East Bay News
Courtesy of Wente Vineyards
When Huey Lewis and the News rocks the friendly crowd at Wente
Vineyards this month, it won’t be the group’s first gig in an intimate
East Bay venue. Back in February of 1983, the Marin-based band
performed at Monte Vista High. About 800 people bought tickets at $7.50
each, not quite filling the Danville school’s 888-capacity auditorium.
“The band played the entire Sports album just before it was
released,” says Chet Farrow, who taught electronics and TV production
and booked bands for Monte Vista’s Thursday night concerts from 1969
through 1990. Now retired, the Walnut Creek resident recalls, “Joel
Selvin of the [San Francisco] Chronicle wrote it up as one of the best
shows in the Bay Area for 1983.”
Sports was released in October of 1983 and went on to be one of the biggest albums of the 1980s, selling more than 7 million copies. The band filled stadiums and arenas for the next decade, and it still plays winery and casino gigs every summer. Lead singer Lewis also played Billy Flynn in a recent Broadway revival of Chicago.
Huey Lewis and the News plays Wente Vineyards on August 23; tickets cost between $80 and $249, www.wentevineyards.com.