Huey Lewis Opens Up About His Mental Health in the Wake of His Meniere's Disease Diagnosis
"I'd just lay in bed and contemplate my demise"
Published Feb 04, 2020Ahead of the arrival of Huey Lewis & the News' upcoming album Weather, the band's frontman has opened up in a new interview about his ongoing struggle with Meniere's disease.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Lewis delved deep into his recent diagnosis and the adjustments he's had to make since effectively losing consistent hearing ability in his right ear — a debilitating blow to anyone, but especially to someone whose career relies on being able to hear well.
"Music is much harder to listen to than speech because even one note occurs in all frequencies with harmonics and overtones and undertones," Lewis told the publication. "I fight for pitch and I can't find it. If I can't find pitch, I can't sing. It's horrible."
Lewis said he first began to feel the symptoms of the disease back in 2018. Initially, he said the diagnosis seemed unmanageable and his symptoms were so bad that he was forced to cancel the band's upcoming tour dates — a move that severely affected his mental health.
"I was suicidal," he said. "There was literally a roaring tinnitus in my head. I just laid in bed. There was nothing I could do. I'd just lay in bed and contemplate my demise."
While Meniere's has left him unable to tour, Lewis has remained active in other pursuits and recording when he can. The artist revealed in the interview that he's also working on bringing his musical, The Heart of Rock & Roll, to Broadway. He is also currently filming a documentary about his life in lieu of doing a tour in support of Weather.
As previously reported, Huey Lewis & the News will release Weather on February 14 via BMG. So far, the band have not made any plans to tour in support of the record, and they aren't likely to.
"You've got to look on the bright side and stay creative," Lewis recently said in a statement. "Even if I never sing again, things could always be worse. After all, I'm deaf, not dead."
Weather marks the band's first album of original music since their eighth studio effort, 2001's Plan B. In 2010, Huey Lewis & the News would go on to release Soulsville, a tribute to the music of Stax Records.