“It can get better. It just hasn’t yet,” Lewis said of the inner ear disorder. “I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again. I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”
In April, Huey Lewis and the News announced the cancellation of all 2018 tour dates following the singer’s diagnosis. “I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch,” Lewis said in a statement at the time.
On Monday, Lewis spoke of when the disorder – which causes vertigo, ringing and hearing loss – first surfaced. “As I walked to the stage [in Dallas], it sounded like there was a jet engine going on,” he said. “I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t find pitch. Distorted. Nightmare. It’s cacophony.”
Like singer Ryan Adams, who also struggled with Meniere’s disease for a number of years, Lewis is searching for a solution for the incurable affliction. “It’s a syndrome based on symptoms, and it affects people differently,” Lewis said of his treatment. “All they can come up with as treatment is diet. No caffeine, lower salt and keep your fingers crossed.”
While Lewis is unable to perform, he can still hold conversations with people or talk on the phone. The singer has been testing experimental technologies to help with the disorder but remains sidelined from the stage.
The Meniere’s disease struck just as Lewis was finishing up a new album and working on a Broadway production based on his music. Like his previous statement, Lewis was exceedingly apologetic to his fans.
“I want to say I’m sorry. Clearly we’re not spring chickens, but I’ve always prided myself on being reliable,” Lewis told Today. “I really feel bad for my guys, my team that we’ve been doing this for so many years together.”