Huey Lewis Recalls The Time Stevie Ray Vaughan Opened For Him and Bombed - Noise11.com
Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis Recalls The Time Stevie Ray Vaughan Opened For Him and Bombed

by Paul Cashmere on December 7, 2021

in News

Huey Lewis has posted about a time when he fought to get Stevie ray Vaughan on his tour as opening act and then his audience didn’t like it.

The year was 1984. Vaughan had already released his first album ‘Texas Flood’ and the second album ‘Couldn’t Stand The Weather’ was ready to roll. Vaughan was already a hot property at the time but not yet a major star. Lewis was riding a number one album with ‘Sports’.

In what seemed an odd pairing, Lewis insisted Vaughan be paid his asking fee for the tour despite his manger’s reluctance. It turns out, the audience wasn’t too thrilled either.

On a social media post Huey Lewis writes:

Huey: Around 1984 our tour was sold out. The agent said, “Who do you want to open?”
I said, “Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
He said, “Who’s that?”
I said, “Check the record out.” I sent him the record. “He said, “It’s great. Let me check into it.”
Stevie Ray’s manager at the time asked for more money than they were worth. My agent said, “This is ridiculous. We can’t pay them this kind of money. They’re not worth anything. We’re just helping them by putting them on the tour. They should be paying us. Blah, blah, blah.”
I said, “Forget about it. Just pay him. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.”
The first show was in Oklahoma City. I showed up early and went straight to the wings of the stage. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble with Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton. They were just killing it. Then the song ended and there was a moment of dead silence. Then the audience started chanting, “Huey, Huey, Huey, Huey.”
I thought, “Oh my gosh. That’s horrible. These people don’t get this.” I couldn’t believe it.
Double Trouble finished their set. They were put off by the reaction and went into their bus.
I went onto their bus and told them, “Look, fellas, you’re tremendous. Here’s the thing, the audience is invested in us. They know our music. They play the record on the way to the venue. No matter how good you are, they’re bound to think that we’re going to be much, much better. There’s no way you’re going to score here.
“What’s going to happen is, when they go home tonight, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, you know what? That first band was pretty good.'”
I said, “Just relax. Have a great time. Believe me, this will be good for you guys.”
They did and we had a wonderful tour. Stevie Ray got on stage and played “Bad Is Bad” with us every single night. We just were inseparable for the whole tour.

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