Huey Lewis remembers when he began spending extra time along with his harmonica than his baseball glove.
He had simply graduated from prep faculty in New Jersey and received accepted into the engineering division at Cornell, the place he was going to play baseball.
After which …
“I took a 12 months off, bummed round Europe, found the harmonica and music, and all bets had been off,” Lewis mentioned on The Chronicle’s “Giants Splash” podcast. “I didn’t exit for the staff after I received to Cornell. I simply joined bands and performed music.”
From rocking in Bay Space bands to rising to prominence with Huey Lewis and the Information, successful a Grammy and promoting 30 million information, Lewis sustained his ardour for baseball, and sports activities on the whole.
He grew up in Marin a Giants fan and cited a number of Giants-related moments from his youth, together with the ultimate out of the 1962 World Sequence when Willie McCovey lined to Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson — “a foot greater, we win,” lamented Lewis.
Huey Lewis and the Information have a critically acclaimed new album, “Climate,” and the music video for the track “Her Love Is Killin’ Me” options many celebrities lip syncing, a few of whom comically ham it up.
One of many celebs is Lewis’ buddy Bruce Bochy, carrying his Giants jersey and performing as if he’s being interviewed by Rick Sutcliffe, who’s in a swimsuit coat and tie. Later within the track, the digital camera pulls again and exhibits each males carrying shorts.
“They had been candy to do it,” mentioned Lewis, who additionally has Joe Montana “taking part in” a harmonica within the video.
Within the two-part podcast, Lewis weaves baseball tales round his music tales and shares reminiscences of his childhood days and why Willie Mays is his all-time favourite participant.
“I used to be an enormous Giants fan,” mentioned Lewis, 69. “Watching Mays in his heyday, it simply doesn’t get any higher than Willie Mays.”
Displaying his band’s love for sports activities, the Information referred to as its groundbreaking album in 1983 “Sports activities,” which not solely featured a number of sensational hits however epitomized an urge for food for the video games individuals play.
“Music and sports activities are fascinating. We’re loads alike,” Lewis mentioned. “We spend loads of instances in coliseums and take showers collectively.”
The traditional “Sports activities” cowl was shot on the 2AM Membership, a bar in Mill Valley, the place Lewis has roots — the kind of hangout individuals go to speak about and watch sports activities — and a TV display screen within the higher nook exhibits Dwight Clark making a diving catch.
Longtime 49ers followers recall Clark and three of his teammates — Montana, Ronnie Lott and Riki Ellison — singing backups to the Information’ “Hip To Be Sq.,” a success on the 1986 “Fore!” album.
“They mentioned, ‘Hey, look, why don’t you allow us to sing on certainly one of your songs, and we’ll allow you to take just a few snaps,’” Lewis mentioned. “We used these 4 guys and triple-tracked, did it thrice, and it seemed like 100 individuals.”
The Information tried for the same impact on the group’s subsequent document with “I Know What I Like.” Besides this time, the band tried to duplicate the soccer gamers’ sound.
“It sounded so weeny in comparison with the 49ers,” Lewis mentioned. “We lastly needed to go as much as Rocklin and tape them singing ‘I Know What I Like’ with the intention to get that sound as a result of they’re large and have large voices.”
The Information grew to become a well-liked alternative by Bay Space groups to carry out the nationwide anthem. First the A’s, and the Giants and the 49ers adopted.
“It’s nerve-racking as a result of it’s arduous, and there’s a delay. We do it a capella, which is tough additionally,” Lewis mentioned. “The excellent news is, it’s solely two minutes lengthy, and also you get one of the best seats in the home.”
Lewis grew up listening to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons name Giants video games. Actually, Lewis was Hodges’ paperboy for a spell, and he and his bandmates befriended Simmons, Huey saying, “Lonny was nice. He had all the nice tales. He was sensible and humorous and such a pleasure to hang around with, actually enjoyable.”
In fact, for Lewis, each baseball story appears to return again to Mays.
“I’ve so many nice Willie Mays reminiscences,” he mentioned. “What an awesome participant, and what an awesome particular person Willie Mays is. What a treasure.”
Whereas discussing Mays’ five-tool proficiency — hitting, hitting for energy, working, fielding and throwing — Lewis famous, “I feel his finest instrument was his mind. He was so sensible, and he performed each side of the sport. What an awesome participant. I used to be so fortunate to look at him.”
Lewis performed loads of ball as a child. He was 5 when his household moved west from New York in 1955, three years earlier than the Giants adopted swimsuit, and his dad performed catch with him and taught him the sport.
Huey performed in youth leagues in Marin and returned east for highschool, taking part in shortstop and pitching for Lawrenceville College in New Jersey. He was supposed to maintain taking part in at Cornell, however the journey to Europe, the place music grew to become his motivation, ended any ideas of a baseball profession.
“‘Profession’ may be too large a phrase for my baseball pursuits,” he mentioned.
— to www.sfchronicle.com