Huey Lewis Performs After Hearing Loss

by
Share This:

There’s a bit of good news to report with regard to the hearing loss that has afflicted Huey Lewis. The popular singer and songwriter, who announced last April that he was cancelling his 2018 performances because he had lost most of his hearing, sang for the first time in eight months, when he performed his hit, “Hip to Be Square” on October 6. The, er, News, was posted on his Facebook page on October 8.

Lewis sat in with piano player Elio Pace, who was appearing with his band at St. Andrews, the renowned golf course in Scotland, on October 6. (Lewis is an avid golfer and even named his 1986 album, Fore!) The post indicated that Lewis “had a good week and felt well enough to sit in for a song with Elio’s band.”

Pace explained on his Facebook page, how it came about: The great Huey Lewis, a childhood hero of mine and who I’m proud to say I have known and worked with for many years and who I love dearly and who for the past 8 months has been cruelly struck down with Meniere’s Disease, disastrously affecting his hearing and forcing him to cancel all of his musical appearances with ‘The News’… SUDDENLY GOT HIS HEARING BACK LAST NIGHT just before we were due to perform with all the other big names EXCEPT FOR HIM at the event!!!

Murray, Pace and Lewis on October 6, 2018 at St. Andrews. (Photo via Elio Pace Facebook page)

“He came looking for me during dinner, bringing his pal, Bill Murray with him and told me what had suddenly happened to him and if he still felt better later in the evening, could he come up and do ‘Hip To Be Square’ with us!!!
He did… and he did.

“What a moment. What a reaction he got from the assembled throng of guests and celebrities. Huey Lewis, who declared in recent interviews that he feared he may never sing again, sang last night for the first time in 8 months… standing right next to me. The look in his eyes, smiling at me when the audience went wild at the end of the song is something I will never ever forget. Ever.”

Lewis’ Facebook page added: “Huey’s symptoms seem to be cyclical. A good few days are typically followed by a bad few days. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we remain hopeful and positive for the future.”

View a brief clip of the performance here. [Thanks to Martha Quinn for the heads’ up.]

It’s not the first time Lewis has performed with Pace at St. Andrews. Watch him perform “Feelin’ Alright,” “The Power of Love,” and others in 2016, along with Mike Rutherford.

In a statement originally posted to his Twitter and Facebook pages on April 13, Huey Lewis announced that he has canceled all of his planned 2018 tour dates, citing hearing loss as the reason. On May 7, Lewis was interviewed by NBC’s The Today Show.

Lewis told the program: “As I walked to the stage, it sounded like there was a jet engine going on. I knew something was wrong.

“I can’t hear music. I can do everything but what I love to do the most.”

Doctors diagnosed Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear. “It affects people differently,” said Lewis. While there’s no cure, “the good news is it can get better… It just hasn’t yet.”

On his original public disclosure on April 13, Lewis wrote:

“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch. I’ve been to the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute, and the Mayo Clinic, hoping to find an answer. The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.

Sincerely, Huey”

Meniere’s disease is described as an inner ear disorder sometimes caused by lack of fluid drainage, infection, migraines, head trauma or allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic.

On April 14, Lewis wrote: “The response from my colleagues, friends and fans has been truly overwhelming. And extremely heartening. It helps me to focus on improving, and finding a way to sing again. Thanks to everyone.”

On The Today Show, Lewis noted: “I’ve always prided myself on being reliable. I’m not the greatest singer in the world but I’m reliable. I’ve canceled five gigs in 40 years maybe.”

Related: AC/DC’s Brian Johnson is another rocker sidelined by hearing loss

Among the dates Lewis has been forced to give up is one at Outside Lands, a large festival held annually in San Francisco.

Lewis, who turned 68 on July 5, 2018, first came to prominence in the early ’80s with his group Huey Lewis and the News. Their string of top 10 hits includes such radio staples as “I Want a New Drug,” “The Power of Love,” “Stuck With You” and “Jacob’s Ladder,” the last three all reaching #1.

Watch the scene in the 1985 feature film Back to the Future that featured “The Power of Love”

Although Lewis’ chart presence slowed down by the mid-’90s, he had remained active. Lewis’ last new studio album was 2010’s Soulsville though he is reportedly close to finishing a new album.

If Lewis’ hearing loss does lead to his retirement from the stage, he will be joining a growing list of rock artists who’ve decided this year, for one reason or another, to give up the touring life, including Elton John, Paul Simon, Joan Baez and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Watch the video for “If This is It”

  • Sign up for the Best Classic Bands Newsletter




 

Best Classic Bands Staff

Best Classic Bands Staff

The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News, Contests, On This Day rock history stories, Classic Videos, retro-Charts and more.
Best Classic Bands Staff
Share This:

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.