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Huey Lewis & the News

1979-
Huey Lewis(vocals, harmonica)
Johnny Colla(guitar, sax)
Sean Hopper(keyboards)
Bill Gibson(drums)
Mario Cipollina(bass)1979-1995
Chris Hayes(guitar)1980-2001

Artistfacts for Huey Lewis & the News

  • Lewis is very intelligent. He graduated from prep school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey at 16, and enrolled at Cornell after spending some time traveling. He didn't last long at Cornell, as he was more interested in making music than studying.
  • The band is from San Francisco, where they are a big part of the scene. They were regulars at the Bay Area Music Awards and often played the Fillmore auditorium.
  • Huey Lewis & the News were wildly popular in the mid-'80s. They opened the 1985 Grammy Awards, contributed to the movie Back To The Future, and Lewis sang on "We Are The World." Their albums Sports and Fore! charted 11 Top-10 hits in the US.
  • Originally, they were known as Huey Lewis & The American Express. Their manager, Bob Brown, had them change it so they wouldn't get sued.
  • Lewis has a very clean-cut image that was congruent with the preppy culture that said no to drugs in the '80s. This image was a bit deceptive, as Lewis did smoke a lot of pot in his day and was never trying to be a poster boy for clean living. He explained in a 1987 San Francisco Chronicle feature, "I'm pretty wild and crazy. Mind you, my idea of wild and crazy is to go and jam with the Neville Brothers and Tower of Power until 5 in the morning. I would say that's more outrageous than doing yourself in with drugs in a hotel room."
  • Lewis claimed that the best part of being famous was being able to hang out with his musical idols. A highlight was the "We Are The World" sessions, where he was up until 8 a.m. with Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson.
  • The band formed out of a group called Clover, which Hopper and Lewis joined in 1972. Lewis was known as Huey Louie in the band, and was the harmonica player - not the lead singer - that was Alex Call, who would later write the song "Jenny (867-5309)." Clover was the backup band on Elvis Costello's first album, My Aim Is True, although Lewis did not participate in those sessions.
  • They helped revive the career of the group Tower of Power when they brought them on tour after the Sports album hit it big. As Emilio Castillo of Tower of Power told us, Lewis is a huge fan of the group, and wanted their famous horn section to tour with his band. Emilio agreed, but asked that Huey do what he can to promote Tower of Power, who didn't have a record deal at the time. Lewis delivered, promoting ToP from the stage and in interviews. In some cities, Tower of Power would play "Midnight Shows" at local clubs after performing with Lewis, and at every turn Lewis would not only tell the crowd about the show, but he and the News would show up and jam, ensuring a packed house and great publicity for Tower of Power.
  • Huey Lewis and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark were close friends. According to former bandmate Alex Call, the pair was nicknamed the ''Lewis & Clark Expedition'' for their famous late-night ramblings. Huey also had the 49ers record and come onstage to clap and dance during an encore performance of ''Hip to Be Square'' in the late '80s. (source: 867-5309 Jenny: the Song That Saved Me)
  • Huey played harmonica on Thin Lizzy's 1978 album Live and Dangerous. He's credited in the liner notes as "Huey Harp." Huey had played dates supporting Thin Lizzy as harmonica player in the folk-rock band Clover.
  • Huey has made guest appearances on several sitcoms, including Just Shoot Me and King of Queens. He played the role of Reba McEntire's husband in the video for her 1992 single ''Is There Life Out There," and also played a helicopter pilot in the 1998 film Sphere.
  • Huey Lewis produced Bruce Hornsby's smash 1986 album The Way It Is.
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