Huey Lewis Reveals His Two Biggest ‘80s Regrets
Huey Lewis revealed the two biggest regrets he had in the ‘80s: rejecting a large sponsorship deal and refusing to record a song Bob Dylan sent him.
The singer was looking back on his career at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles earlier this week, in an interview hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and reported by Billboard.
Lewis recalled that, after Pepsi signed a $50 million deal with Michael Jackson in 1986, the company’s biggest rival contacted him. “Coca-Cola asked to have a meeting [so] we flew to Atlanta,” Lewis said. “They offered us millions of dollars [to use] ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’ in a commercial. I said no. Stupid.”
He and Dylan met during the recording of the charity single “We Are the World” in 1985. Lewis said he sang a line in the song that was originally meant for Prince, who didn’t show up. Later, Dylan sent Lewis a song and suggested he should use it. But he rejected the idea. “I should have cut it,” Lewis admitted. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Lewis – whose future in music is uncertain now that a hearing condition has forced him to give up performing for the foreseeable future – also told how his father had approved of his music career but urged caution. “He told me to keep playing the harmonica," he recalled. "He said, ‘They can’t take that away from you. This Huey Lewis and the News shit could be here today, gone tomorrow.”
The first time he heard himself on the radio, he said, was when the group's breakthrough hit, “Do You Believe in Love,” was released in 1982. Knowing that KFRC in San Francisco was going to play it between 2 and 6PM one day, “we gathered the whole band and watched the radio. They played it pretty early, and two things struck me.” The first was, due to airplay compression, the song “sounded like someone else.” The second: “It sounded like a hit.”
Weather, which could be Huey Lewis and the News’ final album, is out today.