You get vertigo and you lose your hearing, but what you gonna do?": Huey Lewis opens up about hearing loss

Huey Lewis April 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images/Randy Holmes)

Huey Lewis has been talking about his problems with hearing loss.

In an interview with Stateside radio station Q1043 New York, he explained "I have a thing they called Ménière's disease. But it's not really a disease, it's a syndrome based on symptoms and they really don't know what it is. 

"I've been everywhere, and it just sort of happens. You get vertigo and you lose your hearing, but what you gonna do?"

Last year in an interview with the Songfacts website he talked about how this had affected him: "I can't hear music at all. I can't hear pitch at all. Even one note is out of tune with itself for me, so that's been a bitter pill and a hard pill to swallow. But you've got to move on in life. 

"I have hearing aids in and I'm Bluetoothing to the computer so I can hear you now. Without my hearing aids, I'm completely deaf."

In the same interview he revealed that this was not a recent problem. "I lost my right side [of hearing] 35 years ago. When I lost my left side and couldn't hear music anymore, it was traumatic. 

"It was six months of pretty much lying in bed, just worrying, and trying different protocols and acupuncture and chiropractic and all-organic diets - no salt, low salt, all that stuff. And finally, thanks to my kids, you've got to move on."

Lewis is far from the only musician to have opened up about their hearing problems. In recent years Dave Grohl, Eric Clapton, Chris Martin, Pete Townshend and Neil Young have all talked about coping with their experience of tinnitus or hearing loss.

All of them have battled through and continue to work both live and in the studio. Lewis too has been staying busy. 

On a happier note, in the same Q1043 interview he talked about his jukebox musical, The Heart Of Rock And Roll, which opened on Broadway last month to broadly positive reviews.

“Lots of people said, 'You should do a musical, you should do a musical, blah blah blah.' But I never actually thought we would. And the notion that here we are is amazing. And to watch the people enjoy the musical is really gratifying. 

"To see our songs live this other life and all the joy it inspires is really good. And the show's got a lot of heart. It's not just funny, but it's got a lot of heart and we're very proud of it."

Will Simpson
News and features writer

Will Simpson is a freelance music expert whose work has appeared in Classic Rock, Classic Pop, Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine. He is the author of 'Freedom Through Football: Inside Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club' and his second book 'An American Cricket Odyssey' is due out in 2025