Huey Lewis Talks New Music, Hearing Loss, Broadway and Film
Huey Lewis is defying the odds.
Despite being diagnosed with a rare inner-ear disorder called Meniere’s Disease that causes his hearing to suddenly diminish, Lewis is pressing forward with a new record and a jukebox musical, “The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” eyeing a run on Broadway.
The seven-song album, “Weather,” is due on Feb. 14. It is a heavy blues and R&B flavored record, recorded before his hearing suffered a crushing blow on stage in Dallas in 2018 when what felt like an “explosion” left a buzzing radio static in his ears
“It made it difficult to hear what people were saying,” he tells Variety. “I couldn’t sing in tune.”
Lewis is also filming a documentary, “Huey Lewis: If This Is It,” which is currently being shopped.
“As a musician, his plight hit me right in the gut,” says director Kurt Kuenne. “It’s an unflinching look at what Huey is going through. I don’t know how many people could have his [positive] attitude. He can’t even listen to music because of this condition; it distorts notes and makes them sound out of tune. But it’s also a way to explore the story of the band itself, a love letter to Huey Lewis and the News.”
And even though the heart of rock and roll is still beating in Cleveland, why isn’t his band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
“Honestly, I would die to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he laughe. “It says that you’ve moved that ball forward a little bit. You put your shoulder to the wheel of honest rock and roll. And that’s all you can hope to do.”