
LOU: It's a different beast. And when that changed over, Foreigner and a number of other bands, like Aerosmith and Bryan Adams and people like that, were kind of pushed to the side. And kind of relegated to the -- the oldies stations.
GLENN: I prefer to say classic rock. Oldies are what my dad used to listen to. I listen to classic rock.
LOU: No, you're right. And a whole new slew of artists came in to dominate the top 40 scene.
GLENN: Has it ever played -- I think fame -- honestly fame and fortune, celebrity is one of the worst -- I would not curse my best friend with this. It is -- and I have a very small amount. Has it ever played a game with your head?
LOU: I don't think so.
GLENN: Good for you.
LOU: I came from Rochester. Very small town. My mom and dad, you know, Italian descent. And the -- my first glimpse and desire to have that kind of fame is when I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.
LOU: And that's what spurred me to not make music a hobby, but my life's calling.
GLENN: Yeah. Lou, it is great to talk to you. And Pat now has your phone number. We've traced the call.
LOU: Well, you're welcome to give me a buzz any time.
GLENN: God bless you.
LOU: I have a book out too.
GLENN: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know about it.
PAT: Yeah, your autobiography, right?
LOU: Yeah, it's called "Jukebox Hero: My Five Decades in Rock and Roll."
GLENN: Great. Great song.
STU: It's an amazing story.
GLENN: Amazing story. I will pick it up today and start to read it. And I know Pat has already read it. But thank you, Pat, for informing me he had a book out. Lou, thank you very much.
LOU: Great to talk to you guys.
GLENN: Great to talk to you.
"Jukebox Hero" is the name of the book.