The Story Of Huey Lewis Helping SRV Through A Very Difficult Tour
via Huey Lewis & The News/YouTube
He Cheered Him And His Band On
Huey Lewis shared about the time he hired Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble as their opening act.
It happened in 1984 when Lewis told his agent that he wanted SRV to open for them. SRV and his band were still relatively unknown. Lewis wrote in a Facebook post, “Stevie Ray’s manager at the time asked for more money than they were worth. My agent said, “This is ridiculous. We can’t pay them this kind of money. They’re not worth anything. We’re just helping them by putting them on the tour. They should be paying us. Blah, blah, blah.””
But he convinced his agent to just pay them and said, “Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.”
Their first show took place in Oklahoma City. He arrived early and watched SRV’s performance along with Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton.
Lewis recalled, “They were just killing it. Then the song ended and there was a moment of dead silence. Then the audience started chanting, “Huey, Huey, Huey, Huey.” I thought, “Oh my gosh. That’s horrible. These people don’t get this.” I couldn’t believe it.”
After they finished their set, SRV and his band members were “put off” by the reaction they got from the audience. So Lewis went into their bus to at least lift their spirits. He told them, “Look, fellas, you’re tremendous. Here’s the thing, the audience is invested in us. They know our music. They play the record on the way to the venue. No matter how good you are, they’re bound to think that we’re going to be much, much better. There’s no way you’re going to score here. What’s going to happen is, when they go home tonight, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, you know what? That first band was pretty good.'”
He also advised them to “Just relax. Have a great time.” And that’s what they did.
The rest of the trek was just “wonderful” and “Stevie Ray got on stage and played “Bad Is Bad” with us every single night. We just were inseparable for the whole tour.”