Huey Lewis
Still Rockin' After Knee Surgery

By Carol LeBeau, Palomar Health Champion

In 1985, “Huey Lewis and the News” hit the Top 10 with “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” the first track on “Sports,” an album that sold more than 10 million copies. More popular than ever, the baby-boomer rock star is marking the 30th anniversary of “Sports” with a concert tour and release of a re-mastered CD.

In a recent interview, Huey Lewis shared with me how he’s still kicking it … and without knee pain thanks to Dr. James Bried, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Palomar Health.

Carol: When did you first notice your knee pain?

Huey: On the golf course … but it was a good shot!

Carol: How would you describe the pain? 

Huey: It was a constant, dull pain that was sharp now and again.

Carol: How did the pain affect your live performances? Not to mention the rest of your life?

Huey: The pain bothered me on-stage, but I could get the gig done. Mostly it was interfering with my golf game. 

Carol: Is that what got you to the doctor?

Huey: Yeah. I was playing at Pauma Valley one day with my pal, Chuck. Chuck suggested that I see (Dr.) Jim Bried, the surgeon who repaired his knee and shoulder.

Carol: What kind of treatment or therapy did you try before choosing surgery?

Huey: Just some ibuprofen … and a few Negronis! (laughs)

Carol: Ultimately, you had an arthroscopic procedure to repair a torn meniscus. How’d it go?

Huey: It was simple! I went in. They started an IV. Next thing I knew I woke up.

Carol: Was there much “down” time?

Huey: No. Recovery was a piece of cake. I elevated my leg for one day and then went Christmas shopping!

Carol: Sounds like a positive experience.

Huey: Dr. Bried and his staff were great! Quick and efficient. Got ‘er done!

Carol: And your golf game’s back? I hear you’re pretty good. Scratch?

Huey: I wish! I’m a 9 handicap.

Carol: I hear you love to fly-fish on your Montana ranch. Must be a lot more fun now without knee pain.

Huey: Definitely. In the water, your feet tend to get stuck down in the mud and it’s hard on the knees to pull them out.

Carol: So, we know you love golf and fly-fishing. What else do you do to stay in shape?

Huey: I tour the gym as often as I can at home and on the road.

Carol: Any advice for other folks out there dealing with joint pain?

Huey: Negronis! (laughs)

Carol: You’re on tour through November … venues all selling out. What is it about your music that resonates with fans of all ages?

Huey: I think it’s my gorgeous voice! No, I like to think our songs are real and truthful.

Carol: My favorite HLN song is “Jacob’s Ladder.” What yours?

Huey: I’m not allowed to have a favorite. I’m selling them all!

Carol: What kind of music do you listen to?

Huey: I listen to a lot of big band stuff and a lot of jazz. My Dad was a jazz musician.

Carol: He must have been proud of your success.

Huey: Yeah, but he kept it real. Once I called him to say my record went number one. He teased and said, “Oh, that’s too bad. The best stuff is never the most popular.”

Carol: What keeps you and “The News” band members together after all these years?

Huey: We pay well! Actually, four of us have been together for 35 years … the newest member for 12 years. We’re like brothers.

Carol: And, you’re still a major rock star. Is it true you don’t even have a tattoo?

Huey: Not that I’m aware of, but I haven’t checked my backside lately!

Carol: So, it really IS hip to be square?!

Huey: No! (laughs)

Carol: Any plans after the anniversary tour? Maybe kick back a little?

Huey: We’ll work on some new material in the studio … be a little more relaxed, but we’ll still do some shows.

Carol: You’re one of few musicians to enjoy a successful multi-decade career. How does that feel?

Huey: I just wanna be able to play music for a living. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do that. I’m thankful.

Carol: So are we, Huey. So are we!

To learn more about the Orthopedic and Spine Center, please contact us