Lou Gramm: Foreigner Not in Rock Hall Due to ‘Personal Vendetta’
Gramm shared his thoughts on Foreigner's Rock Hall exclusion in a recent appearance on The Rock Shop With Ralph. "It's not anything to do with our music or the amount of hits or notoriety or anything like that,” he said. "It's a personal thing that we're not in there."
He continued: "It's a personal vendetta between the gentleman who owns Rolling Stone and Mick [Jones, co-founding guitarist]. It's very juvenile, the whole thing, and I don't think it's gonna get any better. I think it's gonna stay that way. I think we're being made an example of."
Although Gramm did not name names, he was almost certainly talking about Rolling Stone co-founder and former owner Jann Wenner, who co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983 and served as its chairman until 2020. (Wenner, for his part, told Marc Maron in 2022 that he had "nothing against Foreigner – in fact, I was very good friends with Mick Jones … but, you know, Foreigner's name has never come up in a nominating committee to be nominated.")
When asked if Gramm thought his former cohort belonged in the institution, the singer said, "Of course I do. The original Foreigner [lineup]. I put an exclamation point at the end of that."
Gramm echoed the sentiments of his replacement, Hansen, who has fronted Foreigner since 2005. "As an entity, I find it unusual that a group of people can have an arbitrary standard from which they decide who is in this substantial sounding-titled Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," Hansen recently told the Houston Press.
"They cite as one of their criteria as 'influence.' Well, how many people have picked up a guitar and tried to learn 'Cold as Ice' or 'Hot Blooded'? Or sing 'I Want to Know What Love Is' in a karaoke bar?" he continued. "This band has sold 80 million-plus records. And that's real records, not streams or downloads! That is the definition of influence!"