What a disorienting strange year we find ourselves in.
In early February a link came past my feed. ‘Huey Lewis @ Amoeba’.
I clicked on it and watched Huey select his favorite records – and speak to why they were what he chose.
I’m overtly aware of Huey Lewis and the News, and what they were up to in the 1980s and 1990s. However 20 years ago as they slowed down their publishing career, I was starting mine.
The band was also big in having television specials in the 1980s where fans that could not make their tours and live shows, would get the experience from their own homes. Way ahead of the curve, they were.
The band’s ‘Four Chords and Several Years Ago: a look back at the 1960s rock and roll scene from 1994 still leaves an impression with me now at 42 as it did with 16 year old me. Their song with Sam Moore is still solid.
I digress because while this Amoeba piece was taped previously, Hugh Anthony Cregg III was one of the first to embrace videos in the 1980s and made them completely unrelated to the song - and what it was about.
As we began the slow move to quarantine – Huey took to a couple self isolating interviews from his ranch in Montana.
Then another advert slides past the feed – another staple from the 1990s Pierce Brosnan – was going to watch Goldeneye with anyone in the world who wanted to.
Granted, both Brosnan and Lewis likely had their 40 years old kids help them out – but if Huey could fire up from Montana, and Pierce could from Hawaii - what was our excuse here in Mile Zero? None. Get some video content.
Meanwhile Huey Lewis gets more online, releasing his first album in a decade – first of original material in two decades. The band’s first video is a collage of celebrities lip-syncing. Again, something unique, and mostly shot on Huey’s phone.
Back in 2018 I began catching ‘Fatman Beyond’ podcasts on the regular – a high bar (in many ways) with two pals chin-wagging the latest in Hollywood, and genre flicks.
Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin bring a rapport and knowledge to their weekly screen work that is refreshingly public.
See Smith’s infamous making Tusk Podcast on youtube to see how he has come up with a flick in about 40 minutes. #walrusyes
An episode of Beyond with guest host Malcolm Barrett last year, should have won an Emmy this year. It was absolutely great programming - with little cost and production.
The digression is that Smith and Bernardin noted this year in early 2020 that with the pandemic – everyone was turning to the online content and the small little box. Zoom meetings!
Soon in early 2020 John Krasinski drops his Some Good News network early on in April, and Smith rightly notes that anyone can run a show from their home.
Suddenly The Tonight Show and The Late Show are the same format. I cannot imagine Carson or Letterman in the here and now – despite one of these television giants currently having a show on Netflix.
Meanwhile Huey Lewis puts a call out to front line and first responders for his second video - that went well - we got our youngest photographer at the Mirror in the video.
As one voice said as he accepted his induction into the rock and roll hall of fame this year from his home on a computer screen:
“What a disorienting strange year we find ourselves in. We’re all stuck in our little boxes in our screens,” says Trent Reznor.
“The most significant feeling is something you have created from a fragile place has reached out and resonated with someone else – and changes how you see the world.”
Smart guy. Some 2020 vision there. Seems everyone is on the same level these days. Let's see what 2021 brings.
Managing Editor - Rob Brown