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Interview:
Huey Lewis & the News are still workin' for livin'
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Without new material to promote, Huey Lewis & the News are on what he calls a "workin' for a living" tour -- playing its hits for the usual summer throng.

But there's plenty of work on the horizon for the San Francisco-formed troupe.

"We've got new songs," Lewis, 65, reports by phone from a home he has in Montana. The group even debuted two of those tunes -- "Her Love is Killing Me" and "While We're Young" -- while on tour last year, and Lewis says a couple of others are already in progress, along with videos to accompany them.

"These days you've got to be ready with your songs and your videos and have the whole package ready to go in order to make that impact," Lewis explains. "Without YouTube it's not even a song -- you know what I mean? So we'll have something out next year; we're just exploring how we'll market it right now."

Lewis and the News have a few career anniversaries to enjoy along the way. This year marks the 30th anniversary of "The Power of Love," the group's hit from the soundtrack to the first "Back to the Future" film. And next year will be the 30th anniversary for "Fore!," its chart-topping, triple-platinum fourth album -- and a celebration Lewis says might be focused more in the rest of the world than at home.

"'Fore!' in Europe is the big record because it had 'The Power of Love' on it over there," Lewis notes, adding that the song couldn't be on the U.S. version of "Fore!" because a different label released the soundtrack. "So in Europe, nobody knows 'The Heart of Rock & Roll' and 'If This Is It' (from 1982's 'Sports' album); they know 'Doing It All For My Baby,' 'Jacob's Ladder, 'Hip To Be Square.'

"So we might make a little European 30th of 'Fore!,' but we've got this new material, too, so we'll see what happens."

Meanwhile, Lewis is also serving as a producer for "The Heart of Rock & Roll," a stage musical that's being put together in Los Angeles based on the News' songs. "It's a cross between 'Mama Mia' and 'Rock of Ages," Lewis says of the show, which focuses on a band reuniting when one of the members gets married. The production is currently being workshopped, with Lewis' full blessing.

"It's been in development for three years, and it's pretty good," he says. "There's a director attached to it, and he's bringing the choreographer and a music guy and they're in their first read-throughs. It's kind of lightweight, but they did a really good job of creating a story around all these completely disconnected songs. Critically it's going to be a tough one to sell, but it might do amazing business."

Huey Lewis & the News and Don Felder

7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway.

Tickets are $19.47-$75 pavilion, $9.47 lawn.

Call 586-268-9700 or visit freedomhill.net.


Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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