Why Thin Lizzy’s ‘Boys Are Back in Town’ Makes Huey Lewis Cry
Huey Lewis named Thin Lizzy classic “The Boys Are Back in Town” as the song that makes him cry in a tribute to his late friend Phil Lynott.
Lewis played harmonica on Lizzy’s 1978 album Live and Dangerous, billed as “Bluesy Huey Lewis” and appearing on the track “Baby Drives Me Crazy.” His band at the time, Clover, opened for Lynott’s group on the subsequent tour.
Asked by Classic Rock to identify the song that reduces him to tears, Lewis made the unexpected selection because of the memories it evoked. “The reason I say that is because I miss my pal Phil Lynott, and that’s what makes me cry," he said. "Phil was important to me. He helped me in many different ways. He taught me what popularity was going to be like, how to be a bandleader, how to deal with press, fans, record companies, the whole bit. He was a mentor to me, and I think about him still. He was one of the greats.”
In 2020 Lewis recalled how the pair became friends after Clover suffered a difficult opening slot ahead of a Lizzy performance, which was witnessed by Lynott. “It was awful,” Lewis said. “Phil was standing there [when we came off], and he said, Let me help you. You gotta go after them.”
Elsewhere in the new interview, Lewis said the most recent album by Huey Lewis and the News, 2020’s Weather, was the best record he's made. He also said the hearing failure he suffered four years ago left him “basing all of this on memory because I can’t hear music.” That meant he wasn’t able to finish a song that he’d like to have played at his funeral. “I think I’m going to go with ‘Sow a Little Kindness,’ which … hasn’t even been recorded yet: 'Sow a little kindness, reap a little love.' I love it, but we somehow never got it right, and then I lost my hearing. I have a demo of it, so we’ll play that at my funeral.”