Johnny Colla Weighs In On His Hometown And Some Interesting Grateful Dead History

Former Suisun City resident Johnny Colla and the rest of Huey Lewis and the News jammed with the Grateful Dead on March 12, 1988, at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. The occasion was the Bay Area Music Awards, also known as the Bammies.

The Grateful Dead’s 1987 album “In The Dark” cleaned up at the Bammies that year. The awards they collected included Best Album, Best Bassist (Phil Lesh), Best Drummer (Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann), and Best Guitarist (Jerry Garcia). Garcia also took home the Musician of the Year award.

The all-star jam session included two tunes the Dead had covered on studio/live albums, Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn on Your Love Light.” The two bands were also joined by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival for the encore, rock ‘n’ roll legend Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” It featured Colla adding a wailing sax solo.

Johnny Colla: I remember having mixed feelings about jamming with the Grateful Dead. On the one hand, at the time their cult status was increasing exponentially, so I figured this meeting would most likely end up being one for the history books. On the other, I wasn’t really a Dead fan myself. I think what convinced me to do it was how important it was for Huey’s mom, who was an original Deadhead, plus the fact that we were going to play “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” stepping way back in time when Pigpen was still an integral part of the band (and when I actually was a fan of the band!). Huey absolutely knocked that tune out of the park, channeling both Pigpen and Sonny Boy Williamson! read full article

Huey Lewis Visits Pittsburgh to Promote Bird Conservation Film, “Wings Over Water”

The film is called “Wings Over Water,” and it carries a conservation message about the importance of prairie wetlands in conserving bird populations. It will debut Friday at the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Lewis thought so much of the film that he came to Pittsburgh to promote it. He explained to the Tribune-Review on Thursday that he is a conservationist at heart. That’s what led to his involvement with “Wings Over Water” and his decision to let the producers use “The Power of Love” in the documentary. read more

Back To The Future Musical in London wins Olivier Award for ‘Best New Musical’

On Sunday in London, Back To The Future Musical won ‘Best New Musical’ at the Olivier Awards. That’s great news since both HLN songs are included in the show, “Power of Love” and “Back In Time.” The Laurence Olivier Awards, or simply the Olivier Awards, are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognize excellence in professional theatre in London at an annual ceremony in the capital. See the trailer here.

Mourning the Loss of Taylor Hawkins

On behalf of Huey and the rest of the boys, we are stunned and saddened to hear of Taylor Hawkins’ passing. The Foo Fighters family and the music world has lost a shining, bright, super-talented star.

The Foos are a real band of brothers, and Taylor’s contributions to that unit can’t be overstated. He could sing, he was handsome, he was kind, and he was a freaking maniac on the kit.

The first time I met Taylor was at a Foos show in Oakland. I had taken my teenage daughters (who were both in love with Dave Grohl) to the show and took them backstage to meet the guys. I walked up to Taylor in the green room and introduced myself, mentioning that I was Huey and the News’ drummer. He sprang to his feet and said, “No freaking way, dude, I grew up playing to your records!!“ He called Dave over to meet me and we had a great little chat (my daughters were in shock at this point). Taylor and Dave were as down-to-earth and kind as anyone I’ve ever met. 

We met again in Osaka, Japan a few years later when HLN and the Foos were both touring there. We had a night off and all went down to the FF show. Again, Dave and the entire band were super gracious to us, having our entire entourage backstage before the show, and inviting us to go to dinner with them afterwards.  I was standing on the side of the stage watching their show when it came time for Taylor’s solo. He played like a Tasmanian Devil for about 10 straight minutes, and if you’ve ever sat down at a set of drums, you’ll know that this is no easy feat. It was evident (I speak from first-hand experience) that Taylor was running out of gas, so to speak, and at that moment the monitor mixer leans over to me and says, “I can tell he’s really trying to impress you.“ Well, mission accomplished.

I have always been a big FF fan, and Taylor’s drumming was so perfect for them. Our heartfelt condolences to Taylor’s wife and kids, and the entire FF family. They, and we, have lost a brother. Rest in Peace kind sir.

Bill Gibson

Loud and Clear Drummer Showcase with Bill Gibson and Others

Attention drummers! Send in your video to sales@loudandclearmusic.com by MONDAY, MARCH 14th to be a part of our drummer showcase this Thursday, March 17th! Send in a 30-second video of yourself soloing and grooving and Loud and Clear’s Neville Hormuz along with Tiger Army’s Mike Fasano, Huey Lewis’ Bill Gibson, Y&T’s Mike Vanderhule and Slayer’s Paul Bostaph will watch your video on our livestream. In the end, our four favorites will win prizes from DW/PDP, Shure, Zildjian and Yamaha.

Fresh Interview With Johnny!

Sitting down with ‘Local Legends’ host (and good friend) Tony Wade spanning Johnny’s childhood and introduction to music, growing up in Solano County, moving on to Marin County, and everything else that happened since then… it’s a must-see! Watch now!

Huey on the passing of Betty White

“Acting with Betty White on “Hot in Cleveland” was one of my truly great experiences. She was funny, of course, smart, and very sweet. And talk about comedic timing. She loved wildlife, and loved to see pictures of elk, sand hill cranes, deer, and ducks on my Montana ranch. What an amazing career, and what a great person. I’m so lucky I got to work with her. Her work will endure.”
– Huey Lewis