A recent excerpt from an interview with Lou Gramm that appeared in the Cleveland Scene:
As long as we’re talking guitar players, I want to ask about Michael Staertow, the guitar player in your solo band. He was in a Foreigner tribute band with your nephew, right?
That’s cool that a family connection brought him your way.
You know, sometimes it just happens that way.
Having somebody come in that has that experience, that knows the songs and knows the records, did that make it easier as far as getting somebody in the band that knew how to play those song?
In this circumstance, it definitely was. Obviously, we still rehearsed with him before we played a show, because he knew the arrangements of the records and I guess his tribute band played the songs live like the record. We had small changes in the arrangements and things like that, so he just had to adapt to our arrangements and he did that within a matter of days.
Did he have any questions for you, like how you guys had done certain things back in the day?
Not really. You know, he’s a very gifted guitar player and a student of music in general. Very knowledgeable. I think he considers Mick a great guitar player, as do I. But Mick’s got a unique style of playing and of the guitar players I’ve played with, I think Michael’s been the one that has grasped and understood Mick’s style and was able to get those nuances and chording versions better than anyone.
Mick has a very specific tone and signature sound that when you hear his playing, you know that it’s him playing?
That’s exactly right. His chords, the way his hands are positioned for the chords, you’ve got to have rubber fingers to get into some of those positions and he’s a contortionist. But it comes very naturally to him and when you hear the chords ring out with his inversions, it’s very powerful and Mike was able to pick up on that, so we’ve gained a lot by having Michael in the band.