Today (4.19.2016) is my Dad’s 74th Birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!), and in honor of my Dad, I’m reminded of one of my favorite stories, this one from the best year of my youth, 1985.
It was July 17, 1985, 4 days after Live Aid, I had graduated from high school a month before, and broadcasting school was about 2 months away for me. Huey Lewis & The News were in Portland, Maine for the new Power of Love tour (the single for “The Power Of Love” had been out for a month, and would top the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in August).
I attended the show with my oldest friend, Pete, and my Dad drove us down (with my brother Mark in tow), and Mark and my Dad waited in the car across the street from the then-Cumberland County Civic Center (when you could still park in a dirt lot for free right across the street, anyway).
On an AFS exchange trip to Falls Church, Virginia in March of that year, I picked up a generic version of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer from a street vendor in Washington, D.C. for some ridiculous price (maybe $5.00), and, though not the real deal, I loved wearing them.
Since Huey Lewis was big on sunglasses, I was going to wear them into the show, but my Dad said that if I brought them into the concert, something would happen to them. So, reluctantly, I took his advice, and I left the sunglasses in the car.
Peter and I really enjoyed the show (I believe it was my first show in the “huge” metropolis of Portland), and once we got back to the car, I discovered that my Dad accidentally sat on my new sunglasses! So, after talking me out of bringing them into the concert, they prolly would have remained intact if I had brought them in! O well. Peter and I couldn’t help but laugh, though I’m sure my Dad felt bad. It’s still a funny story to me.
I’ve got 2 pairs of real Ray-Ban Wayfarers now, one an authentic 80s pair, and the other, a prescriptive pair (which prevents me from wearing a regular pair of prescription glasses and the sunglasses on top of those – and yes, I have done that). For the better part of 31 years, it’s the only type of sunglasses I’ve worn. It’s part of who I am.
From Huey Lewis and The News’ No. 1 monster album from 1983, SPORTS, “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” the third single from the album, was released this week in 1984. It became the band’s fourth BILLBOARD Hot 100 Top 10 hit, and the third straight Top 10 hit from SPORTS, spending the entire month of June 1984 at No. 6. It was also a Top 10 hit in Canada and garnered a Grammy Award nomination in 1985.
Huey and Co. are still touring today, and performed at a winery in Maine last year. I hope they can make their way back to Maine (maybe Portland?) for a big show sometime soon, because The Heart of Rock & Roll beats here too…