In a situation eerily reminiscent of Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Huey Lewis has announced that he has lost a large portion of his hearing and that, on doctors advice, has cancelled all future shows with his band The News.
Unlike Johnson, who had the loss due to years of loud music, doctors believe that Lewis’ is due to an actual condition, Meniere’s disease. The illness is a disorder of the inner ear that, along with hearing loss, also can cause vertigo (spinning), tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and the feeling of pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can lead to permanent loss of hearing. Normally, the disease only affects one ear. There are treatments that can alleviate the symptoms and help the long-term impact.
Lewis wrote to fans, saying:
Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to ﬁnd pitch. I’ve been to the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute, and the Mayo Clinic, hoping to ﬁnd an answer. The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.
Only an hour earlier, Lewis was talking about the band, saying “I think we would have been a jam band if we’d have come along today.”
Huey Lewis and the News were one of the most consistent hitmakers for a decade from 1982 to 1991 with twelve top ten records, three of which went to number 1, “The Power of Love” (1985), “Stuck on You” (1986) and “Jacob’s Ladder” (1987). Two of their albums also hit the top spot, Sports (1983) and Fore! (1986).