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February 13, 2007

Still the heart of rock n' roll

Traintracks The Stuck in the 80s interview with Huey Lewis is now online. Click here to listen or click here to subscribe to the entire series for free on iTunes.

Huey is in Tampa Bay this week to perform Valentine's Day at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall and to play in the Outback Pro-Am golf tournament. The 8-handicap golfer is a huge fan of the sport ("pastime" he prefers to call it) and enjoys playing while he and his band -- The News -- perform on the road.

Some of the highlights of the podcast:

  • Huey shares the details of his latest foray into acting -- his leading role in the Broadway version of Chicago. "Broadway's way tougher (than being a rock star). You really have to be on your game. Every bad note is waiting for people to hear. You can hide in the middle of a great rock band sometimes if you have to."
  • He crosses swords with Times pop critic Sean Daly over the finer points of music journalism.
  • Huey still loves playing his hits, but he's glad he doesn't have to play a show every night like he did in the 80s. "I love to play Heart of Rock n' Roll, but I don't want to play it 200 nights a year. But 80 nights a year, it's a ball."
  • And he's ready to record a new album. "As a storyteller, you do need a new story now and then."

How will a new Huey Lewis album fare today? Things aren't nearly the same as they were in the 80s, Lewis laments. "It's just so different. You watch the Grammy's, and the band I look most like and sound most like is always the country band! And I'm the furthest thing from country. I'm a soul guy!"

We dare not reveal anymore of the interview. You gotta download it and listen.

Comments

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razor9edge

Bassnote's comments made me interested in some of the info around Power of Love.

The dates don't exactly match Huey's comments in the podcast; however, he was right about the "no platinum certification" for "Power of Love.

USA "Back to the Future" Movie Release Date: July 3, 1985
[IMDB.com]

Billboard Hot 100 number one single -- Power of Love: August 24, 1985
[wikipedia]

Single -- Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News certified Gold (500,000 units): 01/30/89
[RIAA.com]

Soundtrack "Back to the Future" certified Gold: 09/06/85
[RIAA.com]

As of 7/31/2006, Huey Lewis and the News were ranked at number 197 in all-time sales in the U.S. with 12 million certified units.
[RIAA.com]

... and yes, I'm a geek.

razor9edge

Bassnote's comments made me interested in some of the info around Power of Love.

The dates don't exactly match Huey's comments in the podcast; however, he was right about the "no platinum certification" for "Power of Love.

USA "Back to the Future" Movie Release Date: July 3, 1985
[IMDB.com]

Billboard Hot 100 number one single -- Power of Love: August 24, 1985
[wikipedia]

Single -- Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News certified Gold (500,000 units): 01/30/89
[RIAA.com]

Soundtrack "Back to the Future" certified Gold: 09/06/85
[RIAA.com]

As of 7/31/2006, Huey Lewis and the News were ranked at number 197 in all-time sales in the U.S. with 12 million certified units.
[RIAA.com]

... and yes, I'm a geek.

Spears

Thanks for the great feedback gang. Keep it coming. We really do read every comment you write.

We were happy to have Huey as a guest, and we're very appreciative to our friends at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Huey's manager for setting it up. Huey's a newcomer to podcasts, so the format was probably a little confusing to him.

Some background on the circumstances. We got him at 10 in the morning after he arrived in town on a LATE night flight from the west coast. So under the circumstances, you can sort of expect a little grumpiness.

We also had to edit the show and put it online within a couple hours since his live show was the next day. Normally we like to have more time to edit our shows in order to focus the content.

In the case of Huey's intervie3w, I probably trimmed about 8 minutes of material from the final show. I try to keep the show focused on material that I think is of greatest interest to our fans.

It's a real challenge for us to interview our heroes from the 80s, like Huey, Rick Springfield and Thomas Dolby. I know I spend days and sometimes weeks before the interviews, reading every recent story about them, looking over previous interviews, jotting down dozens of questions, narrowing them down and trying to force myself to be a journalist and not just a fan.

It's a tough thing to do at times. I'm glad you enjoyed the results. If you ever have suggestions on future interviews, let us know.

People we're working on getting next are Kenny Loggins and Belinda Carlyle. We're almost hoping for Tommy Shaw and Brian Setzer.

Six

I liked the interview with Huey Lewis. I found him to be intelligent, sincere, and very supportive/respectful of his fellow performers.

Yes, he was a bit arrogant, and definitely a bit verbose once he got going, but I attribute that to the excitement that occurs when you talk about the thing you love. He was even self-deprecating (the 7-minute Huey Lewis film festival joke) at times.

He only seemed to be slightly irritated by silly questions like the one about Bebe Neuwirth's figure, the Richard Gere comment, and asking him what his favorite song that he'd written was. If he gets asked that stuff a hundred times, I guess it could become irritating after awhile.

I think the interview as a whole was very good, because it had the dynamics of something that wasn't scripted, so it had life. It breathed. I liked it.

jon

He came off as arrogant and humorless.

Carla

Enjoyed the interview guys!! Great podcast!!

Favorite Huey song.... Bad Is Bad! Know it wasn't a HUGE hit, but loved it! Oh that and "Hip to be Square", cause the hometown SF 49ers did back up on that song!! :)

Hamptune

I think Huey was maybe talking about "Power of Love" which is somewhat of a generic love song, no specific reference to Back to the Future. Although I agree with Bassnote, Back in Time was as if they watched the movie and wrote a song about it right after.

Walter Cox

"Nothing bad can happen to you while a Huey Lewis song is playing". Hmmm. There might be some truth to that...

Frosty

Is it me or did Huey come of as a jerk? He should be happy he is getting an interview of any kind. Sean and Steve (who handled the interview like pros) seem like great guys and they didn't deserve a critical Huey Lewis. It's guys like Sean and Steve who supported Huey and his band throughout the decade...so what gives? I don't how the particular question asked (regarding a favorite song) came of as offensive to him.

Maybe I'm being too critical. Regardless, excellent interview.

80sfan

Nice interview guys! One of your best!

Bassnote

I think Huey was mistaken because there is no way a song can be number one for three weeks without selling. the back to the future soundtrack may not have sold well, but the Power Of Love single probably sold like hotcakes.

Another problem I had, was when he said that they didn't have time to write a song specificly for the movie. Please explain Back In Time. That song was specificly for the movie: "Please don't drive 88...", "better remember, Lightning never strikes twice...". I think Huey was displaying selective memory.

Anyway, it was still a great interview.

razor9edge

Great interview guys! I seriously doubt that Huey Lewis has ever given such an honest and open interview before.

I also had the soundtrack to "Back to the Future" on vinyl and tape. I was really surprised to hear Huey say that "Power of Love" was not a big seller.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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Relive the music, movies and culture of the greatest decade ever with Times online editor Steve Spears. A teen during the decade, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to Reaganomics.

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