Backstage With Huey Lewis & The News [VIDEO]
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Huey Lewis & The News rank as #1 on my all-time favorite group EVER. Like some fans of the Grateful Dead, who would follow the group from show to show, I followed Huey Lewis & The News a lot. I remember going to; Boston, Pennsylvania, New York City and a couple other spots to see the group in just one week. I have also seen the band in Maine, two times, and New Mexico. To say I was an avid fan would be an understatement.The story I have this week is about the second time I saw Hugh Anthony Cregg III and the News.In 1984, I was working at WZON-Z62 in Bangor, Maine. I was still in high school, but also was doing various late night shifts at the radio station. Since I was young, 15-16 at the time, and willing to drive 90 minutes (to Augusta) or 3 hours (to Portland), I was named “unofficial” ambassador for the radio station. At this point I should mention that the radio station was owned by Stephen King. Yes, the one and the same. The great author who brought us such contemporary classics like; “Christine,” “Salem’s Lot” and “Carrie.” So, it was my job to travel to the concerts in Maine and go backstage to present various bands with; an autographed Stephen King book, a WZON t-shirt, WZON bumper sticker and get some station ID’s.
Station ID’s were used a lot back in the eighties. I’m sure you’ve heard them on the radio from time-to-time. For those not familiar with the term, it’s when you hear a singer say something to the effect, “Hey! It’s Huey Lewis and you’re listening to Rick Andrews on (insert station here). I would write up some quick sentences for the singers to read, record it and then take it back to the station for us to play. I would get ones that were just station-specific and then follow it with a round of ones for each of the air personalities (and yes! I have some very funny outtakes, that probably will never see the light of day).
So, I am backstage presenting Huey with all the Stephen King swag, getting the ID’s and taking pictures. Huey had a bunch of group photo’s of the group, which he & the band would sign after the show (I still have mine). He was signing one for King and he inscribed it, “To Stephen, you’re one sick puppy.” After handing it to me, he got a bit embarrassed and said to me, “You don’t think that inscription will make him mad, do ya?” I assured him that Stephen had a great sense of humor and would take it in the spirit in which it was given, as a compliment.
One of my favorite songs Lewis & the News did in concert was a version of Thin Lizzy’s, “The Boys Are Back In Town.” I always wished they would release it on a CD as either a bonus track or on a concert DVD, but to this point no such luck. But, thanks to Youtube, I can pull it up anytime I want to hear it and I have decided to include here for you.