Huey Lewis & The News announced earlier this year they’ll be releasing their first new album in 18 years. However, Lewis still remains plagued by hearing loss issues that forced the band to cancel 40 tour dates in 2018.
Lewis talked in detail about struggling with hearing loss in a new interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. How well he hears varies daily.
To test how his hearing is going to be on any given day, Lewis gives his bed sheet a light scratching when he wakes up every morning. If he can hear the scratching sound, he knows he will have a good hearing day.
Lewis recalls the moment of his hearing loss taking place just before a show in Dallas. He and his News bandmates were at the hotel when his hearing suddenly changed. He compared it to “standing next to a jet engine”.
Drummer Bill Gibson said, “He looked at us and said, "I can’t hear a word you guys are saying.’” The show went on that night in Dallas but the rest of the tour was canceled.
Lewis has been on a constant search for treatment ever since. He has both Meniere's disease and severe tinnitus. Lewis said, “For the first two months I was like suicidal. Really, it can drive you absolutely crazy.”
Lewis had a stretch of excellent hearing earlier this year and performed a one-off show at a pro-am golf tournament in Scotland. However, his hearing loss issues returned.
Touring isn’t in the cards right now, but Lewis continues to sing about a half an hour every day. He says, “I haven’t given up. I have not given up.”
Hopefully one day, fans will see him and The News return to the road.
Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.