Huey Lewis and the News’ new album, Weather, which will be released on Feb. 14, contains seven songs because that’s how many he had recorded before his hearing failed in 2018 and he was forced to cancel all future tour dates. He later admitted he felt suicidal as he struggled to deal with the condition. He can sometimes hear well enough to sing, but other times he can’t even follow a conversation.
“The inner ear is one of the things that medical science knows the least about,” Lewis told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “It’s cased in bone and there’s no surgery. But I’m taking stem-cell stuff and trying everything. With my hearing always fluctuating, my body is doing something itself. What I have to do is stay healthy, exercise, and hope my body will slowly take care of itself.”
He noted that he felt so good at one point that he booked two days in a rehearsal studio, but by the time the band flew in, his hearing was shot again. He did manage to perform one song at a small concert in St. Andrews, Scotland, during a golf trip. “I was able to do it because it was as tiny place, not an arena, and the band was very quiet,” he recalled. “It felt amazing, though. I was so happy.”
Lewis said his former production manager is now working on the Buddy Holly hologram tour,which led to the idea of creating his own projection-based performance. “They had to use a model to ape Buddy Holly” to create the hologram, he explained. “I’d be the perfect model for Huey Lewis! I could come on between tunes and do shtick. The crew loves the idea.”
More seriously, Lewis said he could now live with the possibility of never being able to perform again. “I have a great life. I’m a lucky guy,” he reflected. “Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. But I am.”