Huey Lewis Contemplated Suicide After Hearing Loss
Huey Lewis has admitted that he thought about taking his own life after being diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, which has affected his ability to hear and sing.
"This has absolutely ruined everything," he told the Whitefish Review. "I try not to let it get me down. In the first two months of this, I was suicidal. I can honestly share that with you. I thought, shit, I’m just going to commit suicide. I actually contemplated my demise. You know, like pills. I figured pills were the easiest way to go. I mean, would I have? I don’t know."
"The fans have been amazing—the letters I get," he continued. "The support I get from people, ordinary people, is amazing. Because when you do this, you don’t think about that. You do it because you’re just writing a song. You’re having fun, and you don’t realize you’re affecting people’s lives. And I get these letters from people who have cancer or they’re debilitated somehow or have life-threatening stuff going on. I was always going so fast, I would never take a chance to really appreciate what that means."
Lewis was diagnosed in early 2018 with Meniere's, a condition for which there is no cure or treatment, although he has days where it's not affecting him. "I’ve tried all the holistic stuff as well," he said. "20 supplements in the morning and 15 at night. Living Ayurveda [Indian alternative medicine]. I’ve done acupuncture and chiropractic. Cranial massage and essential oils. Low salt diet, all organic, no caffeine. I haven’t had any caffeine in two years. No chocolate. But none of it works."
Lewis is set to release Weather, on Feb. 14, 2020. It's their first collection of new material since 2001's Plan B, with only seven songs "because that’s all we had recorded when my hearing went to crap," he said. "So I said, we might as well release the record."
Instead, he's continuing work on The Heart of Rock & Roll, a musical that premiered last year in San Diego. He's written a new tune for it called "Be Someone," which serves as the "I Want" song for the main character. And he came up with an idea for a sitcom based on his current situation.
"In it, I’m me, Huey Lewis," he said. "My professional life is exactly the same as my real professional life. But my personal life is not. I don’t live in Montana. I live in Hollywood. I have a pushy manager named Morrie and now I have hearing loss, so I can’t sing anymore. Morrie’s always trying to figure out ways that I can make some money. Reality shows, public appearances, ignominious endorsements, etc., and I’m trying to keep my dignity through all this."